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Curing venison

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have gotten a wild hair due to this forum and for the first time ever I am going to attempt to process my own venison. I am so very confused on the curing part. I see many members who use no cure at all and some who swear by it. I have searched for MTQ everywhere and cannot find it at any local places.

I have the buck quartered out as well as the back strap and ribs sitting on ice since Saturday and its ready to come out and be processed. My friends all think I'm crazy but I look for every opportunity to save money and this is one of those opportunities.

I guess my confusion is that everything I smoke goes over 140 degrees therefore the need to cure the meat is pointless or am I very dangerously wrong there? I am no expert which is why I am really enjoying this forum so very much. I am just an average joe who loves to cook and my pit smoker and MES 40 are my babies, I play with them as much as possible.

Thank you all in advance!
post #2 of 5

Cured venison is similar to pastrami. The cure changes the flavor. Try a few searches-- cured venison, venison bacon, pastrami.

post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakyleg View Post

I have gotten a wild hair due to this forum and for the first time ever I am going to attempt to process my own venison. I am so very confused on the curing part. I see many members who use no cure at all and some who swear by it. I have searched for MTQ everywhere and cannot find it at any local places.

I have the buck quartered out as well as the back strap and ribs sitting on ice since Saturday and its ready to come out and be processed. My friends all think I'm crazy but I look for every opportunity to save money and this is one of those opportunities.

I guess my confusion is that everything I smoke goes over 140 degrees therefore the need to cure the meat is pointless or am I very dangerously wrong there? I am no expert which is why I am really enjoying this forum so very much. I am just an average joe who loves to cook and my pit smoker and MES 40 are my babies, I play with them as much as possible.

Thank you all in advance!

Shaky, morning..... I can understand your concerns about when or not to use cure.... There must be dozens of "rules" that explain when, how, how much, what temp, which cure (cure #1 or #2), how long, whole muscle, ground muscle and I'm sure there are more "rules" that will have an outcome of what you are looking for....
Cure #2 is used when meats are not expected to be cooked... They are "Long Term" dry aged meats.. months in a temp controlled, humidity controlled atmosphere.... like prosciutto....
Cure #1 is used to prevent botulism and enhance texture, color and flavor in meats... It is used when smoking meats in a low oxygen environment, (which promotes botulism), for extended periods in the temp range of 40 - 140 degrees F, which is the temp range that promotes bacteria and botulism...
It is used in ground meats, as the grinding process introduces surface bacteria into the center of the meat, that are to be smoked in the low oxygen environment....like making sausage...
Bacon is bacon because of cure #1 and the taste texture thing and long term smoking in the 40-140 danger zone, and it needs cure #1....
Whole muscle is a different animal... A roast, as an example, is considered "sterile" in the interior of the muscle and can be held in the 40-140 temp range for longer than the "4 hour rule" due to the "sterility" assumption.... The outside of that muscle should be "sterilized" in a high temp cooking process, (225 deg. F) to kill surface bacteria, then the duration of the cook can be many hours and the meat is determined "safe to eat", and no cure #1 is required....

Bacon in a brine, massaged solution the max cure #1 is 120 Ppm nitrite, rind off...
Bacon in a dry rubbed curing method is 200 Ppm max nitrite... (not to be confused with the dry aging process)
The USDA does not allow commercial operations to use nitrate in bacon... (cure #2)

Ground meats like sausage, cure #1 max Ppm is 156 nitrite...

This stuff is confusing at best.... Using approved recipes is best and I recommend using cure #1 and have a grams scale on hand for weighing cure... having a scale that weighs the meat is a good thing too......

The above, BY NO MEANS, includes all the ins and outs of curing..... A good curing book, to get started, would be a good thing, then specific questions can be answered.....

Pops has also put a few "tested recipes" together on the site.....

We have many members that are knowledgeable in the curing process also.....

I would be cautious using recipes from Blogs etc. as they have demonstrated many flaws in proper amounts of cure to use..... whether they are typos or the hired staff didn't know the difference in tsp. or Tbs. and they were transposed.....

Well.... that could rant could be confusing.... hope not.... Trying to answer a specific question, without knowing the remaining situation, is difficult.... that's why I rant on and on and......

Dave
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

Shaky, morning..... I can understand your concerns about when or not to use cure.... There must be dozens of "rules" that explain when, how, how much, what temp, which cure (cure #1 or #2), how long, whole muscle, ground muscle and I'm sure there are more "rules" that will have an outcome of what you are looking for....
Cure #2 is used when meats are not expected to be cooked... They are "Long Term" dry aged meats.. months in a temp controlled, humidity controlled atmosphere.... like prosciutto....
Cure #1 is used to prevent botulism and enhance texture, color and flavor in meats... It is used when smoking meats in a low oxygen environment, (which promotes botulism), for extended periods in the temp range of 40 - 140 degrees F, which is the temp range that promotes bacteria and botulism...
It is used in ground meats, as the grinding process introduces surface bacteria into the center of the meat, that are to be smoked in the low oxygen environment....like making sausage...
Bacon is bacon because of cure #1 and the taste texture thing and long term smoking in the 40-140 danger zone, and it needs cure #1....
Whole muscle is a different animal... A roast, as an example, is considered "sterile" in the interior of the muscle and can be held in the 40-140 temp range for longer than the "4 hour rule" due to the "sterility" assumption.... The outside of that muscle should be "sterilized" in a high temp cooking process, (225 deg. F) to kill surface bacteria, then the duration of the cook can be many hours and the meat is determined "safe to eat", and no cure #1 is required....

Bacon in a brine, massaged solution the max cure #1 is 120 Ppm nitrite, rind off...
Bacon in a dry rubbed curing method is 200 Ppm max nitrite... (not to be confused with the dry aging process)
The USDA does not allow commercial operations to use nitrate in bacon... (cure #2)

Ground meats like sausage, cure #1 max Ppm is 156 nitrite...

This stuff is confusing at best.... Using approved recipes is best and I recommend using cure #1 and have a grams scale on hand for weighing cure... having a scale that weighs the meat is a good thing too......

The above, BY NO MEANS, includes all the ins and outs of curing..... A good curing book, to get started, would be a good thing, then specific questions can be answered.....

Pops has also put a few "tested recipes" together on the site.....

We have many members that are knowledgeable in the curing process also.....

I would be cautious using recipes from Blogs etc. as they have demonstrated many flaws in proper amounts of cure to use..... whether they are typos or the hired staff didn't know the difference in tsp. or Tbs. and they were transposed.....

Well.... that could rant could be confusing.... hope not.... Trying to answer a specific question, without knowing the remaining situation, is difficult.... that's why I rant on and on and......

Dave

Hi Dave,

Great summary there. Thanks for putting that together, I learned some stuff too.

Happy Holidays!
Clarissa
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much Dave for taking the time to explain the differences. It made it easy to understand.
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