Can You Make Your Own Canned Fish?

Fish is an excellent protein to include in any healthy diet. Whether you prefer it raw and rolled up in sushi, battered and fried for a serving of fish and chips, or paired with a tortilla and garnished with lime for a taco, fish is a versatile and highly-nutritious ingredient. According to Healthline, fish is packed with healthy, omega-3 fats that are proven to improve heart health. Fish can also boost brain function, help reduce depression, improve eyesight, and enhance sleep quality. What's not to love?

While fresh or frozen fish is a great option for home cooking, fish can go bad quickly. U.S. Department of Agriculture claims that raw fish only lasts in the refrigerator for up to two days before it needs to be cooked or frozen. And once it's frozen, it can take hours to thaw. That's where the beauty of canned fish lies. Canned fish, whether it's anchovies, tuna, salmon, mackerel, or any other oceanic creature, are preserved for longevity and shelf-stability. The best part, they're ready to eat as soon as you want it; no rushing or thawing necessary.

While canned fish is readily available at the supermarket, you may wonder if you can make canned fish on your own.

Practice food safety when canning your own fish

The good news, you can certainly make your own canned fish. Although canned fish makes for a convenient, ready-to-eat and long-lasting ingredient, it's critical to practice food safety when it comes to canning your own fish. Because fish can be a "significant source of food poisoning," per South Dakota State University, taking appropriate measures to eliminate the risk of illness is the most important part of canning fish. Contrary to popular opinion, you should never use some instant pots for canning.

According to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a pressure canner is required to safely can fish. You should remove the head, tail, fins, and scales before chopping the fish into small pieces and placing in a jar with an inch of vacant space at the top of the jar. Adding a liquid to the container is not necessary. Once you place the jars in the pressure canner, Simply Canning says a pint of fish will take one hour and 40 minutes to complete but you should lengthen your canning time if you are over 1,000 feet above sea level.  So go ahead, start canning!