Seafood and non-seafood lovers alike can’t resist some well-cooked tuna. With your busy life and schedule, it’s pretty normal to opt for canned tuna. Canned tuna fish can be used for some amazing homemade recipes. Even if it’s canned and preserved, the mild flavor of tuna is perfectly retained. However, based on brands, the taste might differ a bit. That’s because different brands have separate mechanisms of storing the fish. Some store them with water, some with salt and some with olive oil. We have tried out plenty of canned tunas to identify which brand is suitable for cooking or simply eating raw.Canned tunas are not unhealthy at all. In fact, it possesses most of the benefits of consuming a normal fish. For starters, it possess good amount of protein, potassium and iron for your regular diet. Feel free to use them for different salads, sandwiches and main dishes. From packaging to brand value, we followed a myriad of metrics to come up with some the best canned tuna brands for you. This article will help you understand which canned tuna brand you should buy for what category of dish.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing Canned Tuna
Type of Tuna
In our review, you must have already noticed that canned tunas come in various forms. The type of tuna determines the taste and the type of dishes you can prepare with those tunas. For instance, if you are preparing salads, casseroles or pies, it’s better to choose chunk tunas rather than solid ones. You can use solid tunas but you would have to cut them at the right size before using. If you want to use tunas as the key ingredient to a seafood main dish, we would suggest opting for solid white Albacore tunas. For normal dishes you can choose yellow fin tuna, tongpol and big eye tunas which are also known as light tunas. Usually, canned light tunas are a mixture of two or three types of species of tunas. In short, depending on your cooking purpose, you can choose the type of tuna.
- The Best Canned Oysters for A Quick Oyster Stew
- The 7 Best Canned Crab Meats in 2022
- The 6 Best Canned Chicken in 2022
- The 8 Best Canned Chili in 2022
- The 8 Best Canned Salmon in 2022
Storing mechanism is important to know for two reasons; number one is to understand what type of flavor the tuna will have and number two, the health issues. If you want to eat tuna right from the cans and do not need any special dietary requirements, you should go for canned tunas stored in olive oil. You can consume them without cooking. If you want to enjoy the accurate ocean-like flavor of tunas, you should opt for tunas stored with sea salt only. However, if you are looking for something in between, it’s better to buy tunas stored in water.
We understand if you are not an environment conscious person, sustainable sourcing might not be a top priority for you. Despite that, we would recommend you looking into this factor to assess the reliability of the brand. When a brand opts for sustainable sourcing methods, it means that the brand will offer you good quality tunas. That’s because when a brand promises sustainable sourcing, they have to remain transparent from where they are harvesting the fishes from.
Normally every tuna contains good source of protein and some essential fatty acids. We added this section just to make you aware that keeping canned tunas in your regular diet is a healthy choice for you. For those who like to eat meat but have dietary constraints can opt for canned tuna instead. They possess healthy fat and low cholesterol compared to chicken or beef.
Taste and Texture
The taste and texture has nothing to do with the brand honestly. It depends on the type of tuna and how they are stored. Albacore tunas have the most ocean-like flavor. To get their original taste and texture, buy the ones stored in sea salt. Light tunas possess a mild flavor and firm texture. The flavors are retained when stored in water.
Canned tunas sometimes possess mercury contaminants which are harmful for the health. In our review of best canned tunas, we only included the brands that have next to zero mercury levels. Therefore, when you are choosing a new brand, make sure you browse through some expert reviews online about the mercury level in those canned tunas.
Top 6 Best Canned Tuna
1. Wild Planet, Wild Albacore Tuna
If you are the one doing the grocery shopping at home, you must have seen the label ‘Wild Planet’ in the aisles of the supermarket. Guess what? You can order them online as well. Wild Planet is one of the most reliable brands when it comes to canned tuna. We love this brand specifically because they constantly promote sustainable fishing practices. It reflects in their work as well as marketing activities. Coming to the features about what the brand has in store for you, the features make it a right fit as one of best canned tunas out there.
In terms of taste, since the fishes are harvested in natural manner, you get the complete organic taste of fish. They are stored in sea salt and thus oil won’t ruin the flavor and you get the natural ocean-like taste of tuna. The nutritional facts about this canned tuna are something everyone prefers. In each serving of wild Albacore tuna, you get 600 mg of EPA and DHA omega 3.
These two acids are helpful for the development of a better immune system. For both infants and adults, these acids are beneficial to the brain, heart and overall cellular growth. In fact, your physiological functioning of the body becomes much better. Thus, you can clearly understand having some delicious wild Albacore tuna in your regular diet is highly beneficial.
We would recommend eating this canned tuna without any hesitation. It is non-GMO verified and only organic practices are followed while sourcing them. To be exact, they are harvested from the Pacific Ocean and off coastal New Zealand only. This is done to ensure that the natural habitat of fishes is not destroyed and ecosystem is preserved well. For those who require special dietary requirements, there’s good news for you as well. Wild Albacore Tuna from the brand Wild Planet are completely gluten free and Kosher.The bottom line here is that if you want to have a completely natural taste of tuna, the brand Wild Planet is one of the best choices for you. It is stored in simple sea salt with no oil, water and filler. This type of storage technique retains the flavor of the tuna to the maximum.
2. Genova Albacore Tuna
A great brand in our list of best canned tuna is Genova. It sources Albacore tuna from only MSC certified fisheries. This implies that the brand is well-aware and conscious about sustainable fishing practices. In fact, they made a promise to their customers that their fishing techniques will be in accordance to ocean sustainability rules. Therefore, when it comes to building a good brand message to the community, Genova is one of the top ones. For those who prefer food on the go and don’t want to put in much effort with cooking, Genova is the optimum choice for you.
That’s because they are stored in olive oil. This type of storing is convenient to use for direct salads, sandwiches and suitable for cooking as well. Genova sources yellow fin tunas which are only of superior quality. For someone who loves savory items, Genova canned tuna is simply great. In terms of taste, you get a chewy flavor and the texture is somewhat smooth. Premium fillets are used here so that you can have them directly from the can. In terms of nutritional value and benefit, Genova Albacore Tuna are rich in protein.
Having them in your regular diet can be a good source of protein with less carbs and fat. It also possess omega 3 which is essential for the better development for heart and brain. Another good part about its nutritional value is that the fish does not contain any salt. Therefore, if you are on a low salt diet, this canned tuna brand is what you should opt for.We found one problem with Genova brand and that’s its storage technique. Although most of the people love the olive oil and fillet flavor of this canned tuna, you cannot get the exotic taste of tuna from this canned product. If you are looking for real flavor of fresh tuna, this product is not for you. But for those, who like the combination of olive oil with fishes, Genova canned tuna is a convenient choice for you.
3. BUMBLE BEE Solid White Albacore Tuna
BUMBLE BEE is a North American company and one of the pioneers in sourcing superior quality seafood. Their canned tunas are one of a kind and the most popular one among them are their solid white Albacore tuna. Whenever we have it in front of us, we simply can’t resist a bite from this delicious and healthy canned tuna. They are stored with water and salt. This type of storage is suitable for keeping the mild ocean flavor and can be used on the go as well.
Basically, when you store the tuna in water, you get a balanced deal between olive oil storing and sea salt storing. Another positive about white Albacore tuna being stored in water is that you can easily use them in some delicious and mouth-watering recipes. Starting from light salads to heavy seafood platters, this canned tuna will provide a nice and delicate flavor.
In order to assess the value of the brand when it comes to canned tuna, you should look through the sourcing and harvesting practices of the fishes. When a brand promises that it has a social responsibility towards sustainable harvesting, you would understand that it is reliable. What sets it apart from rest of the brand is that you can actually trace the source of your tuna harvested. They believe in transparency when it comes to delivering the message to the consumers.
In fact, you will get very detailed specification about your tuna starting from processing method, ocean of catch and much more. This is something unique that very few brands like BUMBLE BEE offers. What we love about the flavor of BUMBLE BEE canned tunas is their firm and light taste. Usually white Albacores possess a strong taste. But with time and storing in water, the flavors become more subtle and suitable for using in various appetizing dishes.
You can use them with soup, pasta, sandwich, salad and various other dishes. Moreover, the mild taste makes it suitable to use them both as key ingredient or a complementary one. This white Albacore canned tuna is a high source of protein. It contains medium amount of fat, minerals and vitamins too. But usually, people prefer to have this brand’s canned tuna for its mild taste and not for its nutritional value.
4. StarKist Chunk Light Tuna
Chunk tunas are suitable for making snacks on the go. Since they are already chopped in chunks, you have little to worry about making them the right size for cooking. The light tuna of the brand StarKist is a personal favorite to us for the convenience it provides. The already chopped chunks help you put them easily in casseroles, salads and pastas with low effort. StarKist canned tunas are stored in water and hence you can use them instantly. The flavor is mild and does not out shadow the other ingredients within a dish.
In terms of health benefits, StarKist chunk light tuna is a great source of protein. Of course, most of the tunas are high in protein. What is even better about canned tunas is that they are much easy to cook compared to chicken or beef. Also, the fat and cholesterol content is a lot less in tunas in comparison to meats. It contains Omega 3 which is essential for the suitable development of physiological activities, brain and the heart.
For special dietary requirements, the product is completely gluten free which is a plus point. We would highly recommend buying this flaky and firm chunk light tunas from the brand StarKist. The product also promotes sustainable fishing practices. In fact, the brand promises to use Dolphin Safe fishing methods in all of their procedures. Therefore, in terms of reliability as well, we feel that this one is a suitable choice for you.
5. StarKist Solid White Albacore Tuna
The brand StarKist also offers a variant of solid white Albacora tuna. Solid Albacore tunas are larger in size compared to the light tunas in chunks. This makes them suitable for a specific range of seafood dishes that uses tuna as the key ingredient. This canned tuna also has a firm texture and the flavors are mild. This tuna is stored in water and thus helps to retain the proper flavor. Although before cooking, make sure you take out the water first.
In terms of sustainability practices, StarKist brand commits to following Dolphin Safe Fishing Methods. It is also an eco-friendly brand that is well-aware about ethical fishing practices. Among the nutritional benefits of StarKist white Albacore, it has good amount of protein, healthy fat, vitamins and minerals. IT also has an important acid Omega 3 which is essential for better brain and heart development.
This is pretty much true for all types of white Albacore tunas. The reason why we recommend this brand is for the authenticity of the organic fishes sourced. As a matter of fact, StarKist Solid White Albacore Tuna is non-GMO verified. No preservatives are used here while processing and the fillets are of premium quality. Basically when you cook dishes with these canned tunas, you would get the right flavor and texture.The tunas are solid and not in chunks, you would have to cut them in your desired size for specific dishes. This is good in a way since you can prepare all types of tuna dishes with this. However, the con to this is that it will take more time with preparing salads and casseroles with solid ones compared to the chunk ones.
6. Chicken of the Sea Tuna Chunk Light
If you are looking for premium quality tuna for preparing light meals, Chicken of the Sea Tuna Chunk Light is a suitable product for you. Why so? Chicken of the sea brand has gained popularity among new cooks for its great flavor and texture. Light tunas possess a good flavor for using with salads and casseroles. Good thing is that they are stored in water and you get the fresh flavor once you open the can.
To ensure that you only get the good quality tuna fishes reach to you, Chicken of the Sea brand only provides MSC certified products. The brand is conscious about ocean sustainability and commits to using ethical fishing practices only. It contains fifty percent less sodium compared to other canned tuna. Therefore, it is quite a healthy choice. Speaking of healthy choice, the nutritional value of this canned tuna is also commendable. It contains good source of protein and omega 3 acid. Both of these nutrients are essential for your heart health and overall cell growth.We would like to emphasize about the packaging part of the product. The cans which contain the tunas are BPA free and FDA approved. This is one of the rare brands of canned tuna that put special attention to safe packaging. The product goes also goes through a comprehensive testing before it reaches to the customers. Hence, rest assured that this is safe to consume and a healthy choice for you.
To make the choice of canned tuna easy, you can start by shortlisting the brands. Choose the brands that follow sustainable sourcing methods and possess low mercury level. Then, optimize our search with the type of tuna you need along with the storing techniques. The choosing mechanism will become a lot easier and convenient for you in this way. Or, you can use the most convenient option of finding the best canned tunas through our honest and comprehensive review.