Canning Tilapia at AESL by John Musser

I offer this recipe at the request of one of our canning class members who heard me talk about our Tilapia fish and all of it’s incredible uses. Thanks for asking! We love to help and I hope you enjoy this favorite.


This recipe is no where to be found on the internet, until now!


We want to give thanks to a special family who gave us this incredible but simple recipe for canning Tilapia. Raymond and Sandy Oppenhuizen are long time donors of ours at the AESL Micro farm. They graciously funded the purchase and installation of our large cement grow-out tanks that have produced thousands of Tilapia fish and still work like a charm.


Raymond, an avid and professional fisherman, mentored me in the process of filleting like a pro. I will share this process another time.


We love this recipe! I use this canned fish to make a delicious Tilapia patty (like salmon patty), fish soups, and chowders. To us, Tilapia is the best canned fish available and seems to only get better with age.


We are opening canned Tilapia from 2009 that has retained firmness and is mouth watering.


If you have questions and comments about this recipe, please post them here and we will do our best to get back with you in a timely fashion.


Yours for sustainability,

John Musser

Tools needed:

  • Pressure canner (you must pressure cook fish, no exceptions)
  • Pint jars with new lids (with fish it’s good to stick with smaller sized jars until you have mastered the process, this insures the destruction of any and all harmful bacteria.) We still use pint jars after several years of canning fish. 


  • AESL ozone machine, put filleted and cubed fish in for ten minutes before cold packing.
  • Ball utensil set for preserving.


  • Fillet fish and cut into small chunks – uniform size.
  • Pack in sterilized pint jar, leaving ¾ inch head space, do not over fill. When they are finished they will shrink a little, but this is fine.

ADD to  jar after fish are packed in:

  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • ½ tsp of canning salt
  • 1 Tbsp French dressing

Wipe off any ingredients from the rim of the jar with vinegar before placing hot lid and tightening rings.

Due to the fact you are cold packing the fish (raw), enough water is in the fish so that no additional fluid is needed.

Canning, removal, and storage:

  • Let canner process to 10 pounds of pressure,  THEN set timer for 75 minutes!
  • Remove jars after 75 minutes, set on a cloth and put a towel on top for cooling.
  • Once the jars cool, make sure all lids are all sealed. Take any unsealed jars and put in refrigerator and cook by end of week.
  • Store canned Tilapia in closet or any cool, dry place. They will last for many years with no sign of aging.        


This article can be used, sent freely, or placed online, but please retain our name and link. Thank you!  Please let us know if you publish it.

Copyright – AESL 2012


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

November 04, 2012 at 06:11 AM

I copied this recipe for my own personal use. I love the idea of canning Tilapia. Great blog-post, thank you.

December 09, 2012 at 06:12 PM
– In reply to:

I would never change it, we love it hope you enjoy.

You may share as long as our link is in tack! Happy canning if you have any questions just ask anytime! jhm

November 15, 2012 at 06:11 AM

Sounds like a very easy, delicious recipe. Thank you for sharing your secrets about canning with us! I just ordered the book you offer called “Self-reliance:Recession-proof your pantry” today! I can’t wait to read it cover to cover and put it to use.
Thanks again!

Cheap Oakley Jupiterreply
September 17, 2013 at 03:09 PM

Canning Tilapia at AESL by John Musser « Aquaponics and Earth Aquaponics and Earth

Allan Crossreply
November 11, 2013 at 05:11 PM

Thanks for the recipe. Since I got my American Pressure Canner I have been canning everything in sight:
Mexican Cabbage Rolls
Chicken a la King
Chicken Soup
and lots more.
The objective is to empty my freezer and put it into jars. I have a bunch of Tilapia that I am going to can this week. Thanks again.
Everything I do is gourmet so if anybody wants recipes just ask for my email address.

John Musserreply
November 14, 2013 at 12:11 AM
– In reply to: Allan Cross

Thanks so much. We can everything also! Thanks Allan

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