Canned Salmon Recipe – Easier than you think!
This canned salmon recipe is a very simple, and easy way to preserve salmon. Made with only 2 ingredients, salmon fillet, and salt, canning is a very efficient way to make the fish and its benefits last.
Fish prepared this way can be used to make delicious sandwiches, fish cakes, taken as a power protein snack while hiking or camping, or added to pasta and salad. Or, you could just eat it right out of the can with a fork—I won’t judge!
If you have a fisherman in your family and get lots of fish at once or maybe found some fish on sale that you want to take advantage of for future use, this is a great way to prepare it.
Why make your own canned salmon?
Making your own canned salmon means that you are not taking up limited freezer space, since canned salmon can be stored at room temperature.
Spending a little extra effort right now is absolutely worth it. You’ll be able to eat delicious, tender salmon anytime you crave it, without having to do any work at all. The fish is ready to eat when you are. Add it to salads, sandwiches, pasta, or eat it straight out of the jar, the choice is yours.
Plus, canning your own fish means that you get to decide the quality of fish that goes inside the can. If wild-caught, sustainably caught, or organic is what you want, that is exactly what you can put in the jar for canning. Zero preservatives, zero chemicals added.
Why You Need a Pressure Cooker for Canned Salmon
To preserve fish or other low acid foods, they need to be prepared in a specific way to make them safe to eat. A canning pressure cooker is the only appliance that makes homemade canned salmon safe for consumption.
The low acid, low oxygen environment of the can (jar) can easily become the perfect environment for the Clostridium botulinum bacteria (which can be found anywhere around us) to replicate and produce toxins that can be fatal to humans.
To kill the bacteria and its toxins the foods need to be cooked to a specific high temperature and be kept at that temperature for a certain amount of time. The canning pressure cooker makes both of those possible, allowing us to safely can foods at home.
A canning pressure cooker uses a special locking mechanism that helps to build high pressure inside the pot. This, in turn, increases the cooking temperature to high enough temperatures which kill all unwanted bacteria.
Can this canning fish method be used for other fish?
Yes! This is a safe canning method for any fish that doesn’t have bones. Fair warning – any fish that is low in fat will come out drier using this method, so I stay with salmon or trout for canning.
Canning Smoked Salmon
Another great thing about this canning method is that you can also use it to can smoked salmon. Smoking small pieces of salmon and then stuffing them in jars before processing works the same way as using fresh salmon fillets.
How to Make this Canned Salmon Recipe
Scroll to the bottom of the recipe card for precise ingredient amounts and instructions.
- Super simple – salmon (preferably boneless, skinless) and salt, that’s it! I add a peppercorn and a little drizzle of oil, but those are optional.
- Add the salmon pieces to half-pint jars. If you are using skin-on salmon, make sure to put the skin side towards the outside. Then, top with canning salt, 2 peppercorns per jar, and oil if using. Do not add water, the fish will release its own liquid. Next, wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp towel. Then, top with a lid and seal it finger-tight.
- Place the liner on the bottom of the pressure cooker, and add a few inches of water.
- Add the jars to the pressure canner and process for 110 minutes at 10 PSI, or according to your pressure cooker’s instructions.
- Turn off heat, and allow the pressure indicator to drop down naturally. Open the lid, remove the jars and allow to cool to room temp.
- Remove rings, wash the jars in warm soapy water, wipe dry and remove to storage (at room temp).
Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe with precise ingredient amounts.
More Salmon Recipes:
- Salmon Cakes and Tzatziki Sauce
- Oven Grilled Salmon Kabobs with Pasta
- Copycat Kirkland Smoked Salmon Recipe
- Buttered Salmon and Summer Salad
Canned Salmon Recipe (How to can salmon)
A 2 ingredient recipe for canning salmon will allow you to preserve salmon for a long time after the fishing season is over. If you have a pressure canner, you'll love the simplicity of preparing canned salmon.
- 4 lbs salmon fillet skin-on or skinless, deboned
- 2 tsp kosher salt or canning salt
- 16 peppercorns (optional)
- 8 tsp neutral oil optional
Add 8 oz of salmon to an 8 oz canning jar (Note 1) skin side towards the jar if using skin-on salmon, leaving about 1 inch of headspace in the jar. You can pack the space as much as it will fit.
Season: Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt, add 2 peppercorns (Note 2). Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, wet towel and close with canning lids finger tight.
Load the pressure canner: Line a pressure cooker (I have this pressure canner) with a tea towel or a special rack to keep the jars off direct contact with the bottom of the pot. Add 2 inches of water. Next, add the jars to the pressure canner. The water shoud come within 1 inch of the top of jars. If you would like to add more than one layer of jars, separate them with a metal canning rack and add more layers.
Process for 110 minutes at 10 PSI (pound per square inch) according to your pressure cooker's instructions.
For this 23 qt pressure canner, you'll need to cover it with a lid, twist the lid to seal, and remove the weight off the steam valve. Turn the heat to high and as soon as the steam is coming out in a steady stream time it for 10 minutes (this removes all excess air).
After 10 minutes carefully add the weight back onto the steam valve. Allow it to build pressure up to 10 PSI as seen on the pressure gauge. Once at 10 PSI turn the heat down to low and start the timer for 110 minutes. Keep adjusting the heat up or down until the pressure stays consistently at 10 PSI or just slightly higher. It is important to keep the pressure at 10 PSI or higher to kill any unwanted bacteria. If at any point the pressure drops below 10 PSI start the timer over.
TIP: Do not walk away from the pressure cooker during cooking since the heat will need to be adjusted regularly to keep the pressure as close to 10 or slightly above as possible. Cooking the contents at too great of pressure can either burn the contents inside or break the jars.
Remove jars: Next, turn off the heat and allow the pressure to come down naturally. Once the pressure indicator has dropped to 0 open the lid, remove the jars with a jar lifter to a towel-lined surface, and let them cool to room temp (~3-4 hours).
Safety tip: The jars will be extremely hot, so handle with lots of care. Do not set them directly onto any cold surface (like a marble countertop) to prevent the jars from breaking.
Check for the seal: Once cool, press in the middle of each lid and make sure it doesn't pop up - this indicates that the jars have been properly sealed. It is now safe to remove the lid ring, rinse and dry the jars and place the ring back if you wish. Move to storage. The jars are safe to be stored at room temperature.
- Jar Size: Use either 1/2 pint or pint jars for this recipe. If using a pint jar, just double the amount of salmon and seasoning.
- No water: this recipe does not require any liquid to be added to the jars. When the salmon cooks it will release its juices and create the cooking liquid.