So what is the determination on the use of pink salt or not? I've done a few batches without the pink, and it came out just fine. But I've wondered what potential problems I might have if I let the salmon sit in the refrigerator for more than a week without curing of the pink salt compounds. I usually place salmon in a mixture of two cups of sea salt, and two cups of brown sugar. I let that sit in the refrigerator for 12 to 16 hours, then I rinse the salmon. Then air dry it for 24 hours and smoke for 6 hours. Vacuum seal, and into the refrigerator for a few days to mellow....
Salmon Lox - To use pink salt or not?
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All of the lox recipes that I have used don't have cure (pink salt, Mortons, etc) in them. I wouldn't let it sit for days in a fridge after smoking. We eat it pretty fast, or it gets vac-packed and into the freezer.
hfactor, morning..... Great question..... I learned about cure when I joined this forum.... I probably smoked several thousand pounds of fish before I joined.... Now that I have become educated in food safety from this place, cure #1 is in use at this household.....
If you have any meat in a smoker, and you are smoking the finished product for a "length" of time under 140 deg F internal temp, there is the possibility of botulism growing.... Salt does not kill botulism... Smoking meats reduces the oxygen in the smoker.... reduced oxygen and temps between 40-140 deg F is the perfect environment for botulism to grow....
Below is a link describing botulism cases in the US over the last several years..... It's not just meats that can be infected.... It's a good read to help anyone understand where you can get it.... what to do to prevent it.... Nitrite is a known preventative for botulism.... Be safe....
Curing involves adding a number of ingredients – including salt, sodium nitrite and sometimes sugars, seasonings, phosphates and ascorbates (which includes vitamin C) – to meats, poultry and fish. The curing process controls the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause serious illnesses and improves the safety of food. It especially protects against Clostridium botulinum, a deadly microorganism that can cause one of the deadliest food-borne diseases: botulism. Since the routine use of sodium nitrite by meat processors, no cases of botulism have been associated with cured meats.http://medinforms.com/2-1-fitnessandnutrition/study50.php
Considering the cost of hospitalization, and the cost of a few grams of Cure #1, I'd go with cure #1..... Dave
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This is by far one of the best recipes and techniques I have seen. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/87043/making-lox-a-picture-guide It has lots of good info even as an addition to your technique. Better safe than sorry in this case...JJ
I did a lot of searching.... Considering the topic, I think Chef JimmyJ is the person to talk to.... He's the food safety guy on the forum....