Monday, September 17, 2007

Canned Salmon Tutorial

Yesterday I canned salmon. Here's a tutorial of what I did.

Prepare your jars. They don't have to be sterilized, just clean, because they will end up in the pressure canner and be sterilized there. I used six salmon and finished up with 22 half pints and 15 pints. Averaging 5 pints per fish.

Scale the fish. You take a knife and scrape backwards scraping all the scales off. There's a special tool to do this but I've never tried it and after scaling as many fish as I have I'm tempted to buy one. I've viewed it in use online and it looks like it would be quicker and easier on the fingers. Don't worry if you don't get every single scale off, you just need the majority gone.

The next thing is to cut off all the fins. You can do this first if you like and sometimes I do :) There are two fins on the sides, one fin on the bottom and two fins on the top, five in total. I cut the tails off when I clean the fish so that's already gone. Make sure the fish is clean. I save all those fins and little bits to can for catfood so don't throw them out if you have a cat!

The top fin.

I use a meat cleaver, given to me by my friend Nancy, and it works great for slicing and cutting right through the backbone.

Make sure your cleaver is sharp! You'll want to cut the fish into about 1/2 inch slices for pints, and a bit smaller for half pints.

I cut my salmon steaks to fit. I also place them into the jar "skin side in," most books say "skin side out," but I don't like the look or how they stick in the jar after processing. Bones, skin, and all, go into the jar, those bones will soften later by adding vinegar and the processing.

Pack tightly into jars, leaving about a 1 inch headspace, I estimate this and it doesn't have to be perfect, just close.

Here's a bit skinnier pieces in a half pint jar, tightly packed.

After all the jars are filled.....

... it's time to add course salt. Do NOT use table salt!

1 teaspoon for PINTS.

1/2 teaspoon for HALF PINTS.

It is exactly the same measurements for the vinegar. This step is purely optional, I like to add the vinegar so the bones will really soften up.

ou then take a paper towel and wipe the rims of all the jars. I used to use hot water to do this but a trick that I learned just yesterday, is to dip your paper towel in vinegar and wipe the rims. Salmon is considered a fatty fish so by doing this you wipe away the oil along with the little bits of stuff stuck to the rim for a better seal. It's extremely important to get those rims clean! I ended up with only one jar not sealed, not bad for as many jars as I did :)

Heat up water, add as many lids as you need. After about 10 minutes place them on the jars, screw on bands (finger tight), and place them into your pressure canner. After adding about two inches of water to my pressure canner I add a few glugs of vinegar because we have hard water and it keeps the white off the jars. Place lid on canner.

I own an All-American Pressure canner, and my directions say when you see steam to vent for 7 minutes but follow the directions for your canner. After venting I place the weight on and after the first rattle (right around 10 lbs of pressure), I turn down the stove and time for 100 minutes, keeping the pressure around 10 lbs throughout. I used to do 90 minutes but guidelines have changed and most newer books will tell you 100 minutes.

After 100 minutes, turn off the stove and let the canner sit until the pressure is gone. Do not try to cool down faster using any other method, the cool down time is part of the overall processing. After the canner has cooled down, remove the weight (if your canner has one), remove jars, place on a towel, and let sit for 24 hours without disturbing. After 24 hours remove the rings, wash in hot soapy water, place in your pantry, but do not put the rings back on.
All done :)


Mom said...

Hi Kansas...
Wow! What great pictures.
While looking at the picture of the filled jars we thought hey! that would make a great jigsaw puzzle (just a passing thought) :)
I think all those just starting to can will love the step by step method. Very clear and concise direction. Great Job!!
Where do you find the time?

Love Ya!

Dora Renee' Wilkerson said...

See this is why I want to move in with you. You do everything. I could learn so much.. Ok, so I guess I can't move that way. I'll just be thankful you keep such a wonderful blog (one day I am going to print out your whole blog just incase my computer ever crashes..)

Dora Renee' Wilkerson

This post is a WONDERFUL post. I have never had fresh a Samlmon or canned but I'd love to try it someday.

Anonymous said...

These are great pictures...but...BLECH! =) You are the WOMAN, Kansas. I'm not have the woman you are! =) teehee!

HuntressD said...

You are soooo lucky to be able to can salmon, here I am in northern MB canning suckers and pikes and using fooler recipes to make people think it's salmon.......sigh, I envy you.

Mary said...

Thank you for your excellent tutorial. It is the best I've found and so useful during this year's bountiful salmon run. Your photographs are magnificent.

daveanddaun said...

awesome step by step details my wife and i are heating up the pressure cooker to try canning the salmon for the first time hope it works thanks for the picts.