Do You Actually Need To Take The Bones Out Of Canned Salmon?

canned salmon in a bowl
canned salmon in a bowl - A-lesa/Getty Images

If you love salmon but hate dealing with the process of breaking down and preparing filets, canned varieties are a great alternative. However, some brands of canned salmon contain bones, which may leave you flummoxed on how to proceed. While deboning fish is a common practice, it's not always necessary with canned salmon. Bones are often edible and are also a great source of nutrition. Also, consider that some bones in canned salmon aren't even bones, despite their decidedly bony name.

This is the case with pin bones, which are nerve endings that have been hardened and help live salmon detect other fish in the water. Thanks to their flexibility, pin bones are no problem to eat when enjoying canned salmon and provide essential nutrients like iron and calcium. While firmer pin bones are often removed from fresh salmon, the technique for canning salmon means that they can be eaten without a laborious deboning process.

Read more: 13 Tips To Make Your Shrimp Taste So Much Better

Why It's Usually Ok To Eat Canned Fish With Bones

checking canned food in pantry
checking canned food in pantry - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

Canning is a great way to preserve all sorts of food, including vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish like salmon. Once food is placed into a sealed can or jar, the container is submerged in extremely hot water. This process ensures that any bacteria in the food is sufficiently killed off, which means the food can be preserved for an extended period without any risk of illness or contamination, according to Centre for Food Safety. When it comes to canned salmon, it can usually last in your pantry for as long as three years, provided it's unopened and kept in a dry, cool area of the home.

Canning has another benefit when it comes to salmon. The high temperatures can actually cause bones in fish to become extremely soft and edible, which is why it's perfectly fine to eat many canned brands of salmon straight out of the can. In the event vinegar is included in the canning recipe, the bones will become even softer and more pliable. If you're not enthused about eating canned salmon with the bones intact, there are a few steps you can take to eliminate them.

Tips For Removing Bones From Canned Salmon

salmon cakes on a plate
salmon cakes on a plate - Clarkandcompany/Getty Images

When it comes to softened pin bones, you may be able to pulverize them with your fingers while you're breaking down the salmon chunks into smaller parts. If you're making a tasty salmon patty and are putting the fish into a food processor or blender, the pin bones will be crushed as a result. These methods are good if you want to increase your calcium intake while avoiding pesky bones.

In the event you want to completely remove the bones from canned salmon before you eat it, all you need is a handy pair of tweezers. Tweezers can effectively move pin bones from salmon, as well as larger bones that may pose more of an issue while eating. To ensure you locate all bones in the meat, be sure to separate salmon into smaller pieces to snag any concealed bones. No matter what option you prefer, you can rest assured that canned salmon will make for a flavorful and wholesome meal.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.