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First time making own brats and a question

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm getting ready to make my own venison brats soon (hi mtn kit). The other day I was looking at the instructions and it mentioned that I should use the cure only if I plan on slow cooking/smoking the brats. This makes sense since if I were to make them for cooking on the grill/oven/boiling pot of beer then I wouldn't need the cure. My question is do I really need the cure for smoking them? I've bought brats in the store and I'm sure they don't already have cure in them or am I wrong? I generally buy Johnsonville uncooked brats and I've smoked them before with no issues. Thanks in advance for the replies.
post #2 of 6
If you slow smoke (below 140) you need the cure because you havent reached the temp (160) required to kill all the bad things that should be removed. The brats you get in the store are not cooked or slow smoked and required cooking at least to (160).

post #3 of 6
Pretty much NEED cure to smoke. Remember the environment you are creating with smoking; warm, damp, low oxygen, is perfect culture medium for bacterial growth. Thats why we cure.
post #4 of 6
Whatever you smoke starts out below 140* (danger zone) but normally does not stay in the zone real long. Sausage that is smoked usually starts out at 130* pit temp for a couple of hours before slowly raising the temp (over a period of hours) to 140, 150 and to 160. Thats when you NEED cure. The fresh Johnsons need to be grilled or cooked in a pit at 240*.
post #5 of 6
Just get the smoker up to 225 -250 and hot smoke or hotter if you prefer. You will still get a great smoke flavor and cook them at the same time, no need for further cooking as long as the internal meat temp is at least 160. Smoking in a high temp for sausage is a good thing in my own opinion because you don't need alot of smoke on em for a fresh style sausage to taste smoked.
post #6 of 6
I think it sounds kind of weird that the kit mentions anything about cure. Bratwurst are usually intended as a fresh sausage thats either refridgerated or cooked immediately. Even if your'e smoking it, the short hot cook time a brat is normally cooked like would'nt require the use of a cure. Hopefully the uncooked store bought brats you smoked were smoked at hot smoke temps or you may have flirted with disaster and won.

When the kit talks about slow smoking they are referring to an almost day long process similar to making kielbasa. The low temp long smoke lasts for hours and hours. My last kielbasa smoke went for almost 12 hours. Any store bought sausage is most certainly not intended to be cooked in this manner.

Sooooooo.....if your doing long warm/cold smoking then yes use the cure. If your smoking like you would a brisket or butt then no you dont need it. Well that is if you smoke your butts at temps around 225.
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