Pressure canning is an efficient way to preserve food that you are not ready to eat immediately. You can use a specialized pressure canner or a pressure cooker. Whatever you choose, make sure you follow the safety instructions for your equipment. Many people can produce like peaches or tomatoes but it is also possible to can meat, poultry and fish. You can use canned fish to make fish patties or casserole. When you can fish, freshness is important, so do it as soon as possible to maximize the quality and safety of the final product.
Clean and sterilize your mason jars by putting them in the hot cycle in your dishwasher. Be sure there are no cracks or nicks in the jars.
Cut your fish into strips about 1 inch wide. You can choose whether or not to debone the fish when you cut it.
Pack the jars with fish. Leave 1 inch of room at the top of each jar.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of table salt to each jar.
Wipe the top of each jar with a towel and make sure it is clean.
Place a lid on each jar and add a ring. Turn the ring as tightly as you can without straining.
Place a wire rack or folded towel inside of your pressure cooker.
Place the jars on the towel or rack so that they are not directly on the bottom of the pan. Arrange the jars so that they are not touching each other.
Add approximately 4 inches of water to the bottom of the pan and bring it to a simmer. Make sure the water comes partway up the sides of the jars.
Clamp on the top of your pressure cooker and bring the pressure to 11 psi.
Cook the fish at this pressure for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Be sure to maintain constant pressure.
Turn off the stove and allow the pressure cooker to cool before you open it. Be sure to follow the instructions for your cooker and do not drop the pressure too quickly.
Remove the lid and remove the jars from the cooker. Set the jars on towels to cool. Placing the jars on a cold surface can cause the jars to crack.
You can also pressure can lightly smoked fish. Depending on your elevation, cooking times and psi requirements may change. Your pressure canner should come with instructions about specifics. Soak canning lids in nearly boiling water for a few minutes before placing them on top of your mason jars. This will ensure that the lids are sanitized and helps them seal.
Be sure to check that your jars sealed properly after canning. If you push on the top and it pops, then you will need to store your fish in the refrigerator and use as soon as possible. Jars that do not seal are not safe to store at room temperature. Do not eat any home-canned food that is green, foamy, slimy or has a bad odor. This food could be spoiled, so throw it away.