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Cures cook times and sausage versus jerky

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Original message sent by wpg3ut on 9/29/16 at 9:15am
Original message sent by wpg3ut on 9/19/16 at 5:12pm
I have been following  this forum periodically for a few years. I am not new to smoking sausage or jerky but I do have a couple of questions.  I have read many posts and this forum seems to be very knowledgeable re all things smoky...
 So heres my story... I was making Elk sausage in February 2015 and literally while I was making  sausage, specifically adding Cure #1 I had a stroke. I was 50 years old at the time and consider myself to be in excellent  health. Huge Runner,  biker, skier, archery hunter, etc etc....
Although my two neurologists wouldn't completely come out and agree with my theory of my stroke was related to the nitrites they also wouldn't eliminate it either.
 So I have filled my two archery tags this season,
 here in Northern Utah  ( one bull elk and buck deer)   and am ready to smoke more sausage and jerky, and I am sure you understand my apprehension to use cure.
I read the thread a few days ago about the guy  smoking at 100* for 4 hours and how the consensus was he was getting away with it but just a matter or time.  Not going to be that guy.
 I feed my two young boys and wife with these harvests and want to insure their safety.
  Sorry for the  diatribe but finally here  are my questions....
 is it safe to skip cure if you get your sausage to 142*  in 4 hours?
 are we absolutely sure if so?
 what are the parameters  for Jerky?
 is Jerky considerably safer b/c  there is no fat?
post #2 of 7

The142* with uncured sausage doesn't sound quite right to me, wpg3UT. Also, for jerky, if uncured it is recommended by USDA to reach 160* before drying to kill bacteria before they become heat resistant due to drying. I know, kinda defeats the purpose of drying if you have to cook it first...taste and texture won't even be close to jerky.


PM sent to boykjo, sausage forum moderator.




post #3 of 7
Yes... as long as you pass 40-140 in 4 hours you are safe, but 140 isn't completely cooked... sausage should be cooked to an IT of 160... when I smoke with a cure, I bring them up to 152, but I think if I was going to skip the cure, I'd go to the recommended 160.

I have never heard of nitrates or nitrites causing or effecting stokes...nitrosamines are created from hight heat and nitrates which cause cancer... I'm obviously not doctor and would obviously defer to one and do some research
post #4 of 7
This hits home for me: I was initially diagnosed with a stroke at 41 with all the symptoms. 3 days after being ambulanced to the ER, the result of all the tests was a severe migraine. I thought the neurologists were blowing sunshine up my rear, but after researching it myself, it was amazing. They can mimic a stroke perfectly, and can be triggered by smoked meats, smoked fish, aged cheeses, "brown" liquors, bananas, and yogurt to name a few. When they handed me the list of food triggers, I wondered who had been following me around and writing down every item I put in my mouth. So, moderation on my smoked meat intake and scotches, and life's good.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Wow, Groucho... Thanks for the response!  I steer clear of the synthetic Nitrates these days and  try and use naturals instead of  cures. I am currently  researching my  butt off in regards to celery juice, cook temps, cure, etc.  I am glad your health is better. We don't really have to stop drinking Scotch do we?  Lord Forbid. Anything but that. That's one of the biggest contributing factors to my continuing recovery.  Anyway thanks so much for chiming in.... 

post #6 of 7

Welcome to smoking meat forums and were glad to have you aboard. First off, follow the advice from your doctor/s about using nitrites/nitrates in your diet.........


The usda recommends all ground meat should be cooked to 160 degrees


when using cures it allows you to cook at lower temps for longer periods of time ruling out the 40 to 140 rule.


skipping the cure, your sausage will be fresh sausage and should be treated like brats, italian sausage, and fresh breakfast sausage following the 40 to 140 rule and be cooked to an internal temp of 160 degrees.


The usda recommends all jerky be cooked to 160 degrees before drying following the 40 to 140 rule as it is fresh uncured meat


Fat content has no relevance.....


Chef jimmyj is our expert in food safety. hopefully he'll chime in too.


glad your health is better and its bourbon for me ...............



post #7 of 7

Glad to hear you are well....Joe laid out the info I would have discussed on safe temps so I will cover the Celery Juice you mentioned...Anybody that tells you Natural, as in Nitrates from Celery is better, healthier or in ANYWAY different from manufactured Cures is Blowing Smoke Up your A$$!  Just like SALT NaCl is NaCl whether it comes from the Sea or a Beaker is still NaCl...Sodium Nitrite is Sodium Nitrite, no more no less. What they are NOT telling you is there is No Way to quantify the amount of Nitrate with an A that has to convert to Nitrite with and I, in any one batch of celery juice and it can be totally ineffectual because Nitrite, not Nitrate, is the active ingredient needed and can leave you open for Botulism Poisoning! Then the Other Side of the Coin...IF the Cure caused your stroke...Sure as Shootin', the Celery Juice will cause another Stroke! IT BECOMES THE SAME CHEMICAL when it is ingested...Sorry to be giving bad news on the Hippy BS Natural vs Manmade, Celery Juice Myth...


If you do a little research you will find Eating a Spinach Salad or for that matter the CELERY you are thinking safe, contain HUNDREDS of Times more Nitrates, which converts to Nitrite in the gut, then what you will eat in a couple links of Sausage or Jerky! Once the meats are heated and over time the TINY amount of Nitrite, 156ppm by weight, dissipates to quantities in the neighborhood of 40ppm or less...


A DOCTOR that Doesn't answer you? DOES NOT KNOW and in a litigious society, is not going to commit to your question one way or the other...Good Luck and Stay well...JJ

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