Is Canned Tuna Raw Or Cooked?

Jessica Simpson helped clear up any confusion about the contents of Chicken of the Sea-brand tuna in 2003 when she asked then-husband Nick Lachey which of the two meats her food contained. What her question didn't help determine, however, is whether the fish inside those cans — regardless of brand — is raw or cooked. Given that tinned fish has seen moments of popularity on TikTok, those who gravitate toward the fresh stuff may be curious about the status of canned tuna.

Fortunately, those just now starting to incorporate canned tuna into their diets can breathe easy as the pantry staple is ready to consume straight from the tin. The process of making canned tuna involves steaming the fish in large pressure cookers before the bones are removed and the meat is packed in cans. Once the cans are filled and sealed, they also undergo processing, which the USDA explains is the method by which commercially canned goods are heated to 250 degrees Fahrenheit to destroy harmful microorganisms. From there, the vacuum seal prevents new bacteria from forming.

With all that being said, canned tuna still contains mercury, which the EPA says can be harmful when over-ingested. It is important to know which types of canned tuna contain the lowest amount of mercury and which ones you should skip at the grocery store. Even when taking that precaution, the FDA suggests that adults consume no more than two to three servings per week.

How to use canned tuna

Canned tuna fish is an effortless meal option that can be especially handy on occasions when you don't feel like cooking, or perhaps are in a situation where you can't cook, like when you are camping. Being that it is already pre-cooked, it is safe to consume straight from the can with no other preparation. Mixing up a quick tuna salad with mayo, pickles, or even Nick Jonas's surprisingly spicy ingredient is an easy way to add some flavor to the protein right out of the can. Despite its ready-to-eat nature, canned tuna fish doesn't have to be eaten cold. You can cook it again and doing so might elevate the taste.

Canned tuna is an easy protein option to add to pasta dishes and casseroles. In these instances, choosing chunk light tuna can provide the perfect texture. You can also swap your chicken for canned tuna fish in this comforting 30-minute tuna pot pie recipe. If you don't mind getting your hands a little dirty, another option is to transform your tinned tuna into patties and fry them into tuna cakes. You can enjoy those cakes as-is or in sandwich form. No matter how you choose to enjoy it, canned tuna comes ready for action.