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Sep 8, 2009 09:35 AM

Fun with pressure canning - tuna, sardines and mackerel

I am planning to safely pressure can fish over the next few weeks, and I am looking for fun flavor combos that will survive the hour plus canning time, and still taste delicious. Some flavors can better than others, and I have never canned fish before.

I'm looking for modern, bright flavors. For mackerel I was thinking of peppercorns, juniper berries, red wine and a little wine vinegar.

For tuna, I'm thinking I'll just use a really good olive oil, and that's it.

What do you think? Has anyone canned fish before? What are your favorite additions?


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  1. Ooh Zennenn you are brave! Canning fish and meats scares the jeepers out of me. I would think the red wine vinegar is going to cause your mackeral to discolor quite a bit over time, what about white wine vinegar? Wouldn't you end up with pickled fish instead of canned? Just random thoughts. Go for it and let us know how it works out I'm very curious, as we never get fresh fish and I'm not married to a fisher so unless we can pick it up at the store it doesn't happen.

    1 Reply
    1. re: aggiecat

      I'm excited to give it a whirl! I wouldn't mind a little pickling, and discoloring wouldn't matter so much to me, but I am worried about the herb/spice additions, or maybe the red wine vinegar going "off" in flavor after canning.

      It seems like the only recipes out there are for putting ketchup in the jar to make the fish seem like salmon. Thank you for your vote of confidence!

    2. Oh Zennen, Do not be tentative to can your own fish. I grew up working on fishing boats and have tried most fish, some with success and some failures. Tuna, mackerel, bonita, sardines and anchovy appear to holde up to the process the best. The failures were more along the whitefish, cod, seabass and squid. I live in Redondo Beach, California and utilize our beloved $.99 stores for ingrediants and here are a few ideas of success-
      -sardines in the El Patio (red can) enchilada sauce
      -Albacore with 1tsp of the Zatarains crab boil bag
      -Anchovies with the Baja Sea Salt and whole peppercorns
      I could go on and on but everything is available at the ol' 99er and remember the process is most crucial. Have your equipment and jars sterile, 75-90minutes at 10lbs- rattle every 10-15 seconds.
      Feel free to e-mail me
      ps- if you own a turkey fryer, I would advise canning outside or in the garage

      1. I've canned tuna and recommend good olive oil and a little salt. And do the pressure canning part outside if you can.