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thomascw

Curing salt( Prague powder 1) on cold smoked salmon?

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I've been wanting to try making this for a couple years. I've seen a ton of recipes, almost none call for curing salt( Prague powder 1). Is the risk of botulism close to zero in salmon? I buy some pretty good (imo) cold smoked salmon at Sam's for a reasonable price, don't want to make anyone ill.

 

Thanks

Tom

 

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Interesting question. I guess I never thought about it. I've cured salmon and trout using Kosher salt,

some sort of sugar, spices and then either hot or cold smoked the fish. Here are two Wiki articles on

curing and salting fish:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cured_fish

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salted_fish

Salt kills off micro organisms if used in proper quantities. Wood smoke introduces nitrates and

nitrites to the surface of the fish, further protecting it from nasty micro critters. Nitrates and

nitrites from wood smoke are what cause the smoke ring in meats. It seems that Prague powder

is used in commercial, large scale fish processing and canning operations. Personally, my experience

is that the few fish I cure and smoke are usually consumed in a few days or less. So chances of the

fish going bad are nil. One more thought  - sugar also acts as a curing agent which helps the curing

process and adds flavor.

 

Not sure I answered your question but I think you will be safe if you follow a known good recipe. There

are some threads on this subject on this forum from members who have done this and are still here to

post about it. Thanks for asking. It caused me to do a little research and learn a bit.

 

 

 

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Thanks for the replies, I guess the only time I would be worried about pathogens would be during the time the salmon was in the " danger zone" temp wise (during cold smoke). I think I'll try a variation of the cure recipe and post the results.

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I'm trying it with 2 pink salmon fillets( frozen). Each weighed 1.25 lbs. I used 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1/4 cup white sugar, about a tablespoon of dried dill and a level 1/2 tsp of prague powder 1. I put some cure on some plastic wrap, placed a fillet skin  down, more cure on top, cure on flesh side of second fillet , stacked it flesh side to flesh side( head end to tail end) and last of the cure on top. Wrapped up and then into ziplock. Plan on cold smoking Wednesday, I'll rinse it Tuesday night and let it dry on rack in fridge overnight. If this turns out good, I'll try sockeye next.

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On 2/28/2019 at 7:51 PM, thomascw said:

Thanks for the replies, I guess the only time I would be worried about pathogens would be during the time the salmon was in the " danger zone" temp wise (during cold smoke). I think I'll try a variation of the cure recipe and post the results.

 

That's why its brined and salted for a period before it goes to the smoke.

 

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On 3/3/2019 at 12:48 PM, John Setzler said:

 

That's why its brined and salted for a period before it goes to the smoke.

 

 

I guess that's where my confusion lies. I know almost no recipes call for nitrites, I just didn't know if plain old kosher salt and sugar where enough to inhibit C. Botulinum. It must be fairly safe, you almost never hear of someone getting sick from smoked fish. Next time I'll skip the plastic wrap, juice was seeping out, I removed the plastic and squeezed off the juices back into the bag, but a lot of dill stuck to the plastic. It smells good right now. Like fresh fish and dill.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, thomascw said:

 

I guess that's where my confusion lies. I know almost no recipes call for nitrites, I just didn't know if plain old kosher salt and sugar where enough to inhibit C. Botulinum. It must be fairly safe, you almost never hear of someone getting sick from smoked fish. Next time I'll skip the plastic wrap, juice was seeping out, I removed the plastic and squeezed off the juices back into the bag, but a lot of dill stuck to the plastic. It smells good right now. Like fresh fish and dill.

 

 

 

 

Most pathogens can NOT survive for any length of time when the salinity is very high at all.  And by high, I mean solutions as low as sea water. Brines are significanty higher salinity than sea water... 

 

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6 hours cold smoke ( it was 20 F this am),  used amnps on the bottom of vision grill with ice pan on bottom rack. I iced bath for 30 minutes in plain water after dry brine in fridge for 60 hours. I didn't really wait on a pellicle,  but I did air dry on a rack for as long as I could stand. My temp never got above 70 f. in  the kamado. It's a little salty, but delicious, my wife even liked it ( I explained twice that is was uncooked).

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