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Thread: Chef here

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    Member kruppstahl's Avatar
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    Exactly what are the temperatures that qualify a food as "cold smoked?" I wet brine and smoke a lot of salmon every year. The trick to wet brining is to dry the fish before it goes in the smoker. I lay the pieces of salmon out on the kitchen table which is under a ceiling fan, turned on high, the pot of brined fish has spent the night in the refer. The brine is nothing more than salt and water, but after the fish is dry I put brown sugar in a flour sifter and VERY lightly sift a thin layer of brown sugar on the fish. Anyway while smoking it I never let the temperature in the smoker rise above 160 degrees and usually its closer to 140 degrees if I can help it. Is that cold smoked?

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    Senior Member blabbermouth OCDshaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kruppstahl View Post
    Exactly what are the temperatures that qualify a food as "cold smoked?" I wet brine and smoke a lot of salmon every year. The trick to wet brining is to dry the fish before it goes in the smoker. I lay the pieces of salmon out on the kitchen table which is under a ceiling fan, turned on high, the pot of brined fish has spent the night in the refer. The brine is nothing more than salt and water, but after the fish is dry I put brown sugar in a flour sifter and VERY lightly sift a thin layer of brown sugar on the fish. Anyway while smoking it I never let the temperature in the smoker rise above 160 degrees and usually its closer to 140 degrees if I can help it. Is that cold smoked?

    Not exactly. Cold smoking is not that hot. To cold smoke, you don't want the temps to get much hotter than say 90 degrees. 140 is way too high. When cold smoking salmon, you don't want to cook the fish at all. Once the fish starts to get beyond 100 degrees, the texture begins to change. Your process is unlike that of traditional smoked salmon but it is common to your area in the north west. A dry cure pulls water out making the flesh more dense for slicing thin. And the wet brine you are using is probably what is making establishing a pelickle so difficult, hence all the effort to dry it after brining. But your end result is probably very different from what I try to do.

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    Senior Member Chugach68's Avatar
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    Has anyone ever used a Himalayan salt block for cooking on? I just got one today. It is about 8"x12" or so.
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    Member kruppstahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCDshaver View Post
    Not exactly. Cold smoking is not that hot. To cold smoke, you don't want the temps to get much hotter than say 90 degrees. 140 is way too high. When cold smoking salmon, you don't want to cook the fish at all. Once the fish starts to get beyond 100 degrees, the texture begins to change. Your process is unlike that of traditional smoked salmon but it is common to your area in the north west. A dry cure pulls water out making the flesh more dense for slicing thin. And the wet brine you are using is probably what is making establishing a pelickle so difficult, hence all the effort to dry it after brining. But your end result is probably very different from what I try to do.
    Yeah no doubt there are a lot of differences. Due to my line of work I got around quite a bit (geographically speaking) and found that smoked salmon in almost all other places in the world was distinctly different from the norm found in Alaska and the Great Pacific Northwest. Usually the eater will find smoked salmon from the PNW to be saltier and, what we call, "hard smoked". I have always assumed that this was due to the local Native American influence, at least the hard smoked part. Where the smoking was a form of preservation. Now of course our palates are more or less fixed to the idea that smoked means hard smoked.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth OCDshaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chugach68 View Post
    Has anyone ever used a Himalayan salt block for cooking on? I just got one today. It is about 8"x12" or so.
    I have one but have not used it to cook on. But I am aware of one significant issue may encounter. The high temps you'll need to bring it to could easily crack the salt slab. I've been told that if you intend to use it that way, bring it up to temp slowly, increasing your oven temp by 50 or 100 degrees. If the slab you have already has natural cracks in it or lines, it may be more prone to breaking than another. But I've been told that they all will over time.
    Chugach68 likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kruppstahl View Post
    Yeah no doubt there are a lot of differences. Due to my line of work I got around quite a bit (geographically speaking) and found that smoked salmon in almost all other places in the world was distinctly different from the norm found in Alaska and the Great Pacific Northwest. Usually the eater will find smoked salmon from the PNW to be saltier and, what we call, "hard smoked". I have always assumed that this was due to the local Native American influence, at least the hard smoked part. Where the smoking was a form of preservation. Now of course our palates are more or less fixed to the idea that smoked means hard smoked.
    My understanding is that the native influence is exactly where the pnw process derives from.

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    Regardless of smoking salmon or cooking on salt, be sure to join the rest of us in the "Just wanted to share tonight's dinner" thread. We would love to have your contributions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccase39 View Post
    Just wanted to say hello. I was scrolling through some of these threads and see many of you guys share my passion of fine food. I own a restaurant here in the New Orleans area and if any of you guys wanna talk food, share recipes, talk restaurants, or anything let me know. We started a recipe thread on one football board I am on where members can all post some of their favorite recipes. Over time it became a great reference and was filled with all kinds of recipes from different backgrounds and ethnicities. Anyway anyone wanna talk food or need anything let me know.
    Hey, it's been some 15 or 16 years since I've been in a commercial kitchen. But would love to get some recipes from New Orleans. I have a few recipes I really should share.

    Currently working on a bordelaise sauce.

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