So I picked up some wild sockeye salmon that had been previously frozen, excited to make my first batch of lox using my MES 30" and Cold Smoking Kit. I decided to follow a traditional Nov Lox recipe that did NOT have pink salt in it. I brined the salmon for the past 48 hours in the fridge with ice in a ziploc in top of the fillets. The fillets were on a cooling rack (skin on) suspended above a cookie sheet so that all the juice actually dripped away. There was salt on the bottom skin but most was on top.
Last night I removed them from the fridge and rinsed them, then patted them dry. They were quite firm. I put them back in the fridge on the rack and left them to dry.
I didn't plan to desalinate them, but today at noon, I decided to do it. I put them in a cake pan with water and ice and put them back in the fridge for about an hour-hour and half, then removed them, patted them dry with paper towels and put them back on the cleaned rack over the cookie sheet lined with paper towel. I planned to dry them again until tomorrow or Saturday, then cold smoke them for several hours.
But now...I'm starting to wonder if I should have just used prague. Ugh. $24 worth of salmon that I hoped to serve on Sunday, but I'm worried that if I do, everyone might get sick. I was pretty careful about keeping things clean and cold, but what if I messed up? Is the salt enough to make this safe?
Temperatures in CA where I live are running from 48 at night to 63 during the day. If I smoke a long time without prague, could the meat grow bacteria and get people sick?
Is it possible to make some brine with prague and put the fish back in for a day?