Meat, Fish, Soup, Stews, and Savory Sauces

Crab Meat - King, Dungeness

Prepare freshly caught fish as for cooking. Because seafood is very low in acidity, heat penetration of large jars may be inadequate to destroy food spoilage bacterial spores. Do not attempt to home can fish in 1 L jars; use 250 or 500 ml jars only.


  • Fresh crabs
  • Pickling salt
  • Lemon Juice or Vinegar


  • Wash the required number of clean 250 or 500 ml mason jars. NOTE: when fish has been refrigerated, do NOT heat jars prior to filling.

  • Keep crabs alive, moist and chilled until ready to can. Wash crabs using several changes of cold water. In a large stainless steel saucepan, bring 16 cups (4000 ml) water to a boil with 1/4 cup (50 ml) bottled lemon juice and 2 Tbsp (25 ml) pickling salt. Add crabs. Boil 20 minutes. Drain cooked crabs and cool in cold water. Drain again.

  • Prepare a brine of 16 cups (4000 ml) cold water, 2 Tbsp (25 ml) pickling salt plus 4 cups (1000 ml) vinegar or 2 cups (500 ml) lemon juice. Remove back shell; remove meat from body and claws and place crab meat in brine. Soak crab meat 2 minutes.

  • Set screw bands aside. Keep sealing discs hot until ready to use.

  • Drain crab, squeezing excess liquid from meat. Pack 6 oz (170 g) crab meat and 2 tbsp (25 ml) bottled lemon juice into each 250 ml jar; 12 oz (340 g) crab and 4 tbsp (60 ml) bottled lemon juice in each 500ml jar, leaving 1 inch (2.5 cm) head space.

  • Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim removing any stickiness. Centre sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining crab. If stacking jars, place a second rack between layers of jars.

  • When pressure canner is full, add room temperature water to level as directed by canner manufacturer. Lock canner lid in place and follow manufacturer’s heating instructions. Vent canner–allow steam to escape steadily–for 10 minutes; close vent.

  • When canner reaches the pressure appropriate for your altitude* and type of pressure canner, begin counting processing time. Process – heat filled jars – 250 ml and 500 ml jars – 80 minutes at 10 lb (68 kPa) in weighted gauge pressure canner.

  • NOTE: processing times indicated are for a weighted gauge pressure canner used at altitudes up to 1,000 ft (305 m). When using a dial gauge pressure canner or canning at higher elevations, adjust pressure according to chart.

  • When processing time is complete turn off heat. Allow canner to stand undisturbed until pressure drops to zero. Wait 2 minutes, and then remove cover, tilting it away from your face. Remove jars without tilting. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands. After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store in a cool, dark place.