jars of canned tuna


By Tiffany Woods

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new video from Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon State University Extension Service teaches tuna fans how to can the fish at home.

The 12-minute video includes instructions for preparing a pressure canner, filling jars, loading and unloading the canner and checking the seal on the jars.

The video features Kelly Streit, a registered dietitian with the Extension Service, and Amanda Gladics, a fisheries specialist with Oregon Sea Grant and Extension. They made the video because safety precautions amid COVID-19 prevented them from offering a hands-on workshop, as Extension has done in the past.

Here are a few of the tips Streit and Gladics offer:

  • Start with a pressure canner that is in good condition. Replace worn-out gaskets.
  • Fill the canner with 4 to 5 inches of water. Add 4 tablespoons of white vinegar to reduce odor.
  • Leave an inch of headspace between the top of the jar and the tuna.
  • Clean the rims of the jars with a paper towel moistened with vinegar.
  • Label the lids with the date, name of the item and the length of time it was processed (i.e., 100 minutes).
  • Gently screw on the rings. You want a little air to escape from the jars while they’re processing.
  • Put a rack in the bottom of the canner so air can circulate under it.
  • Use a second rack if you’re stacking jars in the canner (Streit made her own).
  • Let the canner vent for 10 minutes.
  • Start timing when the recommended pressure has been reached.

The albacore used in the video was purchased at a seafood market in Astoria after it was quickly frozen at sea, but cooked and fresh tuna can be used, too, Streit said.

More information on preserving seafood can be found in the following Extension publications:

Home Freezing of Seafood, Canning Tuna, Canning Seafood and Smoking Fish at Home Safely.

Visit Oregon Sea Grant’s website for seafood recipes, including ones for tuna, and locations of where to buy seafood in Oregon.