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do you have to use cure?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Im looking to make some venison snack sticks and sausage for the first time. My question is, do you have to use cure when making these, as i intend to vacuum seal and freeze the product in portion bags immediately after cooking them so i can eat them throughout the year. id rather not put chemicals in the product if i can avoid doing so.

post #2 of 12
How are you going to cook them
post #3 of 12

if you're going to do a long smoke I'd use cure.....1 teaspoon per 5 pounds is not a lot of chemicals to ingest. I'd be more concerned with parasites in the venison muscle tissue that I might be ingesting.....but, that's me.

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
I was going to do it in a dehydrator and partially in the smoker for taste. Would you also use cure in sausage if I am going to make it, freeze it and than cook it on the grill eventually? Is the cure more for smoke stuff at low temps? Thanks
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtksmoke View Post
 

Im looking to make some venison snack sticks and sausage for the first time. My question is, do you have to use cure when making these, as i intend to vacuum seal and freeze the product in portion bags immediately after cooking them so i can eat them throughout the year. id rather not put chemicals in the product if i can avoid doing so.

 

mtk, nitrates and nitrites are natural occurring chemicals found in tons of green veggies. It's likely you eat more in a week than you would be putting into your snack sticks to properly make them. Your choice though.

 

But, like Chef has said, if you're going low and slow you're putting yourself and anyone else at undue risk.

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtksmoke View Post

I was going to do it in a dehydrator and partially in the smoker for taste. Would you also use cure in sausage if I am going to make it, freeze it and than cook it on the grill eventually? Is the cure more for smoke stuff at low temps? Thanks

 

The Cure is to give us the ability to keep something in the 4-140 zone for extended periods of time to cook it low and slow. If you don't think it'll be out of the danger zone in 4 hours, then I'd use the Cure.

post #7 of 12

There is nothing worse than throwing away hard earned venison because you are unsure of how safe it is to eat. 

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtksmoke View Post

I was going to do it in a dehydrator and partially in the smoker for taste. Would you also use cure in sausage if I am going to make it, freeze it and than cook it on the grill eventually? Is the cure more for smoke stuff at low temps? Thanks


Toss up in the dehydrator.....I use a lower temp in those than recommended so I always use some cure in the spicy marinade I soak the meat in. I want the meat 'dried' not cooked at 165/170 as some units recommend. My guess is you'd be close to being done in the 4 hour window, but no guarantee. The meat must get out of the 40-140 danger zone within 4 hours per guidelines. Do people violate the rule & live...yes. Is it worth the risk??? If you make, freeze fresh, then cook/grill later on you are fine. Just make sure the stuff is clearly labeled as RAW in the freezer so no mistakes happen later on. Yes, cure is used for long smokes and also to help maintain meat color so everything is not a nice shade of grey.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ok thanks, looks like I will go ahead and use the cure for the sticks.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Sorry some confusion, once the cure is added the meat has to be at an internal temp above 140 so bacteria doesn't grow?
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtksmoke View Post

Sorry some confusion, once the cure is added the meat has to be at an internal temp above 140 so bacteria doesn't grow?


The cure gives you more time to be in the 40- 140 degree IT while cooking/smoking without letting any nasties grow.

post #12 of 12
What I have found with venison snack sticks is... they take longer to cook at low temps (to keep the pork fat from rendering out) ... anywhere from 6 - 10 hours ... so, YES , cure MUST be used to keep everybody safe ... as for sausage (fresh) that will be grilled.. it is not necessary to add cure as they will be HOT cooked ... usually cooked in 30 minutes or so ...
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