Making Your Own Curing Salts
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Welcome to the Safety Forum...You can post questions regarding the Safety of anything here and it will be answered to the best of our ability and all are asked to contribute...However, There are a few Guidelines that should be taken into consideration when you post an answer...
Always try to keep USDA recommendation in mind when you answer...
Always take into consideration that the member asking the question, or others reading the question and answers, are not sure if they are risking the Health of themselves and loved ones and does not know what to do...
Read the post and give Complete and Detailed answers...Random statements that are Vague, General or nonspecific that can't be supported by anything other than, " That's the way my Grandmother did it." can be confusing and potentially dangerous...
Some Guidelines are Standard on SMF...It is important for your Safety, that any Meats that have been Punctured, Injected, Boned Rolled and Tied or Ground be cooked or smoked at a temperature, typically 225*F or greater, that gets the Internal Temperature of the meat from 40*F to 140*F in 4 Hours or less...Frequently called the 40 to 140 in 4 Rule. (This does not include meats containing Cure #1, Cure #2 and Morton's Tender Quick.)
This is how the rule was established...
A Guideline like 40-140 in 4...aka the Rule (less letters than Guideline) is, Easy to remember, Provides a margin of Error, Has been gleaned from information provided by Multiple sources, including but not limited to, Professional Food service organizations, The American Culinary Federation, The ServSafe program, the USDA and Food Service Professionals with Years of Experience... Is, " 40 to 140*F in 4 " written down in any Government Food Service Law Manual, or Word for Word on any fore mentioned Website or Charter?...NO...But it Has been adopted by This Site and others to protect our members...
Just a bit on Curing Safety...
Curing meat involves the use certain Chemicals among them Salt, Sodium Nitrite and Sodium Nitrate...These are all critical in preventing the growth of several dangerous forms of Bacteria. To that end...
For Safety, the owners and staff of SMF don't support the Smoking of Meat at temperatures lower than 200*F unless a Cure containing Sodium Nitrite Cure #1 or Tender Quick is used...The addition of Cure allows for Smoking anywhere between 40 and 200*F for an extended period of time...The only Exception is Bacon or if the product contains an amount of salt sufficient to achieve an internal brine concentration of 10% or more... To this end, Please don't post or follow recipes that are contrary to this...
Curing sausages to a dry or semi-dry state, such as pepperoni, salami, sopressata, Spanish chorizo and so on, in many cases, requires the use of a Sodium Nitrate/Nitrite blend, Cure #2, to produce the desired long cured items...Additionally a Temperature and Humidity controlled, Fermentation and Extended Curing must take place to reduce the Moisture content of the meat...This Requires Specialized Equipment that can maintain a Constant Relative Humidity and Temperature that is higher than that of a standard refrigerator...
There are Classic forms of Curing with just Salt, Prosciutto and Coppa come to mind, but they require a very specific set of Temperature and Salting Rules be followed and are not in any way a Beginner's undertaking. There is no reason we can't discuss age old techniques but please do not post general statements that make this type of Curing sound like they can be performed easily and under a broad spectrum of Temperature and Humidity conditions...
There are some Hot subjects that come up in Safety from time to time while Friendly debate is acceptable...Rude Arguing is not any kind of Fun and Threads may be Locked from time to time to allow a cooling off period...
Please be nice to one another... Disparaging Comments about another members Post, Education, Abilities or Intent...Is just not right and will have to be deleted with a Warning sent...Further infractions will be grounds for Suspension and/or Banning from the SMF...We all lose in this situation...
As new Questions arise or new Techniques are approved I will post additional information here...Enjoy and stay Safe...JJ
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