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Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by fpmich, Oct 9, 2013.
Yes, you can add flavors at the same time that you are cure/brining to develop a desired flavor the same as what would be done by using a marinade. The difference being the amount of salt being used in each. Where we should be careful is clarifying what a recipe's intended use is. There are literally thousands of wonderful salmon recipe's that use a weak brine in their preparation. The challenge for the ones who want to preserve their product, is to develop a recipe that not only preserves, but also taste good.
It's been my observation here on the forum that there are many more who will use a weak brine or cure recipe to simply flavor there fish or other product over the ones who actually want to preserve their product. What concern's not only myself is that a cure/brine recipe regardless of the salt content may suggest simply by the wording that a product is preserved. This is the reason of the importance for those who want to preserve their food to know the % salinity when actually preserving food whether dry curing, brining or pickling. Of course in your case this is not as important as you are treating your fish as if it were fresh.
Tom makes a good point. I rate them in at least 3 categories:
Note: I don't consider any of these to be "Fresh Fish" because they are all "Smoked".
#1 Fast & hot smoked Salmon----Maintains the moisture, and is good to have for Dinner.
#2 Brined & Smoked Salmon (for snacking)------This is my type of "Smoked Salmon". It is Brined with a minimum amount of salt so as not to make it taste like a "Blind Robin". Then it is smoked for long enough to get rid of enough moisture (to at least 145* IT) so you can pick it up in your hand & eat it as a snack. You could put it in a baggie & stick it in your shirt pocket for a few hours, but I wouldn't leave it out on your counter for days. It should be refrigerated for consumption in up to 5 days (maybe longer, but it doesn't last that long in my fridge without getting eaten). If you're planning on keeping it longer, it should be vacuum packed & put in the freezer. I never felt the need to salt & smoke anything to last longer at room temperature than mine does.
#3 Preserved Fish-------If I was interested in this, I would need to be educated on this apparently, because I never did it. I have tasted some that was called "Preserved", and it was far too salty for my taste. I don't know how long it lasts in a fridge, or if it can be left on the counter, but I would guess it would have to be very dry & very salty to stay out of the fridge for any extended length of time.
I hope this helps somebody,
Thanks for even more additional info. I can use all the help I can get.
Every time I think I have learned one thing, I find 10 related things that I didn't learn.
Kind of like, "the older you get the smarter your parents become".
Thanks for the boating lessons too.
OK, so my salmon were in weak brine 48 1/2 hours.
Rinsed well and fried up a small piece to taste. Not bad. Just a touch salty, but I haven't died yet. That's good news, right?
So I put the salmon pieces in a stainless pot in cold water and let cold water run at a small trickle over them for about 1 hour.
Removed, squeezed fairly dry with paper towels, and placed skin side down on racks and into bottom of fridge. They will be in there for about 18 hours until I start to smoke them. I plan on starting my smoke right away if they have pellicle formed, at temp around 100* for 1 hour, then slowly raise temp to 140* for an hour or so, and then raise to 180*-200* until 145-150* IT in thickest pieces. Then cool down smoker a bit and continue to dry, or smoke more, if needed.
Question 1: Do I have to hold 145-150* for a certain length of time, or just hit that mark for a couple of minutes?
(I should have asked this next question, before I even started this fish.)
Question 2: If I bring fish to an IT of 150* within 4 hours, is there any reason to use a cure in my brine?
Or should I "only use cure" if I want a longer time than 4 hours between 40-140*? Say extra drying time on counter, or longer cooler smoke. A safety margin I guess.
Thanks again for your patience and help.
Son just called me today. He and his wife went salmon fishing for the very 1st time. Didn't have a clue, until an older guy talked to them on the bank and showed them how to rig their bait. Then they had a ball!
Beginners luck like I've never had. They have caught 20 salmon (mix of Kings & Choho's) plus 1 Steelhead this past week.
He wanted to know when I could smoke some for him. I told him he didn't need my smoker, he needed a full sized smoke house! LOL
He laughed and said no, only bringing me a few to do.
Just how many salmon fillets can one do on a CG Smoking Pro at a time? I'm guessing maybe 3?
The USDA recommends that when heating salmon to 145° that it be held there for 30 minutes. The lower the temp the longer the hold time, the warmer the temp the shorter the hold time.
Cures are used for preserving foods. Not needed for short time consumption, no different than using a marinade.
I don't understand changing the temps the way you plan. Seems you are making this very difficult for yourself. I would heat at 200°, when the IT reaches 140° turn the smoker down and remove after a half hour. Should be done within an hour.
Hope you enjoy.
Mr T got you covered pretty well with your latest questions.
The only thing else I'll say is before the invention of the AMNS and the AMNPS, I used to take my MES 30 up in 20 degree bumps to keep the wood chips and/or chunks going. Since then I have found that taking it up slowly, like you did, gives you less fat coming through any cracks in your surfaces. IMHO
Smoking got set back another day. Just too much rain. However I now have a nice pellicle on it now.
Got to smoke it today rain, sun or snow. I'm afraid to leave it another day is bottom of fridge. Brined or not. Call me chicken. lol
Mr T. Did you used to work for USDA?
Man you know all this stuff right off the bat. Very convenient for us newbie's, that you are quick with replies and accurate info. We appreciate that.
I like to start low and raise temps higher as I go along with salmon pretty much same reason Bear said.
1st time I smoked salmon, I did it too hot, it had a lot of stuff oozing out of it, which I had to wipe off. The next two times I tried smoking fish, I started low and raised temps as I went. A lot less creamy crud on top of filets that way. Plus I think it gives the fish a little more drying time. I don't like my smoked salmon too dry, but I don't want it the same as a baked or broiled salmon either.
If I'm wrong in my thinking, please let me know. Just because I got lucky once or twice, doesn't mean it was the best way.
I have seen this USDA/FSIS Chart on Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart and others... http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/co...um_Internal_Temperature_Chart.pdf?MOD=AJPERES
Where are you getting 145° that is held for 30 minutes? Since it is a Food Safety issue posting a Link to your Source is authorized because many Gov charts don't Copy and Paste, like the one above. I want to make sure I have the latest updates and/or changes...I don't smoke fish for sale to the public, at least not any that won't be eaten minutes after it hits the table, so I may be missing some industry specific info. I have seen some PNW University Studies with 150-160° held 30 minutes but they refer to salt only brining with the major concern being Clostridium Botulinum. The use of cure #1/TQ negates that issue. I just have not seen anything from the USDA...Thanks Tom...JJ
Sheesh! Confused again here now! Thanks LOL
Chef JJ, are you saying that just hitting the safe temp of food is enough?
I know that's fine when cooking something in oven or fry pan like a steak, but didn't know about smoking which is usually longer cook times.
I seem to remember seeing a chart or something, about holding certain meat at a temp for safety, similar to what Mr T. said. I don't remember where I saw it, but I think it was probably a university study or something like that. I don't know.
All I know is that I have to smoke this fish later regardless. Smoke it, or throw it out. Today's the day.
I will eat a hunk of it, and not pass it on to who it is for, for 2 days. If I'm not sick or dead, then they get their smoked fish, and I be able to keep posting questions, until I learn enough to be somewhat comfortable with the smoking thing.
Sure different than kitchen cooking. LOL
This is similar info from the FDA Restaurant Food Code 2009. This is what restaurants are required to do by Law... During my training and all the restaurants I have owned or operated, this is what I have followed. I have seen and followed the second chart that specifies the IT and Holding Times for IT's Below and Above 145°F as well. I don't dispute Mr. T. I just have never heard of such a thing from the USDA or FDA...Meat IT is the same regardless of Oven, Pan or Smoker. You hit the IT and hold as specified below, can be included the Rest time, and it's Done...JJ
Cooking3-401.11 Raw Animal Foods.
(A) Except as specified under ¶ (B) and in ¶¶ (C) and (D) of this section, raw animal foods such as eggs, fish,meat, poultry, and foods containing these raw animal foods, shall be cooked to heat all parts of the food to a temperature and for a time that complies with one of the following methods based on the food that is being cooked:
(1) 63oC (145oF) or above for 15 seconds for: P
(a) Raw eggs that are broken and prepared in response to a consumer's order and for immediate service, P and
(b) Except as specified under Subparagraphs (A)(2) and (A)(3) and ¶ (B), and in ¶ (C) of this section,fish and meat including game animals commercially raised for food as specified under Subparagraph 3-201.17(A)(1) and game animals under a voluntary inspection program as specified under Subparagraph 3-201.17(A)(2); P
(2) 68oC (155oF) for 15 seconds or the temperature specified in the following chart that corresponds to the holding time for ratites, mechanically tenderized, and injected meats; the following if they are comminuted: fish, meat, game animals commercially raised for food as specified under Subparagraph 3-201.17(A)(1), andgame animals under a voluntary inspection program as specified under Subparagraph 3-201.17(A)(2); and raw eggs that are not prepared as specified under Subparagraph (A)(1)(a) of this section: P
oC (oF)Minimum Time63 (145)3 minutes66 (150)1 minute70 (158)< 1 second instantaneous)
The Specified Paragraphs B,C and D Refer the cooking temps and holding times for Roasts, the conditions under which Rare or Mid/Rare Beef Steaks can be served and the conditions under which Raw Fish and Beef can be served.
(2) As specified in the following chart, to heat all parts of the food to a temperature and for the holding time that corresponds to that temperature: PTemperature
°C (°F)Time1 in MinutesTemperature
°C (°F)Time1 in Seconds54.4 (130)11263.9 (147)13455.0 (131)8965.0 (149)8556.1 (133)5666.1 (151)5457.2 (135)3667.2 (153)3457.8 (136)2868.3 (155)2258.9 (138)1869.4 (157)1460.0 (140)1270.0 (158)061.1 (142)8 62.2 (144)5 62.8 (145)4 1 Holding time may include postoven heat rise.
Thank you for the chart and PM Dude.
So... 145*. for 4 minutes is safe. right?
Mornin fellas, cool chart JJ,, thanks...
saved to notepad.
PM returned and yes 4 minutes is safe for any fresh meat and Fish that is cooked at the USDA specified 225°F or high. In the case of Salmon containing a Cure, #1 or TQ the same 4 minutes applies. It should be noted that this 4 minutes includes the rest time we give any meat, as the temp will rise a few degrees as it sits. The only time I have ever seen the 30 minute holding time is Salt Only Brined Fish from some Northwestern University Publications. The concern being Clostridium Botulinum's resistance to the brine and it's possible survival. Your use of TQ eliminated or reduced any possibility of CB survival even at the low concentration used. Smoking at 225°F to an IT of 145° will be completely safe...JJ
Thanks for PM Chef & I apologize for the misunderstanding.
So for last hour or so, I should have smoker at 225* or higher, to attain IT temps safely? Especially considering my weak cure?
Your fine at 200°F. 225° really becomes more important when we are talking injected Butts or Ground Meats like a big old Fattie. Government Guidelines have a built in Margin of Error, especially the USDA. A few degrees makes little difference. That Salmon will reach temp quickly at 200°. I would show a variety of USDA Food Safety Videos to my Students. In everyone of their examples they showed that no One mistake has much impact, it takes a few things to go wrong or be done improperly to cause food borne illness. Even a weak brine of TQ the amount of time you soaked, I see no issue and you are double protected by smoking at the higher temp...JJ
Tom, morning..... I see you have this place in a turmoil.. Looks like you hit an extra key to me.... I know you probably intended 3 minutes instead of 30.... not a big deal.... everyone on this forum has hit a wrong/extra key a time or two.... I don't think your extra 27 minutes at 145 is a safety issue, as the fish would be at 145, not overcooked and the bacteria would be killed, adequately, with the extra 27 minutes, if someone followed that "soak" time.....
Everything looks perfectly good to me... Hey..... Sous Vide..... Fish could be held hours longer at 145 than 27 minutes, so I really don't see what the problem is...
No extra key here. The internal temperature of the fish must be maintained at or above 62.8ºC (145°F) throughout the fish for at least 30 min (FDA, 2001). http://seafood.ucdavis.edu/haccp/compendium/chapt07.htm
How did I get anything in a turmoil? If we can't discuss general food safety without causing trouble, what's the use. I am not one who determines whether my food is safe by seeing if anyone gets sick after eating it.
Tom, Thank you for the valuable lesson.... If this all sinks in, I guess you can teach and old dog new tricks....... It seems there are a varied number of pathogens that need attention... From scanning the document, it appears all salmon should be treated like you mention.....
Hot-Smoked Fish (Reduced Oxygen Packaging
The internal temperature of the fish must be maintained at or above 62.8ºC (145°F) throughout the fish for at least 30 min (FDA, 2001).
For hot process smoked fish to be air packaged, a controlled process must be used to heat fish to a continuous temperature of a least 145ºF (62.8ºC) throughout each fish for a minimum of 30 min for fish brined to contain not less than 2.5% water phase salt in the loin muscle of the finished product.
For hot process smoked fish to be vacuum or modified atmosphere packaged, a controlled process must be used to heat fish to a continuous temperature of at least 145ºF (62.8ºC) throughout each fish for a minimum of 30 min for fish brined to contain not less than 3.5% water phase salt in the loin muscle of the finished product or the combination of 3.0% water phase salt in the loin muscle of the finished product and not less than 100 ppm nor more than 200 ppm sodium nitrite.
Ok I see where you are coming from now. There " are " different guidelines for Smoked fish to be packaged for transportation and resale. Out of curiosity what Shelf Life can be expected with this level of cooking. I would assume much longer than the 4 minutes requirement for Restaurants. Thanks for the info...JJ
Properly cured, cooked and packaged fish can be kept for at least 90 days.