Packing and Pressure Canning Tuna

One of my kindred spirits in the food blogging community is Heather of Voodoo and Sauce. She is an inspiration. I remember reading a post last year in which she packed her own Albacore tuna. As you know I like to challenge myself and I was determined to do this on my own . I love  canned tuna, especially the more expensive ones found in specialty stores with better grades of olive oil and spices as flavor. Once you make your own , all else pales in comparison. It’s great to have on hand to toss into salads and  other dishes. Pressure canning tuna may intimidate some, but its easier than you think. You just need a pressure canner as opposed to the water bath method to ensure all the harmful micro organisms are killed as it’s a low acidic food. I won’t say this experiment was flawless. For the first time ever I had two jars explode while canning and that is why my house smelled of fragrant tuna. The odds were it was bound to happen and could be attributed to a few reasons . Nevertheless I still had some great jars left that survived intact and have been enjoying them. I used Blue Fin tuna as I couldn’t find Albacore. I varied my flavors with dried lemongrass ,  fresh rosemary or fresh dill. You can use water or olive oil. I prefer oil, but be prepared for more mess when canning.

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Packing and Pressure Canning Tuna
Recipe type: entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Canning fresh tuna
  • Bluefin or Albacore Tuna
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh or dried herbs like dill, rosemary, peppercorns, lemongrass
  • Peppercorns
  • Olive Oil or water
  • ½ pint jars
  • Pressure Canner
  1. Sterilize your jars and lids according to manufactures instructions.
  2. Cut your fresh raw tuna into medallions or pieces that will fit into the jar when packed.
  3. Pour olive oil or water carefully into the jar. Fill just to cover but leave ample head space below the ring ( approx ½ inch to ¾ of an inch) as the fish will make its own juices. If its overfilled , the lid wont seal.
  4. Pack you choice of herbs and spices.
  5. Top each jar with ½ teaspoon of Kosher salt.
  6. Wipe rims and carefully seal.
  7. Take a Pressure canner with a rack and and fill with 1.5 inches- 2 inches of water. The rack is essential so the jars wont break form the heat and rattling pressure. Make sure there is enough water , but it doesn't reach the ring of the jar. Unlike water batch canning , the jars don't have to be submerged in water. Pressure canning builds up humidity but you don't want the canner to run dry as its dangerous to open under pressure.
  8. Follow Pressure Canner instructions and use the weight pressure of 11.
  9. Pressure Can for at least 90 minutes. Watch carefully and reduce heat if necessary according the canners instructions on maintaining proper pressure.
  10. After the time has elapsed , let canner cool down and remove when cool.
  11. Place jars on a rack or towel and wait for the ping sound to signify if the jars are properly sealed. This will happen over the course of the next few hours. When you press down on the center there should be no resistance. ( See you jar manufacturers instructions).
  12. If not sealed refrigerate and consume immediately over the next few days.
  13. There may be some grease residue on outside of jar after canning and that can be cleaned and removed with vinegar and water.
  14. Can be kept in a dry cool place for 6 months to max of 1 year.
Please read and follow your jars and Pressure canning instructions.


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6 thoughts on “Packing and Pressure Canning Tuna

  1. Heather

    Yay! Glad it worked for you. We’re off to the coast next week to buy our yearly albacore. This year I’ll let the fisherman butcher it for me. I ain’t got time for that shit. 🙂

  2. amy @ we are never full

    she totally inspired us to want to do this too! we, though, haven’t tried it yet. you give me the power now and inspiration (via heather) to really give it a try! i just canned my first bit of jam last month and it wasn’t THAT scary.

  3. The Alchemist

    Courtney, your tuna was awesome. I wish I could tell CS that I’m never buying storebought tuna again!

    Some day when I’m a homesteader I’ll learn how to do my own canning and this will be a treasure recipe for then…

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