Pressure canning is a great way to preserve trout, a nutritious and delicious fish that is abundant in many parts of the world. Trout can be canned in a pressure canner, which allows for safe preservation at high temperatures and pressures, killing any potential bacteria and making it shelf-stable for long periods of time. Canned trout can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads and sandwiches to dips and spreads. In addition, pressure canning allows you to enjoy fresh-tasting trout all year round, even if it’s out of season or not readily available in your area.
Why should you use a pressure canner for Pressure Canning Trout?
Using a pressure canner is necessary for pressure canning trout because it ensures that the fish is safely preserved and free of harmful bacteria. Fish, like all low-acid foods, can harbor bacteria that cause botulism if not properly preserved.
A pressure canner is needed to reach the high temperatures and pressures necessary to kill these bacteria, making the fish safe to eat. Unlike boiling water canning, which is suitable for high-acid foods, pressure canning can achieve the higher temperatures needed to kill bacteria in low-acid foods like fish. Therefore, it is important to use a pressure canner to safely can trout and ensure its long-term preservation.
How to make Pressure Canning Trout in a pressure canner
Here is a general recipe for pressure canning trout in a pressure canner:
- Fresh or thawed trout
- Pressure canner
- Canning jars, lids, and rings
- Canning tools (jar lifter, lid lifter, funnel, etc.)
- Clean and fillet the trout. Remove the head, tail, and guts, and cut the fillets into pieces that will fit into your jars.
- Rinse the trout pieces in cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Season the trout with salt, if desired.
- Pack the trout pieces into clean, sterilized jars. Leave a 1-inch headspace at the top of each jar.
- Fill each jar with boiling water, leaving a 1-inch headspace.
- Remove any air bubbles by running a spatula or plastic knife along the inside of the jar.
- Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth, and place the lids and rings on top.
- Load the jars into the pressure canner, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Process the jars at the recommended pressure and processing time for your altitude and canner model. Generally, for trout, you would process at 10 pounds of pressure for 100 minutes for pint jars, or 115 minutes for quart jars.
- After processing, turn off the heat and let the canner cool down naturally. Do not force-cool the canner.
- Remove the jars from the canner and let them cool at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
- Check the seals by pressing the center of the lid. If the lid is firm and doesn’t pop up and down, the jar is properly sealed.
- Label the jars with the contents and date, and store them in a cool, dry place for up to one year.
Note: This is a general recipe and you should always consult a trusted source for a tested and safe recipe specific to your canner model and altitude.
Tips for making Pressure Canning Trout in a pressure canner
Here are some tips to keep in mind when pressure canning trout:
- Use fresh, high-quality trout for canning. Freshly caught trout is best, but frozen or thawed trout can also be used.
- Clean and fillet the trout carefully, removing all bones and skin. It’s important to handle the fish as little as possible to prevent contamination.
- Use canning jars, lids, and rings that are in good condition and free of chips or cracks. Follow all instructions for sterilizing and preparing jars.
- Add salt to the jars for flavor, but be careful not to overdo it. Too much salt can cause the fish to become tough or dry.
- Use boiling water to fill the jars, leaving a 1-inch headspace. This helps to prevent the fish from floating to the top of the jar during processing.
- Use a spatula or plastic knife to remove any air bubbles from the jar, as trapped air can cause spoilage.
- Always follow the recommended processing time and pressure for your altitude and canner model. Do not deviate from these instructions as it can lead to unsafe canning.
- Let the canner cool down naturally after processing. Do not try to force-cool the canner as this can cause the jars to crack.
- Store the canned trout in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight. Label the jars with the contents and date, and rotate your stock so that the oldest jars are used first.
- When opening the jars, check the contents for any signs of spoilage, such as off-odor, unusual color or texture, or a popping sound when the lid is removed. If you suspect spoilage, do not consume the fish.
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