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Old 09-03-2009, 08:00 PM   #1
Tuna Ball
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Default How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

I asked the wife to pickup some non-I salt for my brine. I trusted that's what she got until I was putting away ingredients after brining some tuna. I noticed the label said Iodized salt. So the question is, what is the harm in using the Iodized salt in the smoking process? Is it okay to brine and smoke? Do I drain/rinse and start again with non-I salt? Soy sauce makes up half the salt content of my brine, so it is less concentrated, at least. Thanks for any info or advise.

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Old 09-03-2009, 08:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

Some folks say iodized salt gives it a bit of an iodine or metallic taste. I kind of doubt it myself but haven't tried it. I'd say go ahead and smoke it and see how it turns out and let us all know!
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Old 09-04-2009, 05:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

I use regular iodized salt for smoking fish.

But when curing eggs its non iodized or sea salt.Only!
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Old 09-04-2009, 05:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

The smokehouse only use rock salt theat I know of.
They do powderize & mix with brown sugartoget a more even blend.

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Old 09-04-2009, 05:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

I made the mistake of making jerky once using iodized salt. The metallic taste was quite apparent. But since half of your salt content is coming from soy sauce, you should be fine.
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Old 09-04-2009, 05:56 AM   #6
Don Becker
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampersat View Post
I made the mistake of making jerky once using iodized salt. The metallic taste was quite apparent. But since half of your salt content is coming from soy sauce, you should be fine.
I had the same experience. Don
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Old 09-04-2009, 07:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuna Ball View Post
I asked the wife to pickup some non-I salt for my brine. I trusted that's what she got until I was putting away ingredients after brining some tuna. I noticed the label said Iodized salt. So the question is, what is the harm in using the Iodized salt in the smoking process? Is it okay to brine and smoke? Do I drain/rinse and start again with non-I salt? Soy sauce makes up half the salt content of my brine, so it is less concentrated, at least. Thanks for any info or advise.

I have used a variety of different salts over the years, with Kosher salt being my preference, but i can honestly say that iodized salt has never been a problem. These things are a constant process of experimentation, so take some notes and see what happens.

cheers,
Daniel

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Old 09-04-2009, 11:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

Thanks for the replies. I will proceed to smoke it after brine. I was worried the iodine could cause meat to break down or some other adverse result. I will let you know if there is a taste issue on final product.

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Old 09-04-2009, 11:51 AM   #9
The Trout Slammer
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

I could not tell the difference and i make jerky all the time
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Old 09-04-2009, 04:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

We have used both and see no difference. The iodized will give smoked salmon a redder color which to us looks better. So we usually go half and half with iodized and non-iodized or sea salt.

If you get a strong metallic flavor it could be because you brined your fish in a metal container. That is a definite no-no! Bleh! Don't ask me how I know this. Always use a plastic or glass container to brine.
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Old 09-04-2009, 05:08 PM   #11
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

Try Kosher salt, that is much better.
The best dry brine is this: NO WATER!
4 cups of light brown sugar
1/2 cup of Kosher salt
1 tsp of celery salt
1 tsp of onion salt
1 tsp of garlic power

Put in a dry bowl and mix togther.

I cut up my fish in smaller chunks so the smoke gets in the fish.

Put a layer at the bottom of a large pot and put a layer of fish and put the mixture on top, then the next layer and so on. Put the lid on and put in the fridge.

Depending on the amount of fish 12 -15 hours on the brine.

Take the fish out and swipe off the moisture with paper towels, it' ok to leave a bit of the mixture on the fish. aka squaw candy!

3 pans of hickory in a little chief smoker
My last batch was about 9 hours until done with the bigger chunks at the second from the bottom.

Take out and put in a cookie sheet wraped in foil for half an hour at room temp.

Then put in fridge until cool then vacuum pack and in a day or two you are now the super man of smoke fish!

Believe me this is the best I have found in my 51 years on this planet.

OB1
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Old 09-04-2009, 06:00 PM   #12
Bonneville Dan
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

I dry brine more often now, though sometimes the soy flavor is kind of nice. I use non-iodized salt, but only because my old, old Little Chief smoker booklet brine recipes specified it and I never had a reason to question it. Bradley smoker instructions don't mention iodized or non-iodized. Never noticed a metallic taste if iodized was occasionally used, but it might possibly be due in part to the beer (or beers) that typically accompanies the smoked fish.

Celery salt is tasty in lots of stuff like tuna or chicken salad sandwiches and smoked salmon dip, but we never tried it in the brine. Sounds good. Thanks for the idea.

Last edited by Bonneville Dan; 09-04-2009 at 06:03 PM. Reason: none specified
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Old 09-04-2009, 06:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

I am interested in the answers too. I have used both and can not tell any difference.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:20 PM   #14
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

Sea salt is my very strong preference. I used to smoke almost every fish I caught for about ten years. Winter steelhead, summer steelhead, spring chinook, coho, fall chinook--I really,really like smoked fish. I personally can taste the icky flavor of iodized salt, and greatly prefer sea salt. After you get used to the flavor of a better quality salt, that cheap iodized stuff tastes bad.

I don't think that it absolutely "ruins" fish--it's not poisonous or anything. The flesh of saltwater fish contains abundant iodine on its own,so there is no need for adding iodized salt for brining tuna.
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Old 09-05-2009, 02:16 AM   #15
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

I like pickling salt but I only use 1/4 cup for a dry rub. Unless you really need the meat to stand the test of time like jerky or trail food,less salt and eat it while fresh IMHO. If you can't eat it fast enough you WILL make friends giving out samples.
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:23 AM   #16
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

RESULTS:

Sorry for delay. I had to bounce the results off many eager volunteers. It is unanimous. No adverse taste with the iodized salt. Three of the responses were "Best smoked fish I've ever had". Those who know what mine usually taste like just gave the nod, MMMMMM, and asked for more.

One thing I noticed different was the post brine color change. Some of the pieces had a metallic green sheen to them that had me worried. I wanted to take some pics, but was in a hurry and hands were dirty. I proceeded to smoke. FYI: I use a gas smoker and run one large pan of apple chips at 200 for 1.5hrs (flip after 1hr) with 1' to 1.5" thick tuna loin medallions. This is half the time I do salmon fillet sections. I make sure the smoke is rolling pretty good before it hits the smoker or it will dry before the smoke is really going. The short run keeps the finished product moist yet firm.

Thanks for the replies and other tips for brine. I like the idea of adding some celery salt or powder. I may try sea salt. As for dry brine or other recipe changes, I think I'll stick with what I've got.

TB
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:19 AM   #17
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

The iodine content in iodized salt is in the parts-per-million range. Pure potassium or sodium iodide doesn't have much flavor beyond that of "salt" so at the ppm range you would be a million times less likely to notice any flavor contribution it might make.

The main reason why brines should be made with non-iodized salt is that RDA of iodine is about 150-200 micrograms/day, and you would get that from about a gram of iodized table salt. Since we typically hundreds of grams of salt to a brine recipe, you stand the chance of getting several times the RDA of iodine from cured meats.

I don't know what medical problems arise from over-intake of iodine, but I don't want to find out the hard way. From what I gather, feed a rat enough of anything and it will cause cancer...

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Old 09-11-2009, 12:19 PM   #18
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OB1 View Post
Try Kosher salt, that is much better.
The best dry brine is this: NO WATER!
4 cups of light brown sugar
1/2 cup of Kosher salt
1 tsp of celery salt
1 tsp of onion salt
1 tsp of garlic power

Put in a dry bowl and mix togther.

I cut up my fish in smaller chunks so the smoke gets in the fish.

Put a layer at the bottom of a large pot and put a layer of fish and put the mixture on top, then the next layer and so on. Put the lid on and put in the fridge.

Depending on the amount of fish 12 -15 hours on the brine.

Take the fish out and swipe off the moisture with paper towels, it' ok to leave a bit of the mixture on the fish. aka squaw candy!

3 pans of hickory in a little chief smoker
My last batch was about 9 hours until done with the bigger chunks at the second from the bottom.

Take out and put in a cookie sheet wraped in foil for half an hour at room temp.

Then put in fridge until cool then vacuum pack and in a day or two you are now the super man of smoke fish!

Believe me this is the best I have found in my 51 years on this planet.

OB1
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:35 PM   #19
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

Human taste buds can discern 20 to 500 parts per million when the flavor of a substance is actually tested, according to research on Bitrex, which is a bittering agent used to keep people safe from ingesting substances.

The people at Bitrex suggest that 30 parts per million is enough Bitrex to keep children or pets from accidentally ingesting substances that could be harmful.

Many people claim they cannot taste the difference between Coke and Pepsi, or the difference between cheap jug wine and labelled vintages.

Bitrex's chemcial name is denatonium benzoate.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:49 PM   #20
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Wink Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starfish View Post
iodized salt gives it a bit of an iodine or metallic taste.
that what i notice

we just use canning / pickling salt
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:53 PM   #21
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Default Re: How important is Non-Iodized salt for smoking fish?

Herring for bait and fish for the smoker: Chlorinated Tap Water and any salt that I have in the kitchen at the time.
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