Wet brine vs Dry brine

Wet brine vs Dry brine

Postby integra » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:12 pm

After building my own cold smoker (left over wood, 16" wide, 27" tall and about 16 " deep, out of scrap wood i had laying around) and using the AMAZEN CSG, i am very happy with how the homemade smoked salmon turned out. as good as or better than the stuff i buy in the freezer section at the local grocer.

I did a dry brine for 48 hours, i am curious what i will get out of a wet brine solution??
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Re: Wet brine vs Dry brine

Postby Ruralidle » Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:30 am

Wow, 48 hours sounds a long time. Is the salmon very salty? I use a brine for things like haddock, cod & mackerel but a dry cure for salmon and trout. I find that trout and "supermarket" salmon take 12 to 18 hours maximum in a dry cure (salt and sugar) but I also get organic "Loch Duart" salmon when it is on offer and that take 24 to 30 hours because the flesh is so dense - but never as much as 48 hours.
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Re: Wet brine vs Dry brine

Postby integra » Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:36 pm

well, looks like i learned something new. my wife did find it a little salty, but really, it wasnt too bad. i am thawing some salmon out as i type, so i will give it a go for 12 hours and go from there.
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Re: Wet brine vs Dry brine

Postby integra » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:35 am

12 hours just isnt enough, i think i will try 24 hours next. the salmon still seems "raw" after the smoke process. i reached the right amount of weight loss, so i feel it is safe to eat, just not as good as the last time.

experimentation is my friend.
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Re: Wet brine vs Dry brine

Postby wheels » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:37 am

integra wrote:Experimentation is my friend.


That's my "quote of the day"!

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Re: Wet brine vs Dry brine

Postby Wunderdave » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:25 pm

This really depends on your method. Some dry brining methods call for an excessive amount of salt, which is moderated by either a short brining time or by soaking the product in fresh water after the brining is complete in order to remove excess salt.

Personally I find that using an equilibrium cure works great, and it reduces the question of the appropriate curing time, as well as the need to soak before drying. A number I found on this site for nova lox (i.e. salt cured cold smoked salmon) is 65g of salt per 1000g of fish, plus whatever spices. I think it was Grisell's recipe and included a pinch of ground white pepper along with the salt.

Using this ratio on my last batch of lox I had some events come up that caused me to let the fish linger in the fridge for an additional 24 hours beyond the 18 I planned. I proceeded to rinse, dry, and smoke as normal and the fish came out great, and not too salty. Note that it IS quite salty if you eat it straight up, but in my opinion lox is supposed to be on the salty side, and the saltiness is mitigated when you serve it with typical accompaniments.

I should add that using a wet brine may somewhat defeat the purpose of making this type of cured, smoked fish. Part of the process is intended to extract moisture from the fish to change the texture and for safety, and having it submerged to cure may defeat this. I can't speak in any more detail about this nuance of technique though.
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Re: Wet brine vs Dry brine

Postby DiggingDogFarm » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:48 pm

Yeah, what Wunderdave said!



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Re: Wet brine vs Dry brine

Postby wheels » Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:14 pm

Wunderdave wrote:I should add that using a wet brine may somewhat defeat the purpose of making this type of cured, smoked fish. Part of the process is intended to extract moisture from the fish to change the texture and for safety, and having it submerged to cure may defeat this. I can't speak in any more detail about this nuance of technique though.


I've always felt that too. I tend to stick with dry cured fish for cold smoke and only use wet cures for fish when hot smoking.

Phil
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Re: Wet brine vs Dry brine

Postby integra » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:09 pm

OK, so i tried my third batch, and well, way too salty.

i tried this round with no skin, took two fillets and salted both sides of both, layed one on the other, then plastic wrap for about 12 hours. thoroughly washed / rinsed, patted dry, then let them sit in the fridge for about 4 hours. then smoked them for about 6 hours.

i think i need to brine for 4 hours, and let sit in fridge for 12 hours, and only smoke for 4 (6 was a little too much)

any suggestions??
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Re: Wet brine vs Dry brine

Postby wheels » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:58 pm

FWIW, here's what I do:

http://www.localfoodheroes.co.uk/?e=681

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Re: Wet brine vs Dry brine

Postby Ruralidle » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:28 pm

Very similar to my method, Phil. I tend to smoke the fish for two full loads in the CSG but I use mild woods like alder and beech. That reminds me, now my maple-cured bacon is sliced, packed and frozen I really should cure and smoke the two (medium sized) sides of salmon that I have in the freezer :)
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Re: Wet brine vs Dry brine

Postby integra » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:54 am

When i say brine, i mean to say dry cure, and the woods i am using are a combination of hickory and alder.

i will post this weekend with the results of the next batch, see if i can get back on track.

batch 1 and 2 were very good, t was only the 3rd that threw me for a loop
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Re: Wet brine vs Dry brine

Postby wheels » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:33 pm

Don't forget that the salting is related to the amount of salt, as well as the length of time.

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