Using cure for jerky

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by smokin pop-pop, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. Hi guys, I have been surfin' around the forum for a while and noticed a lot of you use cure when making jerky.

    I have a recipe that I used a couple of times now that I got from the food network website. It is a brine recipe but does not call

    for any type of cure. Should I be using cure or is there enough salt in the brine mixture. If I should be using cure do I add it in

    with all my other ingredients. This brine is for 2 lbs. of meat :

    2/3 c. Worcestershire sauce

    2/3 c. soy sauce

    2 tsp. ground black pepper

    2 tsp. onion powder

    1 tsp. liquid smoke

    1 tsp. red pepper flakes

    1 T. honey

    I usually let the meat in the brine for 2 -3 days in the fridge.

    Thanks in advance for any info , Joe
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would for sure use cure. Just to me on the safe side. Making jerky takes along time
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Do you smoke the jerky and at what temperatures.....
  4. D/O I do smoke the jerky in my MB 40 . I think I went as high as maybe 180 final temp.

    The jerky was OK but seemed more like cooked then dried, maybe to much smoke too

    fingers turned blackish when holding it. I want to omit the liquid smoke next time and just use smoke

    from the smoker. might have only been in the smoker 3-4 hrs.
  5. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I highly recommend a cure for jerky.

    If you're smoking the jerky, no need for the liquid smoke.

    When you smoked it, did you keep the vents wide open? Also, no water in the pan. You need to dry it.

    I dry and smoke mine at 120 for 2 hours, add smoke an bump the temp up 10 degrees. Then, each half hour, I take it up 10 degrees until I get to 160. Takes a while, but it does a good job. But, to do it like this, a cure is required.
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This is the same method I use. It's the only way to get really good texture on your jerky, and yes it requires cure to do it this way. I prefer to use Prague cure #1. I weigh the meat then weigh and add the appropriate amount of cure.
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The proper cure has many names... In the US they say 6.25% sodium nitrite.... and are colored pink.... ie.. pink salt or cure #1...

    ... ..

    Not to be confused with Cure #2....

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
  8. Not to hi jack the thread, but can someone explain thr rationale behind the whole start at 120 and bump 10 degrees every hour. I've seen this a few places with jerky and SS, Why not just go with 180 or so from the get go ?
  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    It slows the rate that the meat cooks and helps it retain moisture during the initial cooking process. The slower drying time, at least with jerky makes a better product.
  10. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Start at 120 without smoke for a couple of hours to dry the meat or sausages exterior a bit. It also begins a slow heat of the meat.

    By bumping 10 degrees each half hour, you slowly cook the meat/sausage. If you started at 180, the exterior would be done much faster than the interior of the meat/sausage.

    That's my thoughts on it. Since starting this, my stuff has improved dramatically.
  11. Strangely it makes alot of sense. Thanks for clearing that up
  12. So, when should you use cure and when can you get away without it? I have  a couple of pounds of venison that my brother-in-law gave me, and although this my first attempt at jerky, I'd like it to turn out as good as possible. Thanks for any advice. 
  13. root beer

    root beer Newbie

    1/4 teaspoon of pink curing salt, and 2-1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt per pound of meat. Add 1/2 tsp of each
    Black pepper
    Onion powder
    Garlic powder
    Hungarian paprika
    Red pepper flake.
    Meat tenderizer (unseasoned)

    Evenly sprinkle seasoning on both sides of meat.
    Tightly wrap meat together as a unit in plastic wrap.
    Store in refrigerator for three days.
    Dehydrate until desired texture (4-6 hours on high)
    Or smoke with hickory wood at a low heat for several hours with a half pan of water maintained.
    Using pink curing salt (sodium nitrite) is recommended when cooking meat at low heat to rid it of bacteria. Never use pink curing salt when cooking meat at high heat.
    I hope this helps
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you are drying the meat in a dehydrator... no need for cure if you get the meat to 160 ish while it is wet... then lower the temp for the drying process....

    If you are planning on smoking the meat in a smokehouse, use cure #1 at the rate of 1.1 grams per pound, or 1 tsp. per 5#'s...
  15. Ok - thanks very much, Dave. I will keep that in mind.

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