How to Heat Canned Tuna




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If you’re looking to heat canned tuna you’ll be relieved to hear that it’s pretty easy. Although you can eat canned tuna straight from the tin, you may want to add it to a meal warm. There are two recommended ways to heating tuna and these are by microwave and by frying it. Make sure you take extra precautions in re-heating tuna as it cooks really fast and overheating it will ruin the texture and flavour of it. 

Let’s start with the simplest method, this is microwaving. Microwaving tuna or anything is pretty self-explanatory. But to ensure that you don’t overcook your tuna, I suggest you follow this advice. First things first, take the tuna out of the can and place it onto a microwavable plate or bowl.

Once you’ve done this, pop it in the microwave and microwave in increments of 30 seconds. When the 30 seconds is up, feel your tuna to see if it’s hot enough to serve. If not, put the tuna back in the microwave for a following 30 seconds and repeat the process until hot. 

Next is heating canned tuna with a pan. It’s recommended that you re-heat tuna on a pan on a low to medium heat. If you have brine canned tuna, there isn’t any need to add any cooking oil. However, if your canned tuna is in spring water I suggest you add a small amount of oil to reduce the chances of the tuna sticking to the pan. You’d then cook the fish until hot and ready to serve. 

Should You Heat Canned Tuna? 

You now know you can heat canned tuna, but should you do it? You don’t have to and canned tuna has actually already been cooked. Through the production process, they’ll cook all tuna before it enters the can. But I understand, adding cold tuna to a meal doesn’t sound too pleasant. 



There aren’t any risks to re-heating tuna or any fish, there’s only really safety issues to how long a can has been open for. As you can tell, most foods cannot be unrefrigerated and open for too long. Canned tuna has a long shelf life on it and can be placed in a non-refrigerated cupboard for up to 5 years. However, if it’s been opened and refrigerated you only have a matter of days before it becomes spoiled. 

Tuna or any fish becomes spoiled pretty fast after opened from a can. It can be a breeding playground for harmful bacteria’s and can cause severe illnesses and food poisoning. So, I recommend when re-heating canned tuna to re-heat it right after you’ve opened it. 

Do I Need to Boil Canned Tuna? 

As mentioned above tuna is already cooks and doesn’t need to be re-heated or boiled in this case before eating. However, re-boiling tuna is a massive no. Throughout the processing of canned tuna, they typically heat the tuna to boiling point and sometimes even higher to disinfect it from any bacteria. They do this because the tuna is canned, if they didn’t it’ll increase the cases of the bacteria to grow inside of the can and eventually spoiling the tuna. 

If you do re-boil tuna it can cause it to become tasteless and have an odd texture. So I’d avoid this at all costs and just re-heat it either using a pan or a microwave as suggested above. 

Do You Have to Microwave Canned Tuna? 

As suggested in this article, you don’t have to re-heat tuna and therefore microwaving isn’t necessary. The only time I would ever heat tuna is when I want to add it to a meal. Adding cold fish or anything cold to a warm meal drives me crazy. Therefore, heating it either in a microwave, pan or adding it to a mixture is a perfect solution for this. 

How Long Does it Take to Re-heat Canned Tuna? 

There isn’t an exact time to how long canned tuna should take to heat up.  Canned tuna doesn’t take long to re-heat and should be monitored every 30 seconds. For instance, if I was to microwave my canned tuna I would only put it in there for 30 seconds then afterwards check the temperature of it.



If I wasn’t happy with the outcome, I would then pursue to re-heat it for a further 30 seconds and repeat this process until I was happy to serve it. 

Now if I was frying it on a frying pan, I would just tap my fingers on top of the tuna to see how hot it is. When I happy with the heat of the tuna I’d then stop cooking a serve. 

Best Meals for Canned Tuna

I love canned tuna, so I thought I would express some of my favourite meals that you could also try. 

First is a tuna pasta bake, as stated in the name it evolves boiling the pasta and then baking it with cheese and tuna. It’s super easy to make for a single meal or for a large group and can be greatly comforting. 

If you’re tired of eating your standard burgers, I recommend you try tuna sweetcorn burgers. It’s a great mix up and can really explode your taste buds. It’s has a lot fewer fats than your beef burger and goes great with salsa or chilli. 

Keeping with the comfort food, another great meal to cook which involves canned tuna is a Sicilian-style tuna lasagne. Again, another super easy meal which has canned tuna in it and is a healthier version of your typical beef lasagne. 

Last on my recommendations is Italian tuna balls and let me tell you, they will not disappoint. The tuna balls are easy to make and if not easier to make than the traditional meatballs.  

As you can tell, there is plenty of variety when it comes to making meals with canned tuna. The list is much greater than the ones mentioned above and you can pretty much turn any chicken or beef meal into a tuna one which will certainly spice things up. 

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