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Thread: Canning salmon

  1. #1
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    Default Canning salmon

    Can any give me some tips on canning!

    I have the 6 or 8 oz jars you buy at the store.


    How do I go about canning salmon and halibut!!
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

  2. #2
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Default Cooperative Extension Service

    UAF's Cooperative Extension Service has a lot of very good info regarding canning (in jars or cans), particularly as it relates to food safety.

    Here's one of them: http://www.uaf.edu/ces/publications/.../FNH-00128.pdf

    Here's the general index, where there are other articles on canning, etc: http://www.uaf.edu/ces/publications/fhepubs.html#fnh

    I've often been frustrated with the fish often getting kind of "overcooked" with the recommend 100 minutes at 10# pressure. If you're going to be canning smoked fish...only smoke it as long as you need to infuse the smoke flavor...it'll get cooked plenty well in the pressure cooker. Adding a few tablespoons of oil to the jars before canning helps add a bit of moisture, also. Pack the jars as much as possible, while still making sure that there is some space at the top of the jar, so it doesn't interfere with the sealing of the lids.

    I look forward to seeing what others have to offer.

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    There are a TON of posts and recipes on this very topic in the Alaskan Pantry forum. I'll move this thread there in a while.

  4. #4
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    Default Thanks guys

    I have built a cold smoker and will use it then can the salmon after.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

  5. #5
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    We've experimented with several brines, fancy to simple, sugary to salty, and have come to a simple conclusion ...keep it simple. And, we find that brines containing more sugar than salt do NOT result in a sweeter product, but instead produce a more flavorless product. I don't use sugar cures for salmon anymore and prefer a straight 50/50 salt/brown sugar mix now.

    For canning, use a light brine and don't brine too long. Just as soon as the fish meat texture changes a tad, take the fish out and rinse/dry it. My brine (too lazy to look it up) starts to change the fish after only an hour.

    Then smoke lightly for an hour to an hour an a half. Cold smoke is best, but the Big/Lil Chief smokers are fine as well. Just don't leave the fish in it long enough to dry out at all, just add smoke. We use 3/4ths alder plus 1/4 hickory.

    We can the fish without the skin, but often don't cut it off until packing the jars. The skin peels off slightly easier after a light smoking (peels off a LOT easier if you smoke it too long too!). Then we cut the strips of fish to length so there's about 1/2" space in the jars. We use the little half pint jars, not big ones. Stuff the jars full full, as full as you can get it without violating the 1/2" head space. Don't add any salt, oil, water, or anything ...just the fish. You can drop a jalapeno into the jar though, or half a clove of garlic, black pepper, etc. Just don't add liquids or oils. The fish will produce it's own. Wipe the rim of the jar, put a hot/wet lid on it, then screw the ring on fairly snug.

    I use the 22 quart Presto cooker and can 3 layers of jars at once. You'll have to order a couple of extra trays off the web for that, since you'll want a tray between each layer. Fill the canner with water up to about halfway up the second layer and close the canner. Heat the canner without the regulator (weight) on the steam vent, on a King Kooker, until Old Faithful is coming out of the steam vent. Let it purge 10 minutes then put the regulator on. Start timing as soon as the pressure passes 10 psi. Adjust the flame for a medium rocking (usually around 15 to 17 psi on the guage) after it starts rocking. At 110 minutes from when you started timing it, slowly turn off the King Kooker and let the canner cool naturally ...takes about an hour or more. If canning in the winter, bring the canner into a heated space while it's cooling. If you force cool or cool it off too fast, the steam in the canner will condense and drastically drop the pressure in the canner too fast and this will cause the juice in the jars to out-gas and boil over right past their lids ...and that spoils the seal. Just let it cool slowly and they'll all be fine. Beware the smell of salmon when you open the canner or if you see cloudy water (possibly with bits of salmon in it)!! You'll have to re-process those jars with new lids else risk bum seals. The water should be clean. The jar lids may not 'pop' until you take them out of the canner, but they should all seal just great. Once I quit force cooling the canner, I never had another failure and no more salmon smell from the canner!

    Salmon Dip
    Smoked/Canned Salmon from one 1/2 pint jar
    1/2 bar of Philly cream cheese
    Enough sour cream to smooth the dip nicely
    1/2 tsp onion powder (or minced onions if you prefer)
    Tabasco to taste

    Mash the salmon well and add everything but the sour cream. The dip will be a bit thick, so add sour cream until it's smooth. You'll end up with about 50/50 cream cheese and sour cream. Enjoy!

    Brian

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