Sooke Fishing Adventures - Halibut and Salmon Fishing - Wildlife Watching - West Coast Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
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Canning Salmon and Halibut

Canning fish in mason jars is a great way to preserve it. It is also handy, because the fish is always ready to eat without needing cooking, and can be very tasty with different flavours added. It is very important to carefully follow directions, as canning can be dangerous if not handled properly.


  • Small jars are better, otherwise you have too much fish to use at once.
  • Wash jars and jar rings in soap and water, let dry.
  • Put lids in water just below boiling for 3 minutes. (always use new lids, can’t re-use them)
  • Fill jars to 1 inch below top. You don't need to remove bones or skin.
  • Ensure jar tops are clean (wipe with clean rag if needed). Put lids from water to top of jar, preferably with tongs. Screw down lid -- finger tight, not as tight as you can make them.
  • If experimenting with different flavours, write on the lid what you put in the jar.


  • Add approximately 2 inches of hot tap water.
  • Fill with jars, preferably alternating rows rather than stacking jars.
  • If your pressure cooker has a rubber seal, put a bead of oil on rubber seal before closing, this helps to open it later.
  • Close lid, open steam valve, put element on high. Let boil with steam escaping from steam valve for 10 minutes.
  • Close steam valve. The stopper may bubble for a minute or two, then it should pop closed. Pressure will start to build. When it reaches 15 psi, reduce the heat; if PSI starts to drop below 15, then raise the heat, until you find the point where it stays around 15psi for 100 minutes.
  • Once time is up, turn off the heat, let the pressure drop to 0.
  • Once at 0, open steam valve WITH GLOVES!!! Release pressure, then open top of canner.
  • Use tongs to put the jars on trays to cool. The lids will pop once they start to cool. If the lids doesn’t suck down, then it isn't sealed -- eat those first (put in fridge, will last a few days).


  • Salmon: needs nothing added, very tasty just on its own! Try adding any of: tablespoon of brandy or Grand Marnier; teaspoon of tomato paste; curry powder; chunky tomato salsa.
  • Smoked salmon: The Best! If hot smoked (dry/salty), then may be best mixed half and half with fresh salmon.
  • Halibut: can be very good canned, add 1-1.5 teapoon olive oil to each jar. Try adding any of: Thai sweet chili sauce; fresh dill/garlic; fresh ginger slices (very nice).
  • Halibut mix: can add smoked salmon, fresh salmon, crab claws ("poor man's lobster"), and flavour will flow through to all the halibut.

Canned fish is an excellent way to preserve and enjoy your catch. Just be careful, as it can be dangerous if not done right. More guidelines.

Pressure Cooker
Pressure Cooker Valve
Jars of Salmon

Sooke Fishing Adventures
Phone: 1-250-642-2587

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