Salmon Lox - To use pink salt or not?

Discussion in 'Other' started by hfactor, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. So what is the determination on the use of pink salt or not?  I've done a few batches without the pink, and it came out just fine.  But I've wondered what potential problems I might have if I let the salmon sit in the refrigerator for more than a week without curing of the pink salt compounds.  I usually place salmon in a mixture of two cups of sea salt, and two cups of brown sugar.  I let that sit in the refrigerator for 12 to 16 hours, then I rinse the salmon.  Then air dry it for 24 hours and smoke for 6 hours.  Vacuum seal, and into the refrigerator for a few days to mellow....
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    All of the lox recipes that I have used don't have cure (pink salt, Mortons, etc) in them. I wouldn't let it sit for days in a fridge after smoking. We eat it pretty fast, or it gets vac-packed and into the freezer.
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    hfactor, morning.....  Great question.....  I learned about cure when I joined this forum....  I probably smoked several thousand pounds of fish before I joined....  Now that I have become educated in food safety from this place, cure #1 is in use at this household.....  

    If you have any meat in a smoker, and you are smoking the finished product for a "length" of time under 140 deg F internal temp, there is the possibility of botulism growing....   Salt does not kill botulism... Smoking meats reduces the oxygen in the smoker.... reduced oxygen and temps between 40-140 deg F is the perfect environment for botulism to grow.... 

    Below is a link describing botulism cases  in the US over the last several years.....   It's not just meats that can be infected....  It's a good read to help anyone understand where you can get it....  what to do to prevent it....  Nitrite is a known preventative for botulism....  Be safe....

    Curing involves adding a number of ingredients – including salt, sodium nitrite and sometimes sugars, seasonings, phosphates and ascorbates (which includes vitamin C) – to meats, poultry and fish. The curing process controls the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause serious illnesses and improves the safety of food. It especially protects against Clostridium botulinum, a deadly microorganism that can cause one of the deadliest food-borne diseases: botulism. Since the routine use of sodium nitrite by meat processors, no cases of botulism have been associated with cured meats.

    Considering the cost of hospitalization, and the cost of a few grams of Cure #1, I'd go with cure #1.....      Dave
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  5. Thanks Dave for your input!!  I purchased some #1 on eBay and intent to use it for future salmon smokes.... now should I be concerned cold smoking cheese?
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very good question.....   time to look stuff up.......  Dave
  7. I've done a lot of cheese in 60/65 degree temps range with no problems.... I usually smoke it for 4 to 5 hours...actually smoked cheese is the best....
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I did a lot of searching....  Considering the topic, I think Chef JimmyJ is the person to talk to....      He's the food safety guy on the forum....

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