Northwest waters provide an abundance of seafood suitable for home canning, including albacore tuna. This fact sheet describes the easy “raw pack” home canning technique, allowing you to take advantage of the unique flavor you obtain by cooking the tuna in its own juices.
Many people prefer to have a professional fillet the fish at the dock.
If your tuna is frozen, thaw fish until it is no longer rigid but not completely thawed. Raw flesh is easier to handle when it still contains some ice crystals.
Thaw the tuna in its packaging in cold water or in a cool place (less than 55°F Or 13°C) in a covered container.
Almost 1 pound of raw tuna will fill a pint jar. Use only pint or smaller jars.
Prepare jars, lids and rings
Wash jars in hot, soapy water and rinse well.
Keep hot until ready to use.
Prepare the pressure canner
Put 4–5 inches of hot water in the canner.
Adding 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to the water in the canner will reduce the odor created during processing.
Pack the jars
Cut fish loins crosswise with a sharp knife into lengths suitable for jars.
Many people prefer to remove the band of the dark flesh in each loin.
Pack pieces into jars, pressing down gently to make a solid pack.
Leave 1-inch headspace. For raw-pack tuna, no added liquid or oil is necessary. Salt or other spices are optional.
Wipe the jar rims clean with a paper towel moistened with vinegar to remove any oil from the tuna before putting on the lid.
Adjust lids and rings.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions for your pressure canner when processing.
This should include exhausting steam from the canner for 10 minutes before closing the petcock or putting on the weight and allowing pressure to build.
Jars can be stacked in the canner, a rack between layers is recommended.
Process half-pints for 100 minutes.
- Weighted gauge — 10 pounds pressure.
- Dial gauge — 11 pounds of pressure.
After processing, remove the canner from the heat and let the pressure return to zero. Remove the weight or slowly open the petcock. Wait 10 minutes before opening the lid and removing the jars.
Test seals on jars within 24 hours. If the jars have not sealed, reprocess with new lids for the entire length of time or refrigerate the product and use it in a few days or freeze it.
Remove rings from jars for storage. Wipe off jars, label with contents and store in a cool dark place.