confused about fish cure

confused about fish cure

Postby trapperbruce » Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:53 pm

im looking at cold smoking coho salmon ..i believe if smoke temp is kept under 80*f no cure needs to be added..right? now if it is warm smoked as in 80*---160* f does there need to be praque powder(insta-cure) #1 need to be added ? plus if it is smoked above 160* does it have an internal temp it needs to be with out cure?...im seeing very few recipies with cure in them ..only a few with salt peter.

im looking at a brine mix more than a dry rub mix..if any one has the answers ..at what rate is cure added to the brine? thanks
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Postby grisell » Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:47 pm

As far as I know you never use cure, ie saltpetre/nitrite, on fish. Maybe sugar. If you are referring to my recipe the result should be considered a fresh product and treated as such (refrigerated max 1 week or frozen).

Personally I like to use only pure natural sea salt (flakes, not the gravel-like) and no sugar. Maybe a speck of pepper, but that could be skipped too.

I calculate 10 % of the fish's water content in salt, and since salmon fillet is 65% water that gives 6.5% salt or 65 gms/kg.

I don't know why you should use a wet brine instead of a dry rub. Any advantages with that? I see only problems, e.g. calculating salinity, amount and time. Besides, it takes up more space.
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Postby wheels » Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:03 pm

Trapper Bruce

Using cure with fish seems to be a US thing - I've never seen it it the UK or European recipes.

You'll find a load of info about brining and hot smoking fish here:

http://www.3men.com/threemen1.htm

For cold smoking you might want to start here:

http://forum.sausagemaking.org/viewtopi ... highlight=

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Postby trapperbruce » Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:02 pm

If you are referring to my recipe the result should be considered a fresh product and treated as such (refrigerated max 1 week or frozen).

I don't know why you should use a wet brine instead of a dry rub. Any advantages with that? I see only problems, e.g. calculating salinity, amount and time. Besides, it takes up more space.



thanks for the reply grisnell..i understand "treated as fresh" part but wondering about the 20+hrs its in the smoker .yours is all under 75*f and you say the fat breaks down after that .is that the only reason for not using higher temps ..im wondering if fish was like pork and not to be kept in the 90-140*f range while smoking with out "cure"
its not that im going to plan on warmer temps but scared to try it if for some reason my temp goes up for a while and im not payin attention, ie drinkin ,sleepin or heaven forbid workin

ive alway hot smoked salmon before and only use a wet brine cause its always worked well for me . itried a rub once and it turned out way to salty..the problem was not rinseing it well enough but didnt find that out till it was smoked so never tried it again

thanks
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Postby trapperbruce » Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:05 pm

wheels wrote:Trapper Bruce

Using cure with fish seems to be a US thing - I've never seen it it the UK or European recipes.



thanks wheels ..im mostly conerned about if im not payin attention and my smoker temps get a bit warmer than i want and wondering if itll poison my fish at the 90-140* f range
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Postby wheels » Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:52 pm

Sorry, Bruce but if you want cold smoked salmon you're going to have to pay attention! :lol:

It really must be below 90°F. Ideally not above 80°F.

Otherwise, hot smoke it.

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Postby grisell » Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:52 pm

trapperbruce wrote:
thanks for the reply grisnell..i understand "treated as fresh" part but wondering about the 20+hrs its in the smoker .yours is all under 75*f and you say the fat breaks down after that .is that the only reason for not using higher temps ..im wondering if fish was like pork and not to be kept in the 90-140*f range while smoking with out "cure"
its not that im going to plan on warmer temps but scared to try it if for some reason my temp goes up for a while and im not payin attention, ie drinkin ,sleepin or heaven forbid workin

ive alway hot smoked salmon before and only use a wet brine cause its always worked well for me . itried a rub once and it turned out way to salty..the problem was not rinseing it well enough but didnt find that out till it was smoked so never tried it again

thanks


Yes, 20+ hours is correct and you will have to keep an eye on the temperature! However, you don't have to smoke it uninterruptedly. If something else comes up or you need to take a break or sleep, move the fish to the refrigerator, shut down the smoker and continue next day. My 20 hours usually last from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, with spare time inbetween.

Yes, the temperature is critical. If it gets above -let's say- 32 C for a prolonged time, some of the fat will separate and the proteins will start coagulating. This will end up in a product totally different from cold-smoked; shall we say "luke-smoked"? It will become something between cold-smoked and hot-smoked. You won't be able to cut it in slices. It may well be palatable, but something totally different. Why this doesn't happen with meat is because meat contains different proteins that are much less temperature-sensitive.

A wet brine will work well with hot-smoked fish, since the heat will evaporate the moisture. In cold-smoke it's better to use dry rub since it is essential that the product should be as dry as possible (the same principle applies to smoking meat or sausages). If you use 65 gms salt/kg fillet it will be fine, much less salty than the commercial stuff. Even my wife who is very sensitive to salty taste hasn't complained.
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Postby saucisson » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:21 am

I think I mentioned the other day that an Irish producer of cold smoked salmon always cures at exactly 30 deg C which is 86 deg F, which I thought was a bit high myself.

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Postby trapperbruce » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:48 pm

thanks alot for the help and info...
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Postby grisell » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:56 pm

saucisson wrote:I think I mentioned the other day that an Irish producer of cold smoked salmon always cures at exactly 30 deg C which is 86 deg F, which I thought was a bit high myself.

Dave


It certainly has to do with money. The warmer the faster.
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Postby wheels » Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:43 pm

Erlandson, in his book on smoking, recommends 26C (79F).

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