Brining or Dry Curing Chicken Livers

Recipes and techniques using brine.

Brining or Dry Curing Chicken Livers

Postby vanessap » Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:56 pm

Hi Everyone,

I hope you're all well - I'm new here. I was hoping that I could ask your opinion on brining or dry curing chicken liver. I would like to make a terrine / parfait with the livers and cooking them in a smoker possibly in a bain marie.

I would like to smoke the chicken livers but I would have to do this at low temperature, so I was thinking of brining with cure 1 or possibly creating a terrine and cooking it in the smoker low and slow with cure 2 in the recipe.

I wondered if what your thoughts and experiences are on this? I've read so many recipe books that my brain is hurting a little, so I spoke with Catherine from sausage making yesterday and she suggested that I ask you guys.

Thank you for your time and help.

Vanessa
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Re: Brining or Dry Curing Chicken Livers

Postby ped » Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:09 am

Would suggest cure #1 only, cure #2 is for longer ageing products like salumi.
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Re: Brining or Dry Curing Chicken Livers

Postby wheels » Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:59 pm

I use Cure #1 in pate/terrines to maintain the colour. I use it at about 60mg/kg based on the weight of uncured meat.

Personally, I don't fancy smoked pate, but if pushed would suggest using it at 100mg/kg for smoking.

HTH

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Re: Brining or Dry Curing Chicken Livers

Postby DanMcG » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:02 pm

Why so low of an amount of #1 Phil? What am i missing here? for a low and slow smoke I'd use the standard 0.25%
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Re: Brining or Dry Curing Chicken Livers

Postby wheels » Sat Sep 26, 2015 12:47 pm

My thought process was that it's not actually a cured product that we're after. The addition of curing salt is only needed to protect it in the anaerobic environment in the smoker.

I'm aware that the FDA handbook advises that 40mg/kg (ppm) nitrite has some preservative effect. That Danes have a 60mg/kg limit for heat-treated products made from minced meat, including Pate. Click for Danish rules pdf download. The EU laws have a 100mg/kg (ppm) max ingoing for Sterilised meat products (Fo > 3,00) but 150mg/kg (ppm) for bacon. It should be noted that these are maximum amounts.

The opinion of the Scientific Committee on Food and the European Food Safety Authority, concluded that: ...it is clear that 50-100 mg/kg input sodium nitrite is adequate to protect many cooked cured meats against growth and toxin formation by C. botulinum. There is, however, a wide range of cured meats that are not cooked, produced under a wide range of circumstances and with varying levels of hygiene, in European countries from the Mediterranean to the Arctic Circle. In some of those circumstances an input level of sodium nitrite of 150 mg/kg is considered necessary to inhibit the growth of C. botulinum." link Our product doesn't appear to be one where the higher level is required.

US rules advise a minimum of 120ppm for curing - but we're wanting a smoked, rather than cured product.

I juggled all those around a bit, and took in to account that it is a hot-smoked product rather than cold smoked, that is not having cure added to give any preservative effect, and that it is a perishable product that will be used shortly after preparation.

Based on the above, 100mg/kg (ppm) seemed to strike a good balance between protection during smoking and residual nitrite.

Having this opportunity to review it, I'd also suggest adding a vitamin C salt such as sodium ascorbate. This will help ensure that residual levels of nitrite are as low as possible...

...however, I can also see the logic of your suggested 0.25% and would be happy eating either.

Phil
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Re: Brining or Dry Curing Chicken Livers

Postby NCPaul » Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:33 pm

Thank you. :D
Fashionably late will be stylishly hungry.
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Re: Brining or Dry Curing Chicken Livers

Postby DanMcG » Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:04 pm

Yes Phil, Thank you for your insight. I knew you'd have a good reason.
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Re: Brining or Dry Curing Chicken Livers

Postby wheels » Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:15 am

Thanks Dan. Unfortunately, It doesn't guarantee that I'm correct!

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