safety concern

Discussion in 'Curing' started by texaxe, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Hey Guys
    Help me out on this one. I am making a jerky recipe that was published in the Spring "Sausage Maker, Inc." catalog. it goes like this;

    3 lbs of lean beef or venison strips
    1 tsp. Table salt
    1tsp. Instacure #1
    1 tsp onion powder
    1 tsp. garlic powder
    1 tsp black pepper
    1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

    Using Martins' handy dandy Universal cure calculator (very cool by the
    way), the weight of the meat is 1366 G, the required cure is 2.67G at 120 ppm (as suggested by Pops) and the salt requirement is around 25 G. Here is the problem, based on this recipe they are supplying about 6-7 grams of cure based on my scales 1 tsp=6 G, I substituted kosher salt which is only 7 G per tsp.
    Two things. I don't know the typical ratio between table salt and kosher salt. Should I really be adding around 3.5 tsp of kosher salt and that sounds like a lot of cure (over double what Martins' calculator recommends. Is my math off, or is this recipe unsafe?
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Tex, morning......
    3.5 tsp Kosher salt @ 7 g. tsp. = 24.5 g. salt
    1 tsp. cure #1 @ ~ 5.6 g. tsp

    That gives you 30 g. salt

    3# meat = 1362 g meat..... 30 g salt into 1362 g meat = 2.2% salt.... which is generally accepted as perfect... Although, depending on the moisture in the meat when you weigh it vs when it is dried, the salt content will be higher..... Dried meat does need a higher salt content to remain safe to eat to control pathogens if not refrigerated....
    Cure #1 is usually added at a rate of 1 tsp. / 5#.... 156 ppm for comminuted meats.. it is a little high for this recipe... Pops suggestion of 120 ppm is very acceptable for this method as 156 is maximum allowable, if I remember correctly...
  3. Thanks Dave, Unfortunately I figured out that this was a little overboard on the cure after I had mixed it in with my meat. Do you think it is reasonable to add a couple of more pounds of meat (for a total of 5 pounds) to my current mix to effectively "dilute" the amount of cure in the meat ? Or is it too late?
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you can add it, mix thoroughly and let rest for everything to come to equilibrium, you will be fine.... nitrite does dissipate and convert to "something" at temps above 130 ....
  5. Thank you. will give that a try
  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Way too much thinking involved here............
  7. Yeah, can't help it. Just want to be safe. I like the science. Now I'm learning the art with the help of the members of this forum.
  8. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    we always use a ratio of 3.1% when using F.S Cure. so for every 1000g of meat you use 3.1g of cure.

    weight x .0031 = amount of cure. doesn't matter the unit of measure for weight when using this method. . if you have 25.54kg of meat then it is 25.54 x .0031 = .079kg or 79 grams of cure.

    same formula whether using pounds, ounzes or kg's.

    this is for F.S Cure sold in Canada. Do Not use this ratio for cure#1/progue powder. 
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
  9. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

     this ratio we use is in a commercial setting in my families butcher shop. Universal for all the smoked cured meats we produce, wert or dry cured.

    Doesn't answer the salt part of the question, I only use fine sea salt. ratio for salt changes depending on some items and other ingredients going into the mix. If you use soya sauce, oyster sauce, garlic or onion salts and so on. Usually minor adjustments, but adjustments.

    Have also been away from the fam business fro a few years and some things are forgotten.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mike.... that figures out to ~194 Ppm nitrite you are putting in the meat..... That exceeds acceptable limits for some cuts of meat... Sausage and bacon are two examples that those numbers are not acceptable....
    On this forum, we preach following acceptable guidelines of the FSIS and USDA.....

  11. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    1tsp/5lb =  2.46%    weight x .00246 = amount of cure needed.

    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
  12. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    Sorry about the confusion.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
  13. Thanks Mike, that is a nice and easy ratio. I can use that. I have the jerky in the dehydrator now. I saved about two pounds so I can put a little smoke on it before it goes in the dehydrator. Thanks to everyone. This forum is great.
  14. Thanks Dave. I am running and re-running everything through Martins calculator to make sure that I am being safe. I did want to ask about other sources of salt. In this recipe the, worcestershire adds about 64mg of sodium per teaspoon. That is easily converted to grams once you determine the total volume. I assume that you add that amount into the total salt content. I hadn't thought about the amount of salt in the cure. Am I right in assuming that if the amount of nitrite in #1 cure (pink salt) is 6.25% of the total weight, is the rest (92.75%) of the weight salt?
  15. Hey Mike, Gotta tell you, I appreciate the information, but that picture of the steak by your user name is making it hard to focus. Perfect!!!!!!
  16. madman mike

    madman mike Smoking Fanatic

    Haha. ya, its a sweet porter house.

    But have a look at these cold smoked rib eye and a smoker full of cheese to really get te  juices flowing

    this last one is a bad pic of amazing cold smoked Berkshire pork loin.

    Happy smoking!!
  17. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Mike...... here is where the confusion occurred...... see below..... our cure down here is 6.25% sodium nitrite.... That puts your cure in the ball park..... If you don't mind, would you delete the "3.5% addition of cure" in your post.... Folks may not realize the difference in the concentration of sodium nitrite between the two cures and that could cause problems..... and all related ratios you made reference to.. folks may just skim through the posts and not realize they are adding too much cure when they use the USA cure.....

    Ingredients: Salt, Sodium Nitrite, Sodium Bicarbonate, Silicon Dioxide (mfg. aid). Contains: 5% Sodium Nitrite. - See more at:
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
  18. mchar69

    mchar69 Smoke Blower

    Mike, that cold smoke ribeye looks amazing!  The pork looks great, too.
  19. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes about the salt in cure #1.... Martins calculator takes into account the salt in the cure when recommending the amount of total salt for the meat product.. EX. if you want 2% salt, and 120 Ppm nitrite in the meat, the kosher salt addition is corrected to take into account the salt in the cure....
  20. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    To all reading this thread.....



    Thanks for posting the cure ingredients.... That was a good thing....
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014

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