smoking, curing, smoke cured.....

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by durangojo, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. durangojo

    durangojo

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    can someone enlighten me as to the difference? i'm getting a bit confused. i thought that smoking was curing.. that smoking did cure the meat.  i do know that there is cold smoked and hot smoked salmon, which is time and temperature determined....is the cold smoked salmon brined first before smoking? why is it considered not cured then? 

    the other night the waiter said that the rib eye 'bacon' was smoked, then rested, then cured....cured how? packed in salt? brined first?  so now i'm just confusing myself silly...

    joey
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Smoking, adding  chemicals, and fermentation are all ways of curing foods.

    Just that something was smoked, salted, nitrated/ited or brined, however doesn't necessarily mean it was cured.

    Curing originally meant that what was done was for a food preservation purpose. The meaning has grown now to mean those same type steps used for flavoring as well.

    It's kind of sloppy, but that's language.

    To me personally, curing means one of two things happened. You removed water, whether by smoking or salting (usually both). Or you let it age under the influence of salt and/or nitrates-nitrites. Or maybe all of them.

    I'm not a fan of using it to mean you added flavor.
     
  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Lots of people do consider the salmon cured while it was being salted. Gravlax, curing terminology is used for that all the time though it doesn't preserve the fish. It was a flavoring process, and yes, it removed water too but it's not any less perishable.

    Was it cured? That wouldn't be my choice of terms though you could fit it under my definition above.
     
  4. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97

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    So you don't think the extra salt content has any effect at all of how perishable the fish is?  I do wet brining of salmon often and then cold smoking and find the quality is preserved over an untreated fillet.  But that's just my personal impression.
     
  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Like I said, you can fit it in the definition I gave. My definition didn't address perishability.  Would I choose to use cured for that particular piece of fish? Not without knowing more about the brine, length of time in the brine and the smoking.

    And I think it's interesting that you use the terms "quality" is preserved".  I like it. Some quality is enhanced, others lost. It's not interchangeable in uses for the raw fillet. It now has uses the raw fillet isn't appropriate for.   But no, from the information so far, I wouldn't use the term cured. I probably just call it cold-smoked. It's more accurate, I feel, without the ambiguity "cured" has picked up.

    If you like to call it cured because it connotes extra keeping power to you, that's great.
     
  6. eastshores

    eastshores

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    Another aspect of curing that does have a direct correlation to flavor is fermentation, particularly with regard to dry cured meats.
     
     
  7. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97

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    No attachment to the term cured. I'm well aware of the difference. Now if I used sodium nitrite or nitrate in proper proportions I would use the term without hesitation
     
  8. durangojo

    durangojo

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    thanks all, but i guess my confusion is coming not from salmon but from the prime rib 'bacon' itself. in making regular pork bacon the steps are cure, age and smoke, correct? then it's ready to cook. the waiter said the beef was smoked, rested(i'm guessing that means aged?), then cured....not the same order as bacon where smoking is the last step. the term prime rib bacon is a new food buzz word for something that's probably been done under another name, but i have just never heard of it before and so was curious. think i'll just call the restaurant and ask the chef...maybe the terminology the waiter used was wrong....unless of course any of you might know. does salt curing preserve it then? 

    joey