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Thread: Smoking Canning HELP!!

  1. #1

    Question Smoking Canning HELP!!

    Now that I have the 3 most important items (fish, Bradley Smoker and All American Canner ) all I am missing is some canning wisdom! I hot-smoked some fish and then canned it (with 1 tsp of olive oil) for 110 mins at 10 lbs of pressure and the fish is dry! What did I do wrong? Should I only can smoked salmon that has been slightly cooked? I love that copper river red smoked salmon - love the texture as well.. so how can I accomplish this?


    Also - I have bought canned salmon with red pepper flakes, with jalapeno and with hot sauce - anyone has any suggestions/recipe/method of canning with such spices?

    Thanks in advance!


    AkWife

  2. #2
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    Turn the heat off on the Bradley. Brine as normal and smoke it for about an hour with no heat, then can it. No olive oil!

    Adjust the smoking time to your taste.

    I dry brine with salt and plenty of brown sugar for 12-24 hours. I dry the pieces until tacky and brush with real maple syrup or honey, and dry to a tack again, then smoke it and can it with some jalepeno slices.

  3. #3

    Smile

    Thank You. I will certainly give it a try.

  4. #4

    Default canning smoked fish

    Canning "intensifies" smoked fish so any smoked fish I can is lightly smoked with either alder or apple wood. I also use a cold/drying smoking method for my fish. My smoke house is built out of cedar. Smoking and canning fish takes some trial and error to find the way you like it best. Have fun!

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    Default canning smoked

    My advice is to smoke up a batch that you are really satisfied with then start canning. Difference is...don't can only the smoked fish. Use raw salmon in the cans then place a small piece (1 1/2" square or so) on top of the raw. When you smoke it (like .338 said) it intensifies the flavor. The smoked flavor will permeate the raw fish and when it is done, you will have a can of mildly smoked fish. I have never had luck canning smoked fish alone. It always comes out too strong, or like you said, very dry. I vacuum pack my smoked fish and it never seems to last long enough to bother with the canning anyway.
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    We canned a lot of smoked salmon last yr with olive oil. I only pressure cook 90 min. Be sure to let the pressure go down on its own so it does not draw out the moisture.

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    I can a lot of my smoked salmon and have yet to have any turn out dry. Granted I usually only can kings and pinks and they are a little oilier than reds so that might have something to do with it. But I put them in the cans "dry" and they usually fill up the can with ample amount of liquid and oil. I hot smoke them and then put them in the presure cooker for 110 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. I want to try to spice them up and will try adding some pepper flakes or even some dried chilis the next time i can a batch. Anyone have any experience doing that? How much should I add?

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    You aren't the first to have this problem, and I can sum up your mistake in one sentence. Smoking filets of salmon to eat as just smoked salmon and putting some smoke flavor in fish you want to can are two very different processes.

    For canning, the only reason to smoke the fish is to put a LITTLE (like already stated) smoke flavor in the fish. DO NOT smoke the fish like you've done in the past because doing so removes much of the moisture. Hence your dry canned salmon.

    I have very good success brining my fish for 24 hours, smoke it for only one hour using moist hickory chips, then refrigerate the fish overnight before canning. Refrigerating it serves two purposes. It makes the smoke flavor more mild and well absorbed throughout the fish (hopefully you've smoked the fish with skin off for smoke penetration on both sides), and it makes the meat more firm for an easier time packing it into the jars.

    I used to add olive oil because I like cooking with it, but I found olive oil imparted a slightly off flavor. I shifted over to adding a tablespoon of canola oil instead. From there, use your imagination on what you want to add. This year my new trial mixture of additions for a pint jar was 1 T canola oil, 1-1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper, and five cross section slices of jalapeno peppers this year with good results. It's only mildly spicy since pressure cooking "kills" a lot of the heat. My brine has other flavors too and enough salt so I don't add any salt in the jar.

    Your gonna love having jars/cans of salmon available throughout the winter! My kids would eat all ours up by New Years if I didn't watch them.

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    You may need to adjust expectations too. You can take completely raw salmon, unbrined and unsmoked, and it will still turn out firmer than you'd guess. Smoking will only dry it further. We use a short brine (50/50 brown sugar and noniodized salt) ...maybe 45 minutes to an hour at most, then a short cold smoke ...about an hour. My smoke mix is 75% hickory, 25% alder. Stuff the jars pretty full because the fish shrinks and you also end up with more natural moisture and oil in the jar, but leave the recommended 1/2" of head space in the jars... you don't want fish juice or 'stuff' spoiling your seal. Speaking of which, be sure to purge your pressure canner for a full 10 minutes prior to letting it pressurize, and when it's done, just shut off the heat and let it cool naturally. Force-cooling causes all the jars to boil over inside the canner and wreck the seals. If you see (or smell) salmon 'stuff' in the canner water, then open the jars, clean the rims, and re-can with new lids (or put them all in the fridge and eat them soon) ...the lesser hassle is to do it right the first time.

    So next time you brine, smoke, and can ...try making a control sample or two of unbrined/unsmoked raw salmon so you have something to compare too. No process will produce softer salmon than that (unless adding the aforementioned oil helps ...I've never tried adding olive or canola oil, but now I might ). Your 'control' sample will kinda get you calibrated as what to expect from the smoked samples ...your target when it comes to softness or moisture. And yes, reds are the driest I think. I prefer canning kings or pinks just for their higher oil content. Silvers work fine too but don't have quite as much natural oil as the others that I mentioned.

    Brian

  10. #10

    Default oil content

    I see some differing views on this thread about which salmon have the most oil content. I had heard that kings are highest, reds second, and pink had the least. I did a search and came up with these numbers from a Canadian source on Pacific salmon:

    Oil per 100 grams of raw fish

    king - 11.4 g
    sockeye - 10.1
    pink - 5.3
    coho - 4.6
    chum - 3.7

    This was the only site I could get actual numbers at; others indicated some variation on the ordering, but kings and sockeye were generally at the top of the list in that order.


    (http://atn-riae.agr.ca/seafood/pink_salmon-e.htm)
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

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    salmon stuff in the canner water.

    I dry brined salmon for about 12-18 hours, then cold smoked it for 2hours then proceeded to can it...I stuffed the jars reasonably full and left at least 1/2" headspace, I added a bit of salt , let the pressure cooker purge for 10mins, turned the heat down and processed for 100 mins, then turned it off and allowed it to cool down on it's own...upon opening the canner I could smell Salmon...it was strong...plus the jars were so full of liquid, ..what did I do wrong?
    Last edited by Angie; 08-28-2007 at 10:13. Reason: omitted something.

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    Angie,

    Your description sounds perfectly normal to me. You'll always have some residue in the canner from the jars exhausting into the canner. I have friends that prefer to do their canning on an outdoor stove to keep the smell outside. The liquid in the jars is natural, too. Just pour it off whan you open the jars. Keep track of whether you think the smoke flavor is strong enough and whether the fish is too salty and adjust your smoker time and salt accordingly for future batches.

    You did keep the pressure gauge at or above 10# for the entire 100 minutes, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    Angie,

    Your description sounds perfectly normal to me. You'll always have some residue in the canner from the jars exhausting into the canner. I have friends that prefer to do their canning on an outdoor stove to keep the smell outside. The liquid in the jars is natural, too. Just pour it off whan you open the jars. Keep track of whether you think the smoke flavor is strong enough and whether the fish is too salty and adjust your smoker time and salt accordingly for future batches.

    You did keep the pressure gauge at or above 10# for the entire 100 minutes, right?
    Right, I agree with Mr. Pid. I always have some fish smell (or meat if that is what I am working with) once I open the canner. I cook on a wood stove or sometimes even over the campfire and it is difficult to maintain a rock solid steady temperature and pressure so the jars vent at least a little. As long as you didn’t go under the minimum pressure and kept it in for the full time and your jars sealed, then you shouldn’t have any worries.

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    If you guys are getting salmon (etc) residue in the canner's water, then something didn't go right and you're risking bad seals due to 'stuff' leaking out of the jars and getting on the rubber sealing surface of the lids. I found that you MUST follow the rules very carefully when canning if you don't want this kind of contamination to occur:

    - Bring the canner up to temp (blowing steam) gradually, then let it purge for a full 10 minutes before putting the weight on (etc)

    - Process the 100 minutes (Palmer extension service says 110 minutes) at 10# or higher. My canner runs about 15# all the time and I go 100 minutes.

    - KEY STEP: Do NOT force-cool the canner. Just lower the flame gradually and then shut it off and leave the whole shmo' sitting there until you can easily open the canner's lid without force. Cooling any faster than this causes the jars to boil over and contaminate the seals... and you risk spoiling all your hard work.

    The key to good seals is gradual heat ...on the heating and the cooling phases. Don't rush it. Pop a top again... and take your time (beer makes it easier to wait ...and maybe some nearly-loud Johnny Cash or Waylon Jennings playing in the background.)

    Brian

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    Default try these links

    http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_05/...ish_qtjars.pdf

    http://www.extension.umn.edu/distrib...on/DJ1087.html

    http://www.uaf.edu/ces/publications/...FNH-00128.html

    these sites helped refresh my memory for canning. used to help mom and grandma every year canning the entire farm garden when i was a kid in michigan. used basically the same steps for everything, just adjusted length of time under pressure. wife was happy that i canned this year and she had space in the freezer for her berries.
    Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishergirl View Post
    We canned a lot of smoked salmon last yr with olive oil. I only pressure cook 90 min. Be sure to let the pressure go down on its own so it does not draw out the moisture.
    90 minutes used to be the guideline from the feds. Now they say 100 minutes I believe. I think the Palmer extension service says 110 minutes. Heck, my canner runs well over 10# anyway, so I just go with 100 minutes.

    Brian

  17. #17

    Default Kudos to Alaska Grandma

    Wow I have enough trouble keeping the pressure from fluctuating with gas! On a wood fire that would be quite the challenge. My understanding is that the "residue" in the canner is from sharp fluctuations in pressure. Cooling too fast or heating too fast. My stove is real touchy and so I have to fiddle with it the whole 110 mins. Last year was my first time canning smoked salmon and I too had the dry texture. I don't understand why anyone adds oil? My smoker smokes rather hot so was hard to regulate the temp. I like a strong smoke flavor so did mine 4 hrs. Thus it was dry. I plan on doing a cold smoker set up this year so the salmon isn't completely cooked when I put it in the jars but I can get the strength of smoke we like. I use it to make a pate with cream cheese,with this and that added, and it goes over well. The cream cheese adds some moisture too. The japaleno sound good might have to try a batch.

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    Well I finally got around to trying some canning. I brined for 8 hrs, smoked for 1-hr then stuffed the fish in jars and pressurized 100 min @ 10#. Cooled naturally for 8-hrs. Popped a jar open and it was the driest fish I have ever tried. Another thing I noticed was my pot was out of water. I'd filled it up to just below the ring of the jars. Is this normal? I also find it hard to believe commercial canners cook theirs 110 min at 10#. Why so long? If one force cools the jars, and they boil over, that means that the contents are well over 212 degrees, hot enough to kill all the bugs isn't it?

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    Default Remember to wipe the rims before the lid goes on

    Always use a wet cloth or wet paper towel to wipe the rims of your jars before putting on the lids. The tiniest bit of salmon on there can prevent a good seal.

    And if you're using last year's jars always use new lids.

    If you use a can opener to break the seal when you're opening a jar, you should later check the rim to make sure you didn't nick the glass.


    And if you've got a cat, always give the cat a little bit before you eat any. Wait an hour. If the cat wants more the stuff must be okay.

  20. #20
    New member AKDSLDOG's Avatar
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    Cold smoke for 1hr then can. You don't want to over smoke/cook before canning. Here's our's.....

    Cold smoke with blend of apple and alder. Add 2 drop's of liquid smoke in the bottom of the jar, 1 halo ring, layer of fish, 1 halo, layer of fish, halo, layer of fish, 3 rings of onion, 1ring each green, red, yellow bell pepper. Cook at 10psi for 110 minutes, awsome!

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