Can you tell the difference between Cure #1 vs Cure #2

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by jp61, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I have not used cure #2 as of yet

    The thought popped in my head just now...... how could I tell the difference between the two, they're both pink.

    What IF  there was a "mistake" in the manufacturing and/or packaging chain and I end up with a pound of cure #2, labeled as cure #1.

    I realize the chances are very low of this happening but, you know what they say, STUFF  happens.

    Somewhat relevant...

    Couple of years ago, my son, who does not live with me, came over to my house one day before I got home from work and made himself a cup of coffee. My mistake (won't happen again)..... I had a ziplock bag in the cupboard with leftover salt+cure #1 in it. He thought it was sugar........ "what kind of coffee did you buy??? that was the worst coffee I ever tasted!!". He only had one sip.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014
  2. Hello JP.  If it makes you sick, stop using it!

    Serious now!  Good question!  You KNOW it WILL happen.  Just a matter of time.  Any time you have human interaction you stand the risk of human error.  I have NO idea of how to tell the difference.  Hopefully someone will come along and educate us both.  Keep Smokin!

  3. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well, Cure # 1 and Cure # 2 have very different purposes and must be used accordingly.

    I keep my cures out of the reach of other people and in my storage room. I also keep them VERY well marked for the day when I have a senior moment?

    Today I found a jar of mystery stuff in the kitchen with no label.  My other half heard about it.  My limbs are still intact.  [​IMG]

    Good luck and good smoking.
  4. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    That's the reason for the question.

    #1 Can you tell which is which without reading the label?

    #2 Can you tell which is which without reading the label?
  5. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I keep all my smoking and curing paraphernalia is seperate boxes in the garage kitchen. Just one of those things, but I don't much have to worry about mistakes from others, but still its just safer that way. Besides I would worry more about someone wasting my hard won special secret spices.....LOL.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
  7. Hello Folks.  I think what JP is talking about is getting a mis-labeled product from a supplier.  At least that's how I read his post.  You order #1, the package says #1 but is actually #2.  If it happens at home and you are unsure then obviously you pitch it but is there any way to tell if the supplier screwed up without having it scientifically analysed.  Just my take on the question.  Keep Smokin!

  8. That is the way I am reading the question. I don't think you are likely to get a cure 1 in a cure 2 package. I am not saying it can't happen. I do think you would see the results in the final product. If you don't think what you cured went right then I would maybe question it. Un till then I would sleep like a baby with out worrying about it. You stand a better chance of tripping and falling going to the smoker.

    Happy smoken.

  9. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Now you got me worried. There were almost 8 million ER visits due to falls in US in 2010.
  10. Yeah but not all of them were on their way to the smoker [​IMG].

    Happy smoken.

  11. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I believe that if the chemical company mislabeled the cure, I would be rich. Chemicals ain't like a class action tire law suit, chemicals now thats a big boy federal mistake!! I don't worry about that, course I don't worry they'll put carbon dioxide in my oxygen bottles either.
  12. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I heard there are a lot of companies that bottle oxygen laced with hydrogen.
  13. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

     Might as well, my ground meat from the grocery store comes package with nitrogen.
  14. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I made sure to tell my wife that the package of pink stuff on the top shelf was curing salt and was poison. Unfortunately, the Himilayan pink salt was on the other top shelf above the stove. She saw me grinding some onto scrambled eggs and thought I was trying to poison her. 😄
  15. Hey MD!  Tell her not to worry.  "I made this meat specially for you my love!"  It has "special sauce" [​IMG]   Keep Smokin!

  16. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    "John Doe" loves to eat sausage! One day he decides he wants to make his own smoked sausage. He knows nothing of the process so he ends up buying the book Sausage Making - It's So Easy A Caveman Can Do It. While waiting for the book to arrive he searches the internet and finds this secret smoked sausage recipe with instructions on how to make it  He already has all the necessary equipment given to him by his grandfather and all ingredients on hand with the exception of this Cure #1 stuff and casing. Couple of days later his book arrives and while reading he learns how important it is to use Cure #1 when making smoked sausage and why. Seems simple enough and can hardly wait to get started. He drives down to his favorite sausage shop, Butch's Smoked Meats to buy some Cure #1. Butch wasn't there because he forgot to renew his license plate for his Volare and today was his last opportunity to get it done before it expires.

    The Holidays are also near and Butch's place is hopping busy, business couldn't be any better.

    How may I help you sir, says the young person behind the counter who may or may not be Butch's relative visiting from another country. You guys sell any of that Cure #1 stuff for making smoked sausage asks "John Doe". Yes we do, how much do you need sir? Well, I'm not really sure how much to get, this is my first time making sausage but I think 8 oz should get me started. OK, that sounds good sir let me get that for you, it's in the back. Oh wait, I almost forgot, I also need enough natural casing for 25lbs of pork. Here you go sir, have a nice day and Happy Holidays!

    "John Doe" very carefully follows directions outlined in the recipe and ends up making some really nice looking sausage. He's very happy with the results and proud of his accomplishment. Being a nice guy, he decides to share his smoked sausage with family and friends. One little problem...... he purchased and used Cure #2.

    Is there a qualified SMF Paul Harvey-like member here, with the rest of the story?

    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
  17. John Doe's 87 yr. old mom dies from nitrate poisoning. The place is now called John Doe's Smoked Meats and John and what's left of his family ( the ones with  out birth defects ) now live in the mansion on the hill.  [​IMG]

    Of course John; and it seem's the rest of us, still can't tell the difference between #1 and #2!  [​IMG]   Keep Smokin!

  18. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Can someone please explain to me what would have happened to John Doe if he had in fact used cure #2? Let's say he did everything right, according to a good recipe for kielbasa. I mean, would it really kill his family? Are there different amounts called for with 2 versus 1?
    I've never used 2 so I really have no idea.
  19. The last thing we want to do is frighten anyone away from trying either cure.  We were just having a bit of fun with a make believe scenario.  I can't give you all the science, I am no expert at using cures, still learning myself.  Hopefully one of the members with experience will weigh in here and educate all of us.  From what little knowledge I have it's not necessarily the cure that MAY harm you.  So long as you follow the safe amount required for the weight of the meat.  Obviously each cure is safe to eat when used correctly  It's the curing process and the way each cure works that CAN but not necessarily cause an issue. You CAN use too little cure #1 making smoked sausage but so long as you stay within 40-140-4 rule you will be safe to eat it.  It seems to me ( with my limited knowledge ) the issue is whether the cure has had the time to properly react with the meat and to properly complete the curing process.  Well that exhausts my pea brain of knowledge.  Keep Smokin!

  20. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Without the labels, I can't tell the difference..... Keep stuff labeled.... when in doubt, throw it out.... You even have to be "somewhat" knowledgeable to know that DQ curing salt is Cure #1.... Same with Prague Powder..... This hobby, curing meats, is not for the addled...

    As far as the manufacturer/packager screwing up the 2..... I don't think that's possible...... NOW, if it did happen, used in the proper amounts and methods, it shouldn't be a problem...
    Except in bacon.... FDA wants ZERO nitrates in bacon..... if you cure according to the FDA regs....


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