• by Arielle Illia

Canned Smoked Salmon



I was standing knee deep in a rushing river surrounded by a wild forest with fishermen on either side of me, it was just before midnight when a juvenile bald eagle made its appearance, its silhouette swooped through the sky and on down the river until it disappeared. Just moments later, as we were casting our lines and reeling them in almost in complete unison, a float plane flew overhead and it was then my hook stopped, I snagged one! My first Alaskan salmon, it got off after a quick attempt to lead it closer to the shore but it was still exciting as heck.


It was at that instant I knew I was hooked, I had no doubts this was the life for me. This very same trip was also our first black bear sighting, talk about an adventure. If it hadn't sunk in before, I was 100 percent convinced by now that I was in fact, living in Alaska.


After two long trips to the Kenai Peninsula to fish the Russian River, we returned with a bounty of sockeye salmon. With this being our second batch of fish and having familiarity with smoking we decided to make no other than Alaskan smoked salmon. This way we can enjoy the fond memories of summer fishing when the winter months return, and nothing but white blankets the ground.




For the recipe:

  • 16 salmon fillets

  • 2 heads of garlic

  • 4 tsp kosher salt

  • 3-4 bunches of herbs (parsley, dill, cilantro, basil used in this recipe)


Recipe yields approximately 16 pint-sized jars.


Instructions


1. Smoke salmon fillets for 4 hours at 140 degrees F.



Eric was able to build a small smoker from materials we had around the cabin, it performed wonderful for its first job!


It should be noted that ocean salmon can carry parasites that are not killed by temperatures sustained through smoking and unless the salmon is cooked for additional time and at a higher temperature, canning is necessary to remove the threat of worms.


2. Boil mason jars and new canning lids for 10 minutes.


3. Remove jars and lids, add several sprigs of herbs, 1 garlic clove, and 1/4 tsp of the salt at the base of each jar.



4. Remove skin and break up the salmon into large chunks, then place in jars being careful not to pack in too tightly, leave 1 inch headspace.


5. Wipe jar rims clean with a paper towel and vinegar.



6. Place water bathed new lids on jars and screw on rims finger tight.


Although many of the instructions listed below may be similar, it is always a good idea to check your pressure canner's specific instructions listed in the manual as they can vary from one manufacturer and model to another.


7. Add 3 quarts of water into the pressure cooker and a splash of vinegar.


Adding vinegar prevents the mason jars from becoming foggy once processed.


8. Place jars in pressure canner, lock lid and turn on heat. Once a steady flow of steam is coming out of the vent pipe, allow pressure canner to vent for 10 minutes.



9. Place pressure regulator on vent pipe, keep consistent heat on the pressure canner until the dial gauge reaches 11 lbs. The air vent will lift and lock the cover on the canner during this time.


10. Process pints at 11 lbs for 90 minutes, heat may need to be adjusted to help maintain correct pressure.


11. Turn heat off after jars have been processed for the entire duration and allow pressure in canner to drop. Wait until the air vent has dropped, when this occurs remove the pressure regulator from vent pipe and allow canner to cool for an additional 10 minutes.


12. Unlock and remove canner lid, carefully remove jars using canning jar lifter. The liquid in the jars will be boiling, allow these to rest for 24 hours before removing rims. If you find a jar didn't properly seal, store in fridge and eat within a few days.



13. Store your cans in a cool, dry, and dark room where the temperature stays below 70 degrees F. They will last 24 months or longer.


Enjoy!



Canned Smoked Salmon Recipe


Ingredients

10 salmon fillets

2 heads of garlic

4 tsp kosher salt

3-4 bunches of herbs (parsley, dill, cilantro, and basil used in this recipe)


Recipe yields approximately 16 pint-sized jars.


Instructions

  1. Smoke salmon fillets for 4 hours at 140 degrees F.

  2. Boil mason jars and new canning lids for 10 minutes.

  3. Remove jars and lids, add several sprigs of herbs, 1 garlic clove, and 1/4 tsp of the salt at the base of each jar.

  4. Remove skin and break up the salmon into large chunks, then place in jars being careful not to pack in too tightly, leave 1 inch headspace.

  5. Wipe jar rims clean with a paper towel and vinegar.

  6. Place water bathed new lids on jars and screw on rims finger tight.

  7. Add 3 quarts of water into the pressure cooker and a splash of vinegar (adding vinegar prevents the mason jars from becoming foggy once processed.)

  8. Place jars in pressure canner, lock lid and turn on heat. Once a steady flow of steam is coming out of the vent pipe, allow pressure canner to vent for 10 minutes.

  9. Place pressure regulator on vent pipe, keep consistent heat on the pressure canner until the dial gauge reaches 11 lbs. The air vent will lift and lock the cover on the canner during this time.

  10. Process pints at 11 lbs for 90 minutes, heat may need to be adjusted to help maintain correct pressure.

  11. Turn heat off after cans have been processed for the entire duration and allow pressure in canner to drop. Wait until the air vent has dropped, when this occurs remove the pressure regulator from vent pipe and allow canner to cool for 10 an additional minutes.

  12. Unlock and remove canner lid, carefully remove jars using canning jar lifter. The liquid in the jars will be boiling, allow these to rest for 24 hours before removing rims. If you find a jar that didn't properly seal, store in fridge and eat within a few days.

  13. Store your cans in a cool, dry, and dark room where the temperature stays below 70 degrees F. They will last 24 months or longer.