Meat, Fish, Soup, Stews, and Savory Sauces


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 oysters
  • Pickling Salt


  • Place the required number of clean 250 or 500 ml mason jars on rack in pressure canner; add water and heat jars to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Keep jars hot until ready to use.

  • Preheating Bernardin® lids is not advised. The sealing compound used for our home canning lids performs better at room temperature than it does pre-heated in simmering water (180°F). Simply wash lids in hot, soapy water, dry, and set aside until needed. Preheating can lead to less vacuum being achieved during water bath canning, and to buckle failures during pressure canning.

  • Keep oysters alive and chilled until ready to can. Wash shells. Bake oysters at 400ºF (200ºC) for 5 to 7 minutes. Quickly cool in ice water. Drain. Remove oyster meat from shells. Wash meat in salt water (1/2 cup/125 ml pickling salt dissolved in 16 cups/4000 ml water). Drain.

  • Ladle oyster meat into a hot jar to within 1 1/4 inch (3 cm) of top rim. Add hot water to within 1 inch (2.5 cm) of top rim (headspace).

  • 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 oysters and hot water. If stacking jars, place a second rack between layers of jars.

  • When pressure canner is full, adjust 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 – 75 minutes at 10 lb (69 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.