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Cold Smoked Salmon - #1 or #2 or none at all?

rtt121rtt121 Posts: 420
edited February 2013 in EggHead Forum

I am going to cold smoke a salmon in the next week or two.  Normally I use Morton Tender Quick for my cures which is .5% nitrite and .5% nitrate.

I have been thinking of getting some pink salt (#1) as it does not contain the nitrAtes. 

I have read that if you are planning on cooking the end product that nitrAtes should not be used. Nitrates=dry cures no cook

My question comes from the fact that most recipes I see for smoked salmon use #1 which only has the nitrites. Which is the opposite from what I have read as I do not plan on ever cooking it.

Short question: Cure with #1, Cure with my Tenderquick, Salt cure without either nitrites or nitrates?


  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,742
    Some people cook cold smoked salmon, that's the reason you see #1 cure used.  When I cooked at a restaurant back in the day, we had one dish where the lox was sauteed.

    I'd get some #1 cure if you plan on doing a lot of curing (bacon, for example).  You have a lot more flexibility with the curing salts than the tender quick.  For example, you can cure with different ratios of salt.  Always follow the instructions on the ratio of nitrate or nitrite to the food you're curing.  The salt is adjustable.

    You don't need the cure for the salmon, I've heard of not using it at all, but it's a good safety measure, especially when cold smoking and for shelf life if vacuum sealed.
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  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 420
    Thank you! That makes sense. I will get some. I may go the salt only route as it will probably be consumed the same day I smoke it.
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