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View Full Version : need some guidance, bacon cure safety question...


BearSmokeBBQ
06-10-2017, 02:23 PM
Long story short...My GF got me a "Man Crate" as a present that contained an all in one bacon making kit. The cure they provide in the kit is Prague powder #2, and their recipe states "use about 2 teaspoons cure per pound". Now let me state I have never cured anything before this, but I have been talking about wanting to try it, so being the nice girl she is she got me this gift. My question is, is this safe? After reading the directions it seemed like the "Man crate" people were more interested in being funny than actually describing in detail how to use this product and left me with very little confidence in them. When I see people measuring their cure (most of what I've seen people use has said #1 not #2) in tenth or hundredths of grams and then the MC people are like "use about 2 teaspoons" I really question how much research they actually put into this.

Here are their instructions...(GF took the pictures so dont give me any grief about the pretty fingernails, their not mine lol)

dadsr4
06-10-2017, 02:30 PM
There will be answers.
Until then, Go to the search bar below
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa345/dadsr4/BBQ/Reference/Capture_zpsd9wxrerk.png
and do a search of the site, there have been plenty of posts.

cowgirl
06-10-2017, 02:40 PM
Definitely not written very well.

IamMadMan
06-10-2017, 02:49 PM
Long story short...My GF got me a "Man Crate" as a present that contained an all in one bacon making kit. The cure they provide in the kit is Prague powder #2, and their recipe states "use about 2 teaspoons cure per pound". Now let me state I have never cured anything before this, but I have been talking about wanting to try it, so being the nice girl she is she got me this gift. My question is, is this safe? After reading the directions it seemed like the "Man crate" people were more interested in being funny than actually describing in detail how to use this product and left me with very little confidence in them. When I see people measuring their cure (most of what I've seen people use has said #1 not #2) in tenth or hundredths of grams and then the MC people are like "use about 2 teaspoons" I really question how much research they actually put into this.

Here are their instructions...(GF took the pictures so dont give me any grief about the pretty fingernails, their not mine lol)

First, you do not use Cure#2 for bacon..... Are you sure you have read the label properly? Cure #2 is used for long term curing ( over 2 weeks) of drying sausage (Pepperoni, Salami, ect...).

I personally would not measure by teaspoon, but rather weigh the meat and then weigh out the proper amount of cure#1. But that is what I teach people who wish to cure their own meats.

.

Yellowhair42
06-10-2017, 02:57 PM
350 American degrees?:crazy:

BearSmokeBBQ
06-10-2017, 03:21 PM
First, you do not use Cure#2 for bacon..... Are you sure you have read the label properly? Cure #2 is used for long term curing ( over 2 weeks) of drying sausage (Pepperoni, Salami, ect...).

I personally would not measure by teaspoon, but rather weigh the meat and then weigh out the proper amount of cure#1. But that is what I teach people who wish to cure their own meats.

.

yeap, it says Prague powder #2, i double checked because all I have seen people use when researching this has been #1

Norm
06-10-2017, 04:11 PM
IamMadMan had a great tutorial on how to cure bacon.

BearSmokeBBQ
06-10-2017, 04:25 PM
IamMadMan had a great tutorial on how to cure bacon.

thank you, i will check it out!

dadsr4
06-10-2017, 04:36 PM
By the way, you are wise to ask questions.
Food poisoning is no joke. I ended up in the hospital with it a few years ago, we never found the source even though the local health department spent a while interviewing me, since it couldn't be traced to our house.

m-fine
06-10-2017, 04:46 PM
Cure 2 will work just fine. Both 1 and 2 have 6.25% sodium nitrite which is what you need for bacon. Cure 2 adds 1% sodium nitrate. The remainder of both is regular salt. You can use exactly the same amount of cure 2 as cure 1, but not vide versa.

I would recommend dosing it by weight rather than volume measure, but it is only critical is you are going to cold smoke it and eat it rare. If you fry bacon, it should get more than hot enough to denature botulism toxin even if everything else has gone wrong along the way.

IamMadMan
06-11-2017, 04:50 AM
While one might use cure#2 to for short cured items, but personally I would not use it. The principal of curing is that; all of the sodium nitrite is broken down into nitric oxide (a gas) and no nitrites remain in the meat. This will not happen in short term curing with cure #2 as both the nitrate and nitrite will still be present in the meat.

The reason for the "rule" to not interchange the cure is to restrict your intake of nitrates to USDA recommended levels of nitrites/nitrates, but while cooking at high heats may break down some of the remaining nitrites, will it break them all down?

Don’t be afraid to use curing salts, but do respect their potency. Keep them away from those who don't know how to use them. Make sure you understand how much you should be using in any given situation.

Critical Ingredient - Cure #1 and #2 (http://curedmeats.blogspot.com/2009/04/critical-ingredient-cure-1-and-2.html)

http://curedmeats.blogspot.com/2009/04/critical-ingredient-cure-1-and-2.html

Cure #2 specifically formulated to be used for making dry cured products such as pepperoni, hard salami, genoa salami, proscuitti hams, dried farmers sausage, capicola and more. These are products that do not require cooking, smoking, or refrigeration. Insta Cure™ No. 2 can be compared to the time release capsules used for colds--the sodium nitrate breaks down to sodium nitrite and then to nitric oxide to cure the meat over an extended period of time. Some meats require curing for up to 6 months. InstaCure #2 contains salt, sodium nitrite (6.25%) and sodium nitrate (1%).

The principal of curing is that; all of the sodium nitrite is broken down into nitric oxide (a gas) and no nitrites remain in the meat. With cure #2 you have nitrates, which have to break down into nitrites over time, and then the nitrites have to break down into nitric oxide which is then released as a gas.

This is curing salt #2, which is used in dry cured and fermented meat products that are not meant to be cooked. Cures cannot be used interchangeably, so do not use #2 as you would a cooked product with #1. Seriously, think about it, if one could successfully use cure #2 in place of cure #1, then why even sell two different formulations?


http://www.sausagemaking.org/acatalog/cure_2.html

https://www.butcherspantry.com/curing-ingredients/cure-2

https://books.google.com/books?id=uiP6TuF93yQC&pg=PA37&lpg=PA37&dq=using+cure+%232+in+place+of+cure+%231+fda&source=bl&ots=TfxZYXmdYP&sig=kV_MjiIlE-KGMpMLSTsDit65itQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiUr-nmwbXUAhUHOSYKHcafC7MQ6AEIVjAH#v=onepage&q=using%20cure%20%232%20in%20place%20of%20cure%20% 231%20fda&f=false



.

Sid Post
06-11-2017, 09:22 AM
IamMadMan, will salt packing "cure" meat safely?

Specifically, I do what I call rough butchering feral hogs, taking the front shoulders/butts and rear hams quickly with a sawz-all after gutting and packing covered in pure sea salt meant for salt water pools (pure NaCl salt crystals bulk packed).

I haven't seen any signs of trouble but, I am not a food biologist either. 3 or 4 hogs a day or 12 in a single night will certainly streamline the process if you butcher them instead using a backhoe to 'plant' them.

IamMadMan
06-11-2017, 11:03 AM
IamMadMan, will salt packing "cure" meat safely?

Specifically, I do what I call rough butchering feral hogs, taking the front shoulders/butts and rear hams quickly with a sawz-all after gutting and packing covered in pure sea salt meant for salt water pools (pure NaCl salt crystals bulk packed).

I haven't seen any signs of trouble but, I am not a food biologist either. 3 or 4 hogs a day or 12 in a single night will certainly streamline the process if you butcher them instead using a backhoe to 'plant' them.

It seems as if your process has worked for you. The bottom line is that it is simply a choice on how you choose to cure. You are not obligated on any method to cure, they are simply guidelines set in place by the USDA for reasons of food safety. Although they are not mandatory for home use, only in commercial processing, however they do set a guideline of safety for curing meats at home.

The salting and smoking of meat was an ancient practice even before the birth of Christ. "Meat Fermentation Worldwide: History and Principles" by Peter Zeuthen, claims that the Chinese were the first people to mention the process of raw cured ham. Peter Zeuthen also points out that Marcus Porcius Cato wrote about the "salting of hams" in "De Agri Cultura" dated about 160 BC. But undoubtedly the making of ham was well established during the age of the Roman Empire. Marcus Terentius Varro in his writings refers to an import trade of cured ham from the Gaul region of France. (reference: Meat Fermentation Worldwide: History and Principles" by Peter Zeuthen) These early processed meat products were prepared for only one purpose, their preservation for use at some future time.

The origin of the use of the recorded use of nitrite is lost in history. Salt containing nitrites, were used in Homerís time (850 B.C.) to preserve meat. Nitrites were present as a natural impurity in the salts used in curing the meat. Although nitrates were unknown to the users, it was a key ingredient in the curing process. The Romans learned the art of curing meat with salt from the Greeks, and were the first to note the reddening effect attributed to curing. Although the role of nitrites in cured meat was not really understood until early in the 20th century, it is clear that for thousands of years nitrites has played an important role in meat curing.

There has been and always will be debate on the use of nitrites and nitrates in curing meat. Some will argue that only salt it is needed as a curing agent. They argue that "mankind has cured meats for centuries without the use of these additives." This statement is only partially true, because mankind did not intentionally add the nitrites when curing, they were natural formations of nitrite in the salt. It is also impossible to tell how many people in these centuries actually died from food poisoning because of the extended incubation time of these lethal bacteria.

Today we have the medical technology to diagnose and treat food-borne illnesses, as unpleasant and painful as they may be, it is necessary to take precautions to avoid and prevent these food-borne illnesses.

But again, it is simply a choice, a guideline, and not a law for home curing meats.


Nitrites/Nitrates are necessary for safety in curing meat;
http://issue18.smokesignalsmagazine.com/ (Page 8)

m-fine
06-11-2017, 03:28 PM
Salt CAN be used to cure safely. One way is to always keep the temps out of the danger zone. The other is to know what you are doing and how to see when things go wrong no matter how rare that may be. The later is still practiced in Europe, by experts who spend a LONG time learning the craft and apprenticing. Personally, I am not willing to try learn in a few hours online or from books what it has traditionally taken people years to learn hands on with supervision.

mchar69
06-11-2017, 03:42 PM
I would never use cure #2 on bacon, corned beef.
It's the wrong cure. Sure it will work, but if you are feeding others,
it's irresponsible.
I would throw that 'gift' from your GF
into the garbage or return it if you can.
Then buy some #1.