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Pastrami cure help!!!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
SO I started a Rivetstrami...

I couldnt find any Tenderquick, so I made this replacement instead.


However instead of prague powder I used Himalayan pink salt.

How screwed am I? PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif

Thanks for the help!
post #2 of 17
From reading on what Himalayan pink salt is, it appears that all it is is a pink colored salt and not a cure.

So in answer to your question, My opinion is VERY SCREWED.

You have to have either Tender Quick or Insta Cure #1 as a cure to cure the brisket.

The cure contains the Sodium Nitrite necessary to kill the bacteria...

What is Instacure 1
Instacure 1 is a mixture of 1oz of Sodium Nitrite (6.25 %) to 1 lb of salt
It MUST be used to cure all meats that will require smoking at low temperatures. It may be used to cure meats for fresh sausages (optional).
post #3 of 17
I think you might be OK, considering salt itself does cure foods and they sure didn't have TQ 1,000 years ago.

I came across this link in a quick search for curing brisket with salt and they have a recipe that uses kosher salt and some other seasonings for their corned beef/pastrami and cured it for 5 days.
Give it a read and I'm sure others will be along with more answers but myself, I have always been interested in curing with salt but have never really read much on it.

post #4 of 17
Himalayan pink salt is salt that is pink in color. It contains no nitrites or nitrates that are needed for curing. when you get into curing you really need to do your homework and know what your working with and use correct amounts. Using the wrong thing at the wrong time could cause illness. Glad you jumped on here to get some info.

Instacure, Prague Powder, Tender Cure are all used as curing agents. They have specific instructions for dry curing and brining. Please make sure you know what you are doing when you start working with cure. It is vital not only in creating a great product but insuring your health and well being. Incorrect amounts are a health risk.

In answering your question.... you do not have a cure going. If you haven't had it in for long and the meat hasn't spoiled then you can get the right ingredients and cure it. Sounds like you used a replacement ingredient in your replacement recipe. I would need more info before I made a call on how screwed you are. How long have you had your brisket in the cure?
post #5 of 17
You are not going to make pastrami, but you don't need to throw it out.

Take it out of whatever you have it in and smoke it into slightly salty brisket.

Pure salt cures are safe, but a pure salt cure is not going to make pastrami.

Cook it into some really interesting roast beef sandwich meat.
post #6 of 17
Here is another link I found for a recipe using salt as the main cure.

Now I'm not claiming to be an expert on curing by any means but hasn't corned beef been around long before we had proper curing agents and pastrami is nothing more than a seasoned and smoked corned beef so if that is the case I don't see why using the salt as the curing agent would be a problem if done safely and in a sanitary manner.
Unless it has been deemed unacceptable by the FDA then I would have to agree.
post #7 of 17
Yes the pink salt is jt pink in color and the prague #1 is colored pink so you don't use it for anything else but curing meat or bacon. Now as far as your corned beef you don't have to use the cure to corned the beef. I always used to corned mine without it before I got on here. So you should be fine to make it.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info all!

I'm going to give it a try and see how things go. I'm guessing I'm going to have a salty flavours brisket, and not pastrami...

Do you think I can get it to go 7 days and smoke it next week? I'm trying to find the proper ingrediants but I'm not having any luck anywhere...

EDIT: Better question if I CAN find Tender Quick, what do I do to fix it? Just apply the cure to the outside?

EDIT EDIT: Well, this is my saving grace for now:

Alton does a Corned beef, cured without Tender Quick for 10 days in a salt / sugar cure. I'm gonna give it a go. In the mean time I ordered 2 2lb bags of tenderquick for future use. :D
post #9 of 17
But take note that he does use saltpeter in his solution which gives it that nice color but also contains nitrates so if you have saltpeter then you will be fine and wouldn't even need to order TQ though it does make things easier.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Damn, I thought he said in the episode that was just for the pink color.

Well, I guess I'll be smoking a brisket tomorrow, since I'm not confident I have a cure that will last 7 days. :D
post #11 of 17
I would do as bbally suggests and take it out and cook it your not going to get a proper cure in what your using. Use it and when you get the Morton's or Instacure #1 try again with the proper stuff.
post #12 of 17
To cure with straight salt and meet the USDA requirements you need a haccp program. And a great understanding of curing and its processes.

I believe that substituting regular pink colored salt in place of cure will disqualify this member from holding great knowledge of curing at this point in their career. He, like all of us will acquire the knowledge, but it is a little early for straight salt cure with this level of knowledge.
post #13 of 17
He is using saltpeter, potassium nitrate. Has not been used commercially for years.

Looking at this recipe it is obvious that Alton is an idiot when it comes to curing. An absolute IDIOT.
post #14 of 17
On more than just this one...
post #15 of 17
However, potasium nitrate, sulfur and coal.........Stick with BBaly....
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Smoked it anyway!

Post soak (cure) for one day, and then rubbed with RivetStrami rub. I used as many whole seeds as possible and when I crushed them up it smelled GREAT!

Post smoke with Cherry to 164 (past the plateau and I was running outta daylight), and steamed till 185. Carry over to 189.

A single slice. Not Pastrami, but it still tasted GREAT. Waiting for a meat slicer today to try to cut it thin.

Basically that Pastrami recipe looks like it'll be insane. The flavours and smells were awesome! I cant wait to get my Tender Quick and try one for real.

Thanks for everyone's help with this.
post #17 of 17
a Cure is a generic term used to indicate brines, pickling or corning solutions.. or dry cures. When salt is applied to a food in the form of a dry cure or brine, the food is referred to as cured, brined, pickled, or corned. The term corned derives from the fact that the grains of salt used to cure meats and other foods were likened to cereal grains, or corn, because of their size and shape.

TCM, Pink Cure and Prague Powder are blends of 94% sodium chloride (salt) and 6% sodium nitrite. It is tinted pink (by adding FD&C#3) to make it easily identifiable and help avoid accidental use.

Recommended ratio is 4oz. TCM to 100# of meat.
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