Why no cure#1 ?

Discussion in 'Fish' started by sb59, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    After much searching I don't find any fish brines using a cure ''Prague powder'#1,etc." How come it isn't necessary for fish but it is for meat?
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Using cure depends on what you do with the meat after it is brined..... Cold smoking Lox for instance, cure #1 is used or should be...
    Warm-Hot smoking to cook the fish to 140 ish in a short time period, cure #1 is not necessary but could be used as a safety factor ingredient... As far as I know, cure does not flavor salmon.....
    There are strains of botulism in seafood... different than those strains in veggies and animals....

    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  3. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Like Dave said, in things like Lox and Salmon Jerky it is used as a preservative. I haven't been able to tell a lot of difference in the texture of fish that's cured vs uncured. In things like poultry, beef and pork, there is a huge difference, but it seems to have a minimal effect on fish. I have noticed a difference in the texture of salmon that's dry brined for a short time vs dry brined for several days, either with or without cure. I think that's mostly attributable to moisture loss. I think it was Dave who told me that you can make Lox without cure #1 and there will be little difference in flavor and texture, but I should continued to use it just for safety's sake.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  4. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for the replies. I tend to agree with Dave's post above when getting to 140+ in a relatively short time, but when looking for some new brine and rub recipes I see many smokers taking 5 plus hrs at some low starting temps to reach internal temp. Even on this site, which kind of surprised me.

    Also anyone have a good dry rub for small whole fish, such as trout.
  5. mchar69

    mchar69 Smoke Blower

    Gravlax is a Scandanavian curing method for salmon which

    merely uses salt, sugar, and dill.  3 days in the fridge.

    No cooking or smoking needed.  Does not taste salty.  Excellent.

    Just did some, and it's awesome. 

    Throwing one piece on the smoker for taste testing right now.
  6. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

    i have never heard of using cure on smoked salmon until i started on this site. i live up in northern Canada with a very large native population and id be damned if they ever heard of cure. they smoke fish over a period of days. a light smudge to keep the bugs off and an air dry at the same time... all in the middle of summer. alot of salmon done this way and no one is getting sick. alot of Europeans do the cold smoke here as well and again no cure. it makes sense to me to use it .. BUT as i say i have never heard of it. cant even buy it in any stores here, you must order it.
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well Rackrat..... Most of the cases of botulism in the US are in Alaska... from cured fish, seal, etc... they should join the forum and learn something.... Once you get botulism, it's really ugly.... I promise you will only want to get it once.... It is really rare to get it.... it's just really bad...


    During 1985–2005, a total of 91 laboratory-confirmed outbreaks of foodborne botulism occurred in Canada; these outbreaks involved 205 cases and 11 deaths. Of the outbreaks, 75 (86.2%) were caused by Clostridium botulinum type E, followed by types A (7, 8.1%) and B (5, 5.7%). Approximately 85% of the outbreaks occurred in Alaska Native communities, particularly the Inuit of Nunavik in northern Quebec and the First Nations population of the Pacific coast of British Columbia. These populations were predominantly exposed to type E botulinum toxin through the consumption of traditionally prepared marine mammal and fish products. Two botulism outbreaks were attributed to commercial ready-to-eat meat products and 3 to foods served in restaurants; several cases were attributed to non-Native home-prepared foods. Three affected pregnant women delivered healthy infants. Improvements in botulism case identification and early treatment have resulted in a reduction in the case-fatality rate in Canada.
  8. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

    thanks for the info ......
    didnt say i wasnt going to use cure ...  LOL

    i have gained a great understanding about reasons for curing properly ... was just saying i never heard about cure on fish till i read it on here when i have been searching for smoked salmon recipes...


    i take my smoked goods to the proper IT. dont wanna get sick or make anyone else sick.

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