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Chicken Curing

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I am new to this whole thing, and I am trying to cure chicken for chicken jerky. Don't know if anybody has tried Chef's Cut honey Bbq chicken jerky, but I am trying to create the same texture and flavor profile. Anyway I am slicing the chicken breast at about 1/8 inch thickness cooking on rack in oven at 180 degrees and curing in tender quick solution of 1/4 cup tender quick to 1 cup water (directions are 1 cup tender quick to 4 cups water) super small batch trying to get to a edible product. I soaked the chicken in the brine for 24 hours rinsed really well, patted dry all water out, and then created my marinade and marinated for another 24 hours. Chicken came out to a nice tender but dry consistency but super super salty. I cannot eat it because it is so salty. Should I cut the amount of tender quick in 1/2 (will it lose it curing ability if it's to diluted) or should I reduce the cure time from 24 to 12 hours? Any suggestions?

post #2 of 17

Order some Cure #1 ....   Sausage Maker or Butcher Packer or Spokane Spice...    use 1 tsp. per 5#'s of meat and marinade...  that will be 0.25% salt...  usually, salt at 2% is tolerable...  so then add 1.5-1.75% more salt... add sugar and what ever you like for a flavor profile...    You can add honey....   it is hygroscopic and holds onto moisture to keep the jerky "somewhat" moist...   

post #3 of 17

I have learned on here and through other reading that after meat is done curing for the proper amount of time it is a very good idea to do a fry test.

The test will let you know how salty things are.

If too salty you soak in ice water to draw out the salt.  The time may vary.  I did 6 pounds of Smoked Salmon Lox for 90 minutes and I did 16 pounds of pork belly for 6 hours to get the different cuts to contain the right amount of salt.  I imagine the thinner the meat the less time soaking.

After soaking in the ice water you pull out, pat dry, and then proceed with either drying or to the next steps in your cooking/smoking/jerky process.

 

A fry test is also good to do if mixing sausage. This will let you know if your seasoning mix was too strong on the salt.  This can often happen with pre mixed sausage seasonings.  I have also had pre mixed seasonings be too weak as well.  It is just a good practice until you figure out your seasoning mix with sausage.

 

I hope this info helps :)

post #4 of 17

If you weigh the salt first....  there's no need to soak the meat...    that was my point... 

post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post
 

If you weigh the salt first....  there's no need to soak the meat...    that was my point... 

 

Yep I would agree. 

 

To that point, would you say 1.6% of total meat weight should be salt for basically any seasoning (even seasoning without cure)?

 

I was looking online a bit and I could not find and answer to this question.

I ask because I want to begin making my own sausage seasoning soon and if there is a general rule of thumb that would cut down on my trial and error guessing for salt I would like to use it.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

Order some Cure #1 ....   Sausage Maker or Butcher Packer or Spokane Spice...    use 1 tsp. per 5#'s of meat and marinade...  that will be 0.25% salt...  usually, salt at 2% is tolerable...  so then add 1.5-1.75% more salt... add sugar and what ever you like for a flavor profile...    You can add honey....   it is hygroscopic and holds onto moisture to keep the jerky "somewhat" moist...   
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

Order some Cure #1 ....   Sausage Maker or Butcher Packer or Spokane Spice...    use 1 tsp. per 5#'s of meat and marinade...  that will be 0.25% salt...  usually, salt at 2% is tolerable...  so then add 1.5-1.75% more salt... add sugar and what ever you like for a flavor profile...    You can add honey....   it is hygroscopic and holds onto moisture to keep the jerky "somewhat" moist...So Dave you are saying 1 tsp for 5lbs of meat. Is that dry rub or soaked in a water brine? Also how come not using tender quick?
post #7 of 17

 use 1 tsp. per 5#'s of meat and marinade...  Ppm is based on weight per weight...  weigh  the meat and marinade..  add 1 tsp. per 5#'s of stuff or 1.1 grams per 1# of stuff... the results are ~150 Ppm nitrite in the mix... 

 

So, if you have 4#'s of meat (chicken breast) you want cured....  use 1 pint of your marinade mix and add 1 tsp. of cure #1...   1 pint ~= 1#..   now you have 5#'s of stuff...  (454 grams)...  Then you will have to add ~8 grams of salt to get a total of 2% salt if there is NO salt in any of your other ingredients..

 

If you have 1 gram of stuff and mix with 999,999 grams of stuff....  you have 1 part in a million...  

 

Tender Quick, when used at the prescribed rate of 1/2 oz.(14.2 grams) per pound, is ~3% salt in the meat... with almost no sugar to counteract the saltiness...   That leaves you no room to adjust for the salt...  IMO, cure #1 allows for more leeway when making up a recipe... 

 

 

 

 

 

Tender quick is .....

 


Cure #1 is....

 

 

 

 

I  hope I didn't make this too confusing....   questions are always welcome.....   

 

 

Dave

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks Dave, I really appreciate your help and patience. I just ordered some DQ curing salt from Butcher and Packer. I will doing a small batch test run so let's say I use 2lbs chicken, I would then use 1/2 tsp of #1 and a 1/2 pint of marinade correct?
post #9 of 17

Yep...  you got it...    If you want faster marinating...  vacuum it using your vacuum machine and a canister..  iffin you got one...

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
I do. If I'm slicing 1/8 inch thick how long you think to get a deep marinade in the meat?
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
I do have a vacuum sealer but probably won't use for marinade. If I cut breast 1/8 inch thick strips how long do you think need to marinade for I think to go deep? 24 hrs?
post #12 of 17

yes...    without a vacuum sealer....     with, I do 3 vacs....  vac/release.....   vac/release..... vac/ release and it's done...  all the liquid has been sucked into the meat it will take...

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks Dave. I'm waiting for my #1 from butcher-packer, I'll let you know how it turns out.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

Just got the cure from Butcher & Packer. This is what I ordered 

1 ea. DQ Curing Salt - 8 oz. (aka DC Curing Salt)

$2.50
 

 

They sent no packing slip but the package says HSC Hunters Super Cure. Is this the correct cure? Name not even close. They are closed now so I figured I see if you know. I will call them tomorrow.

post #15 of 17
I might also suggest... you don't have to cure and marinade in separate steps... I also don't rinse or paper towel dry when taking out of marinade
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hey Dave, just wanted to reach out and say thank you for your help. My chicken jerky is coming out amazing, and I owe it all to you my friend. Haha. Seriously though thanks for your help!
post #17 of 17

You are very welcome....   enjoy the jerky and try some new stuff...    same numbers apply for sausage, bacon, pastrami....  each meat may need some adjusting for personal preference is all...    any other questions...  I'm here as well and MANY experts in our forum membership...

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