Skip to Content

Safely Pressure Canning Salmon and other Fish

Pressure canning salmon is a great way to preserve your summer catch. There are many varieties of fish that can be canned, but here we’ll be talking about canning salmon specifically.

Pressure Canning salmon and other fish

In many northern climates, both raw-packed and smoked salmon are canned for the winter ahead. Raw-packed salmon can later be used much like a can of tuna fish you’d buy from the store. Think salmon salad, salmon dip, chowder, on green salads, salmon patties and many other recipes. Smoked canned salmon is also good is chowder, but my personal favorite is on a cracker with cream cheese. Yum!

Pressure Canning Salmon

Due to the low acidity of fish, it must be pressure canned to be safe, just like all canned meats. Fish can be safely canned in pint or half pint jars. Half pints are safe, but the fish consistency will not be as good. Pints are the best!

There are instructions for safely canning fish in quart jars at home.…however, the process is more complicated and the processing time is very long. Because of this, canning fish in quarts is not something that is practical or widely recommended.

Do not attempt to can this recipe using a water bath or steam canner, it is not safe.

This fish will need to be processed for 100 minutes for pint jars and half pint jars at 10 lbs. pressure.

With all fish, head, tale, scales, and fins must be removed prior to canning. I personally prefer to remove the skin all together prior to canning. Fish should be gutted within 2 hours of being caught and kept on ice until you are ready to process them.

Fresh caught Alaskan salmon

Cut the fish into 3.5 inch lengths or smaller. I usually cut it into 1 inch strips or so, sometimes smaller. This just makes for easier handling down the line. Smaller pieces can be stuffed in to fill jars as well. Fill the pint jars leaving 1 inch headspace. If you choose to leave the skin on, place the skin against the glass. Pack the fish in fairly tight. You can add up to 1 teaspoon of salt per if you so desire. Do not add any liquid. The fish fat will produce its own. I rarely add salt, choosing instead to season the final product.

Canning Fish

There are several kinds of fish that can be safely canned at home using these instructions. These include mackerel, steelhead, trout, and other kinds of fatty fish, except tuna. Tuna can be safely canned at home but the process is a little different than these. If you’re canning tuna, you need to follow the tuna instructions.

Little crystals of magnesium ammonium phosphate can sometimes form on canned salmon. They typically dissolve when heated and is safe to eat. There is no way for home canners to avoid this.

Ways to Use Canned Fish

I grew up eating home canned salmon mixed with cream cheese and herbs for a dip with crackers, pan fried salmon patties, or in a salmon chowder (think clam chowder, but with fish). It would be very tasty in our Potato Leek Soup!

Pressure canning fish is a wonderful way to keep healthy protein in the pantry for your family all winter long and it saves room in the freezer!

Pressure Canning Fish

Canning Salmon

Pressure canning salmon or fish is a great way to preserve meat to save room in the freezer.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours


  • Salmon or other fatty fish
  • Salt, optional


  1. Fill the pint jars with salmon pieces. Pack it fairly tight. Be sure to leave 1" headspace.
  2. Wipe jar rims. Place lids and rings.
  3. Put the jars into pressure canner. Follow the instructions for your canner model.
  4. Process at 10 pounds of pressure (adjusting for elevation). Process both pints and half pints for 100 minutes.
How to Pressure Can Salmon and Other Fish

Thanks for sharing!

Amanda S.

Friday 10th of February 2023

Thanks for doing a simple and to the point blog on this! However, I highly disagree with your statement: "There are instructions for safely canning fish in quart jars at home.…however, the process is more complicated and the processing time is very long. Because of this, canning fish in quarts is not something that is practical or widely recommended". My husband's family has canned salmon for about 20 years now (he and I now continue to do it), and they have always done quarts, 110 minutes, at 10 lb pressure (many people do recommend to use 15 lb pressure tho). It is hardly any extra trouble at all to can. For larger families, quarts is far more practical than going thru multiple pints for a meal. So for others out there, quarts are perfectly fine, and don't really take that much longer than the 100 minutes recommended here for pints.

Angi Schneider

Saturday 11th of February 2023

Hi Amanda, the USDA recommends that fish packed in quart jars be processed for 160 minutes at 10psi (15psi at altitudes above 1,000 feet). They also have specific recommendations for properly venting the canner when canning fish in quarts (these are different than the how you would normally vent a canner). You can read more in their publication on canning fish in quart jars.

Skip to Recipe