When and when not to use a cure?

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by h22lude, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. h22lude

    h22lude Fire Starter

    I'm new to making jerky.  I made it once years ago using the Alton Brown method.  It came out ok.  I think I dried it too long.  I want to start making it more now.  Since I don't have a dehydrator (yet) I will be using either my oven or smoker at around 160°.  I do plan on buying a jerky cannon and using ground beer, chicken and turkey but I also want to try making strips from whole pieces of meat.

    I've been doing some research on here and I am still confused on when I should use a cure and when I don't need to.  When is it ok not to use a cure?  When do I absolutely need to use one?
  2. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'd never make it without it. but that's just my opinion
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
  3. h22lude

    h22lude Fire Starter

    I believe all LEM seasoning has a cure in it and that is what I most likely would be using if I got the cannon.  I just wanted an option for friends and family that don't like having nitrites.

    How long would jerky last with and without it?
  4. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    I don't use cure in my jerky. Marinate over night and into the dehydrator at 160 for about 5 hours. I've never had an issue and there are a lot of people that eat it (I sell it to my coworkers) I may just be playing Russian roulette but in the 8+ years I've been making it it's been all good.
  5. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    I vacuum pack mine and I've eaten some up to about two months after making with no problem
  6. I also never use a cure on jerky. My technique is marinating in a soy based liquid followed by placing it in the big chief smoker. Best jerky ever made.

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  7. h22lude

    h22lude Fire Starter

    What temp do you smoke it at and for how long? It seems like if you use a salt based marinade (like soy) and make sure it is out of the danger zone within 4 hours, it would be fine. Store in fridge or freezer for longer.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  8. I haven't rechecked the temp in the big chief lately,(I believe it's in the 140+ range)--for 4hrs. Then I keep the finished product in a ziplock bag in the fridge.
    Should I be using the pink salt?? (Cure #1) --Probably-I need to do some research-
    Will adding cure change the flavor profile??

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  9. I forgot to mention: I believe actual wood smoke is antibacterial in nature. This helps in the curing process, at least for the exterior of the meat.

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