How to drain canned tuna? (+3 Ways to freeze Tuna)

In this article, we will answer the question “How to drain canned tuna?”, and how to rinse a can of tuna?

How to drain canned tuna?

  1. Once you have opened the can of the tuna using a can opener, put back the lid of the can back to it such that it fits inside the can. Then hold the can such that your thumb is supporting the lid and the rest of your fingers are on the back of the can. Now flip the can and let the oil drain.
  1. There are other ways you can try to drain tuna as well. Open the can of the tuna halfway through using a knife or a can opener. Tilt the can and let all the liquid drain. Then remove the lid completely and remove the remaining juices by pressing the freed lid into the tuna using your thumbnail and tilting the can.
  1. Some people also like to squeeze the tuna in their hands using the pressure of their fingers to drains as much liquid as possible out of the tuna.

How to rinse a can of Tuna?

To rinse a can of tuna, you will need:

  • Can opener
  • Strainer or colander
  • Fork
  • Cheesecloth or kitchen towel


  1. After opening the can of the tuna using a knife or a can opener, transfer the tuna to a colander or strainer.
  1. Then break the larger chunks of tuna into smaller ones using a fork.
  1. Place the colander or strainer in the sink and run warm water over it either from a faucet or through a sprayer hose. 
  1. Let the tuna sit in the sink while It is still in the strainer so that all the water is drained out.

How long is tuna fish good for in the refrigerator?

An opened can of tuna only lasts 1-2 days in the fridge at a steady temperature of 4 degrees or below. After opening the can, tuna should be transferred to an air-tight container or plastic bag before storing it in the fridge.

Freezing the canned tuna will extend its shelf-life. Read on if you want to know how to freeze store canned tuna fish.

How to buy the best tuna?

To make the best tuna steak, it is important to buy prime-quality tuna steaks. Make sure the flesh is firm and dark red. Raw tuna should have a pleasant sea-breeze scent and not fishy.

Other FAQs about Tuna which you may be interested in.

How long does tuna last out of the fridge?

How to freeze tuna?


Wash the raw tuna thoroughly. Pat dry the tuna using a paper towel. It is important to get rid of all the surface moisture because it will spoil the texture and flavor of tuna when frozen. The other method is to freeze-store raw tuna after dipping it in an acidic solution.

To prepare the solution, add 1Tsp ascorbic acid and ½ cup of salt to a quarter cup of water. Dip the tuna fish in this solution and let it stay for about 5 minutes. Then wrap the fish tightly with a plastic sheet or aluminum foil. 

You can also put it in a freezer bag. Keep the wrapped tuna in the freezer. For defrosting, place the frozen tuna in the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. 


Canned tuna should never be stored in its original metal packaging. Transfer the tuna from its original container and put it in a zip-lock or a freezer bag. The metal will not protect the tuna from freezer burn. 


Cooked tuna as in the form of tuna salad can be stored in the freezer. Simply toss the leftover tuna in a freezer bag, squeeze out all the air from the bag and keep it in the freezer. Do not forget to label the bag.  Store in small batches to avoid defrosting bulk when you need it.

How to safely eat raw tuna?

Freezing and cooking procedures can eliminate the parasites and risk of food-borne illnesses that result from eating raw tuna. The FDA recommends freezing tuna according to the following guidelines for the safe consumption of tuna.

  • Freeze at -4℉/-20℃ or below for 7 days
  • Freeze at -31°F/-35°C or below until solid and keeping at -31°F/-35°C or below for 15 hours
  • Freeze at -31°F/-35°C or below until solid and keeping at -4°F/-20°C or below for 24 hours

Frozen tuna should be thawed in the refrigerator overnight. Defrosting on the counter increases the risk of contamination and food-borne illnesses.


In this article, we answered the question “How to drain canned tuna?”, and how to rinse a can of tuna?


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.