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Safe Amount of Cure#1 in Brine?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi!

I'm trying, for the first time, to cure a second cut brisket (1.8 lbs.) to make pastrami. After curing the meat I'm planning to smoke it and then steam it.

I followed a recipe from the Stanley Marianski book "Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages" for a wet brine which calls for 453g (1 lb) of salt and 136g (4.8 oz) of cure #1 per gallon of water. Since I have a relatively small piece of meat, I reduced the amounts to 500 ml water, 60g of salt and 18g of cure #1. However, after brining the meat, I looked at this and other online forums and all recipes that I've seen recommend to use an amount of cure#1 much smaller than the amount recommended in the book.

I understand that the amount of cure in wet cures is not the same as in dry cures as only part of the nitrates make their way to the meat, but I'm very concerned about safety. I have not cooked the meat yet. Can you please let me know if the recipe that I followed is safe? I didn't pump the meat but just submerged it in brine (today is day 5). Thank you in advance for your help!

post #2 of 14

You are allowed 5 TBS per gallon of water. Most of us use just 1 TBS  per gallon.

1 Gal Water

1 cup sugar

1 cup salt

1 level TBS cure #1

leave in brine 7 to 9 days

If you want to cure it faster, then you can use more cure. Up to 5 TBS per gallon. Personally I wouldn't do that. I would use less cure & let it cure longer. 

Use the search box & type in "Pop's brine cure"

post #3 of 14

Yep...You are safe. Marianski can be trusted. There are Max amounts, 200ppm, allowed but less, to a point, works just as well. This is the case with the amount of cure in Pops Brine...JJ

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

SmokinAl, thank you for your reply. If we consider 1 TBS to be approximately 1 oz., are you saying that 5 oz. of cure #1 per gallon is still a safe amount? The recipe that i followed called for 4.8 oz., so it seems like I'm still within the limits. Am I correct?

Also, i noticed that Pops wet curing brine recipe calls for 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup of brown sugar, in addition to salt and cure. Do you use only 1 cup of sugar? Have you ever tried Pops recipe with 2 cups of sugar? Does the amt of sugar vary according to the meat you're curing? I'm trying to make pastrami.

Thank you very much!  

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post
 

Yep...You are safe. Marianski can be trusted. There are Max amounts, 200ppm, allowed but less, to a point, works just as well. This is the case with the amount of cure in Pops Brine...JJ

Thank you!

post #6 of 14

Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages" for a wet brine which calls for 453g (1 lb) of salt and 136g (4.8 oz) of cure #1 per gallon of water.

 

 

136 grams of cure #1 per gallon (8.3#'s) and adding 1.8 #'s of meat to it.......  is 10.1 #'s of stuff....    136 grams of cure #1 has 8.5 grams of nitrite you are adding to the 10.1 #'s or 4585 grams of meat... + 453 grams of salt = 5,038 total grams..

 

8.5 grams / 5,038 grams = 1,688 Ppm nitrite in the total of stuff...  10 times what I would recommend...   When reading USDA recommendations, the disclaimer is "ingoing" amounts of nitrite... 

 

I think a 10% injection should have been called for to get the correct recommended amounts...

 

I gonna guess it was a typo in the recipe....   should have been 0.4 0z. and 13.6 grams of cure #1....  for a typical equilibrium brine...  like Pops brine...

 

Very typical of recipes....    The knowledgeable folks hire "not so knowledgeable" folks to do their transcribing...

post #7 of 14

Good catch Dave! But that means there are Thousands of folks over decades using too much Cure...Could Marianski be thinking that whole elusive 10% uptake thing applies?...JJ

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post
 

Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages" for a wet brine which calls for 453g (1 lb) of salt and 136g (4.8 oz) of cure #1 per gallon of water.

 

 

136 grams of cure #1 per gallon (8.3#'s) and adding 1.8 #'s of meat to it.......  is 10.1 #'s of stuff....    136 grams of cure #1 has 8.5 grams of nitrite you are adding to the 10.1 #'s or 4585 grams of meat... + 453 grams of salt = 5,038 total grams..

 

8.5 grams / 5,038 grams = 1,688 Ppm nitrite in the total of stuff...  10 times what I would recommend...   When reading USDA recommendations, the disclaimer is "ingoing" amounts of nitrite... 

 

I think a 10% injection should have been called for to get the correct recommended amounts...

 

I gonna guess it was a typo in the recipe....   should have been 0.4 0z. and 13.6 grams of cure #1....  for a typical equilibrium brine...  like Pops brine...

 

Very typical of recipes....    The knowledgeable folks hire "not so knowledgeable" folks to do their transcribing...

Thank you, Dave. As specified in my post, since I had a relatively small piece of meat (1.8 lbs), I reduced the amounts of brine to 500 ml water, 60g of salt and 18g of cure #1 (proportions are the same as original recipe). Based on this quantity of brine- the nitrite in the total (water+meat), if I follow your math correctly, is much less. Do you still think that the nitrite concentration is still too high?

Also, can you please specify what you mean when you say "I think a 10% injection should have been called for to get the correct recommended amounts"? The original recipe did call for a 10% injection and then it said to submerge the meat in the remaining brine. Wouldn't the injection just cause a higher amount of nitrite to be absorbed by the meat?

Sorry for all these questions, but i'm new to curing and i'm just trying to understand the basics...

Thank you!   

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post
 

Good catch Dave! But that means there are Thousands of folks over decades using too much Cure...Could Marianski be thinking that whole elusive 10% uptake thing applies?...JJ

 

 

I think the 10% uptake refers to the needle injection process food plants use...    Wade tried the 10% uptake thing and got some really high nitrite values....    Definitions of terms used in the FSIS manual ...   Ingoing Amount.  The amount of an ingredient added to a product when the product is being formulated.  The green weight of the meat and/or poultry is an ingoing amount...   I do know that 10% needle pump is used in the industry...  been there.... seen it...  I have seen it fail also...    The meat smoker I did maintenance work for, found out his pig bellies were off spec. when pumped...   I'm trying to remember...   the bellies he normally used were 160 to the ton....   Then his supplier changed to 180 per ton...  they got thinner and could not hold the same amount of pump his machine was calibrated for...   He lost something like $20,000 dollars that month on bellies...   he wasn't selling the correct amount of water/brine in each one that he had built into the price....  They shoot for 100% return on initial weight after smoking/processing...   After processing weight dropped to 94%.....  That's a 6% loss on I don't know how many pounds of bellies he sold...  He probably did 20,000 pounds of bacon/month or more...

 

 

Ingoing Amount.  The amount of an ingredient added to a product when the product is being formulated.  The green weight of the meat and/or poultry is an ingoing amount

 

Percent Pump.  The amount (pounds) of a water-based or oil-based solution (curing, tenderizing, marinating, etc.) pumped or injected into a piece of meat or poultry.  This is expressed as a percentage of the weight of the meat or poultry before it is pumped with the solution.
 

Percent Pick-up.  The amount (pounds) of a water-based or oil-based solution (curing, tenderizing, marinating, etc.) absorbed by an immersed piece of meat or poultry.  This is expressed as a percentage of the weight of the meat and poultry before it is treated with the solution.
 

Percent Gain.  The weight gained by a meat or poultry cut or product resulting from the application of a water-based or oil-based solution.  This is expressed as a percentage of the meat or poultry cut or product before the solution was applied.

 

Pump.  To inject a solution (curing, tenderizing, etc.), either intramuscularly or intra-arterially into a cut of meat or poultry

 

Finished Weight, Finished Product Weight, or Weight of the End Product.  All these terms refer to the weight of the product after processing.
The finished product (after processing) could be a cooked, ready-to-eat turkey breast or could be a raw, ready-to-cook corned beef brisket, depending up the processing procedures performed at the establishment and the form in which the products are packaged and labeled for sale.
Unlike the green weight, which is the weight of the meat and/or poultry only, the finished weight is the weight of the meat and/or poultry plus the weight of any ingredients added during processing, minus the actual shrink.

      
Formulated Weight, Weight of the Formulation, or Batch Weight.  The total weight of all the ingredients of a product after it is formulated, including pumping and draining, if relevant.
For cured or uncured comminuted products, the formulated weight would be the weight of the meat and/or poultry plus the weight of all the ingoing ingredients.
For products that have been treated with a water-based or oil-based solution (curing, tenderizing, marinating, etc.), the formulated weight would be the weight of the meat and/or poultry plus the weight of the solution's ingredients at a specified percent pump or pick-up.
Product formulation may be found on the label approval transmittal form or in the establishment's formulation records.  For uncooked products, formulated weight and finished weight may be identical

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post
 

You are allowed 5 TBS per gallon of water. Most of us use just 1 TBS  per gallon.

1 Gal Water

1 cup sugar

1 cup salt

1 level TBS cure #1

leave in brine 7 to 9 days

If you want to cure it faster, then you can use more cure. Up to 5 TBS per gallon. Personally I wouldn't do that. I would use less cure & let it cure longer. 

Use the search box & type in "Pop's brine cure"

SmokinAl, thank you for your reply. If we consider 1 TBS to be approximately 1 oz., are you saying that 5 oz. of cure #1 per gallon is still a safe amount? The recipe that i followed called for 4.8 oz., so it seems like I'm still within the limits. Am I correct?

Also, i noticed that Pops wet curing brine recipe calls for 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup of brown sugar, in addition to salt and cure. Do you use only 1 cup of sugar? Have you ever tried Pops recipe with 2 cups of sugar? Does the amt of sugar vary according to the meat you're curing? I'm trying to make pastrami.

Thank you very much!  

post #11 of 14

Here's a pastrami I made a few years ago. Hope this helps.

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/115377/pastrami-from-scratch-lots-of-q-view

 

Al

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post
 

Here's a pastrami I made a few years ago. Hope this helps.

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/115377/pastrami-from-scratch-lots-of-q-view

 

Al

Thank you, it looks fantastic. I just have one question for you if you don't mind. In your first reply to my initial post, you kindly provided a brine recipe that called for

1 Gal Water

1 cup sugar

1 cup salt

1 level TBS cure #1

 

Pops recipe, that seems very popular in this forum, is like the one above plus 1 more cup of brown sugar (http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/pops-wet-curing-brine)

 

In your pastrami post, it says that you used 1 gal water, 3 level Tbls cure#1, 1/3 cu kosher salt, 1/3 cu brown sugar (aside from pickling spices).

 

I am a little confused. I know that bottom line it is a matter of taste, but which one do you think is the most balanced recipe among the three?

 

Thank you again.

post #13 of 14

Any one will work, but for the pastrami, the one I used gave it a real good flavor.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you
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