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Canning tuna ?

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Joined: 03/18/2005
Posts: 160
 posted 10/24/2006 03:49 PM  

Any advice from memebers out there.. i dont have a pressure cooker and was just going to boil the meat in mason jars...any help out there?

Joined: 11/07/2005
Posts: 657
 posted 10/24/2006 04:21 PM  

Someone gave me some a while back and it tasted great. So I did some research about it and bought all of the supplies, I was all set to try it but got cold feet after someone pointed out the part about possible botulism poisoning... Bought a smoker insteadSmile


Joined: 04/02/2001
Posts: 53
 posted 10/24/2006 04:25 PM  


You need a pressure cooker especially if you expect to keep the canned tuna for any length of time. The jars vacuum seal when they cool down in the pressure cooker. If you follow the cooking times and keep things clean you can keep the stuff all year without a problem.

Joined: 09/12/2006
Posts: 39
Location: ventnor, nj
 posted 10/24/2006 05:17 PM  

you don't need a pressure cooker. I have been cooking professional for 10 years. In order to jar the tuna, you should poach it either water or oil. depends on your preference.

1. Have your jars prepared by washing with hot soapy water or by putting them in the dishwasher.

2. Fill your jars depending on the size and top off with cooking liqued leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Cover with seal and screw top lid. Be sure that the rim around the edges of the jars are clean with like a wet paper towel.(I also heat my seals in a pot of water to help them seal better before putting them on the jar).

3. Process in a canner or whatever pot you want to by covering the jars with as much water as possible but not above the ring and cook for about 40-50 minutes. This all depends on the altitude that you are at but you should be safe with this amount of time. Remove jars and pray that they seal! Be sure to give the rings a final check to ensure that they are tight. Give them time. I usually don't have any problem with them sealing. I cover them with a rag to let them cool off slowly, not necessary though. If you have some that don't seal after they are completely cooled down, remove the lids, clean the top of the jar and clean the lid, heat the lid again, put it back on the jar and close and then process for a short time. Just long enough to get the inside of the jars good and hot and bubbling a little. Remove. It should seal. Sometimes you may get a bad seal and have to use another seal top. Sealing may take up to 4 hrs or so depending on the temp in your home.

If you need any help with poaching the tuna, let me know and I can help you out with that.


Joined: 03/18/2005
Posts: 160
 posted 10/24/2006 06:06 PM  

astark ...thanks man... i talked with a buddy who has done it a bunch of time..heres my plan , please let me know if i am messing up ( i dont want bochalism or trigonometry)...brining the tuna(few hours enough or should it be overnite), then packing the tuna in jar dry, i was going to use spring water but was told to do it dry....boiling in jar in a pot for 60 min( totasllly submersed?) not sure on that part my pots arent deep enough so my 1st 2 are going now on their sides totally submersed..any other advice is a appreciatesd

This post edited by angryseas 06:42 PM 10/24/2006

Joined: 02/28/2004
Posts: 216
 posted 10/24/2006 06:12 PM  

I have been canning tuna for a number of years. I can it by using a pressure cooker and one pint jars. I have never had any problem with the fish in the jars going bad, even two years after I canned it. I usually make 10 to 15 cases a year.

I have read in books that the only way to be sure that all the bacteria is killed, is by cooking the fish in a pressure cooker. From what I read, the heat generated by a pressure cooker is hotter than can be generated in a normal pot. The higher heat level is required to kill all the bacteria.

I suggest that you do some research before trying to can tuna in any jars larger than pint size or to can the tuna in a non-pressure cooker.

Home canned tuna is delicious. You will not want to eat any more of the store bought canned tuna.

Good luck.


Joined: 10/06/2005
Posts: 3030
Location: Brooklyn
 posted 10/24/2006 06:36 PM  

the old italian way

poach tuna in salted water
lay cooked pcs on clean white cloth to dry over night(in fridge)

boil mason jars fully submerged in water , dry throughly

put tuna in jars (not too full)cover with olive oil up to the top

place the flat lids on jars n place jars in water bath 1/2 way up the side heat unitil the lids seal tight then put the screw ring on tight

will last a long time and taste great enjoy

Take a kid fishing they are the future of our sport and our world

This post edited by TonySMJC 06:37 PM 10/24/2006

Joined: 03/18/2005
Posts: 160
 posted 10/24/2006 10:21 PM  

ok did a dozen jars think they turned out all right a quick ? for any one with experience
there seemed to be quite a bit of water in the jars with the tuna is this just the water that was in the meat or a sign that the sael was bad and the water iw as boiling in got in there(don't believe so just being cautious) ..boiled the jars with water un the pot just up to the rim
i fingernail tested all the lids and all seemed pretty good except two popped ...had come and it was good but didnt noticew all that much diff from store boought
anyhow tks to all those that advised

Joined: 07/08/2004
Posts: 829
Location: Niantic, CT
 posted 10/25/2006 04:33 PM  

I canned some a few years ago without the pressure cooker & although the results were excellent, I came up with a way better method for tuna salad within one year of catching:

Freeze the tuna raw in a vacuum bag. Thaw and cook when you're ready, cool it off and make your salad. It's at least as good as canned and way easier. When you can anything you have to overcook it to death.

Gaff and release

Joined: 09/12/2006
Posts: 39
Location: ventnor, nj
 posted 10/25/2006 08:10 PM  

when poaching your tuna, you cooking liquid should be no higher than 140. The only way to avoid dry tuna is not too over cook it.

Joined: 07/08/2004
Posts: 829
Location: Niantic, CT
 posted 10/26/2006 09:19 AM  

Just to rattle your cage: even if you carefully poach the tuna, the canning process re-cooks it into oblivion.

Gaff and release

Joined: 10/17/2005
Posts: 76
 posted 10/27/2006 05:04 PM  

Howdy all...

I, by no means am a food scienctist, nor in any way an expert in food, however my wife and I have been close to food self sufficient for about 10 years.
I am sure that a hot water bath has worked for canning tuna, however the hot water bath method of canning food is for food that is high in tomato sauce, pickles, jam, ect....The pressure cooking method is recomended for low acidity beans, peas, meats, ect...

The reason for blanching or parcooking is to stop the enzymatic process's that break down food, and to help styrlize (jesh my spelling sucks sorry Smile) the food. A quick internet search will yield the USDA recomendations for canning tuna...which does indeed suggest pressure cooking. (although their recomendation for par cooking seems abusrd!! I like astark's method of poaching the tuna....

Once again I'm sure the hot water bath method works...but it really is meant for food high in acidity...

Well all this talk about food has made me hungry...Smile

I'm gonna go get a snack...


Joined: 07/09/2006
Posts: 11
 posted 10/27/2006 06:36 PM  

tuna canning

Capt. Len Belcaro wrote a great article on his procedure to can tuna in the march/april 2002 addition of the Big Game Fishing Journal.I have been using this process ever since, it works great.Only got sick twice! just kidding.Peace Good Mana

Joined: 10/17/2005
Posts: 76
 posted 10/28/2006 09:56 AM  

good mana...

I may have met you at SportsAuthority in Danbury CT...about a month or so ago...

Had a real nice conversation...


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