?? Confused about CURES ??

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by fpmich, Oct 9, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    That is incredible. It is interesting how the relatively small changes in the amounts of salt, water activity levels and additional hold at temp change can take 5 days of storage time and make the fish last 90 days...JJ
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    90 Days in freezer, fridge, or room temp??

  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Since the regs limited the time the processed fish can be at 50°F, I am thinking under Refrigeration, 36-38°F. Just about any well packaged meat can go 6-12 months at -10°F or lower...JJ
  5. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    It all can't be put under one umbrella.  The following is from a producer in California.

    PRODUCT                             PACKAGE SIZE                                      SHELF LIFE

                                                                                                             Refrigerated- Days


    FULLY COOKED- vacuum packed

    Smoked Alaskan-Pepper  Random- Approx. 5-7 oz.                                             60

    WILD                                   Sides- Approx. 3 lbs.                                                 60

    Smoked Alaskan-Garlic     Random- Approx. 5-7 oz.                                            60

    WILD                                   Sides- Approx. 3 lbs.                                                 60

    Smoked Coho Salmon      Random- Approx. 5-7 oz.                                            60

    Pepper- WILD                    Sides- Approx. 3 lbs.                                                  60

    Smoked Coho Salmon      Random- Approx. 5-7 oz.                                            60 

    Garlic- WILD                      Sides- Approx. 3 lbs.                                                60

    Salmon Jerky- WILD          1 oz.                                                               90-unrefrigerated

    Salmon Jerky- WILD          4 oz.                                                               90-unrefrigerated

    Atlantic Salmon-Plain        7-8 oz.   or Approx 3 lb. sides                                     60

    Atlantic Salmon-Garlic       7-8 oz.   or Approx 3 lb. sides                                    60

    Atlantic Salmon-                7-8 oz.   or Approx 3 lb. sides                                     60

    Cracked Pepper

    Smoked Albacore Tuna    Random- Approx. 5-7 oz.                                            60

    WILD- Line Caught           Sides- Approx. 2 lbs.                                                    60

    Dolphin Safe

    Idaho Rainbow Trout        Random- Approx. 5-7 oz.                                             60

    Sturgeon                           Random- Approx. 4-6 oz.                                            60


    Salted, Cured & Thinly Sliced

    Atlantic Salmon- Nova     4 oz.   or  Sides 2-3 lbs.                                                30

    Less salt and more smoke

    Atlantic Salmon- Nova     8 oz. or Sides 2-3 lbs.                                                   30

    Dill / Cognac    or

    Lemon Pepper or

    4 pepper medley

    WILD Sockeye                4 oz., 8 oz. or Sides 2-3 lbs.                                          30

    Salmon Lox

    Lox Trim- bits and            1 lb.                                                                                30


    Hope this helps.

  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Dave, Jimmy, and Tom !!

    You guys are Alright !![​IMG]

  7. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    I'm goning to have to bookmark my own thread,  just so I can find all this info again.

    Thanks everyone for all your help.

    Finally got that stupid two day delayed fish smoked today, even though it did rain for a few minutes on me.  Won't be the last time, I'm sure.

    Anyway the results:

    Because of being in brine for 48 hours, it still is a little too salty tasting for me.  I can't imagine what 4 cups of TQ n a gallon water would be like.   Of course I imagine you would only brine it for a couple of hours or so at that strength.  For now, I will just brine without cure, until I get some cure #1 ordered.  Then I can control the salt to my liking.

    Being left in fridge for 36-40 hours instead of 12 hours, developed on heck of a pellicle!  Almost like a shrink wrap.  LOL  Makes it kind of hard to eat.  I did cover it with saran wrap last night trying to stop it from becoming too dry, but was too late.  The fact it was a little freezer burnt from being frozen for a year in my brothers freezer in a bag tied with bread tie wrap didn't help texture any either.  LOL.

    Flavor, too salty even though I rinsed it under cold running well water in a pan for over an hour.   Should have used more sugar/sweetener.

    Lime?  Not too fond of that flavor in there myself.  I think just one lemon and one orange would've worked better.

    Definitely No Lime next time.   Just took a sip of beer and could taste lime from the piece I ate a couple of hours ago.

    It's edible, but I've made much better.  I've also had worse a time or two, from other sources, but not much worse.

    Think I'll give ALL of this, back to my brother. <grin>  And make some fresh caught and frozen ones, my son and his wife brought me today for my sis and I.  LOL

    Mr T.   I decided not to start at such a low temp, because of extra time in fridge with this one, I didn't want to risk taking too long.

    I started with preheated grill/smoker at about 145* for an hour.  IT was about 70*.  Bumped to about 175-185* for an hour.  IT about 120*.  Bumped again to 195-200* for almost an hour and IT was still only 125*.  So as I didn't want to waste any more fuel, bringing it high enough to get it to an IT of 150*.  I pre-heated oven to 275* and put it in there.  It finally hit IT of 145* almost exactly at the 4 hour mark from fridge.  Took it to 150* IT and then turned oven off, opened door, and left it in there for awhile to dry a bit more after wiping milky stuff off.

    [​IMG]    Yeah, yeah....  I know.  I'll start posting pic's when I can make something look good.  LOL
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Frank, the plan was good the only issues I see are...A taste test before the pellicle rest would have shown it too salty and another hour or so in fresh water would fix that. The Salmon was spot on at 145°, the extra 5° caused the fat and juices to ooze, white stuff. I think you would be happier if you just pulled it and let it rest on the counter. Lime can be strong but goes with Ginger well. Especally Candied Ginger. If you have quite a bit left you may like the recipe below. It will balance the Salt and Lime flavor...JJ

    Gingered Smoked Salmon Spread

    1Lb Cream Cheese...Room Temp

    1/2C Mayonnaise

    1/4C Sour Cream

    1Tbs Soy Sauce, low sodium

    1tsp Hot Sauce...Sriracha (Asian) or other

    1/4tsp Black Pepper

    1Lb Smoked Salmon...or other Smoked Fish, Flaked

    1/4C Chopped Crystalized Ginger

    1/4C Chopped Scallion

    Process the first 6 ingredients until smooth...

    For Fine Spread...add remaining and Pulse to desire consistency...

    For Chunky Spread...Fold in remaining with a spatula...
  9. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    I did do a taste test after rinsing in a fry pan Chef JJ.  That is why I ran it under cold water into a pan or an hour.  It not inedible salty, just too salty for my taste.   If I would have used more sugar, it probably would've balanced out better

    And as for making into something else, to mask or tone down flavor, I just messaged my brother and told him it was ready for pick up.

    Easier that way.  LOL

    I did tell him about my concerns though as to final product.  But what the heck?  He's the one who left in a freezer for a year.

    And whoever fillet that fish, must have used a chain or crosscut saw.  Never saw such a butchered fish.  Yeah, I know, it didn't have nothing to do with the way I processed and cooked it, but it still cracked me up.  Told my wife, I could have made a cleaner filet with a cut off can lid.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I meant a second fry and test after the one hour soak. My wife thought I was nuts back when I was playing with brines for Bacon. I would taste test...Soak...Taste again...Soak....Taste again...over an over until it was right. Eventually I got the salt content to the point where I can pull from the brine, rinse and start working on the pellicle...JJ
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  11. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    Yeah, I thought of that after I posted.  DUH!  Lesson learned.

    Hey!  it was a good lesson.  right?
  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hell yeah! You will nail the next Batch...JJ
  13. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    Your comments and suggestions are very welcome to me.

    With my 1st batch the pellicle side was WAY TOO DRY and tough.  Combination of excess dry time and too high of heat at end, I would guess.

    The obnoxious lime flavor and saltiness,  kind of mellowed out after a couple of days in fridge in Ziplocks.

    So... here is my plan for this next batch of fresh caught salmon from son.  Frozen first, and now thawed.

     My Guessing Game of Brine for 1 gal. of well water brine  (Doesn't that Guessing Game thing, just make you shudder?)
     1 c. TQ  Forget the TQ.  Just read as 1 c. Salt.  I'm not trying to cure, just salt the brine and finish up what TQ I have.
     1/2 c Splenda
     3/4 c. Brown sugar
     1 T. Molasses
     1 Orange, sliced and squeezed
     1 Lemon, sliced and squeezed
     4 Bay leaves
     5 Garlic cloves, slightly smashed
     1/2 t. dill weed
     1 med. onion, sliced
     Brine for 18 hrs.  Air dry for 2 - 3 hrs. with fan
     Smoke @ 175* for 1 hour. then bump to 190*-200* and smoke until 140*-145* IT.  Whatever time it takes to flake well.

    I think this will give me a shorter cook time, and a more moist fish.

    Thanks for your input.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  14. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Some of the best recipes are the simplest.  Have you even considered one?

    The above recipe is one that is confusing to me.  It is still a weak brine if curing is a consideration, not one I would air dry at room temperature.  Splenda, why not sugar?  Brown sugar and molasses, why not just use dark brown sugar?  Orange and lemon?  I would be concerned about the acid breaking the salmon down.  Still don't understand why you want to move the temps around, just cook it, make it easy on yourself and you will enjoy smoking much more.

     Seriously consider starting with a very simple recipe, TQ and sugar using Morton's recommended amounts, make additions one at a time until you find whatever taste you like.  Plan on it taking time to discover the perfect product for yourself as yours is most likely different than anyone else's.

  15. pigbark

    pigbark Smoke Blower

    Mortons TQ brine mixture for Salmon is 1 3/4 Cup TQ per Gal of water for each 5 lbs of meat, cure time is 16 hrs refrigerated...
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  16. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    That all explained, you'll be happy to know that I did kick up the salt to 1 1/2 c. and only used 1/2 the lemon, and 1/2 the orange. Wife bought the biggest they had. LOL Also, this will be in brine now for 24 to 30 hours and then on racks in fridge for 12 to 18 hours before smoking. Plans change by outside forces beyond our control sometimes.

    In now way, do I want you to feel this post as argumentative.

    Just trying to explain why I did what, and learning from other comments. I'm here to learn.

    I took offense at something sent me in a PM, which they didn't mean to. But sometimes it happens.

    If I ever just jump the gun, give me a day to reconsider, before taking offense. Deal?

    Typing is a lot harder than talking when trying to convey ideas.  Regardless of smiley faces.

    If I could talk with  3,4 or 5 people, even on phone, it would save me a year of typing in a forum.  Right?
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  17. pigbark

    pigbark Smoke Blower

    your salt is still to low if you are now calling TQ -salt @1 1/2 cup to preserve... the info above is rite out of their booklet...Hope that helps..

    not trying to pick on you, but I think Splenda makes a brown sugar..
  18. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    PigBark, I'm starting to understand just a bit here  that my salt is way too low for safety.  I was trying to avoid too salty fish.

    After much more reading, & more reading, I think I can balance out salt by using much more sugar or sweeteners than I am using.  Right?

    Yes, I know Splenda makes a brown sugar, but can't find it locally yet, so have to use my molasses quick fix for now.  If or when I find it without paying shipping, I will probably 3/4 Brown Splenda to 1/4 real brown, when smoking for the diabetics.

    Still could use a simple explanation of what Preserving, Curing, and just Smoking are.

    Mr. T.  Thank you for PM. ... I've seen your fish brine recipe here and on other forums.    I had it bookmarked before in fact.

    It was just the salt amount, that threw me off from it.

    But I see you use a "much higher" ratio of sugar to salt.  (approximately 4 to 1. (4=sugar & 1=salt)

    than I've been using (1 to 1 roughly).  I didn't notice your ratio until now.

    Does that make the fish sweet, or just balanced with still a slight taste of salt?  I like a slight salt taste.

    Update on current batch:

    Was in weak brine for 32 hours.  Nuked a piece to test, and tasted okay.  Back to fry pan next time though.  Did not like that steamed fish texture at all.  LOL  I was just trying not to have to clean the skillet for just one bite of food. 

    Not as salty as my 1st batch, even though I used more salt.  I think maybe it was the fact I was dealing with a year old fish, that caused problems.

    Current batch is now drying in fridge on racks for about 12 hours.  That should eliminate the fan/room temp thing.

    I will use Mr. T's suggestion of 200* start to finish this time, instead of starting low to high.  Using apple and Maple for smoke.

    I think maybe I will brush a diluted Maple Syrup before smoking, on a couple of pieces just for me, to see how I like it that way.

    Will let you know how this comes out.

    Next batch in 2-3 days, I will try Mr T's recipe.    But only if he lets me know on the sweetness thing.  U Listening mf?

    That should use the rest of the TQ plus some Kosher.  Then you may not hear me mention TQ again.  LOL

    Still adding my own flavor ingredients though.  They really "are" good flavors to me.  You can't break me from those.  [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  19. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    Mr. T    Because of my sleep patterns, or lack there of, I never know when I can do anything on time.  That is why I like a brine that will be OK at 12-24 hours and as long as 48 hours.  Do I have to adjust your recipe to take into consideration possible longer brine times?

    I sleep in increments, both bed and chair.  Usually up all night and sleep in bed for 3-4 hours, getting up to pee at least once.  Seldom get back to sleep after that.  So I doze in my chair at inopportune times, like when wife is talking to me, or meat is in smoker.  I do have ET732 so at least alarm will wake me sooner or later.  LOL
  20. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    Here is how it went today.   Well, technically, yesterday now.

    Time 1st column

    Smoker 2nd column

    Internal temp 3rd column

    4:00 42*  40* IT  I started with a totally cold smoker.  Dumped in a chimney of hot coals, put fish in smoker.  It was sleeting as I did this.  I thought the slow start would help finish the pellicle formation.  It probably did, but just added to my spent outdoors and seemed to dry the fish out a little too much.

    4:30 180* 82* IT  added smoke wood
    5:00 210* 111* IT
    5:30 185* 124* IT
    6:00 215* 124* IT
    6:30 210* 124* IT  Let smoke wood burn out.
    6:45 225* 129 IT no smoke added from here on.
    7:00 239* 138* IT
    7:20 230* 144* IT

    smoker temps started to drop and fish IT didn't rise above 144*
    brought inside to 300* oven.
    Fish temp dropped to 135* while I was getting it off smoker and into house.

    7:30 oven 300* 135*
    7:50 oven 300* 145*   Removed and rested.  Temp stayed @ 145 for 7 or 8 minutes then started cooling down.  Let it cool down for 15-20 minutes and then placed fish in fridge on racks to finish cooling completely before putting into zip bags.

    Fish seem to be a little more dry than I like and the outside is harder than I like too.

    So next time, I will start them off at higher temp, pre-heated smoker as Mr. T has suggested.  See?  I "can" learn Tom! [​IMG]

    Tasted okay, but withholding judgment until after a day or two of mellowing and melding flavors out.   What it taste like still warm from smoker, is not what it tastes like two days later chilled, I've learned.

    Next batch is coming up in a day or so.  Took fish out of freezer night before last to thaw.

    This batch will be for myself, so I won't have to mess with the Splenda.  Brown sugar and Maple Syrup all the way!   Can't wait!
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page