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nitrites - Page 2

post #21 of 26
That's not you! And I'd bet your head was in some stage of pain before you got here.
post #22 of 26
This is probably the best advice. Essentially, you are cooking or grilling it with smoke, then reheating it later on. A lot of the fat will run out, but that goes with the territory.

I make my own stuffed breakfast sausage, but it's cold smoked about 4 hours for flavor only. It still has to be cooked in a fry pan before eating. It has a smoke flavor, but is treated like a fresh sausage. But because I'm smoking it....even cold smoking.....it gets insta-cure (nitrite) in the spice mix.
post #23 of 26
On the topic of how much nitrite is needed to "cure" meats, I pulled out Rytek's book, which has a good deal of information on the subject. Dude....you may want to look the other way.

Roughly.....the amount of nitrite needed to avoid botulism poisoning is 200 parts per million.......which translates into 6 grams of sodium nitrite per 100 pounds of meat. It takes 4 ounces of Insta-Cure per 100 pounds of meat, and there are 28 grams per ounce. So the amount of nitrite in Insta-Cure is roughly 5%. That's not much. The rest is salt (and possibly a dye to get the pink color).

It only takes 1 teaspoon of IC to cure 5 pounds of sausage and only 5% of that teaspoon is nitrite? In short, we are talking very small amounts. The reason they mix it with a salt carrier is to assist with measuring that small amount of nitrite. Then there is the problem of getting an even mix, which is why they also suggest you dissolve that teaspoon of IC into a cup of ice water.....to help get a complete and thorough mix into the sausage.

In the actual process of doing this, within minutes of adding the cure to a batch of sausage, the meat will turn from bright pink to a grayish brown color. That is normal and part of the process. When you cook it, the sausage or other cured meat turns pink in color. Also a part of the process.

Bacons, hams, etc. that have been smoked (and partially cooked) are already pink in color.

Lastly, for years, there have been health scares about the safety of eating foods with nitrite in them. Bacon for example. As it was explained to me about 35 years ago, somebody did a study and found that if you fed rats a couple pounds of nitrite, they got enlarged kidney tubules or some such ailment. Ergo, nitrite must be bad for you.

But it turns out that a lot of our foods have nitrite in them naturally....fresh spinach for example. Our own saliva does too......a natural means of protecting ourselves from botulism.

Bottom line........in the amounts we use in smoked meats, nitrite should not be a safety issue. Given a choice of that or a dose of botulism (potentially fatal), nitrite gets a big thumbs up!
post #24 of 26
Wow my head hurts too Dude! I need some of whatever that person is smoking.PDT_Armataz_01_28.gif
post #25 of 26
I think you need to ask the butcher if it is cured sausage or fresh. If it was grey in the middle it was fresh sausage and not what you want to slow smoke for 10 hours.
Like Pigint mentioned, they often add a touch of cure to maintain color of the sausage. (so it looks pretty in the meat case even after days) but this is not the same as cured.
I would ask the person that said they add nitrites, How much nitrite do you use per pound, and why isn't it listed on the label. I think you are required to list nitrite no matter how small the percentage that is used.
post #26 of 26
Seems everybody forgot about the test I ran awhile back:
Yes you can smoke fresh sausage.
You can cure it, and smoke it, and turn it into "SMOKED SAUSAGE".

So if you have fresh sausage that you bought from a butcher, you have the following options:
#1 Eat it as is, by cooking, frying, or whatever.
#2 Hot smoke it, getting it from below 40* to over 140* in less than 4 hours(which really wouldn't be like "smoked sausage").
#3 Cure it with TQ, just like bacon. This works great & wasn't hard to do. Then you can smoke it as slow as you want & put a lot of smoke on it. See the link below for the thread all about when I changed "Venison fresh sausage" into "Venison Smoked Sausage".


Here's a bigger batch of Venison fresh sausage changed to Venison smoked sausage:

This worked great,
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