Curing and cold smoking

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by cook-eat-repeat, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. I was going to attach my cold smoke generator to a working mini-fridge that I put some ventilation in. My question is if I am able to keep the temperature in the fridge in normal fridge range (34-36 degrees F) would I still have to cure meat for a long smoke?

    My thinking is that I would not need to cure it. Control ham in control fridge for 1 week is perfectly edible. The difference between control ham and smoked ham would be the smoke. Smoked ham is exposed to much less oxygen during the same amount of time. However, that is only if control ham is in the fridge uncovered. If I can vacuum seal control ham and keep it in the fridge for a week and it's still edible shouldn't that mean smoked ham would be fine? 
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    ?? so,...... you are planning on re-smoking an already smoked ham....
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Welcome C-E-R,

    I never thought about that, because I never had a reason to, but I should tell you that if you Smoke Pork without curing it, it will never taste like Ham. Smoked Pork without cure will be "Smoked Pork".

  4. lol, no. Ham is just a cut of pork, although typically it's only found pre-cured/smoked.
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If it's pre-cured, all you should do is smoke it. If it's pre-cured & smoked, then you can smoke it again (Double Smoked).

    And like I said, if it's not pre-cured, and you don't cure it, smoking it will give you Smoked Pork.

    I hope that helps.

  6. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    Ham is not actually ham unless it's cured. One of the experts will correct me if I'm wrong I'm sure. Yes the cut is called a ham but it doesn't get the "ham" taste until its cured.
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


  8. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    Thought I had it right Bear!
  9. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Is this "control ham" fresh pork?
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Seems as though, you know to use cure #1 when smoking meats in a low oxygen environment..... So, why push the botulism probability by smoking below 40 deg. F..... If you just want to experiment to see if you won't get ill, or possibly worse, don't look for anyone's permission on this site.... our members are a lot smarter than that.....

    Dave..... "anal Dave" when it comes to food safety......

    OH, to be safe, feed the stuff to your kids or grandkids first, to be sure it is safe to eat.....
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
  11. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    When this thread started I was wondering how long before the b-word is mentioned. Cry wolf?

    Botulism risk at less than 40F...I would say just as likely as botulism in meat cured with nitrites.

    Should we stop vacuum packing our cooked meats? After all they will be sitting without oxygen at 40F for days.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  12. wasp

    wasp Fire Starter

    Hello from Western Australia
    I have mini fridge with controled thermostat
    We brine our "meat" with prague #1 and then into cold smoke
    My generator is only good for about 8 hours (beer takes over) so we take it out after first smoke, into normal fridge overnight and go again
    I have done this and given a good lump of pork belly a triple smoke
    We still cook the belly before we eat it but mind you it will last for a long time hanging in the cold of the fridge (second cure/dry)
    I do not want to get sick so be very carefull
  13. Yes, both the control ham and the test ham are fresh pork.
  14. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    And what you are trying to make? Cold smoked meat you would cook afterwards?
  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Amazing..... You are willing to warn others about the dangers of botulism "possibilities" from carrot juice....

    quote from "atomicsmoke"

    Carrot juice is verboten too. It has been associated with botulism.
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    OK----Now that we know that your "Hams" are "Fresh Pork", maybe I can answer your question better:

    According to the USDA, raw Pork is good for 3 to 5 days in the fridge, so if you can get your Pork to smoke in the Fridge at under 40* F for 3 to 5 days, it would be just as safe as your "Control" "Ham" that was in the fridge for 3 to 5 days would be.

    However, what would you have?

    You would have a piece of Smoked Raw Pork that still needs to be cooked to at least 145* IT before eating, and it will not taste anything like Ham.

    So, if you don't want to cure it, you might as well smoke it while you take it to about 200* IT. Then you could pull it & call it Pulled Pork. However, since it wasn't cured properly, be sure to get it from 40* to 140* in no less than 4 hours.

    Hope this answers your questions.

  17. wasp

    wasp Fire Starter

    Flavour before tombstone
    The taste of the smoke, even when cooked cant buy in supermarket
    I wont buy mass injected pink stuff from the shop chains
  18. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Big...huge...sarcasm sign Dave.
  19. wasp

    wasp Fire Starter

    Kangaroos have ----"B"-/-//
  20. YES!! This is the answer I was looking for, thank you for your help! Basically the major difference here would be for people who are allergic to curing salts or those crazy people that think that any type of chemical preservation is inherently bad for you (yes, I am aware that ALL preservation methods are on some level chemical). The ham was really just an arbitrary example piece of meat.

    Smoking something while taking it up was something I hadn't really considered. Another experiment!!! Thanks for your help!

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