I want to start buying those big tuna cans to save on costs, but I know that after one day at the fridge opened tuna becomes stale. It loses its tangy flavor and gets a rubbery texture. Is there a way to prevent that?

  • Opening it exposes it to air, which always does damage. Don't store it in the can it came from (if you're doing that), but transfer it to another container, and make sure it's protected from air (through oil, water, whatever). Jan 14, 2016 at 17:45
  • I was also thinking oil or water, as that's how it's traditionally canned ... but I don't know how prone tuna is to problems from anaerobic bacteria, as it's not going to be pasteurized.
    – Joe
    Jan 14, 2016 at 17:47
  • How do you typically use the tuna? I used to regularly make it into a tuna salad of some sort (either mayo based, or a vinagarette based), and I don't remember that going strange within a day ... you might be able to process it similarly in a marinade that you'd be using in the intended preparation for it.
    – Joe
    Jan 14, 2016 at 17:50
  • anearobic bacteria should not be a problem when storing in the fridge.
    – Marc Luxen
    Jan 14, 2016 at 18:24

2 Answers 2


At the very least, transfer to a food storage container (smallest possible) and cover...for more than a day or two, Ziploc bag, with as much air removed as possible (use water displacement method)...or vacuum seal.

  • Indeed. Every time the same culprit: Air. It's amazing we survive on the stuff as long as we do ;) Jan 14, 2016 at 17:47

It works best if you use the tuna first and make a salad which you can store, but what I do and it works very well is to find a bowl that is almost exactly the right size for the amount of tuna, but still large enough for there to be just a touch less tuna than the bowl can hold.

Then cover the tuna with plastic wrap and push the wrap down onto the tuna so there is no or as little air as possible trapped under the plastic. Don't stretch the plastic over the top of the bowl, but rather press it down into the bowl over the tuna. I have successfully kept tuna salad very fresh this way, and when using certain seasonings, a day of marriage in the fridge can make it nicer than freshly mixed tuna salad.

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