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New to curing, Would like help

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Good evening, I have been smoking wild game for years, however I would like to get into curing cuts of meat. Have many questions.


For instance: If I want to cure meat in  5lb. increments how much Salt sugar mixture should I use.










I have also been told not to use more sugar than salt as it will spoil the meat? True or Not True?


I currently live in the state of GA and am retiring from the US Army within Months, so I will have some time on my hands to figure this out. However I am looking to folks that have done this for a long time to get me going in the right direction. I also would like to know, Once a cured piece of meat is cut, Do you have to secure the cut portion? Once a piece is cut and you don't re-cure it and its left on the counter, will it spoil? 


Im looking to make a cure shack, Does anyone have any good ideas? Keep it closed in or Open? What do y'all think? I would love to see pictures of different setup from members on the forum. The types of meat I will be curing is venison and wild hog. I don't know if that info helps folks tell me about how much cure to pounds of meat. Im going out this Saturday coming up to shoot a couple hogs to test out curing. May smoke one and attempt to cure the other. 


Is there a war to cure an entire hog after dressing it or do I need to Butcher it up?


If anyone is close to Fort Benning GA and is willing to let me come watch you from start to end of your cure, I would love to do so... I am a hands on kinda guy if ya know what I mean..... Y'all have a wonderful night!


Very Respectively

Christopher Rogers

post #2 of 6
First of all Christopher welcome to the forum.

Before you start use the search tool on the forum and do some research and plenty of reading.

There are two methods for curing, Wet (brine) and Dry Cure which I prefer

Use a cure calculator like this, for Dry Cure.

I have never heard of anybody curing a whole hog, it will need to be butchered up.

Once a piece of meat is cured correctly, all the way to the middle, it will not need re-curing. Do not leave any meat cured or none cured un-refrigerated.

About two weeks ago Wade, quoted here how long cured bacon can be left refrigerated. I have tried to find the three but failed, but please do not quote me on this, but its something like this:

Dry Cure 6 weeks refrigerated. (This is correct)
Wet Cure 2 weeks refrigerated. (Not 100% on this figure)

Take a look at threads like this and it will give you some valuable insight to curing.
post #3 of 6

Hi Christopher


Steve has given you some good advice. Make sure that you are comfortable with using the cure calculator before you start though. It isn't rocket science and once you have used it a couple of times then you will be comfortable with it.


Regarding the Salt and sugar - This will vary by peoples individual tastes but as a general rule of thumb start with 2.5% salt and half that for sugar and adjust up or down for the next batch to suit your taste.


For example - 5 Pounds of meat = 2,268 grams

Using the calculator for a Dry Cure with 2.5% salt and 1.25% sugar you get:


Cure #1 - 5.7 grams

Salt - 51.4 grams

Sugar 28.4 Grams


You can scale up as appropriate. I find it is better though when dry curing to split the meat into manageable chunks of about 2-3 Kg each rather than cure them as larger pieces.


You can also try to immersion brine some of the meat to see which you prefer - Search for POPS brine on here. It will have an impact on the refrigerated storage time though. For dry cure bacon the USDA recommend a refrigerated maximum storage of 4-6 weeks as a slab but for immersion cured bacon this is only 7 days. It is mostly to do with the final water content in the meat between the two methods. Obviously both can be kept longer if frozen


You may also want to try complete air drying of some of the cuts - creating a country or Parma style ham. This will use a different method though and I suggest you try the standard dry or immersion cure methods before you attempt this.

Edited by Wade1 - 10/18/16 at 3:26am
post #4 of 6
Thanks Wade for clarifying the storage periods.
post #5 of 6

I am a few months ahead of you in learning how to cure so in 15-20 years I will be where many others here are. I was referred to a site that helped me and I want to offer it in case it helps you.

post #6 of 6

Christopher, I am not a curing guy (yet) but I wanted to say welcome to our smoking world! I am sure many replies will follow.

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