Canning Salmon

During the huge salmon run this year, Lorna bought some for canning. She was worried about canning salmon using a pressure canner on her glass top stove which may crack. She lost her user manual and was unable to check if her glass top stove can accommodate pressure canner. So, she brought her salmon to the Food Preservation workshop organised by Richmond Food Security Society at Garratt Wellness Center for canning.


Use properly eviscerated fish. Chill cleaned fish on ice or refrigerate until ready to can.


  • fresh salmon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pickling salt  or sea salt for 250 ml jar, optional
  • freshly ground black pepper, optional
  • water, optional


Source: via Karen DW


Processing salmon in a pressure canner is essential to eliminate the risk of Botulism. Do not attempt to home can fish in 1 liter jars; use 250ml or 500ml jars only.

Prepare jars:

Wash with hot, soapy water, rinsing well. Inspect jars, and discard any with nicks. chips, or scratches, as these flaws can cause breakage.

Prepare lids:

Wash with hot, soapy water, rinsing well. Heat the seals in hot, not boiling water, for 5 minutes. Rings do not need to be heated. When using, remove, remove lids from hot water using a non-metallic device, rubber gloves, or a magnetic stick. Avoid using any tools which may scratch or nick the sealing compound or the inside liner of the lid.

Canning-Salmon-2To prepare salmon, remove and discard salmon head, tail and fins which a pair of kitchen scissors does the job well. Wash fish carefully, removing all blood. Cut fish into pieces suitable for the jars, using the height of the jar as a marker.
Canning-Salmon-4Fill the jar at room temperature with the salmon pieces tightly. Wipe the rim the of jar with a damp cloth.
Canning-Salmon-5Season the salmon with salt if desired.
Canning-Salmon-6Season with freshly cracked black peppers if desired.
Canning-Salmon-7Fill the jar with water, leaving 1 inch (2.5cm) head space.
Canning-Salmon-8Using a nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles. Center hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increasing to fingertip tight.
Canning-Salmon-9Place the rack in the pressure canner. Arrange the jars on the rack allowing space for steam to flow around the jars. If stacking jars, place a second rack between layers of jars.When pressure canner is full, add room temperature water to level as directed by canner manufacturer.
Canning-Salmon-14Lock canner lid in place according to manufacturer’s instruction.
Canning-Salmon-10Follow manufacturer’s heating instructions, vent canner-allow steam to escape steadily for 10 minutes.
Canning-Salmon-11Close vent.
Canning-Salmon-12When canner reaches the pressure appropriate for your altitude (refer and the type of pressure canner, begin counting processing time. For this pressure canner, the salmon has to be processed for 90 minutes.When processing time is complete, turn off heat. Allow canner to stand undisturbed until pressure drops to zero. Wait 2 minutes longer, and then release valve to let steam escape. Remove cover, tilting it away from your face. Remove jars without tilting.
Canning-Salmon-13Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; Do not retighten screw bands. After cooling, check jar seals. Sealed discs should curve downward. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store in a cool dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.

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  1. mario

    I find that sock eye salmon has weird strong taste. It’s supposed to be higher grade of salmon but I really prefer the taste of pink salmon.

  2. grayelf

    I’m with you, mario. I like pink or coho much better.

  3. Anton

    Good stuff Suanne!
    But: Botulism is my concern!
    Just in case the pressure cooker has not reached an “F”-value of at least “4” = 121 or degree C or higher for at least 10 minutes (Core temperature!) regardless of the size jar you’re using, the risk of botulism remains!
    Quick answer: if you are not sure about all this, just store your finished product in your Refrigerator please!



  4. nexus

    Hi Ben,

    We canned whenever there’s sockeye…did lots this year.
    Suggest you put a teaspoon of dried chilli – yummy especially if you like spicy.

    It is not necessary to store in the fridge if unopened. They should keep for max 2 yrs in a cool dark place.

  5. Barb

    I just finished canning sockeye salmon in tins not glass jars. Several of the tins you can push in on the tops or bottoms of the tins. Is this OK?

    1. Suanne

      Hi Barb, I have no experience in canning fish in tin jar. As a safety measure, I would store those tins in doubt in the refrigerator and consume them as soon as possible.

    2. bob

      if yu can push in on the tops.. they are not sealed properly…throw away

      1. bob

        one thing to know when yu are going to use your canned salmon make sure the lid is concaved ..this is good… put a tbspn of water on the lid.. poke a hole with a sharp punch (knife) the water sucks in . you have a good product.. if it spits out at you.. not so good.. I have canned salmon for 35 years .. we never used it till at least 6 months.. and is best after a year. Us as commercial fisherman always canned for a year ahead of time for home use…

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