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Pstores
03-16-2018, 06:57 PM
I lost the link to this recipe I am trying. Itís a cure and not a brine. I am going to smoke it. Just curious what you guys think. Do I rinse it well then smoke. Or smoke without rinsing? Or does anyone recognize the recipe? Been searching online for hours. I give up.... lol

Try this with a brisket flat.

3/4 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon pink curing salt (Prague powder #1, NOT Himalayan pink salt, which is entirely different)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
1 tablespoon allspice berries
6 whole cloves
1 tablespoon ground ginger
6 bay leaves, roughly torn


INSTRUCTIONS

Pat the brisket dry with paper towels.
Combine the salt, pink (curing) salt, and sugar together in a bowl.Corned beef curing mixture, slat, pink salt, sugar
Place the brisket in a rimmed baking sheet.
Rub the brisket all over with the salt/sugar mixture. If there is any extra salt mixture, pile it on/under the brisket in the pan.APplying the cure to the brisket for corned beef
Combine the spices in a bowl.Spice mixture for homemade corned beef
Rub the spices all over the surfaces.Corned beef ready to refrigerate with spices on it
Cover the brisket and pan tightly with plastic wrap.
Place in the refrigerator.
Unwrap it, flip it and rewrap it a few times over the next 7-10 days.Cure the corned beef for 7-10 days, flipping occasionally
Thatís it! homemade corned beef is just 7-10 days away! Tune in next week when we tell you how to cook your amazing corned beef and cabbage!

mowin
03-16-2018, 06:59 PM
1 tbsp cure seems like a lot. How much does the brisket weight?

IamMadMan
03-16-2018, 07:07 PM
I agree

1 tbsp cure seems like a lot. How much does the brisket weight?

Although I don't agree with measuring, here is a reference that might assist you.

Usage for Prague Powder: Use 1 oz. of cure for 25 lb. of meat or 1 level teaspoon of cure for 5 lb. of meat. 3 tsp = 1 TBS which would be for 15 pounds of beef.
https://www.americanspice.com/prague-powder-no-1-pink-curing-salt/


Cures are typically measured according to the weight of the meat being cured in the recipe.

Cure #1 - the ratio is 0.25% (Multiplier .0025) x weight of meat in grams
Salt - the ratio is 3% (Multiplier .03) x weight of meat in grams
Sugar - the ratio is 1.25% (Multiplier .0125) x weight of meat in grams

Weigh the brisket/flat in grams, record the weight and multiply using the above Multiplier to get the exact ratio for each ingredient.

EXAMPLE:
If you have a brisket that weighs 1 Kilogram (1000 grams) the results would be as follows...



Weight of brisket = 1000 grams

Cure #1 - 1000 X .0025 = 2.5 Grams of Cure #1

Salt - 1000 X .03 = 30 Grams of Salt

Then add your aromatics (spices) as indicated above.

Pstores
03-16-2018, 07:31 PM
It was a 6 pound..... The butcher I buy my curing salt from also suggested the same amount. But thatís not the issue. Itís already been in the refrigerator for 7 days. Question is do I rinse or not?

mowin
03-16-2018, 08:02 PM
The question I'd be asking, is the amount of cure #1 you used safe?

But if you want to go forward, slice a piece off and fry it up for a taste. If too salty, soak it.

IamMadMan
03-16-2018, 08:04 PM
It was a 6 pound..... The butcher I buy my curing salt from also suggested the same amount. But that’s not the issue. It’s already been in the refrigerator for 7 days. Question is do I rinse or not?

I would be concerned with the amount of cure used, it's 300% of the recommended usage amount, and well outside of USDA guidelines.

Extreme caution must be exercised in using these cures; never use more than the amount called for in the recipe. All curing agents are designed to be used at the rate specified in the formulation or recipe. When used as directed, curing salts are completely safe for home use.

It is also important to remember that more is not better because it can be toxic. Nitrites can change normal hemoglobin (the chemical in the blood responsible for oxygen transport) to methemoglobin. Nitrates increase the methemoglobin count, thus reducing the ability of the blood to transport oxygen to cells and organs. Oxygen starvation can lead to a bluish tint of the lips, ears, and nose in slight cases and severe cases can lead to respiratory problems, and heart problems.

.

Pedro7
03-16-2018, 08:22 PM
I'd soak it. I'm following amazingribs.com recipe. He called for 2tsp of #1 for 4lbs of meat. Next part is to rinse and then simmer, not boil, for 30 minutes. Empty the pot and add new water. Then, cook with all the veggies.

Pstores
03-16-2018, 08:29 PM
Iíll check with the butcher again tomorrow before I cook it. He gave me enough to do what he said was 12 pounds. I used less than half.

-Chris-
03-16-2018, 08:32 PM
I would be concerned with the amount of cure used, it's 300% of the recommended usage amount, and well outside of USDA guidelines.

.


Has the USDA fairly recently reduced their guidelines for curing salt? I have ruhlman's charcuterie book and his recommendations are pretty high as well compared to the current standard of 200ppm. He suggests 2 tsp per 5 pounds of bacon. I like the following calculator:

http://www.localfoodheroes.co.uk/calculator/dry_cure_bacon/

Look at what I found with a little googling:

By contrast, the amount of nitrite allowed by
USDA to be added to cured meats is miniscule at no
more than 156 parts per million. In most cases, the
amount added is 120 parts per million or less and aft er
processing the amount remaining in the fi nal product
is typically 10 parts per million or less. This amount is
approximately one-fift h the level of 25 years ago

https://www.meatinstitute.org/index.php?ht=a/GetDocumentAction/i/44170

Pstores
03-16-2018, 08:45 PM
Has the USDA fairly recently reduced their guidelines for curing salt? I have ruhlman's charcuterie book and his recommendations are pretty high as well compared to the current standard of 200ppm. He suggests 2 tsp per 5 pounds of bacon. I like the following calculator:

http://www.localfoodheroes.co.uk/calculator/dry_cure_bacon/

Look at what I found with a little googling:

By contrast, the amount of nitrite allowed by
USDA to be added to cured meats is miniscule at no
more than 156 parts per million. In most cases, the
amount added is 120 parts per million or less and aft er
processing the amount remaining in the fi nal product
is typically 10 parts per million or less. This amount is
approximately one-fift h the level of 25 years ago

https://www.meatinstitute.org/index.php?ht=a/GetDocumentAction/i/44170

Yes I did some googling also. And found a few recipes call for 2 teaspoons per 5 pounds of meat. That's 1 teaspoon away from this recipe. 3 t=1 T...... Ummmm, so what do you guys think about that? And keep in mind this is a dry cure. Is more used in the dry curing process vs wet brining?

-Chris-
03-16-2018, 08:49 PM
Yes I did some googling also. And found a few recipes call for 2 teaspoons per 5 pounds of meat. That's 1 teaspoon away from this recipe. 3 t=1 T...... Ummmm, so what do you guys think about that? And keep in mind this is a dry cure. Is more used in the dry curing process vs wet brining?

I think not all the recipes that you find online are up to the latest USDA standards. You are probably just fine. Can you weigh your cure? I know my cure only weighed 5 grams per tsp vs 7g that was suggested in the cookbook. When curing, you should weigh everything, not rely on volume measurements.

Chris

Pstores
03-16-2018, 09:17 PM
It was 12 grams per tablespoon. So about double what the formula above calls for at 6.25 grams.

fantomlord
03-17-2018, 05:59 AM
With a wet (brine) cure, you account for the weight of the water as well, correct? For example, 1000 g of meat + 3000 g of water, you would use 4000g to calculate?

I agree



Although I don't agree with measuring, here is a reference that might assist you.

Usage for Prague Powder: Use 1 oz. of cure for 25 lb. of meat or 1 level teaspoon of cure for 5 lb. of meat. 3 tsp = 1 TBS which would be for 15 pounds of beef.
https://www.americanspice.com/prague-powder-no-1-pink-curing-salt/


Cures are typically measured according to the weight of the meat being cured in the recipe.

Cure #1 - the ratio is 0.25% (Multiplier .0025) x weight of meat in grams
Salt - the ratio is 3% (Multiplier .03) x weight of meat in grams
Sugar - the ratio is 1.25% (Multiplier .0125) x weight of meat in grams

Weigh the brisket/flat in grams, record the weight and multiply using the above Multiplier to get the exact ratio for each ingredient.

EXAMPLE:
If you have a brisket that weighs 1 Kilogram (1000 grams) the results would be as follows...



Weight of brisket = 1000 grams

Cure #1 - 1000 X .0025 = 2.5 Grams of Cure #1

Salt - 1000 X .03 = 30 Grams of Salt

Then add your aromatics (spices) as indicated above.

mowin
03-17-2018, 06:15 AM
In a wet brine the amount of cure #1 is usually 1 tabs for every gal of water. Dry curing uses less cure.

Pstores
03-17-2018, 08:26 AM
I just got a message back from the Owner of the shop. Your all correct at 6 grams for the 5.5 pounds. So, I have 11-12 grams about double. Ummmmm...... Question really is safe or not?

mowin
03-17-2018, 08:57 AM
5.5 # would require 6.23 g of cure #1 @ 6.25%.

Pstores
03-17-2018, 09:14 AM
Yes thatís correct. I was using round numbers. So the question is now. Since I used about 196.7% too much. Is it safe to smoke? Or would you toss it?

Smoke Dawg
03-17-2018, 09:38 AM
I consider Mad man the expert in this area.

I would soak it in water changing the water several times and cook a slice to check for how salty it is.

mowin
03-17-2018, 09:47 AM
I consider Mad man the expert in this area.

I would soak it in water changing the water several times and cook a slice to check for how salty it is.

That will help reduce the salt, but not sure it would reduce the cure the meat absorbed. The salt in cure #1 is only added as a carrier so to speak, and to make it easier to measure.

Don't know how to figure out PPM. That would tell you if your in the safe range. Believe the safe amount for a dry cure is 100 ppm, and 200 for a wet cure.

thirdeye
03-17-2018, 09:48 AM
I agree you used a recipe calling for way too much pink salt. I would toss it as curing salts should be weighed as accurately as possible (I go by weight), but the point is with pink salt, you don't have much room for error, and we're talking food safety here.

That said I've seen numerous recipes that called for incorrect amounts of pink salt, one in particular referred to it as sodium nitrite (which is the active ingredient), and if a user did happen to purchase it and use it full strength the results could have been disastrous. A message to the publisher and author went unanswered. An entry level product for home curing is Morton's Tender Quick. It was specifically designed for home use and is a tick more forgiving than pink salt.


Here are the two sources to that recipe you posted. It appears the first one used the second as a reference.

https://blog.thermoworks.com/2018/03/homemade-corned-beef-with-temperature-tips-for-success/

https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/03/homemade-corned-beef-brisket-with-potatoes-cabbage-carrots-recipe.html#comments-28232

Pstores
03-17-2018, 09:53 AM
Ok, I’ll play it safe.... smoke a store bought, toss the good stuff.... Thanks everyone. Glad I lost the recipe link and had to comeback here.

airedale
03-17-2018, 03:40 PM
Did you taste it? I just did a small corned beef, simply cut a small piece off and zapped it to cook. It was chewy of course but tasted fine/didn't need to have salt reduced. I used 8 tablespoons of Tender Quick for 8# of brisket.

We did half of it in the Instant Pot for corned beef sandwiches. The other half is in the freezer for smoking/pastrami in a couple of weeks.

-Chris-
03-17-2018, 05:49 PM
Ok, Iíll play it safe.... smoke a store bought, toss the good stuff.... Thanks everyone. Glad I lost the recipe link and had to comeback here.

I would eat it, you are not too far off. Recipes have not evolved as quickly as the USDA guidelines, that is all. All smoked and cured food is not good for you, let's be honest. The key is moderation.

Chris

IamMadMan
03-17-2018, 10:16 PM
With a wet (brine) cure, you account for the weight of the water as well, correct? For example, 1000 g of meat + 3000 g of water, you would use 4000g to calculate?

No.....

Wet curing brines are calculated on the amount of water the meat will pick-up while in the brine, usually estimated at a 4% pickup ratio as well as any injected brine.

Using pork immersed for 10 days in 60į SAL brine, with logic and some general estimates one can produce acceptable results. This is much better than copying a recipe from the internet, which in many cases are solely based on what I consider to be the author’s imagination. The actual formulation for a wet cure/cover pickle is a calculated Formula using % pick-up of ppm = lb. nitrite x % pick-up x 1,000,000/lb. pickle.

references - Page 76 - 84
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/7d364131-137e-4da3-905b-fa240974a5a9/7620-3.pdf?MOD=AJPERES
and
http://www.aamp.com/foodsafety/documents/Directive7620-3.pdf


Also here is a good explanation of the process that make it a little more understandable.

http://www.meatsandsausages.com/hams-other-meats/hams (quoted below)

Without weighing the meat, the only way to determine % pick-up of cured meat is by an educated guess based on previous experience. It is generally accepted that immersion cured hams (60į SAL) pick-up about 4% weight. If we add 4.2 ounces (120 g) of Cure #1 to 1 gallon of brine, the solution will contain 1973 ppm of sodium nitrite. At first sight it may seem that there is an excessive amount of nitrite in water. The answer is that only a small percentage will be absorbed by meat during the immersion process. At 4% pick-up the ham will absorb 79 ppm which will be just enough for any meaningful curing. At 10% pump (needle pumping) the same ham will contain 197 ppm of sodium nitrite which is in compliance with the government standard of 200 ppm. Pumping more than 10% or increasing the amount of cure in the solution will of course cross the limit.

IamMadMan
03-18-2018, 09:22 AM
I agree you used a recipe calling for way too much pink salt. I would toss it as curing salts should be weighed as accurately as possible (I go by weight), but the point is with pink salt, you don't have much room for error, and we're talking food safety here.


There is just no substitution for accuracy when it come to health and safety of your family when curing meats.

As Thirdeye and many of us have always said, when curing meat; the cure ingredients should be weighed, never measured, for safety, accuracy, and consistency. As indicated there are many questionable recipes on the internet, just because they are there, doesn't imply accuracy or safety of the resulting product.


If you are unable to accurately weigh the ingredients, then you should forego the use of cure #1 and use Morton Tender Quick which has the Salt, Sugar, and Cure #1 combined in a completely bonded product to make the final product equal so the contents do not settle. Because it is completely bonded and it contains the all of the salt, sugar, and curing agent required for curing; it can be safely measured for use in the home with much less accuracy required. Always follow the directions on the Morton Tender Quick package for proper usage.


Getting back to the original amounts.....

5.5 pounds equals 2494.76 grams

https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/010041863239/media/83770498494/medium/1521381467/enhance

so we see that if we do our weight calculations for a 5.5 pound brisket

https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/010041863239/media/83770498501/medium/1521381467/enhance

We see the required amount of cure for 5.5 pounds is 6.25 Grams

https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/010041863239/media/83770498510/medium/1521381467/enhance

when we convert 6.25 Grams to ounces we end up needing .22 ounces of cure #1



We do know that the weight of the cure was not calculated.
So if we look at one purveyors recommended usage for the measure of cure #1, we find the following. ( https://www.americanspice.com/prague-powder-no-1-pink-curing-salt/ )

"Use 1 oz. of cure for 25 lb. of meat or 1 level teaspoon of cure for 5 lb. of meat. Mix cure with cold water."
The amount of cure now becomes even more confusing and complicated because they are mixing the cure with water. So now we have to determine if they are building a wet cure or an equilibrium cure because they do not specify the exact amount of water. They are both completely different methods of curing meat.

So the simple solution would be to weigh out the required cure and check the measure. Measuring out 1 level teaspoon of cure #1 several times, I find that I have approx 6.44 - 6.95 grams of Cure #1. I attribute the differences in weight to leveling the teaspoon which might sometimes compress or pack the product in the measuring device; Thus using 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds of meat would be an acceptable measure. Yet we have another source on the internet that lists 1 level tsp of cure #1 at only 5 grams. https://www.reddit.com/r/Charcuterie/comments/6id8er/recipe_calls_for_1_tbsp_curing_salt_per_lb_of/

The OP stated he used 1 Tablespoon of cure #1, which would put the cure at an estimated weight of 15-20 grams vs the required amount of 6.25 grams. He also measures 1 Tablespoon of cure #1 at 12 grams. So again we have so many inconsistencies with measures; I used a reloading scale for it's to accuracy, so;
is there a difference in the weight of cure #1 products? (possibly anti-clumping agents?)
a difference in accuracy of the scales?
or possibly both?

I also saw the online Ruhlman recipe that calls for 4 teaspoons of cure #1, but if you read further you will see he is building a wet cure for his corned beef which is a completely different process than a dry cure or equilibrium cure. http://blog.ruhlman.com/2016/03/homemade-corned-beef/
"In a pot large enough to hold the brisket, combine 1 gallon of water with the kosher salt, sugar, sodium nitrite (if using), garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the pickling spice. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled."

There is just no substitution for accuracy in information and weight when it come to health and safety of your family when curing meats.

We see above so many variances in recipes, measures, products, and suggested usages, which all result in weights that are inconsistent with recommendations. It is best to stick with proven and tested recipes by experts in their craft of curing meat and always use an accurate metric scale to weigh the ingredients.

Again if you are a beginner Morton Tender Quick is an easy to use product that can be measured....


.

airedale
03-18-2018, 10:10 AM
... If you are unable to accurately weigh the ingredients, then you should forego the use of cure #1 and use Morton Tender Quick which has the Salt, Sugar, and Cure #1 combined in a completely bonded product to make the final product equal so the contents do not settle. Because it is completely bonded and it contains the all of the salt, sugar, and curing agent required for curing; it can be safely measured for use in the home with much less accuracy required. Always follow the directions on the Morton Tender Quick package for proper usage. ...I am able to accurately weigh cure #1 by trudging to the basement to get my powder scale but I have decided it's not worth the hassle. Tender Quick is cheap, easy, and fast. The TQ recipe is 1/2 oz. per # of meat, easy to measure on an ordinary kitchen scale. No need to accurately measure tiny quantities of cure. I have 8# of TQ buckboard bacon curing in my fridge as we speak. It'll get cold smoked on the Saturday before Easter.

thirdeye
03-18-2018, 11:02 AM
So the simple solution would be to weigh out the required cure and check the measure. Measuring out 1 level teaspoon of cure #1 several times, I find that I have approx 6.44 - 6.95 grams of Cure #1. I attribute the differences in weight to leveling the teaspoon which might sometimes compress or pack the product in the measuring device; Thus using 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds of meat would be an acceptable measure.

Yet we have another source on the internet that lists 1 level tsp of cure #1 at only 5 grams. https://www.reddit.com/r/Charcuterie/comments/6id8er/recipe_calls_for_1_tbsp_curing_salt_per_lb_of/

The OP stated he used 1 Tablespoon of cure #1, which would put the cure at an estimated weight of 15-20 grams vs the required amount of 6.25 grams. He also measures 1 Tablespoon of cure #1 at 12 grams. So again we have so many inconsistencies with measures; I used a reloading scale for it's to accuracy, so; is there a difference in the weight of cure #1 products? (possibly anti-clumping agents?) a difference in accuracy of the scales?
or possibly both?



Very good information in your post above ^^^. On a side note, and not trying to drive the point of pink salt accuracy (when using both the Prague #1 or #2 products) any farther home... it appears there are inaccuracies in measuring spoons themselves. Look at the reviews below of measuring spoons.

This makes a good point for weighing ingredients which are critical OR for weighing large volumes of ingredients when you want consistency. Some friends make an enormous batch of sausage each year. 600 to 1000 pounds, and it's a very simple recipe for the seasonings: salt, black pepper, white pepper, garlic and Tender Quick (for color only). They measure all the spices by hand but have to recalculate each year because the meat weight changes, and each year the product is slightly different flavorwise. For 5 or 6 years I suggested converting the meat to grams and weighing all the ingredients but "Dad never did that", so why should they. I generally ask for mine in bulk, fry a test pattie and adjust the seasonings as necessary.

http://www.dontwasteyourmoney.com/measuring-spoons-test/

https://www.seriouseats.com/2017/09/best-measuring-spoons-kitchen-equipment-review.html

thirdeye
03-18-2018, 11:07 AM
I am able to accurately weigh cure #1 by trudging to the basement to get my powder scale but I have decided it's not worth the hassle. Tender Quick is cheap, easy, and fast. The TQ recipe is 1/2 oz. per # of meat, easy to measure on an ordinary kitchen scale. No need to accurately measure tiny quantities of cure. I have 8# of TQ buckboard bacon curing in my fridge as we speak. It'll get cold smoked on the Saturday before Easter.

That is the backbone of the Morton's philosophy when they designed Tender Quick.... If your tablespoon is a little high, or a little shy... you are within an acceptable margin of error. For what it's worth I have both products (TQ and pink salt) and get great results when using in specific recipes.

SirPorkaLot
03-18-2018, 11:10 AM
So much good info (and some bad) on this thread.

Iíll just say this.

Always cure by weight, not by volume.


Even our dry brine which contains only sea salt as the active agent has instructions that requires you to weigh the meat.

Get an inexpensive digital kitchen scale that weighs in grams & ounces and always use net weight (minus weight of container)

airedale
03-18-2018, 01:29 PM
That is the backbone of the Morton's philosophy when they designed Tender Quick.... If your tablespoon is a little high, or a little shy... you are within an acceptable margin of error. For what it's worth I have both products (TQ and pink salt) and get great results when using in specific recipes.Just out of curiosity, when do you not use TQ? I started out my bacon life buying the LEM kits but that phase is over and I am now just using TQ. I recently did a 7# corned beef and just substituted the TQ for the recipe's recommended salt and cure. It turned out great. I am currently doing buckboard bacon using only TQ. What tradeoffs or negatives do you (and IAmMadMan welcome too) see with this approach?

thirdeye
03-18-2018, 02:03 PM
Just out of curiosity, when do you not use TQ? I started out my bacon life buying the LEM kits but that phase is over and I am now just using TQ. I recently did a 7# corned beef and just substituted the TQ for the recipe's recommended salt and cure. It turned out great. I am currently doing buckboard bacon using only TQ. What tradeoffs or negatives do you (and IAmMadMan welcome too) see with this approach?

It's preference, convenience, and recipe selection. Pink salt is used by most professional butchers or producers working on large batch products. Technically it's a pre-mixed cure as the sodium nitrite is mixed into a salt carrier, but it allows for the user to make a custom mixture by adding differing amounts of additional salt, sugar or spices. Price is a possible factor on large scale uses, but for home use a little pink salt goes a long way.

TQ is also pre-mixed, but it has a different ratio of salt and has sugar added. It's essentially ready to use right from the bag without adding additional salt. You still have the option to add other signature seasonings. In addition to sodium nitrite, TQ contains an equal amount of sodium nitrate.

TQ and pink salt are not interchangeable, so if you have a proven recipe that calls for one or the other, it's nice to have both on hand at home. Plus if you have both products you can duplicate any recipe you like.

I've made some belly bacon with a pink salt cure, and also with a TQ cure, I actually prefer the TQ cure. I have made some smoked sausage which calls for pink salt, and some which uses TQ. I've also tried hot dog recipes that called for pink salt. For many years I used Hi Mountain Buckboard cure kits, and it is an excellent product but many people contacted me to report that shipping costs for Hi Mountain often approached the price of the product itself. With that in mind I came up with a TQ based Buckboard cure following Morton's recommended amount per pound, plus some additional seasonings, and the end product is comparable to Hi Mountain's product.

airedale
03-18-2018, 02:23 PM
... TQ and pink salt are not interchangeable, so if you have a proven recipe that calls for one or the other, it's nice to have both on hand at home. Plus if you have both products you can duplicate any recipe you like. ... Thanks much. Re the pink salt I actually have some but the TQ laziness is overwhelming me. I get it that they are not interchangeable, which I take to mean you can't use identical quantity of one to substitute when the other is called for, but if I just ditch the pink salt and use TQ according to its directions that should be OK, right?

Not sure what to think about the sugar in TQ. My understanding is the the sugar molecules are too big to get into solid meat anyway so they just stay on the surface. In which case the sugar is not doing much. I certainly couldn't taste any sugar in my corned beef. With smoking the bacon I am sure any sugar flavor is obliterated there anyway.

thirdeye
03-18-2018, 02:44 PM
Thanks much. Re the pink salt I actually have some but the TQ laziness is overwhelming me. I get it that they are not interchangeable, which I take to mean you can't use identical quantity of one to substitute when the other is called for, but if I just ditch the pink salt and use TQ according to its directions that should be OK, right?

Not sure what to think about the sugar in TQ. My understanding is the the sugar molecules are too big to get into solid meat anyway so they just stay on the surface. In which case the sugar is not doing much. I certainly couldn't taste any sugar in my corned beef. With smoking the bacon I am sure any sugar flavor is obliterated there anyway.

Yes, identical amounts of either can't be substituted. Then of course there would be additional salt in a pink salt based recipe, so that would have to be omitted as well.

The sugar in the TQ is to sort of knock the edge off or buffer the saltiness. There shouldn't be enough to taste it. However some people will add brown or maple sugar to their belly bacon cure. I've injected a honey/water mix into Buckboarded loins, and some folks will paint Buckboard loins with maple syrup toward the end of the cook. A few years ago Morton's stopped manufacturing Sugar Cure because of rising sugar costs. SC is a sweeter version of TQ but they didn't want to lose market share so bags of SC is still available, they just have TQ in them..., in the fine print it says SC and TQ can be used interchangeably.

mowin
03-18-2018, 03:18 PM
I've used TQ a few times and didn't really care for it. Too salty. Have to soak the meat to reduce the salt.
Using cure#1, I can adjust the amount of salt to my taste.

I wouldn't dismiss a recipe because it uses TQ or cure #1
I know TQ and cure #1 can't be interchanged in a recipe, but it easy to convert a recipe to use TQ or cure #1 by weighing the meat. TQ box has the proper amount to use. I use diggindogfarm.com calculator to calculate the proper amount of cure #1, salt and sugar.

thirdeye
03-18-2018, 06:26 PM
I've used TQ a few times and didn't really care for it. Too salty. Have to soak the meat to reduce the salt.
Using cure#1, I can adjust the amount of salt to my taste.

I wouldn't dismiss a recipe because it uses TQ or cure #1
I know TQ and cure #1 can't be interchanged in a recipe, but it easy to convert a recipe to use TQ or cure #1 by weighing the meat. TQ box has the proper amount to use. I use diggindogfarm.com calculator to calculate the proper amount of cure #1, salt and sugar.

I would agree that using Martin's calculator, and experimenting with the salt % you prefer... a rinse without a soak-out step should work just fine. Or a rinse and a short soak-out just to fully dissolve the surface salts. For me, a soak-out is just another step, much like the overnight equalization I use on most all cured products. I recall reading that TQ is roughly 3% salt, and many folks settle in between 2 and 2.5% salt.

On a side note, I prefer my belly bacon a tick saltier.... but my Buckboard (especially loins) less salty. For a few years I've been using a lite injection on loins before curing with a mix of apple and white grape juice. On one hand I'm adding weight to the loin, and increasing the sweetness as well. However, my smoking times are between 3 and 5 hours so the 4 hour safety window is covered, but I still take advantage of the wonderful color, especially on the rib end slices.

https://i.imgur.com/DCjVPNw.jpg

IamMadMan
03-20-2018, 06:40 AM
Just my final personal opinion here.

What really troubles me the most is; I understand that there are many bad curing recipes on the internet, in fact many of us advocate using only tested recipes from known experts / professionals in the craft of curing.

Yet many companies use these same questionable recipes on their website?

I am truly surprised that someone hasn't had had Nitrite poisoning and brought a lawsuit against those who post the recipe without testing the validity and safety of it.

-Chris-
03-20-2018, 07:21 AM
Just my final personal opinion here.

What really troubles me the most is; I understand that there are many bad curing recipes on the internet, in fact many of us advocate using only tested recipes from known experts / professionals in the craft of curing.

Yet many companies use these same questionable recipes on their website?

I am truly surprised that someone hasn't had had Nitrite poisoning and brought a lawsuit against those who post the recipe without testing the validity and safety of it.

Refer to my above post, the USDA has been ratcheting down the "safe" level over the past 25 years. Recipes have not changed as quickly since, "Well this is how my Dad did it." sort of thinking. None of the recipes posted are wildly out of control, we have seen proposals from 200 parts per MILLION to 1000 parts per MILLION. It is still a miniscule amount

Don't trust the so called "experts" trust the math and the USDA.

Chris

thirdeye
03-20-2018, 09:44 AM
Just my final personal opinion here.

What really troubles me the most is; I understand that there are many bad curing recipes on the internet, in fact many of us advocate using only tested recipes from known experts / professionals in the craft of curing.

Yet many companies use these same questionable recipes on their website?

I am truly surprised that someone hasn't had had Nitrite poisoning and brought a lawsuit against those who post the recipe without testing the validity and safety of it.

Over the years, we've all seen a surge in popularity in many things food related... barbecue is a great example. So, when someone buys their first smoker and fails at a brisket cook, it's just experience... they make some changes and try again. Dry or tough brisket might injure your ego or your checkbook, but at most the only danger would be a choking hazard.

Home curing and home canning are two additional examples of trendy food hobbies that look innocent enough but they come with strict guidelines and steadfast rules... not only for producing a quality product, but a safe-to-eat product. I'm shocked that people still do oven canning (including a professional chef I know), or tweak recipes without any consideration to pH levels or food density.... then advocate their method in print or online.

Whether it's a Sunday edition of newspaper, a magazine article, website, or even a cookbook.... I agree that sometimes information (or misinformation) is often shared without consideration for accuracy. It seems it's more about an author's recognition.

IamMadMan
03-20-2018, 02:05 PM
Refer to my above post, the USDA has been ratcheting down the "safe" level over the past 25 years. Recipes have not changed as quickly since, "Well this is how my Dad did it." sort of thinking. None of the recipes posted are wildly out of control, we have seen proposals from 200 parts per MILLION to 1000 parts per MILLION. It is still a miniscule amount

Don't trust the so called "experts" trust the math and the USDA.

Chris


Do you have a current reference?

As of April 1, 2017, [Code of Federal Regulations] FDA - Title 21, Chapter 1, Sub-Chapter B, Part 172, section 172.175 still references a Maximum 200 PPM Sodium Nitrite and a Maximum of 500 PPM Sodium Nitrate in the finished meat products.

They do allow 10 PPM as a color fixative in canned fish (tuna, salmon) and still references a Maximum 200 PPM Sodium Nitrite and a Maximum of 500 PPM Sodium Nitrate in smoked seafood products.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfCFR/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=172.175

.

Pedro7
03-20-2018, 03:12 PM
In a wet brine the amount of cure #1 is usually 1 tabs for every gal of water. Dry curing uses less cure.

Question then. Does the weight/amount of meat in that gallon of water matter? Or, is that 1 tsp. enough to cure anything brining in that gallon whether it be 3lbs of brisket or 6?

Also, say you are wet brining 4lbs of brisket. There is no difference if you used 1 tsp. in 1 gallon of water or 1.5 teaspoons in 1.5 gallons of water to brine the same piece of meat, correct? As long as you keep that ratio to 1tsp/gallon you should be ok? Or, should you still only use the 1tsp in the 1.5 gallons because thats what 4lbs of meat calls for.

I guess my overall question is this: In a wet brine, do we go by weight of the meat to decide how much pink salt to use or ratio in the solution?

mowin
03-20-2018, 04:01 PM
Question then. Does the weight/amount of meat in that gallon of water matter? Or, is that 1 tsp. enough to cure anything brining in that gallon whether it be 3lbs of brisket or 6?

Also, say you are wet brining 4lbs of brisket. There is no difference if you used 1 tsp. in 1 gallon of water or 1.5 teaspoons in 1.5 gallons of water to brine the same piece of meat, correct? As long as you keep that ratio to 1tsp/gallon you should be ok? Or, should you still only use the 1tsp in the 1.5 gallons because thats what 4lbs of meat calls for.

I guess my overall question is this: In a wet brine, do we go by weight of the meat to decide how much pink salt to use or ratio in the solution?

As long as the meat is covered, it doesn't matter if it 3 or 6 #. Just make sure the length of time the meat is taking a bath for is adequate. When I make venison pastrami, I inject the meat with the brine/cure to aid in the curing process. I usually keep them in there for 10-14 days. The meat will equalize with the brine, so you can't over cure if you get delayed by a day or two.

If you need more water to cover several pieces of meat, add cure according. 1 tbs per gallon. Yes you could do half a tbs for half gal. A gal of water is only going to cover so much meat

thirdeye
03-20-2018, 05:00 PM
Pedro7, don't get your teaspoons and tablespoons mixed up.

Pedro7
03-20-2018, 06:45 PM
As long as the meat is covered, it doesn't matter if it 3 or 6 #. Just make sure the length of time the meat is taking a bath for is adequate. When I make venison pastrami, I inject the meat with the brine/cure to aid in the curing process. I usually keep them in there for 10-14 days. The meat will equalize with the brine, so you can't over cure if you get delayed by a day or two.

If you need more water to cover several pieces of meat, add cure according. 1 tbs per gallon. Yes you could do half a tbs for half gal. A gal of water is only going to cover so much meat

Got it. So the recipe I followed on amazingribs.com said 2tsp per gallon for 4lbs of meat for 5-7 days. So, I did 3tsp for the 1.5 gallons I needed to cover the ~4-5 pounds of meat for 6.5 days. Essentially, everything in the brine was 1.5x what the recipe called for because I needed 1.5 gallons to cover. So from what your recipe is, I'd be a little short on cure.

Pedro7, don't get your teaspoons and tablespoons mixed up.


Thank you! Sorry, the recipe I followed I was measuring in teaspoons, so that's what I had in my head.

mowin
03-20-2018, 09:04 PM
Got it. So the recipe I followed on amazingribs.com said 2tsp per gallon for 4lbs of meat for 5-7 days. So, I did 3tsp for the 1.5 gallons I needed to cover the ~4-5 pounds of meat for 6.5 days. Essentially, everything in the brine was 1.5x what the recipe called for because I needed 1.5 gallons to cover. So from what your recipe is, I'd be a little short on cure.




Thank you! Sorry, the recipe I followed I was measuring in teaspoons, so that's what I had in my head.

Are you referring to the recipe in your first post? If so that was a dry cure.

Pedro7
03-21-2018, 09:05 AM
Are you referring to the recipe in your first post? If so that was a dry cure.

The OP posted a dry cure. Mine was always wet, which why I responded to your info about the wet brine. My posts were not meant to pertain to the OP.

https://amazingribs.com/tested-recipes/beef-and-bison-recipes/home-made-corned-beef-recipe

mowin
03-21-2018, 01:32 PM
The OP posted a dry cure. Mine was always wet, which why I responded to your info about the wet brine. My posts were not meant to pertain to the OP.

https://amazingribs.com/tested-recipes/beef-and-bison-recipes/home-made-corned-beef-recipe

Sorry, got you and the OP confused....

That recipe used 2 tsp per gal. A little less then the 1 tbsp that I posted. I believe the 1 tbsp per gal is the 200 ppm the USDA recommends.

airedale
03-21-2018, 02:31 PM
As long as the meat is covered, it doesn't matter if it 3 or 6 #. Just make sure the length of time the meat is taking a bath for is adequate. When I make venison pastrami, I inject the meat with the brine/cure to aid in the curing process. I usually keep them in there for 10-14 days. The meat will equalize with the brine, so you can't over cure if you get delayed by a day or two.

If you need more water to cover several pieces of meat, add cure according. 1 tbs per gallon. Yes you could do half a tbs for half gal. A gal of water is only going to cover so much meatSorry, this does not make any sense to me. Consider the following experiment:

Start with a plan to cure 3# of meat. Find that you only have a garbage can to contain it and the brine. Put the meat in a plastic bag and fill the bag with cure until the meat is covered. Assume this takes 5 gallons (40#) of cure. At equlibrium, then the cure concentration will be reduced by 40/43 to 93% of the initial concentration.

Now you liked that meat so you buy a whole uncured ham. Say 30#. You remember that you have a big wort-boiling pot with your beer making stuff so you don't have to use the garbage can. Whew, the meat just fits and it takes only a gallon of cure to cover it. Now, when equilibrium is reached, the cure concentration will be 8/38. It will be down to 22%.

The only way to ensure that you reach an equilibrium cure at the right concentration of cure is to consider both the weight of the meat and the weight of any water used.

mowin
03-21-2018, 05:30 PM
Sorry, this does not make any sense to me. Consider the following experiment:

Start with a plan to cure 3# of meat. Find that you only have a garbage can to contain it and the brine. Put the meat in a plastic bag and fill the bag with cure until the meat is covered. Assume this takes 5 gallons (40#) of cure. At equlibrium, then the cure concentration will be reduced by 40/43 to 93% of the initial concentration.

Now you liked that meat so you buy a whole uncured ham. Say 30#. You remember that you have a big wort-boiling pot with your beer making stuff so you don't have to use the garbage can. Whew, the meat just fits and it takes only a gallon of cure to cover it. Now, when equilibrium is reached, the cure concentration will be 8/38. It will be down to 22%.

The only way to ensure that you reach an equilibrium cure at the right concentration of cure is to consider both the weight of the meat and the weight of any water used.


Now you just being unrealistic. Who would use a garbage can full of water for 3 # of meat? A 1 gal zip lock would be more than adequate.

airedale
03-21-2018, 05:42 PM
Now you just being unrealistic. Who would use a garbage can full of water for 3 # of meat? A 1 gal zip lock would be more than adequate.OK. Let's do the calculation for a 1 gal. zip-loc: 3# of meat, say 3# of brine. Brine concentration at equilibrium is 3/6 or 50%. Same problem. Without adding cure based on the weight of the meat, the equilibrium solution can be substantially, possibly dangerously, reduced in concentration.

I doubt if you could get 5# of brine in a gallon bag with 3# of meat, but even then your concentration at equilibrium is 5/8 or 62%. Still quite a bit of dilution.

The extreme example of using a garbage can is actually a best case, where the weight of the brine substantially exceeds that of the meat so the dilution is fairly minimal.

IamMadMan
03-21-2018, 06:11 PM
Airedale makes some great points, you just can't guess at the volume of water and add the meat. Many professionals use a 30% to 40% of ratio of water to 100% of the weight of the meat, 40% being the most common for pork and beef. That means for a 40% ratio, for 1 kg (1000 grams) of meat we will add 400 grams of water.

However as Airedale pointed out, your container might require more than a 40% ratio of water to cover the meat.

Then you also have to take into consideration the degree of salinity that you intend to use and calculate the cure accordingly.


EDIT:
Although I don't use this calculator, it is much more accurate than many of the recipes others have offered up on the internet. It takes the guesswork and will render a safe product when used accordingly.

You can adjust the PPM and it will adjust according to the weight of the meat and the volume of water you intend to us.

http://www.genuineideas.com/ArticlesIndex/nitritecuringcalculator.html

It will also calculate an acceptable curing time for the size and shape of the meat used in your curing project.

.

mowin
03-22-2018, 06:35 AM
It's simple. Mix up a gal of brine/cure. Place meat in the container. Make sure it's covered. If you only have a 30 gal trash can for 3# of meat, your not prepared. Go get the appropriate sized container.

It really is that simple.

airedale
03-22-2018, 09:47 AM
It's simple. Mix up a gal of brine/cure. Place meat in the container. Make sure it's covered. If you only have a 30 gal trash can for 3# of meat, your not prepared. Go get the appropriate sized container.

It really is that simple.Yup. Agree. It is that simple.

The missing piece here, though, is how to "mix up" the brine/cure. The amount of cure must be based on the total weight of the water and the meat. Still pretty simple & BTW container size does not matter as long as the amount of cure is properly calculated.

@mowin, you seem to be having trouble with the basic math here. Let me try to simplify even further: Suppose you have a gallon (8#) of brine/cure properly mixed to, say, 200ppm. Now suppose you add a gallon of plain water to it. Result: 100ppm, right?

Meat is mostly water, so adding 8# of meat to that 8# of 200ppm brine will produce the same result: 100ppm.
I'm not going to continue in this thread. Hopefully the many posts, including IAmMadMan's always valuable information, are enough to make readers realize that @mowin's idea of ignoring the meat weight when calculating brine concentration is not only flat wrong but possibly dangerously wrong. Be careful out there!

thirdeye
03-22-2018, 10:21 AM
...I'm not going to continue in this thread. Hopefully the many posts, including IAmMadMan's always valuable information, are enough to make readers realize that @mowin's idea of ignoring the meat weight when calculating brine concentration is not only flat wrong but possibly dangerously wrong. Be careful out there!

These discussions are actually very worthwhile, educating, and will most likely lead the beginner as well as the advanced charcutier down a road toward an improved, and trusted process not to mention the chance of producing a better end product. Having a dedicated forum for sausage & curing might not be practical (but it would be nice... hint hint hint) so mabe a MegaThread like we have for the UDS and PBC is an idea? Besides, using the search engine, it's possible to search "within this thread" which is something I've done in the giant UDS thread. Thoughts??

mowin
03-22-2018, 11:16 AM
Yup. Agree. It is that simple.

The missing piece here, though, is how to "mix up" the brine/cure. The amount of cure must be based on the total weight of the water and the meat. Still pretty simple & BTW container size does not matter as long as the amount of cure is properly calculated.

@mowin, you seem to be having trouble with the basic math here. Let me try to simplify even further: Suppose you have a gallon (8#) of brine/cure properly mixed to, say, 200ppm. Now suppose you add a gallon of plain water to it. Result: 100ppm, right?

Meat is mostly water, so adding 8# of meat to that 8# of 200ppm brine will produce the same result: 100ppm.
I'm not going to continue in this thread. Hopefully the many posts, including IAmMadMan's always valuable information, are enough to make readers realize that @mowin's idea of ignoring the meat weight when calculating brine concentration is not only flat wrong but possibly dangerously wrong. Be careful out there!

I'm sorry I'm not wrong ....

Pedro7
03-22-2018, 03:27 PM
Airedale makes some great points, you just can't guess at the volume of water and add the meat. Many professionals use a 30% to 40% of ratio of water to 100% of the weight of the meat, 40% being the most common for pork and beef. That means for a 40% ratio, for 1 kg (1000 grams) of meat we will add 400 grams of water.

However as Airedale pointed out, your container might require more than a 40% ratio of water to cover the meat.

Then you also have to take into consideration the degree of salinity that you intend to use and calculate the cure accordingly.


EDIT:
Although I don't use this calculator, it is much more accurate than many of the recipes others have offered up on the internet. It takes the guesswork and will render a safe product when used accordingly.

You can adjust the PPM and it will adjust according to the weight of the meat and the volume of water you intend to us.

http://www.genuineideas.com/ArticlesIndex/nitritecuringcalculator.html

It will also calculate an acceptable curing time for the size and shape of the meat used in your curing project.

.

Great calculator! However, it has me worried a bit. Based on the recipe I just did for my corned beef (5lbs of meat, 1.5gallons of water, 3tsp of #1, 6.5 wet brine) the recommended amount of #1 was almost double what I put in to get to 200ppm. Also, the curing time was considerable short for my 1.5-2" thick brisket flat at 3-5 days. So, what I did was wet brined to 100-125ppm.

I ate it. I haven't died yet. So, is the 100-125ppm ok?

IamMadMan
03-22-2018, 04:05 PM
Great calculator! However, it has me worried a bit. Based on the recipe I just did for my corned beef (5lbs of meat, 1.5gallons of water, 3tsp of #1, 6.5 wet brine) the recommended amount of #1 was almost double what I put in to get to 200ppm. Also, the curing time was considerable shortly for my 1.5-2" thick brisket flat at 3-5 days. So, what I did was wet brined to 100-125ppm.

I ate it. I haven't died yet. So, is the 100-125ppm ok?

Pedro7,

The goal isn't to reach 200 PPM, 200 PPM is just simply the maximum allowable nitrite. I think the reason 200 PPM was referenced here, was just to show that the other recipe in question was over the maximum limit. I cure most things at about 155 PPM and the beef bacon I make is only 120 PPM. Even cured poultry I keep at 120 PPM....

As long as it was cured, I would say it was fine. You may have used a lower PPM, but you also brined for a longer period of time. Being you did not weigh the meat and weigh the water to calculate the amount of cure, the PPM can only be an estimation. In my opinion it's better to be under the Maximum 200 PPM rather than than over. Obviously you had an ample amount of cure because it was fully cured all the way through. Your estimation of 120 PPM comes out very close to what you had.

We all know that 120 PPM is enough to cure meat, but going down to 100 PPM will be just enough for any meaningful curing action. However the lower 100 PPM could result with inconsistency and you may wind up with uneven curing. Obviously the later was not the case with you..... Congratulations on a great successful curing experience, nothing compares to enjoying the fruits of your labors.

We have discussed why proper weights are more important than estimated measures. Thirdeye even pointed out a link, that measuring spoons can be far from even semi-accurate ballpark measures.

The other point of discussion was, that finding a reliable recipe on the Internet becomes increasingly harder every day. There is a big difference between writing about curing and actually testing the recipe and doing it the proper way. There are many questionable recipes on the internet, just because they are out there, doesn't imply accuracy or safety of the resulting product(s).

From many of these "bad" recipes we can clearly see that the author/poster has never properly calculated the ingredients let alone test the final product. Having a collection of recipes on a website does not make a person proficient in a new skill.

You have to know the How and Why of curing; you have to know the rules that govern the process. The curing agent is simply just a tool, albeit a very important one. Once you understand why and how to properly calculate the ingredients, the rest will fall into place.

Our goal here is only to help educate those who wish to learn; We want you have fun and help to give you a positive experience while making a safe product that everyone can enjoy. We can't force anyone to do something, especially if they are unwilling to learn to do the math. Nothing beats the flavor of a great homemade product, whether it be cured, smoked, or both. No one here is the cure police, we simply want to suggest and help you to find a proven, tested recipe from a true professional in the craft of curing meats. We are only here to offer guidance and suggestions, what the readers do with our input is entirely up to that individual.

However for those who still do not want to weigh for a brine cure, again I advocate the use of Morton Tender Quick as described on the package; 1 Cup Tender Quick for 4 Cups of water. It's not my first choice for a brine cure, but it's based not only on PPM, but also averages a 4% pickup ratio of the brine into the meat.

http://www.mortonsalt.com/article/meat-curing-methods/
http://www.uncledavesenterprise.com/file/garden/storage/Morton%20Tender%20Quick.pdf

Morton recipes:
http://www.mortonsalt.com/article/meat-curing-recipes/

Pedro7
03-22-2018, 07:00 PM
Ok, thank you! I very much appreciate your inputs Madman. I'd expect nothing less from a fellow Jersey boy...

Now, I've also been curing my own bacon a lot following Jess Pryles recipe below. For that I've been using a dry cure as the recipe states. Make the cure, put it in ziplocs, etc. What would you say is your proper ratio of #1:lbs of meat? I try to follow this recipe exactly cutting the belly into 3lb pieces. However, I may try to do a whole belly next time.

http://jesspryles.com/recipe/how-to-make-bacon/

IamMadMan
03-22-2018, 10:01 PM
Ok, thank you! I very much appreciate your inputs Madman. I'd expect nothing less from a fellow Jersey boy...

Now, I've also been curing my own bacon a lot following Jess Pryles recipe below. For that I've been using a dry cure as the recipe states. Make the cure, put it in ziplocs, etc. What would you say is your proper ratio of #1:lbs of meat? I try to follow this recipe exactly cutting the belly into 3lb pieces. However, I may try to do a whole belly next time.

http://jesspryles.com/recipe/how-to-make-bacon/

Pedro7,

The recipe is good and it references aprox 200 PPM. While that will work just fine, I prefer to keep the bacon near 155 PPM simply because the amount of fat in the bellies. I would suggest dropping to 3/4 of a teaspoon, rather than 1 teaspoon, which would bring you somewhere near 160 PPM

Again I urge you to avoid measures and use a scale for accuracy and consistency in your final product.

While it may not be a big deal, getting exactly 3 pounds of bacon from the butcher isn't an exact cut, but rather just an approximation by the eye. Then you have to cut that into 3 equal pieces of 1 pound each and then try to evenly divide the cure into 3 equal portions hoping that everything is equally distributed. Being slightly off isn't going to cause any harm or ill effects. Small differences in the amount of salt, and the differences in the amount of the cure can cause minute differences in texture. While many may never notice, there are many of us that strive to produce the best possible product with exact consistency, time and time again.

Because you are asking questions, I would think that you also fall into that category with many of your other Brethren. Only you know what your goals are in curing your bacon.

If you want to try weights instead of measures, Harbor Freight Tools has an in expensive scale for about $19.00
https://www.harborfreight.com/digital-scale-95364.html

This would allow you to weigh each individual piece of meat you cut, then weigh out the exact amount of cure #1, salt, and sugar for each individual piece. Then you are free to measure the added spices as desired.

Weighing also gives you better control over the final product and allows you to be precise each and every time. If you think the math is too difficult, you can use this calculator that allows you to change the PPM and will give you the exact weight of each ingredient accordingly.
https://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage-recipes/cure-calculator

Just remember to stay on the left side for American Weights. You can also use the spice calculator (bottom right) to convert measures to a more accurate weight to further refine your consistency of the final product.

If you want to try and do the belly as one whole piece, a nylon food safe steam table pan liner will work fine. I recommend using the food safe pan liners to avoid using the cure (specifically salt) in a reactive pan, such as aluminum. https://www.webstaurantstore.com/full-size-deep-steam-table-nylon-pan-liner-50-box/5723418%20%20%20%20%2050.html or you can buy a poly-carbonate full size pan https://www.webstaurantstore.com/cambro-14pp190-full-size-translucent-food-pan-4-deep/21414PP.html

I hope this has answered your questions....

.

thirdeye
03-23-2018, 08:42 AM
Just an adder to the several suggestions in this thread about accurate weighing of ingredients. There are some pretty snazzy digital scales out there, and many are reasonably priced... but just like your pit thermometers the calibration needs to be verified. A 500 gram weight is often recommended and since that is 1.1 pounds this gives you one reference point, but what about confidence with dealing with the small measurements of curing salts?? The answer only costs a few pennies. Really. The latest US penny weighs 2.5 grams. Check your scale's accuracy with one penny, then with a stack of 10 pennies (25 grams) and now you have bracketed a range of range of measurements so you can be confident that 12 grams is 12 grams.

Pedro7
03-23-2018, 09:12 AM
Thanks again, Madman. These calculators are exactly what I'm looking for. I do have a little scale that I use to weigh my meats that I got off of amazon. I'll cure it piece by piece or just do the whole belly in one of those pans.

What are the proper ratios of salt and sugar to cure that you recommend? I'm trying to get this broken down to a "per pound" recipe that I can just multiply based on the weight of the meat.

airedale
03-23-2018, 09:22 AM
A couple more thoughts:

1) When I cut a piece of meat "in half" I weigh the pieces separately and mix the cure accordingly. This is probably lunatic fringe behavior but it only costs me a little time.

2) Accurate measurement of a few grams of cure is quite a challenge for a scale that will also measure several pounds. A little like using a jerrycan as an eye dropper. So I use a powder scale from my reloading bench that is designed to measure small quantities. To @thirdeye's point, too, powder scales typically come with a calibration check weight.

IamMadMan
03-23-2018, 09:54 AM
Thanks again, Madman. These calculators are exactly what I'm looking for. I do have a little scale that I use to weigh my meats that I got off of amazon. I'll cure it piece by piece or just do the whole belly in one of those pans.

What are the proper ratios of salt and sugar to cure that you recommend? I'm trying to get this broken down to a "per pound" recipe that I can just multiply based on the weight of the meat.

Most scales have a "MODE" button which allows you to toggle between Pounds, Ounces, and Grams.

One of the on-line cure calculators I posted will also convert your pounds of meat to grams. Or you can simply multiply the weight of the meat in pounds by 453.59237 to get the weight in grams.

The reason the metric scale is desired for curing, is that there are 28.3495 grams in an ounce, it just makes a more exact weight to work with.

Getting back to your other question,
Salt - the common ratio is 3% (Multiplier .03)
sometimes I use a 2.5% ratio (Multiplier .025) for a less salty product.
Multiply the meat in grams to get your desired amount of salt.

Sugar - the ratio is 1.25% (Multiplier .0125) but can be adjusted accordingly.
Multiply the meat in grams to get your desired amount of sugar.


FYI
Salt is necessary to transport the curing agent into the meat and the salt ratio content can vary anywhere from 2.5% to 4% when curing. The higher end of that scale produces a very salty product, while the low end is much lower in salt. Salt content can vary anywhere within that range, but many prefer the 3% ratio.

Sugar helps to cut the salty edge in taste of the final product and can vary greatly in any recipe. Sugar can slightly slow the curing process if used in much larger ratios, but is not necessary for curing. It is strictly for rounding out and balancing the flavors (salty, sweet, savory). Sugar levels can be adjusted to an individuals personal taste without affecting the curing process.


EXAMPLE:
If you have a pork belly that weighs 1 Kilogram (1000 grams) the results would be as follows...

Weight of pork belly = 1000 grams

Salt - 1000 X .03 = 30 Grams of Salt
Sugar - 1000 X .0125 = 12.5 Grams of Sugar

You can add other spices/flavorings after the above ingredients have been weighed and mixed.

Just replace the 1000 with the actual weight in grams of each pork belly and multiply to get the required amount of each ingredient for each pork belly.

cowgirl
03-23-2018, 11:29 AM
I haven't read through this whole thread.
:laugh: There are times when I prefer a combination cure. Inject with brine cure and coat the outer with a dry cure. :thumb:

EdF
03-23-2018, 01:51 PM
Great calculator! However, it has me worried a bit. Based on the recipe I just did for my corned beef (5lbs of meat, 1.5gallons of water, 3tsp of #1, 6.5 wet brine) the recommended amount of #1 was almost double what I put in to get to 200ppm. Also, the curing time was considerable short for my 1.5-2" thick brisket flat at 3-5 days. So, what I did was wet brined to 100-125ppm.

I ate it. I haven't died yet. So, is the 100-125ppm ok?

Blonder knows his stuff. On the other hand, I've made corned beef, bacon and other stuff that was cooked fairly soon after the cure (a few days), and only the color suffered really. Michael Ruhlman has said in his Charcuterie book that it's optional for this kind of hot-smoked thing that's going into a refrigerator anyway.

IamMadMan
03-24-2018, 09:16 AM
I lost the link to this recipe I am trying. It’s a cure and not a brine. I am going to smoke it. Just curious what you guys think. Do I rinse it well then smoke. Or smoke without rinsing? Or does anyone recognize the recipe? Been searching online for hours. I give up.... lol

Try this with a brisket flat.

3/4 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon pink curing salt (Prague powder #1, NOT Himalayan pink salt, which is entirely different)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
1 tablespoon allspice berries
6 whole cloves
1 tablespoon ground ginger
6 bay leaves, roughly torn



I agree you used a recipe calling for way too much pink salt. I would toss it as curing salts should be weighed as accurately as possible (I go by weight), but the point is with pink salt, you don't have much room for error, and we're talking food safety here.

Here are the two sources to that recipe you posted. It appears the first one used the second as a reference.

https://blog.thermoworks.com/2018/03/homemade-corned-beef-with-temperature-tips-for-success/



Just to let Wayne and Pstores know, that I did contact Thermoworks regarding their posted recipe and the amount of cure they had suggested. I showed them the math where 1 Tablespoon would have put the Cure # 1 on a 5 pound brisket over 600 PPM.

I got a very nice letter, thanking me for bringing this to their attention, their staff researched the references for use by the manufacturer and the FDA guidelines.

Yesterday they adjusted their recipe to reflect a proper amount of cure of just 1 teaspoon vs the 1 Tablespoon (3 teaspoons) previously listed.

Kudos to a company who is willing to research data and is open to make corrections to their material.

One correction on the web, but many more to go......
Finding a reliable recipe on the Internet becomes increasingly harder every day because there is a big difference between writing about curing and actually testing the recipe and doing it the proper way. There are many questionable recipes on the internet, just because they are out there, doesn't imply accuracy or safety of the resulting product(s). From many of these "bad" recipes we can clearly see that the author/poster has never properly calculated the ingredients let alone test the final product. Having a collection of recipes on a website does not make a person proficient in a new skill. You have to know the How and Why of curing; you have to know the rules that govern the process. The curing agent is simply just a tool, albeit a very important one. Once you understand why and how to properly calculate the ingredients, the rest will fall into place.

airedale
03-24-2018, 09:46 AM
... From many of these "bad" recipes we can clearly see that the author/poster has never properly calculated the ingredients let alone tested the final product. ...My favorite internet cartoon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Internet,_nobody_knows_you%27re_a_dog#/media/File:Internet_dog.jpg (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Internet,_nobody_knows_you%27re_a_dog#/media/File:Internet_dog.jpg)

OklaDustDevil
03-24-2018, 01:29 PM
IamMadMan, for those of us looking to get into curing, etc., but who don't want to rely on unknown internet authors, can you recommend any definitive books or other written materials or sources from which we can learn these important principles, processes, and procedures? Can anyone else recommend any?

I really have enjoyed and learned a lot from the discussions and debates in this thread, but I'd like to get my hands on some original source materials on which I can rely.

airedale
03-24-2018, 01:45 PM
IamMadMan, for those of us looking to get into curing, etc., but who don't want to rely on unknown internet authors, can you recommend any definitive books ...I'm not the guru himself but I can recommend "Dry Curing Pork" by Hector Kent. It is oriented more toward sausage but Kent is a teacher by trade and the book is much more a tutorial than it is a cookbook. The first chapter, 36 pages, is pure tutorial including probably everything you want to know about sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate. The second chapter, entitled "Teaching Recipes" begins the transition to recipes. Each recipe is preceded by a page titled "What This Recipe Teaches." Bacon is not dried pork, but he covers it pretty well. He also covers traditional European hams preparation.

IamMadMan
03-24-2018, 03:07 PM
IamMadMan, for those of us looking to get into curing, etc., but who don't want to rely on unknown internet authors, can you recommend any definitive books or other written materials or sources from which we can learn these important principles, processes, and procedures? Can anyone else recommend any?

I really have enjoyed and learned a lot from the discussions and debates in this thread, but I'd like to get my hands on some original source materials on which I can rely.


If you're really interested in curing meats or sausage making, then invest in one of these recommended books for sausage making and curing meats....



I would suggest doing some reading before you make the leap so you have an understanding of some of the processes...... Keep in mind there are many different types of sausages; some are made and cooked fresh, some contain a cure so they can be safely smoked, while others are cured and dried. It is important that you follow the recipe using exact amounts as well as the proper procedures to maintain a safe meat product. When in doubt read and read again, and ask questions if you need to.

There are many great books and guides on curing meat and sausage making. I am sure almost everyone who posts may have a few recommendations for books on the subject. In my opinion, these are by far the best books for basic and advanced sausage making. They start with the basics and move forward to help you master the craft of curing and sausage making. Contains true recipes before the use of chemical enhancers/additives, and fillers were added to stretch the amount of commercial production.

While there are many books out there that all contain enough information to get you off to a good start, there are a few books that I would highly recommend.


First Recommendation..

Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages by Stanley Marianski and Adam Marianski
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2B6GpQIrQL._AA160_.jpg

This is a book that covers everything from making a smokehouse, to curing meats, and making sausage. Very easy to read with a great collection of recipes and techniques for the beginner. This book is actually two other books ("Meat Smoking And Smokehouse Design" and "Polish Sausages, Authentic Recipes And Instructions") combined into one single book plus more on making sausage and curing meats. Most are simple one Kilogram recipes, so you can make a small batch of the product before deciding to make a large batch. This also makes it easier to make a larger batches with easy multiples. The use of a metric scale in sausage making and curing makes the process much more accurate and provides a consistent product time after time.


Second Recommendation..

Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas and Ben Kutas
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HsqN0YTgL._AA160_.jpg

This is often called the definitive book on sausage making. The explanation of how cures work, and what they are for, just this understanding to a beginner is worth the price of the book. However the smallest quantity the recipes is for ten pounds, so a beginner will have to properly calculate and scale down the recipes. The book is equally helpful to the beginner or the advanced. Some of these recipes are a little too salty for my taste, but I just make a note in the book and reduce the salt in the next batch. The book also contains a some stories that are entertaining. *** DO NOT BUY THE BOOK / DVD COMBO, in my opinion the DVD is completely worthless, even to a beginner, but that's just my personal opinion.


Third Recommendation..

Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Xa69CUiVL._AA160_.jpg
This is a great book, although it lightly touches the basics, I feel the book is more for an intermediate or advanced sausage maker. Most recipes are in five pound batches, but I suggest you scale them down to try them before making a large batch. You'll find that you will have to tweak a lot of the recipes to your individual liking / tastes. This book takes sausage to the next level with using some top shelf ingredients as well as some hard to find ingredients to make sausages that could be considered in the "gourmet" classification. Michael Ruhlman has many proven recipes, but you must have an understanding of the basics before you try to get into the gourmet type recipes contained herein.



Also keep in mind that there are many great resources on the World-Wide-Web (Internet), but reference books are always good for checking factual information when in doubt.

I would stress to all beginners to use only a tested and proven recipe from a reliable source, there are many recipes I have found on the Internet that I would have concerns about. Just because it's out there doesn't mean it is correct. Also the use of an electronic scale that also has a metric mode is an invaluable must have. The weighing of the cure is critical to food safety, so if everything is properly weighed and not measured, you will have a great product in the end.

Here is a brief guide to what basics are needed to make your own sausage.
http://www.lets-make-sausage.com/Sausage-making-equipment.html


Resources for tested recipes:

Wendliny Domowe - Meats and Sausage (Based on some of Marianski teachings/recipes):
http://www.meatsandsausages.com/
http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage-making

Len Paoli's Recipe site
http://lpoli.50webs.com/Sausage%20recipes.htm

The Spicy Sausage
http://thespicysausage.com/sausagemakingrecipes.htm

Sausage Mania
http://www.sausagemania.com/tutorial.html

Lets Make Sausage
http://www.lets-make-sausage.com/Sausage-making-equipment.html

Sausage Making Org
http://forum.sausagemaking.org/

Northwest Smoking
http://web.archive.org/web/20010214020112/http:/home.att.net/~g.m.fowler/frame/Sausage1.htm

Sausage Recipes from Stuffer's Supply Company in British Columbia, Canada
https://kickam2.com/sausage/sausrecp.pdf

Sausages West
http://sausageswest.com/7-recipe-index/
http://sausageswest.com/sausage-making-sausage-recipes-sausage-making-hobbyists/not-sausage-making-home-page-close/index/

and so many more....

While I have found the above internet sources to be very good, always do your math, there is no substitution for checking someone else's work before you use it.


I have also dabbled in European Type hams that dry cure for a year, so I am going to order the book airedale suggested above just for that reason. The next time I post the list of books, it might be included with the other books if I find it to be helpful.


.

OklaDustDevil
03-24-2018, 03:59 PM
Wow! Fantastic reference!! Thanks to both you and Airedale for the info!!!

thirdeye
03-24-2018, 05:45 PM
Just to let Wayne and Pstores know, that I did contact Thermoworks regarding their posted recipe and the amount of cure they had suggested. I showed them the math where 1 Tablespoon would have put the Cure # 1 on a 5 pound brisket over 600 PPM.

I got a very nice letter, thanking me for bringing this to their attention, their staff researched the references for use by the manufacturer and the FDA guidelines.

Yesterday they adjusted their recipe to reflect a proper amount of cure of just 1 teaspoon vs the 1 Tablespoon (3 teaspoons) previously listed.

Kudos to a company who is willing to research data and is open to make corrections to their material.

One correction on the web, but many more to go......


It's good to hear Thermoworks corrected the recipe, and GREAT that someone actually sat down and double checked your math.... but from Thermoworks it doesn't surprise me. Why, you might ask? Well Thermoworks has been discussing the 7-log10 relative reduction in salmonella bacteria in the meat in at least two ARTICLES (https://blog.thermoworks.com/2017/04/baked-chicken-breasts-juicy-temperature/) and they explain the USDA holding chart. If you are not familiar with this term, the USDA has a chart to support safe cooking temps, like 165įF for chicken. And using the 7-log 10 chart you can see that if you pull chicken breast at 157į and hold it for just 34 seconds, it's safe to eat. Even better it's moister and a tick more tender too. Of course Thermoworks sells thermometers, and good ones, so it makes sense to give someone a practical reason to have an accurate thermometer.

thirdeye
03-24-2018, 05:55 PM
IamMadMan, for those of us looking to get into curing, etc., but who don't want to rely on unknown internet authors, can you recommend any definitive books or other written materials or sources from which we can learn these important principles, processes, and procedures? Can anyone else recommend any?

I really have enjoyed and learned a lot from the discussions and debates in this thread, but I'd like to get my hands on some original source materials on which I can rely.

OklaDustDevil, the Rytek Kutas is a good one, and has some really good photos some of which you might not expect to see, for example they show you the gland (which is somewhat rare to find) when boning a pork butt. It's so good I'm on my second copy.... not because I've worn it out, it's because some of the editions have a crummy binding causing the pages to fall out at will. I've purchased about 6 copies of this book as gifts and reminded my friends to lookout for the binding. Bottom line is.... the content is so good, the binding is secondary.

I was on the waiting list before Charcuterie was published and it's a good read. Some of Ruhlman's recipes are a little heavy handed with salt and cure, so keep that in mind. You can do your own calculations and make notes right in the margin. I read one book review that said something along the lines that Ruhlman is a better author than a charcutier.

benski
03-24-2018, 06:10 PM
A most interesting read. I've been BBQing and grilling for a long time, and have never ventured into curing items like bacon at home. Home brined turkeys, roasts, etc., yes. So I'll read carefully, and take with whatever a grain of salt weighs, instructions, especially on the 'net.