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How to Can Salmon

Salmon is usually smoked and canned, so that it is ready-to-cook in the future. Instead of buying canned salmon from the supermarket, you can follow the steps mentioned below and can salmon at home.


  • Fresh salmon
  • Salt (optional)

Equipment(s) required:

  • 250 ml or 500 ml Mason jars
  • Canner


  1. Clean the salmon thoroughly, and refrigerate it till the time you are ready to can it. Before you start canning the fish, remove its head, tails, and fin. Wash the fish again. Now cut the fish into pieces suitable enough to fit a can.
  2. Take 250 or 500 ml jars, depending on your preference. Clean the jars in hot soap water. Make sure you discard any jars that are cracked or chipped. Boil the snap lids as well, in order to soften the sealing compound. Do not however, boil the lids for more than 5 minutes. Even after they have been boiled, keep the snap lids in hot water till the time you are ready to use them.
  3. Pack the salmon into the mason jars, leaving about 1 inch of headspace. If you want, you can add salt to the salmon at this point. If you are using a 250ml jar, then add about ½ teaspoon of salt, but if you are using 500ml jars, then add 1 teaspoon salt to each of the jars.
  4. After you pack the salmon inside the jar, be sure to wipe the rim of the jar with paper moistened with vinegar. Now, center the snap lid on the jar and apply the screw band till fingertips are tight. Place these jars inside the canner.
  5. When the canner is full to its maximum capacity, check the water level inside it. The water level should be canner should be about 3 inches or as per the instructions of the manufacturer. Now lock the canner and follow the heating instructions of the canner.
  6. When your canner reaches the pressure time suitable for your altitude, you can start counting the processing time. After the processing time is over, remove the canner from the heat. Wait till the pressure inside the canner drops to zero. Wait for another few minutes, before removing the cover of the canner.
  7. Take the jars out and place them on a towel in an upright position. Let them cool for about 24 hours. After 24 hours, check the seal on the jars. They should be curved downwards, and should not flex on pressing.
  8. Wipe the jars with a moist cloth, and remove the screw bands. You can now store the jars as per your convenience. Make sure however, that the jars are always kept in a cool, dark place.

6 Responses to “How to Can Salmon”

  1. Ken Vaux says:

    For canning quart jars of salmon the recommendation is 160 minutes at 11 psi at sea level. As for adding vinegar… The bones will soften anyway as a result of the canning process.

  2. Lourdes says:


    I am hoping that somebody tell me how to can a salmon. Never tried and not sure how to do it.

  3. cindy says:

    do you have to use a canner? If not how long do you cook it.

  4. Elena says:

    I process pint and 1/2 pint jars at 10-11 pounds of pressure for 100 minutes. You can put fresh fish in the jars, with or without skin. I prefer to remove the skin. I also add 1 tsp of canning/pickling salt to pints, 1/2 tsp to the 1/2 pints(only to fresh fish, not to jars of smoked) Nothing acidic is needed to add to the jars to soften the bones, as they will do that during the processing. I also brine salmon and partially smoke it before loading into jars. Adding a little splash of vineagar to the water inside the canner helps to prevent stains, but is not needed inside the jars.
    Pints and 1/2 pints are the current standard for salmon, quart jars are no longer recommended. Check with your local extension center, or online. University extension centers like U of Minnesota are or WSU or Alaska have tons of info, links, and info on classes/videos/materials.

  5. I am trying to can salmon for the 1st time. How long to I cook using the pressure canner if I am using quart jars? Does the time differ if I am using cooked, uncooked or smoked salmon?

  6. Mary says:

    Do you need to add vinegar when canning salmon so the bones will be soften to be eaten?

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