Curing over a week?

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by ihocky2, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. I've had some top round curing over a week and want to make sure it is still safe. I am using High Mountain jerky kit and started curing last week, planning to smoke of Tuesday. I got sick and never got around to it. It's been in the fridge sinc seasoning and adding curing salt.
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    There really is no issue going long as long as it still smells ok...JJ
  3. Better too long than too little time. If you mixed the brine / marinade according to the directions then the Nitrite concentration in the meat will reach equilibrium with the brine after x number of hours and stabilize there.

    Some friends of mine make Jerky for traveling. I asked them for their recipe and they sent it. They don't use cure, just salt. I guess if you get the meat above 160 deg quickly enough that will work, most of the time; but they only marinate their beef strips for 15 minutes before they put them in their dehydrator.

    They've been doing it for years with no ill effects so they must be doing something right; but that sounds like too little time to me for the brine to penetrate through the meat strips.

    I read somewhere that it takes a minimum of 1 hour for brine to penetrate 1/4 inch of meat from the outside in. Given the variations in beef and slicing size it seems to my engineering mind that you want at least three hours per 1/4 inch of thickness. (+2/3 safety factor).

    I strongly believe we should err on the plus side of curing times. A major concern of all the Food Safety specs and guides I've read is a concern about "untreated pockets of heat resistant bacteria".

    I sure don't want to bite into one of those. I expect that a bad case of the runs is about the least bad thing that could happen to you.   [​IMG]  

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