HELP - Dried Beef looks stinky

Discussion in 'Beef' started by mfreel, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    I've been brining a roast for 13 days for dried beef. About 3 lbs.  I was rinsing it tonight to let it dry in the fridge and was trimming a little.  I noticed that some of it looked like the dull gray color.  I took this picture.  Deep inside it's pink, but the outside is this color.  Does this look right to you?  If not, what could have went wrong?  I used a cure mix from a local vendor.

    I'm not sure I want to smoke this, but I'm not sure what may have happened, either.


  2. Shoot I wish I could offer something up on this.... But all I got is that meat looks funky.
    Okay seriously maybe the brine that has off colored the meat. Did you also pump the meat. I believe the meat should also be pumped in dried beef until the meat looks like it was inflated somewhat. Plus normally the brining is 10-12 days so it's time to smoke this meat. If the brine was refrigerated and the meat was also then it's probably going to be okay depending on your brine recipe of course.
    Definitely there should be cure #1 in the brine or at least all the recipes I have read use it in the brine. What was the brine made out of? I have seen dried beef use two tablespoons of cure to 1 gallon of liquid for the brine and pump.
    Smoke it and heat to 152 and place in refrigerator for one week to dry down some more and it providing there is cure and the meat was a nice fresh piece to begin with, it should be good.
    Can anyone else add to this post?
    What was the cure made out of
  3. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    The cure was the maple sugar cure from friscospices dot com.  I've used this cure mix a lot for bacon, turkeys, corned beef, etc.  Never had a problem.

    I cut the brine recipe in half.  1/2 lb to 4 cups water and it should have been enough. I used the same recipe as I have for bacon, 1 lb to 1 gallo of water.  I just cut it in half.  I've seen recipes for dried beef from 10 to 14+ days, so I thought 13 days would be okay.

    As it is, I don't think I'll smoke it.  I'll probably do a post-mordem and post some pics here.  I think I'm too nervous to smoke this.  It's discerning because everything else has turned out just fine.
  4. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    And now I can't sleep cuz I'm trying to figure out what could have happened.  I need a smokin' therapist.  And I don't mean a hot chick.
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Smoke it and check the color..... color development doesn't happen until you get above 130 F or something like that.... Hey, I can't remember.... getting too old....

  6. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    Was it in your reg. household fridge where everyone is opening and closing the door and the temps are going up and down, not always in the 38-40 degree range? Might have started to turn? If I don't inject a larger then 2 in. thick piece of meat I like to butterfly it open to brine then tie it together to smoke. Cuts down on brine time and still stays together when sliced.
  7. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    It was in our basement fridge that doesn't get used much.  Just extra space.  

    This one's going in the trash.  I don't trust the look of it.  I'm going to stop by the vendor store today and see if they have any ideas.

    The roast was about 3" thick at the thickest part.  Again, I didn't think 13 days in the brine would be too long.

    This concerns me.  I don't want anyone to get sick.  I'm planning on trying another recipe, probably with Bearcarver's recipe or Pop's.

    Here's the post-mordem pic:

  8. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    In order for the center to cure the outside had to cure first.

    I have had them look like that, they turned out ok.
  9. 13 days in the brine is fine, I was just noting typical duration for typical recipes....your mileage may vary.

    I agree that letting that cure from the outside in will leave you a ring like the post mortem picture shows (the value of injecting thicker meats stands).

    Now what I can say is on the maple sugar cure is its typically .84% nitrite cure so 1 pound to 1 gallon of liquid is the norm on that. But even stranger is sweeter than sweet cure (like maple but without the maple and uses brown sugar) is the same .84% but its ratio is 1.5 pounds per 1 gallon of liquid for brine +10% pump. Its always made me wonder why they have the weight to liquid ratios not the same? The cure % is the same...

    anyway I digress....

    So I regardless of the cure, when using the .84% nitrite I use 1.5 lbs per 1 gallon.

    So your ratio sounds correct anyway with the maple cure.....its probably just an anomaly......

    Im a lot like you, if it walks like a duck and looks like a duck....Im throwing that crap out and starting over. I wouldn't lose sleep for a second, its just meat and they make it everyday.
  10. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    Married? Fond of inlaws?
  11. ha ha ha serve it....and let them wonder why your the only one eating bologna sandwich..... :)
  12. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic


    Went to the vendor and showed him the pictures.  He said he's seen it before.  He claimed it was the sugar in the cure that made it turn that color and that had I smoked it, it would have turned pink.

    However, he said that 13 days was way too long to have it in the brine.  He suggested one day a pound plus one.  It would have been edible, but extremely salty.

    I'm trying this again and I'll post some Q View.  Rather than cut the brine in half, I followed the directions.  It's the regular cure, not the maple one.  The roast is a top round, 2.5 lbs, so I'm going to go 4 days.  I'll rinse and let it sit out for a day, then smoke.

    Kinda disappointed I may have been able to smoke it, but it sure didn't look appetizing.  Better safe than sorry.

    I'll keep you posted.  Live and learn.  
  13. bookem

    bookem Smoke Blower

    I've had that happen, it seems like it's just how the cure penetrates the meat.  I've notice the brown on the outside from soaking in the brine.  I never looked at the inside before i've cooked it and it's always come out fine.  Maybe it was too thick.  Did the vendor say anything about injecting it for better penetration?  Good luck.
  14. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Pops would be the one to consult on this... send him a PM... he'll tell what's going on
  15. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thank you for the PM!  It looks perfectly normal, quite honestly.  The outer pigment is gone is all, but the meat is fine.  Very normal to be red in the meddle as it's not been exposed to the air like the outside was (remember that water is 2 parts hydrogen to 1 part oxygen) in the brine containing water.  Here's a Qview from a previous post a few years ago on a dried beef I did, after I took it out from the brine:  (the original thread -

    Oxygen is detrimental to the appearance of meat.  It first "blooms" the meat, then degrades the color to gray, then eventually shades of black, such as long-aged beef.  Very normal.  

    I don't know what amounts of cure and salt in the brine you used, but normally 13 days in my (Pops Brine - would be just fine; that is why I advocate a weaker solution and longer curing times; things come up, bad weather, family issues, rtc., and you need that flexibility in your curing solution.  Anything brined in my brine can stay at least 30 days if necessary without harm.

    Hope this helps and thank you for asking!

    Oh, look at my entire thread and see how it comes out!!
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  16. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    Question for Pops about brine recipe. I noticed in the above thread you use 1 tbsp of pink salt with a half gallon water but in other threads your recipe calls for the same amount per gallon of water.

    Which would be the correct amount?

    Thanks in advance for reply.
  17. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For Dried Beef I use double the curing salt and double the plain salt, still within normal curing ratios.  You can use up to 3.84 ounces per gallon of curing salt.  However, since posting that recipe i've had 5 strokes and have had to reduce my salt content.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014

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