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Homemade Cureing Agent?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Call me super cheap, (I just think of myself as frugal) but I'm just wondering if I'm the only one who has done this. I got pretty tired of paying high dollar for commercially produced curing salts. Both #1 and #2.

For one thing I have twenty some pounds of food grade potassium nitrate left over from back when I was active in the Pyrotechnicians Guild International, and I haven't much use for it these days thanks to some dumb assed laws that were drafted post 9/11.

Then as luck would have it, while surfing the net one day I found a two pound bottle of USP sodium nitrite on Ebay one for less than five dollars. So I bought that and weighed out the proportions for Instacure #1 and #2 using Morton's Kosher Flake Salt for the salt according to the proportions detailed in "The Sausagemaker".

I dissolved each mixture in water on the stove and added red food coloring to the #1 and blue to the #2, then poured each into Pyrex baking pans and set them in a warm oven to evaporate the water overnight. (the color is added simply to identify them) I scraped both pans the next day to harvest the cure. I've been using that first batch for over two years now and still have plenty left over. I figure that $5 investment in pure nitrite could produce enough cure for about 10,000 pounds of meat. In other words by the time I die there would still be 99% of what I have leftover!

Hell I figure I have enough for everyone if anyone is interested
post #2 of 32
Jim could that be use to make bacon? Also thank you for your help on canning. You may have just saved me a lot of money.
post #3 of 32
hell ya i am interested.........

email me


post #4 of 32
I guess you have been careful with your weights.To much of either one of those will kill you dead if not mixed right.I made my own from salt peter and salt but I think Id just as soon let pros mix it up for me,it dont cost that much.Not trying to ridicule you,Id hate to see someone sick or dead over $20.
post #5 of 32
dac........looks like he has already tried it..........

and for some of us........20 is alot these days

post #6 of 32
I'm with you W.D. if I can save a buck I'll be right in the front of the line.
post #7 of 32
Yes I understand he has used it for a while.I am just passing along some of the things I learned from studying about the theory behind smoking and curing meat before I ever tried my first batch.Just trying to help out.
post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 
You certainly are correct dacdots, both potassium nitrate and sodium nitrite are deadly toxic if to much is consumed. Insta cure #1 consists of 93.75% salt and 6.25% sodium nitrate. And you use 1 oz. per 25 lb. of meat. #2 is the same with an additional 3% sodium nitrate.

The traditional Prague Powder was made with Potassium Nitrate. Instacure is made with Sodium Nitrate now, and that's why you cannot buy Prague Power anymore. Potassium salts are more toxic than sodium salts. Nevertheless "saltpeter" which you have used yourself is Potassium Nitrate it has been used for century's but we are all much safer these days. I use Potassium Nitrate in my #2 as has been done forever, but to be prudent I guess I should just keep that for myself.

Both cures are easy to mix correctly with a Ohas triple beam scale. I mixed far deadlier pyrotechnic mixtures for years before the laws became so draconian following 9/11 and forced us all to become so damn safe now. But I must take your point Dacdots, just as I can no longer build star shells to delight my friends and neighbors. Now instead we must all be frightened of each other to ensure our own security. I suppose it wouldn't be right to pass out anything that could possibly harm someone if they were so stupid as use too much of it, even though the same argument could be made for garlic or BBQ itself. I need to understand that some folks are not capable of reading directions and I don't want to open myself to a possible legal problem either. You are correct, I an not saying anything against you It's the system that makes us all so frightened of everything and each other that bothers me.

Therefore I will not offer to provide any premixed curring agent to anyone. But if someone with common sense who I have come to know on this website sees fit to experiment with a few grams of nitrite to make whatever they wish to make with it, I don't see as how that would be a problem. I wasn't even asking for any money for it. I just hate to see it go to waste because there is more here than I could ever use. If anyone els want more info just PM me.
post #9 of 32
I would say that DacDots is dead on right. You can buy a pound of Prague #1 which will last for a long time for $4.99. Why risk possibly mismixing something and making yourself or even worse your friends or family sick.

Here is a link to get most any cure or sausage making equipment at what I think is a reasonable price. Good service every time I have used them too.

post #10 of 32
I'll stick to my purchased stuff, but hey if you got the raw materials and the skill then it is only smart to use it!!! PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hay no bounce no foul. I wasn't trying to push anything on anyone I was just curious if anyone else had mixed their own cures. Some older sausage texts I have call out the addition of saltpeter rather than any commercial preparations. By all means be as safe as you feel necessary. I Sort of got my answer when Dacdots stated that he had mixed his own using saltpeter and salt, even if he doesn’t use it now.
post #12 of 32
Thanks,I wasnt trying to be negative or anything,I just wanted to state the possible problem if not done right.You certainly sound you know what your doing given your background,and I never doubted your ability.Im getting the itch to make some sausages myself.Soon Ill be getting a beef,a butcher hog,and deer season is just around the corner.I really like bratwurst,I think along with all the other sausages Ill try to make some this year.Good luck to everyone with meat season nearly upon us.
post #13 of 32
Is that stuff really the same as they use in firecrackers? PDT_Armataz_01_23.gif

There just a few things that really scare me and I won't try ... doing brakes on my cars and mixing chemicals (except in the dark room). I'm not properly trained in either and done wrong they could kill me or others - so I won't do it. I respect those people that do!
post #14 of 32
I wouldn't be scared to try it , heck you made your own star burst shells and didn't blow yourself up that takes SKILL !!!
wonder what we could do with some of that potassium nitrate say about 75% and mix in ummmm 15% charcoal and about 10% sulpher HEHEHEHEHE evil grinsssssssssssss :)
post #15 of 32
Thread Starter 
[quote=DeejayDebi;91484]Is that stuff really the same as they use in firecrackers? PDT_Armataz_01_23.gif

Yes in fact it is, as another just pointed out black powder is a mixture of charcoal, sulfer, and potassium nitrate (saltpeter). Althow to make good black powder requies some process beyond just simply mixing those chemicals, and I will not provide information on it's production beyound that.

That said black powder mixtures are used for burst, stars, rockets and the like, rarely for firecrackers as it's too generaly considered to be weak for good noise production. Stronger mixtures with more powerfull oxidizers (perchlorate) and light producing fuels such as aluminum powder are more common for firecrackers. Beyond saying that, I will not provide formulation or process on this forum, production of such items is not inherantly dangerous for those without training and legal without the correct BATF permits. Besides that information is readily available with a simple web search. But several chemicals we use for preserving meats are also used for pyrothechnics. Sodium Benzoate for example is used to make whistles as well as for preserving food. Interesting don't you think?
post #16 of 32
Wow - I did notice smoked meat is a bit gassy but I didn't know it was explosive! icon_eek.gif
post #17 of 32
HEHEHEHEHEHE I wonder what would happen if you lit a fart after you ate some BBQ LOL......... KABOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!
post #18 of 32
Hmmm, Do my own brakes so that thousands of pounds of machinery can be stopped as needed or trust them to some dope smoking high school drop out that works at some shop where the only goal is to make money.

Debi, as a full grown, able bodied person that can do half of the stuff that you do, believe me, doing your own brakes is easier than half of the recepies on this site. The jack is maybe the heaviest thing you will have to move. If you can change a flat you can fix your brakes.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch......

Makes me wonder what other uses the triple beams were for...Juuuuuust Kidding!

I see no problem mixing your own cure. Yes there is a certian comfort level as far as performing the task goes and there are also economic advantages to be seen. Each individual will have to weigh the choices (Pun intended) I ain't skeered, I could always test it on the dog.
post #19 of 32
here here zapper
post #20 of 32
i kind of agree w/ zapper... but depends on your tools,equipment,know how,etc... so many things computer or sensor on these newer cars... i actually save money going to a decent mechanic vs. thrown & lost snapon & craftsman tools & body work... but thats just me. the only thing my dad & i love more than building & fixing things is... b*tching about it while doing it.... icon_eek.gif
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