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55

The salmon will get water logged and mushy (and consequently release a lot of water during the cooking process) if you omit the bag. It's not unsafe, but it will decrease the quality of the salmon.


38

Your pan was too hot. Cast iron pans can get ripping hot (which is good) and retain heat very well (which is also good). But, on the other hand, if you have a thicker piece of meat and want medium doneness, you should not start with maximum heat, depending on your stove. If your pan is really that hot that the outside looks burned while the inside is still ...


20

Osmotic Pressure If you boil vegetables in water, some of the compounds from within the cells will leach out of the vegetables into the water. The reason is because vegetables are bags of water with goodies inside and a semi-permeable membrane holding them together (the skin). The compounds inside (vitamins and other micro-nutrients) look around and say: &...


16

If you don't fancy cooking in aluminium foil (kind of takes the point away), you need to make sure you have a super clean, extremely hot grill. Why? Clean (No tasty burnt fat from the burgers), flesh sticks like #### to a blanket. You can get away with it when cooking steaks because they are just so much stronger. So get a wire brush and clean an area for ...


15

Use aluminum foil or even non-stick aluminum foil directly on the grate. You can use a fork to punch holes in it so that you get optimal smoke circulation if you like. The fish won't stick and clean-up is a breeze.


15

The very short answer: You had bad temperature control. You have to leave meat on the skillet until the proper internal temperature is reached. If the outside burns before that, then you used too high heat. Also, if you have a very thick steak, you may need to use more involved methods. A longer answer: It is absolutely normal that cast iron behaves very ...


13

It just has to get to 145F for safety, and in boiling water that happens really fast. 5-10 minutes is totally believable. On top of that, fish is really unpleasant when overcooked, so you really want the minimum possible cooking. (For that reason, boiling is not usually a great way to cook fish - you tend to overcook it easily, especially the outside.) Note ...


11

Yes, if you use brine! (And keep an eye on it to make sure you don't leave it in too long after thawing.) It's interesting that Lawnmower Man brings up osmotic pressure. Though he makes some very good points, he missed the fact that you aren't bound to using plain water; you can balance the osmotic pressure by adding salt (or sugar, which is common when ...


10

Your set-up is fine. You'll probably eventually want to trade in the stock-pot for something like this: But there is no reason that the set-up you have shouldn't make great salmon. I have exactly that set-up (including the stock-pot for now, but the square polypolycarbonate container is on order). 125F for one hour is pretty close to bare minimum time and ...


9

Technically, steelhead is an ocean-going subspecies of rainbow trout (a term more commonly applied to fish who live only in fresh water). They're definitely related, though; salmon, trout, and char (you can often find Arctic char in the fish case alongside salmon) are all members of the Salmonidae family. As such they're pretty similar from a culinary ...


8

Normally salmon soup is made with salmon cut into 1cm to 2cm cubes or similar pieces. At that size immersed in simmering stock, it does indeed only take salmon about 5 minutes to cook fully (see Serious Eats recipe, which cooks it for 3 minutes). Try fishing a piece out after that time; you'll see that it's cooked through. If you're really concerned with ...


8

I feel I must offer a contradicting opinion to @rumtscho's answer. The product you seem to have is indeed shown in the catalogue at the page of "smoked salmon" products, but note that it is the only one not being named "cold smoked", but "marinated". And just by the looks of it I assume this is actually Gravlax: raw salmon, ...


7

I would strongly recommend against consuming this fish. In general you should cook fresh fish on the same day you bought it and not store cooked fish in the fridge for longer than a maximum of two days. Changes in colour, smell or texture are commonly a strong indicator that the fish has gone bad and eating it comes with a risk of a scombroid food poisoning.


6

You said you purchased the fillets at Trader Joe's. TJs sells the fillets frozen. My guess is that the salmon wasn't fully defrosted before you put it in the water bath. Given that the salmon started out partly frozen, it would take longer to cook.


6

Yes, if it was still OK when it went into the freezer, and has been frozen the whole time, it is still safe. That's true of all foods - if kept frozen, food will remain safe indefinitely. Quality of taste, appearance and texture are likely to have taken hits in that period of time, however.


6

Yes, you can. If the frozen salmon is of high quality, there is no reason based on the food science that it should not work. Many of the recipes and articles on the web indicate that you should (or sometimes can) start with frozen salmon. Some, including Cooking for Engineers, specifically recommend using frozen salmon to reduce the risk from parasites: ...


6

I believe the image you are showing is of fresh-caught salmon which is on racks being air dryed or smoked. The pattern you see are cuts made in the flesh to aid in the process. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has an information sheet on smoking and drying fish. Cutting is done so that the fish will dry quickly by exposing as much surface area as ...


6

So, first, I don't think that gravlax looks that bad. Gravlax is never going to be the uniform peach/orange color that cold smoked salmon is (lox). It just looks a little bit under-cured. There are two things I do that are different from you, when I make Gravlax: I cure it for a minimum of 72 hours, turning every 12 hours or so (and pressing the whole ...


5

Sushi fishes are usually flash frozen for a few days before being used for safety (to kill off bugs) It might change the texture of the fish as it is unfrozen; the better the restaurant the better the fish will be unfrozen. http://www.pbs.org/food/fresh-tastes/myth-sushi-grade/ For fish that contain parasites, the FDA provides guidance under their ...


5

A fair amount of cooks and recipes disagree with the official guidelines when it comes to salmon's desired cooking temperature. The 145F guideline applies to all fish and shellfish, and is meant as a safety standard, not a culinary guideline. I've seen target temperatures for salmon ranging from 120 to 150F (most being in the 120-135F range). The main ...


5

Yes, the FDA has determined that astaxanthin is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS), at 0.15 mg/serving. This doesn't indicate whether there are any health considerations associated with it (that's not on topic for this site), but it's not poisonous.


4

This is a matter of personal preference. Assuming you are sauteeing or pan frying (as it would make no difference for poaching, for example): There is no reason that you cannot put butter and olive oil in a non-stick pan. Use a traditional pan if you want fond (the brown flavorful bits) to form at the bottom of the pan, to use as a the basis of a pan ...


4

To stop salmon skin from sticking: Use a sharp knife, and with a motion against the scales' direction, remove any leftover scales and tear the outer skin so that you get a nice diamond pattern. Pat the skin dry with enough paper towels so that there is absolutely no moisture left to be removed. This step is crucial - don't skimp on the paper towels! Oil ...


4

Steelhead is not salmon. Salmon Trout and Steelhead are types of trout, an entirely different fish from the same family of fish as salmon. A salmon is always a salmon, but a Steelhead starts its life out as a Rainbow Trout. If the Rainbow Trout migrates to the ocean, it becomes a Steelhead. If it never goes to the ocean, it stays a rainbow trout for its ...


4

I find the two very close in flavor and would say it is probably a matter of taste. If offered one and told it was the other I would probably believe it. That is not the case with most wild caught salmon. The Steelhead (scientific name Oncorhynchus mykiss) is a rainbow trout (a type of salmon) that has gone to live in the ocean. They are from the same ...


4

Sorry, I know that this is old, but I wanted to follow up with some related data. Caveat: I'm not a scientist, but my dad was a biochemist who worked in the aquatic biology field for more than 50 years, and I picked up a few things. In 2001, a multi-species study was done on several species of fish including two types of local salmonid trout - cutthroat ...


4

Maybe you have a bad fishmonger ? they do a bad job by not removing the scales? Maybe the expect the regular clients not eating the skin? Can't talk about California, but here in Montréal, fish sold in supermarkets are scaled, especially if the fish is sold in portions. It is harder to remove scales in filleted portions.


4

The smoked salmon is stored frozen and released periodically for retail sale or The fish is stored frozen and then thawed before smoking. I frequently buy thinly sliced smoked salmon frozen in vacuum packaging.


4

The problem will be one of temperature difference. The outermost mm of your salmon will thaw immediately but the innermost one will still be raw. Some meat thermometers will work in water but i doubt that they will be accurate in a thin filet as they are mostly for use in large chunks of meat. So the only good way to check fore done-ness is to cut the ...


4

I'd strongly advice against that. A cure only works as long as the salt and sugar concentrations are high enough. And although Gravlax does a decent job of infusing the salmon with both the content in the salmon itself is not nearly high enough to keep it preserved, it is the crust on the fish itself that keeps it ok to eat. It is not a problem to keep your ...


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