Canning Salmon, Need help now

shirleywny5(5)May 27, 2008

I just acquired 15 lbs of beautiful salmon. I'm getting ready to can it. Ball Blue is very vague as to how. The book says to leave the skin on. It doesn't mention salt or water when filling jars, just to soak the salmon in brine for 1 hour before canning. Do I skip salt in the jar or is soaking it going to make it salty enough? What if I skipped tho soak, add 1/2 teas, salt per pint and added boiling water? The latter will be similar to canning beef. Hurry please anyone.

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gran2(z5 INDIANA)

haven't canned salmon for a few years, so I'm struggling to remember. The brine is important, and it gives you all the saltiness you need. Also acts, I think, as a bit of a preservative, because salmon is a bit critical, you know? Doing it as preseribed makes a very good product. I removed skin (the convenient portion) and bones before putting it in jars. It's easy to remove the rest when opening the jar later because the fish is cooked. You will love this product. After using home-canned salmon, the commercial stuff seems like yuck.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 1:18PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

The skin helps to keep it whole. Usually a salt brine dip/soak is all that would be needed and, if its a specific amount of salt and water, it should probably be the same for an added liquid as a brine. Keep in mind that the added salt is only to help enhace flavor and doesn't really do as much to assist in preserving it. You really add a lot of salt if you were to do something like salt cod, which uses salt to remove the water. In any case, if you add too much salt, its not an easy task to remove the excess. Obviously another option is to freeze it. Must also assume your canning with a pressure canner. Adding a salt brine as a liquid in each jar would probably make it crumble much easier once its processed, as well as dilute the natural taste.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 1:20PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

It sounds like a whole lot of extra trouble to me. For salmon we clean, skin (you can leave the skin on if you like), make sure sure the fish is well-rinsed and raw-pack in the jars.

No brining, no additional water, just the fish. (Oil will exude during canning and fill much of the space.) For a pint you can add up to 1 tsp. of salt per jar if you wish. Just sprinkle it in and pack the fish chunks on top. Period.

Process in a weighted canner 10 lbs. psi 100 minutes (same time if you pack in 12-oz. or 8 oz. jars). It's handy to use straight-sided widemouths.

These are the UGA-NCHFP instructions found in "So Easy to Preserve," so you can trust the safety.

Carol

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 6:10PM
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shirleywny5(5)

I had just placed the salmon into the salt brine like the Blue book said. It was in the brine only long enough to get a response from someone here. I found another canning forum and it was suggested to not brine and add salt to each pint. I immediately took it out of the 5 minute brine and proceeded as per the instructions.
I used wide mouth pint jars and added only 1/2 teas. canning salt and left 1 inch of headspace. I processed for 100 minutes at 10 lbs. I left the skin on and place it toward the glass for the pints. With the last batch I used 1/2 pints and removed the skin and added 1/4 teas. salt. I am waiting for the pressure to go down on the canner. The finished pints look beautiful with the salmon slightly below the liquid created. No loss of liquid. Hope the 1/2 pints look as nice. I ended up with 8 pints and 8 1/2 pints.
Thanks Carol, Ken and gran2 for the information.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 6:46PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

That's great. You're really going to enjoy that salmon.

Carol

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 8:13PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

If you find that salt is overpowering, cut it down a bit more next time. As mentioned, its very hard to take salt out if too much is added in the beginning.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 9:09PM
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shirleywny5(5)

Ken, I am not worried about the salmon being too salty as Carol suggested I add 1 teas. per pint. I added only 1/2. If need be I can add salt when I make salmon loaf.
Next time I will leave the skin on all. It should be easy to remove as all the skin is to the outside. It lost some of the beautiful color though. Wide mouth jars are a must for easy removal.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 6:11AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Yes, it does loose color, and that of course is from the heating processes. Adding salt to home canning is a bit of a problem for some people. I know it does help flavor some things, but even a half teaspoon of salt is going to affect a fish. My dad used to love canned salmon and would almost eat a whole can in one sitting.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 1:52PM
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gardengrl(Northern Virginia)

This intrigues me...so you didn't add any liquid to the jars? Just cold pack the salmon, put the lids on, and process?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 8:46AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Nope. No liquid. Since salmon is such an oily fish, you will end up with a good amount of liquid in the jar after processing anyway.

This way the flavor is pure salmon.

Not to mention last time I canned salmon I processed 2 1/2 dozen pints of plain and another 1 1/2 dozen of smoked, so time is a factor when you're prepping and processing that much fish.

Carol

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 3:07PM
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annie1992

Shirley, I'm sorry I'm so late, and Carol covered your questions well anyway.

I've canned salmon for years, just some salt. Grandma used to add a teaspoon full of catsup per pint because it gave it a "pretty" color without discernable flavor.

I love home canned salmon mixed with mayo, onions and celery, some of Linda Lou's sweet chunks, better than any tuna salad ever!

Annie

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 7:53PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

salvage bump - good info and only one on the topic

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 10:25PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

FWIW the skin is the most nutritious part of the fish, and after pressure cooking the bones are quite edible.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 3:29PM
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jfweisen_gmail_com

We have cold packed the salmon and now we are ready to can without a pressure cooker. We are doing pint jars. I know we do tuna for 4 hrs at a boil. How long should we cook the salmon. Thanks Joe

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 8:43PM
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chix001_benhensley_org

You cannot safely can fish using a water bath canner. That may have been a historical recommendation or method, but it is not recommended today. Use a pressure canner only. See link below for current recommendations (from the Pacific Northwest university extension offices)

Here is a link that might be useful: PNW extension canning fish booklet

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 10:54AM
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