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Posts posted by kaatje

  1. Is that burning gel something other than Sterno? Because Sterno has a pretty unpleasant odor as it burns, if I remember correctly. I don't think I'd want my food in an enclosed space with Sterno fumes.

    I do not know Sterno. I buy something that is called "Gastro Heat" by Bolsius, a Dutch firm. It's more or less odourless since it's normal use is indoors. For that reason also it's not harmful in any way. I'm sure there must be an equivalent where you live.

    Also, the fire is separate from the smoke chamber. But yes, the smoke does go to the food so I'm careful in what I use. Like you, I don't want any nasty smells or anything on my food.

  2. Cold smokes some salmon last week with a similar construction which turned out excellent . After several tries I now use a burning gel for food. It's a little pot with ethanol gel to be used to keep food hot on a buffet. Put it in the bottom of my burner with above it some foil with holes poked in it and woodchips on it. The pot burns for eight hours, no temperature change. All I do is top up the woodchips. Easy!

    That is a geat idea!!!!! Thanks...


    Make sure you get some distance between the pot and the woodchips. You want them in the flame but not right on the pot. Look for the hottest part of the flame.

  3. Cold smokes some salmon last week with a similar construction which turned out excellent . After several tries I now use a burning gel for food. It's a little pot with ethanol gel to be used to keep food hot on a buffet. Put it in the bottom of my burner with above it some foil with holes poked in it and woodchips on it. The pot burns for eight hours, no temperature change. All I do is top up the woodchips. Easy!

  4. gallery_42308_5747_29188.jpg


    Thanks to Derek I could build my own cold smoke room. And it works! :smile: I'm planning on cold smoking my own salmon. Farmed I'm afraid. it's almost impossible to buy wild and if you can it costs an arm and a leg.

    But how long would you salt a half a salmon (approximately?) I have recipes varying from 1 to 36 hours! And again, how long do you smoke it for? I can sure use your expertise! :unsure: I'm aiming for the traditional Scots smoked salmon.

  5. If you mean the hand-cranked sausage stuffer, it's fantastic. No problems at all. Worth every penny.

    Yes, that's it. I know you were all enthusiastic but I was wondering how they hold up after being used for some time. I remember reading about hte Grizzly being Chinese and an other stuffer that was similar but a lot more expensive. Obviously I don't want to spent more than necessary. But buying something and hen not using it seems a shame.

    Luckily the dollar is very cheap! :wink: Even makes up for the postage!

  6. First post and all here. Looking forward to participating.

    Just made my first ever batch of sausages using the basic recipe from "the book" and it went pretty darn well. My butcher recommended pork neck and I've no complaints.

    I did read somewhere that you can keep the spare casings in the fridge and they'll last well but can't track down the details.  Can anyone fill me in?



    My butcher recommended keeping the spare casings in the fridge with a lot of salt (enough to cover) and a bit of water. I'm new at this but so far it seems to work. They're in the fridge for three weeks now and look and smell all-right. I just take what I need and rinse them well before using.

  7. I have been reading up on all the older posts and just reached the posts about hot/cold smoking.

    I used a very simple smoker. Made a very small fire which turned out to be incredibly difficult to maintain. Added wet wood-chips. On the bowl above I threw blocks of ice. Above that my bacon. The air temperature in the top was about 20-25' C. Smoked it for about 5-6 hours (Like I said, it was difficult to keep it going.) Got it out, left it resting for an other hour. Never thought about measuring the internal meat temp. since I was cold smoking. I will try and add some foto's. It's now in cheesecloth and in the fridge. I didn't think I needs extra cooking since it will be cooked before eating. Or is it necessary for keeping?

    But the proof of the pudding (or bacon) is in the eating. I'll let you know tonight.

  8. Thank you. Followed your advice and covered it. Tonight it was dry enough to give my smoker a first try. Temperature is excellent (20-25' C.) Find it difficult to keep it burning. I made a small fire with brikkets. Once they were grey I put on some wet wood chips. I also have some saw-dust but no idea how to use it. I leave it for tonight (it's cold outside!) and start it up again tomorrow morning. This better be the best bacon ever!

  9. I'm just curing my first bacon, so hardly an expert. But if you are curing pork like coppa it seems to me you are making coppa! Even with the small variations.

    Like I said, I'm curing my first bacon and I'm sorry but I have lots of questions! Got my bacon out of the fridge, rinsed and dried it. It looks just right. Tasted a bit and everything seems OK. Put it back to dry and now, after 24 hours it has a wonderful "skin".

    I also improvised a smoker. Now my problem: it's absolutely pouring! No way I can start smoking outsite (no shelter). So can I just leave it in the fridge (and for how long?), do I cover it with cling-film or something?

  10. I'm very sure mine is 0.6%

    Of course I didn't have any patience so I decided to discard the liquid (stupid!) dried the pork lightly and added a handful of cure. Ok, I know, if you don't know what you are doing leave alone.

    On the bright site. It's in the fridge, turned every day and I already planned to leave it there for a week and then rinse and dry.

    I like it on the salty side, so I hope I'll be all-right in the end.

  11. So if I understand correctly, I use about 35 grams of salt per kilogram of witch o,6 % (0,2grams) is nitrite. My belly is 3 kilo's so I should have used 105 grams of salt. My 70 grams are not enough. I used 70 grams because the book said to use 50 grams of the dry cure mix for 2.25 kilo of meat. What should I do? Just ad some extra salt for the rest of the curing time (about four days?). And should I discard the liquid?

    Thanks's again guys for letting me in on your knowledge and experience.

  12. Thanks for helping me out! I used what is sold as "colorozozout". It is ordinary salt mixed with 0.6% nitrite.It says so on the bucket and my butcher confirmed it. In Holland all butchers use it and they use it pure.

    I figured that if you make a dry cure mix of 50 grams American pink salt (6,5%) with 450 gr kosher like in the book (and 225 gr sugar) the end result will have 0,6% nitrite. I mixed the sugar in 500 gr. colorozozout and used 70 grams of the mix for 6,5 pond of belly. So I should be all right with the dry cure. Other recipes will be more of a problem so I keep looking.

    So far my belly looks and smells ok. I was actually more worried about using not enough salt. I read "The rivercottage cookbook" Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall. He rubs the meat with salt-mix, discards the liquid every day and then rubs the meat with fresh salt. His other recipes work.... But since my meat seems ok I decided to stick with "charcuterie".

    My next worry is the smoking. Cold, warm, just oven roosted or do I leave it "green"? And how do I do it? I have till Sunday or Monday to decide and think up with a solution.

    A baby seems to be less troublesome! At least you know what they need! But what fun!

  13. Thank you for your welcome!

    I'm afraid my butcher won't be able to help me. Higher nitrite salt can't be used by law. On the other hand, we make some decent cured meats in Europe without it so it can be done. Otherwise I'll have to try the internet.

    Funny, here duck (that is farmed duck) is not as expensive as decent pork.

    I already made some sausages. They ware a huge succes. I invested in a German metal grinder and stuffer to go with my Kitchenaid. Worked like a dream. Which made me very happy because I heard different about the plastic KA grinder.

    Today my butcher called me and told me he can arrange a pigs head for me if I want it. I said yes....!

  14. Hello, I'm new here and very pleased to have found this forum. I'm Dutch so please excuse my spelling!

    Yesterday I started my first home made bacon! Tried my hand at sausages and becoming more ambitious. I turned out to be more challenging than I thought. Got a lovely bit of belly, farm reared, but without skin. Decided to use it anyway. Than the salt. Pink salt over here has a nitrite of 0.6%

    I know the book says 6%. But I figured tot 450 gr of kosher mixed with 50 gr. of pink would end up in 0.6 % nitrate so I used my pink salt pure. Mixed with sugar I coated my belly (6.5 pounds) with 70 gr. of the suger/salt mix and put it in the fridge. I would have liked to use the maple syrup for the canadian bacon, it sounds delicious. But that cure has a much higher nitrite % and I can't copy that.

    Now I need to figure out what to do next. I have till next Saturday for that. Don't own a smoker so I'll have to improvise. Perhaps half in the oven, no smoking alas, and half in an improvised smoker. I was thinking to use a dustbin, put an electric plate in it with the chips on top. Hang the bacon in it and close the lit.

    After reading more I also discovered I could possibly use the bbq. I have a small gas bbq and a very old Webber. Now I have to find out how to control the temperature.

    Any tips are more than welcome!

    Next project will be the duckham. See if I can find a place that is humid and cold enough. Figured duck would be the best to start with. Wouldn't want to spoil an expensive bit of pork on a first try!

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