Canning calamari/squid/octopus

delidivaNovember 28, 2007

Hi - I'm new here - thank you so much for a great forum! I've learned a lot the past 2 days!

Does anyone have any approved/tested recipes for canning calamari,squid or octopus ? And if not would it be possible to take a recipe for canning fish and just use squid instead of fish?

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readinglady(z8 OR)

It's hard to imagine there'd be a safety problem using the time for fish. However, there may be quality problems. Either way, given the risks associated with fish and seafood, I wouldn't assume anything.

I'd recommend you contact Dr. Elizabeth Andress at the NCHFP (National Center for Home Food Preservation) and ask. She's the expert and is very good at responding promptly. It may be you can use the time for clams, which is shorter. Also, clams are acidified and that may be the best procedure for calamari also.

If she gives you an answer, please share. It's always interesting to know what she has to say.


Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP Contact Page

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 4:46PM
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Thanks - I've sent off an e-mail and will let you know when I get a response back


    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 10:38AM
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This is the answer I received back from the NCHFP:

Dear Tanya,

Thank you for visiting the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.

>> >>Question: I would like to can squid/octopus/calamari. Should I use the same >>processing method/time as for fish or clams?

Our Center's research and expertise is in the area of preserving food at home. If it is home food (non-commercial) preservation recommendations that you are looking for, the only recommendations that we have for home canning seafood products are here:

We (USDA/Cooperative Extension partners) do not have a home canning process for squid, octopus or calamari. A canning process, with it's accompanying heat effects, is very likely to affect the texture of these foods. However, we do not have any experience with preservation of squid/octopus/calamari at home. Additionally, each canning process has to be researched, and cannot be extrapolated from one product to another. Read why in this backgrounder:

Freezing squid may be a good method of preserving it, if freezing is an option for you. Here is some information on methods used to preserve squid, from FAO:

If it is commercial food preservation expertise that you are looking for, the Institute of Food Technologists ( is a good resource. They have a database of experts in various areas of food manufacturing and process development.



    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 11:20AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I'm sorry you didn't get an answer that would support canning at home. One document on canning seafood from Oregon State University included a publication on squid in its bibliography but did not provide any instructions for preserving.

I will keep an eye out for additional information.


    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 12:43PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

As others have often posted here - "some foods are only intended to be prepared/eaten fresh". ;)

Not everything can be canned nor should it be, but many seafoods respond well to freezing without the loss of color, texture, and taste that an attempt at canning would likely produce. Many seafoods also respond well to smoked preservation - an alternative to consider.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 9:22PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Well, canned squid is not uncommon in Hawaii, California, Japan, etc. Asian populations, both native and expatriate, eat canned squid all the time.

But, those are commercial applications, so again we're getting into that "untested, unknown" area for the home food preserver.


    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 10:19PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

I also searched , to no avail, on canning squid and octopus at home. This is a question I can say I have never been asked before.
The other recent one was about canning liver and chicken livers. Same answer, there isn't any safe guideline for them.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 12:38PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I do know that sometimes cooking these fish types will toughen them, and then they get overcooked and soften again. Squid was one of those that do that.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 3:31PM
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I'd freeze it, squid freezes really well. I'd only can it if involved pickling or something else that affects the flavor in a positive way.

I can't really see why you'd want to though, most folk don't catch squid and it's perenially available in stores (particularly asian markets) at very low prices.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 6:52PM
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Fishermen in Southern California on sportsfishing boats regularly now catch seasonal squid. From what I have read in fishing publications these normally run from 10 to 35 pounds and are caught on a conventional fishhook. So while out fishing for FISH, it is possible to now come home with a load of squid. Someone gave me one that was about 30 pounds and I never did eat it all. My wife is not happy about squid on her plate. Regards - Jim in So Calif.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 9:43PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

The poster is in South Africa. Her circumstances may make canning squid a practical option, if it can be done safely.


    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 10:28PM
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has anyone consider dehydration ... maybe someone knows how to do that. (not me ... about the only seafood group I don't like)

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 4:06PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

I don't think dehydrating is a good option as it would need to be really salty to preserve it. The only method the USDA has for drying meats safely is with jerky. I contacted Elizabeth Andress about drying meats, such as hamburger, and unless meats are salted they will not be safe to dry.
I would not take a safety risk with trying to dry squid or octopus.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 6:10PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I made beef jerky some years ago with a fairly tender piece of beef. It turned out very fiberous, so if I were to make it again, I would grind the beef and form it into strips first. I used NY sirloin and it was just too stringy, you had to chew and chew it, but you still wound up with a wad of fiber in your mouth.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 12:21PM
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