Metal Stained

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by rwings39, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. rwings39

    rwings39 Newbie

    Hi, I'm brand new to the forum. Recently purchased Charcuterie by Ruhlman & Polcyn and am just finishing up making their Canadian bacon recipe.

    I trimmed the pork loin and brined for about 48 hrs then removed and rinsed well before placing on a wire rack unwrapped in the fridge for an additional day. This morning I prepped my smoker and noticed the meat had developed black stains where it was touching the wire rack.

    Has this happened to anyone else? Is it safe to eat the black parts or can it be trimmed away? Or best not to eat any of it? It was a well worn, inexpensive wire rack that must have whatever protective coating/plating worn off at spots.
  2. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    No opinion on the edibility of the meat.

    In the future, I recommend only stainless steel racks.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  3. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I learned the hard way, that an old  fake, silver plated tray (so old it had even rusted in spots), when allowing cured sausage to rest on it in the reefer overnight caused black spots. Not a lot but enough so a rookie curer could notice them and wonder.

    If it is plated, and its cured, it could spot. I just cut the spots out, but it took me three or seven fearful batches of cured sausage to figure it out. I quit using those trays and no longer have problems.
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    i don't have the book so I don't know if you used the brine with Lemon or something else. Posting the ingredients, not amounts, would be helpful. Sounds like the rack may be made of carbon steel which can react with Salt or Acid causing the Black marks. Have you tried just rinsing them off? Short of the rack being Enamel coated, I don't see a health issue but you can also cut them off, as they sound superficial and nothing worth tossing the whole piece over.

    Based on the 1/2" (1/4" from all sides) of curing per day guideline, if you cured for 48 hours, that loin is REALLY thin or you are undercured. It's not a Safety issue with Canadian Bacon but you may end up with a Pink Ringed, Gray Bullseye of uncured Pork. Edible but not what you had hoped for...I would make a fresh Brine and toss it in and wait the amount of days based on thickness...JJ
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  5. rwings39

    rwings39 Newbie

    Thank you for the replies. I'll definitely be investing in a better wire rack. I'll probably trim off the black spots. The recipe was a brine of water, kosher salt, sugar, pink salt (#1), fresh sage and thyme and a couple garlic cloves. The 48hr brine time was for a 4lb center cut loin which I had to start, but trimmed away quite a bit. Sorry to say, I didn't check the final meat weight before brining. I smoked the bacon today, but haven't cut into it yet. At least I'll know what happened if I did wind up with the bullseye effect.
  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Do your black spots look like this?

    See Those black spots? They were there before smoking. Also note that tray..... Took forever to eliminate stuff to find the culprit!.

     Its some type of reaction to the cured sausage and they appeared before smoking. BTW I was using Pop's brine cure.

    Black spots..... I was worried so I never ate any till I could find out what was going on. The spot BTW is on and threw the casing into the meat, and it did not grow from smoking. LOL.. I just knew it was the bubonic plague, I mean only I could cook plague sausages.

    As soon as I finally figured it out, no more spots. I just don't use those trays anymore with raw or cured meats.

    I hope its that simple for you. Dang sure took a while to figure that out though. Who'd think a serving platter could do that.
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    With Brine Curing, weight don't mean much. A 4lb chunk of loin that is 5" thick X 8" long will take more time to cure than a 4lb'er that is 3" thick and 12" long...JJ
  8. It really depends on what the rack is made of. Touch a magnet to it and find out if it sticks. If it doesn't, the rack is probably aluminum and the black stain is aluminum oxide from a reaction with the brine, and it isn't likely to harm you. If the magnet sticks, you probably have plated steel. If that's the case, then the worst case is probably cadmium plating, but that's usually only from old refrigerator shelves. Chrome plating would be my next guess and I would cut the black stain off. I prefer stainless steel or glass when setting anything in the fridge.

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