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Jerky Cure Question

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Had a quick question for the experts out there. I'm going to make some thicker jerky using a mixture of 32oz of liquid with various sugars, spices, salt and 1tsp of pink salt cure. My cut of beef is about 1/2-3/4in thick and my question is how many days will it take for the cure to penetrate all the way though for safe drying at 150? Appreciate the guidance.
post #2 of 15

KW, I like to soak my jerky for two days(stirring every 12 hours) which would be sufficient.

post #3 of 15
How much meat are you planning to add to the mix..... 3#'s would be the correct amount.... that would give the correct Ppm nitrite addition... and only use the liquid for one batch....
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks CM.
Dave, I'm basically following pops brine but the meat is only about 1-1.5 lbs at most as I'm just trying out new recipes. I thought with pops brine the amount of meat didn't matter as much as it being completely covered with the brine and then the thickness. From what I read 1tsp:32oz of liquid is pretty low concentration and I thought 48 hours would do the trick. Do I need to be concerned with the amount of pink salt?
post #5 of 15
Pops brine is 1 Tbs per gallon... your mix is 1 1/3 Tbs per gallon.... Pops brine is middle of the road, good for about anything....

I looked at your mix and thought you were making your own brine setup.... which is fine... It is best to follow recipes exactly....

When making your own brine/cure mix, it is best to use about 1/4-1/3 the weight of the meat in brine weight...

As an example, 1.5#'s meat and 0.5#'s of brine (1 cup).... = 2#'s total.... that would be 2/5's of a tsp. for the proper amount of cure #1... + sugar and salt etc...

An easy way to measure that would be a grams scale (1.1 grams per pound..2#'s=2.2 grams) but dilution works also... add 1 tsp. cure #1 to 2.5 cups water... use 1 cup for the brine..
Then, depending on the thickness of the meat, brine in the refer in a zip bag, turning daily..

The accepted time is approx. 1 day per 1/2" thickness + 2-3 days... 2" thick meat ~ 6-7 days or longer.... then let rest in the refer for a couple more..

That brings the concentration of nitrite in the meat to approx. 150 ish Ppm...

Anyway, I hope I didn't screw that up.... I reread it several times.... Let me know if I'm thinking clearly this AM.....

Dave
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Dave, let me start with the fact that I'm looking for guidance, always, especially being new to curing beef for jerky, but not a newbie in all things. I still want all advice I can get.
That said, take pops brine of 1 tbls of pink salt to a gallon and know that's WAY within the limits of acceptable curing, maybe even low end as Pop himself states in posts. By that mixture alone I'm well within the acceptable limits of curing.
Which leads to my next point, we can't have conflicting points of view on this board. If that is an acceptable brine, whether it be gallon, quart or pint, we need to stick to it and help people get successful outcomes. And pops brine was solid for ANYTHING, as far as I read it, just takes longer depending on thickness of meat. I respect this forum and the tremendous advice it give but we need a cohesive voice so us jerky lovers are not confused.
post #7 of 15
I was looking at the numbers......

1 TBS. = 3 tsp. ........
1 galloon = 4 quarts........
Soooo ....... putting 1 tsp. into 1 quart of liquid makes the brine/curing solution a little strong.... 1 tsp. is acceptable to cure 5#'s of stuff.....
A quart weighs ~2#'s and ~1# of meat makes the mix about 3#'s +/-....
Soooo, having 5#'s worth of cure for curing 3-4#'s of stuff is on the high side... not much on the high side but hey.... 25% to 40% too much cure is still on the high side.....
1 tsp. too much in 1 gallon of brine/cure is on the high side but still in acceptable limits when considering the extra meat that can be brined.....

I have tendency to lean toward the correct amounts and try and be scientific..... that way I get reproducible results... I always weigh my stuff and recalculate everything at least a couple times because I'm feeding my grandkids....

When using Pops brine/cure, I highly recommend NOT CHANGING THE RECIPE..... That includes mixing up a full gallon like he says... then take a quart out of it, or what ever you need to cover the meat...

Regardless of how you look at this curing stuff..... it is still science.....
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
I love all the #'s and measurements stuff Dave but I go back to this and ask...am I safe?

1 heaping tablespoon of cure is about 1 ounce. The maximum concentration allowed safely is 3.84 ounces per 1 gallon of brine (24 lbs.per 100 gallons: 16 oz. x 24 = 384 ounces, 1/100th is 3.84 ounces). You can experiment with different concentrations as long as you keep it between those parameters:

I am so far under that recommendation it has to be safe. Again, does #'s really matter or thickness? You're confusing everyone out here when there was a perfectly safe brine that pops laid out. Maybe I'm confused and everyone else gets it? Let's simplify it for the masses. Maybe Pops could weigh in.
post #9 of 15
Thickness is VERY IMPORTANT..... reads pops curing/brining thread....

The recommended concentration for nitrite, when smoking meats is from 120 Ppm to 200 Ppm ... depending...

Jerky should probably be cured to 150 ish Ppm nitrite.... If sliced thin, brining/curing for 24 hours is probably adequate... thicker, cure longer...

Those are the basic rules.... real basic....

To figure Ppm, the rule is mg per Kg.... mg nitrite per Kg of stuff.... stuff = meat + water + salt + sugar + spices + etc....

To figure mg of nitrite in cure..... at 6.25% nitrite in cure#1..... 1 gram cure#1 X 0.0625 = 0.0625 mgs of nitrite per gram...

If you have 3#'s of meat and 1# of water, 4#'s at 150 Ppm nitrite is 1816 grams water and meat X 0.000150 = 0.272 mgs nitrite needed... at 6.25% nitrite in cure#1, .... .272 / 0.0625 = 4.35 grams cure #1 is perfect to cure it to 150 ish Ppm nitrite.....


That's the correct way to calculate the necessary amount of cure to use....
post #10 of 15
One thing you may not know is..... Pops method is a "reduction" of the days when they cured hundreds of pounds of meat in large barrels or tubs....
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Makes sense. So I'll say ok to all the math on the nitrites and weights and what not. But let me ask it this way. Hundreds of people on this forum have used Pops brine for belly bacon, Canadian bacon, chops, etc. Granted, all pork. But the "recipe" is basic and the cure time depends on thickness for a cold smoke. So again, I'm using the brine recipe, shouldn't matter that's it's beef, I want to cure for 48 hours for 1/2in thick beef then cold smoke. Good or not good? I don't want to make anyone unhealthy.
post #12 of 15
Good...... 48 hours for 1/2" then let sit in refer for a day or 2 to equilibrate......

To understand that..... the cure starts to penetrate the meat, along with the salt, sugar, spices etc..... during the first hour or 2, the exterior of the meat is somewhere around 800 Ppm nitrite... the interior of the meat is at 0 (zero) Ppm nitrite...... the objective of curing the meat is to get a uniform 150 ish Ppm nitrite throughout the entire piece of meat .... that takes time...

Below is a picture of a hunk of ham that was not allowed sufficient time for equilibrium to take place...... notice where the cure did not reach.... your objective is to NOT allow that condition to happen.....


post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by KickingWing View Post

I love all the #'s and measurements stuff Dave but I go back to this and ask...am I safe?

1 heaping tablespoon of cure is about 1 ounce. The maximum concentration allowed safely is 3.84 ounces per 1 gallon of brine (24 lbs.per 100 gallons: 16 oz. x 24 = 384 ounces, 1/100th is 3.84 ounces). You can experiment with different concentrations as long as you keep it between those parameters:

I am so far under that recommendation it has to be safe. Again, does #'s really matter or thickness? You're confusing everyone out here when there was a perfectly safe brine that pops laid out. Maybe I'm confused and everyone else gets it? Let's simplify it for the masses. Maybe Pops could weigh in.

Let me explain the 3.84 oz. per gallon...
3.84 x 28.38 (gms / oz.) = 108.98 gms cure#1 @ 6.25% nitrite = 6.81 gms nitrite.... per gallon or 3804 gms water... or 6.81 / 3804 = 0.001790 = 1790 Ppm nitrite in the 6.81 gms per gallon.... THEN you are supposed to inject the meat at a 10% rate..... (10% pick up as stated in some articles)...
at a 10% injection of the raw meat weight.... the 1790 Ppm now becomes179 Ppm nitrite in the meat.... a little less when you consider leakage.... That is the method used by humungous meat processing plants... curing thousands of pounds of meat per day....

We are curing 1-20 pounds per month, maybe... we should be a little more "artistic" with our curing process.... at least try to be delicate and accurate... maybe even a little scientific and use a grams scale instead of a teaspoon...

Anyway, that's where I'm coming from... If you have questions, I'm happy to answer them....
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Ok so 48 hours curing then rinse with cold water, reapply some seasonings and let sit in the fridge for another day or two? Seems like a long time for a 1/2 in piece of meat but I'll go with it.
post #15 of 15
You are doing the correct thing.... Curing is a science.....
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