Cook's Illustrated


The Best Canned Tuna in Water

We use solid white tuna in water in recipes such as tuna-noodle casserole and tuna salad. To find the best, we bought eight top-selling nationally available supermarket solid white tunas (what the industry calls “white” tuna is always albacore). Six were packed in water, and two were packed without additional liquid. Panels of 21 editors and test cooks sampled the tunas plain and in tuna salad, rating their flavors and textures.

In both tastings, tasters found one tuna to be “moist,” with “lots of flavor,” but “not too fishy.” While some were described as “mushy” and “soggy,” other products lost points for being too dry. “The flavor is good, but it feels wrung out,” wrote one taster.

So what made some tunas so dry? It comes down to processing. After the fish is caught, it’s quickly frozen on the boat. At the cannery, some manufacturers cook the thawed fish to make it easier to separate the meat from the bones. The meat goes into

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