How to Make Pressure Canning Fish for Beginners (step-by-step)
How to Make Pressure Canning Fish for Beginners (step-by-step) Hey hey, So today is going to be my fish canning day. And I just wanted to show you my setup. So this is my prep station. Right here, I’ve got a cutting board and this is all the fish that I’m going to can. So I’ve got two nice sized filets of fresh salmon and I’ve got a bag of walleye that’s been in the freezer for a little while and I wanted to get it out of the freezer, so I’m going to put it into cans. I’ve got my pressure canner here. Uh, it’s a big guy. Whenever you’re doing meat, low acid low sugar foods, you have to pressure, can it? You can’t do the water bath method. That’s not safe to eat. I’ve got my container of rings and other general canning tools all of my jars I always have a pile of towels and rags And these towels and rags, I don’t care about. They can get totally trashed. And I’ll just throw them in the wash. You’ve got your lids and your rings and your jars that are prepping. So I’m doing ten pint-sized jars that’s what I’m guessing based on the amount of fish I have. Whenever I guesstimate, I always guess over. Because I mean, when you’re at the point where you’re starting to stuff hot jars, you always want to have too many, not too few. With some water on the bottom so right now I’m just sterilizing the jars and heating them up. You buy new lids just in a container, like this.
So every time you reuse your jars and your rings you need to add a brand new lid to it. Finally, most importantly, I’ve got my recipe. So this is a pamphlet, or a recipe, that I got from the University of Fairbanks Alaska Cooperative Extension Office. Called ‘Canning the Fish Catch’. And this is good for pretty much all fish. Because it is just amazing. It goes through handling the fish in the field how you should prepare the fish, removing bones and skin for certain kinds of fish, Then it gets into how to pack your jars, recommended processing time, and pressure for your jars sizes. All of this was done by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, so this is a very, very trustworthy source. When you’re canning fish and meat, and other things that have the potential for botulism when it’s not correctly canned, you want to find a reputable source. How to Make Pressure Canning Fish for Beginners (step-by-step) And now I’m going to get started chopping up my fish. Like, I haven’t deboned these yet. But part of the beauty of pressure canning fish with small bones is that pressure canning completely takes care of all of these bones.
So I can feel the bone lines in this filet, and same with the salmon. I have not removed the bones from these salmon filets. It makes the fish healthier for you because you’re eating all of that calcium inside the bones that you’d normally be picking out and throwing away. If it’s a fish like salmon or walleye where the bones are just really small and really obnoxious to take out, you don’t have to take those out when you’re pressure canning it. It’s pretty amazing, actually. So yeah, just chop up all of your fish. Don’t worry about the bones. The pressure canner will take care of that. All of the fish have been diced, walleye on the left, salmon on the right, and now I’m moving my hot jars from the sanitation…sanitizing pot over and lining them up. where I will fill them. So this is a really nice tool to have. It’s a pretty standard canning tool. These are very, very hot jars. So I’m going to line them all up in a row. All my hot jars are lined up. And I’m going to start packing them which just involves grabbing a handful of fish and putting it in. top of the food level, and the top of the jar. This recipe says one inch of headspace. And the highest tooth here is one inch.
So you just put that in the jar and you can see, on most jars the one-inch mark is just under the lip of that ring you’ve got a perfect amount of headspace. And you just keep doing that until all of your jars are filled. So that step is really important. So the next step now that all of the tops of my jars are clean I’m going to pull out this little tool. When I first started canning, I was like, “I’m never going to use this…” I really hate single-purpose tools I despise them I think they take up space unnecessarily I’m more of a proponent for tools that serve many purposes but this is a tool I have not been able to find functionality with anything else, other than this. And all it is is a stick of plastic with a magnet on the end. Once it’s time to fish those hot lids out of your water that just stopped boiling you are going to wish you had one of these. I tried doing it without this tool the first few times and you can get these for like two dollars so two dollars is definitely worth a lifetime of not scorching your fingers in boiling water. And I’m just going to add all of the lids to these jars… And now I’m putting on the rings. We talked about headspace, which is the amount of space between the top of your food and the bottom of the lid. Another canning term you’re going to hear quite often is “finger tight” and that term applies to how tight you put on the ring.
Next step. Your pressure canner should have some sort of tray like this so that your jars aren’t going to be flat on the metal. And I’m just going to go one by one. and stack them around the edge. Alright, all of my jars are packing in here. It’s really tight, but there is a small amount of space in between each of the jars, which is what you want. Now that we’ve got everyone in there this recipe says that I need a few inches of water on the bottom. This pressure canner gets insanely heavy when it has when it’s filled with water. So I usually wait until the end then just use a separate, smaller container to pour the cold water in here. Ok. So I was hoping that this moment wouldn’t come, but I have realized it has to. I’m being exposed to still being in my pajamas in the afternoon but that’s fine! Because you know what? I’m pressure canning fish. I’m not going to do my hair and do my makeup. So this pressure canner is a metal on metal.
I can’t get the lid off. If that ever happens to you, and you have issues getting your lid off because it creates too efficient of a vacuum seal, I do have a solution for that. We’ve put our petroleum jelly all around the inside and now to put this lid on. Then on the lid, there’s an arrow. Now it’s falling in place. There we go. So now we’re in place. I’ve got all of these latches on the side so you start by grabbing two opposite from each other and just got really, really loose. Don’t tighten at all. You also want to make sure that the gap over here is similar to the gap over here. Otherwise, your lid is going to be off. So right now, I actually put it on pretty darn straight. No adjusting needed. I mean, not tight at all. At this point, you’re just trying to line everything up. And the reason you’re doing that is that you don’t want your lid to shift during this tightening process. You want to make sure that your pressure is being applied evenly throughout the whole lid.
How to Make Pressure Canning Fish for Beginners (step-by-step) Otherwise, you need to start over and readjust your lid. So those are pretty nice and tight. I’ve got my pressure canner weight here. And according to this recipe, it needs to be at ten pounds of pressure. So I’m going to turn the heat on I’m going to wait until steam starts coming up through the top and then I’m going to put my weighted gauge on at ten pounds. There’s a better shot of the weighted gauge, so you can see ten pounds would be there. This piece is going to go right over the top of this steam hole. But first I’m going to wait about ten to fifteen minutes so that some of the steam can escape. And then I’m going to put this down just like that. But for now, you want to let it heat up a little bit. This has been going on for about ten minutes. And I can hear that the water is starting to boil. It’s ready and it’s time to put on our weighted pressure I usually use an oven mitt for this part. So you’re wearing your oven mitt and you just drop it over. Now over here, you can see our pressure is at zero right now.
How to Make Pressure Canning Fish for Beginners (step-by-step) That 100-minute timer doesn’t start until our pressure canner has reached ten pounds of pressure. So right now we’re still just waiting to build up the right pressure before I can start my timer. So now I can start my timer for 100 minutes for processing time. My timer for 100 minutes just went off. So all I did was turn off the heat on the stove. From here, you just let it cool naturally. it’s actually important for the sealing of your jars to just let it come down to pressure naturally. So I waited for the dial on the pressure canner to reach zero and then I took off the weight. There was just a little puff of air left in it. So I took off the lid and I’m just going to remove them, one by one. and there you have it. So that’s how you pressure can fish.
And it’s pretty crazy that now this is all going to be shelf-stable even though it’s fish and it started with bones in it, that would’ve been a nuisance to pick out, now it’s totally shelf-stable it doesn’t need to be refrigerated or frozen, and you’ll never have to worry about picking out bones. Hey, so I know that was a long video so thanks for sticking with me. There are just a lot of moving pieces when it comes to making fresh fish shelf-stable. How to Make Pressure Canning Fish for Beginners (step-by-step) And also, a trick to getting your stuck pressure canner back open after processing cans If you liked this video, please give it a thumb’s up so other people get help finding it easier.