Question: cure and prepackaged seasoning

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by billdawg, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. Hey guys, I am hoping that some of you seasoned sausage veterans can offer some advice. I have a package of LEM Backwoods Kielbasa seasoning that does not have any cure in it. I want to smoke this sausage and know I have to add cure to do so. The package says not to add any salt to the spice mixture. Would it be OK to add the cure, or would it make it too salty? If it is going to make it too salty, I will make the seasoning myself so that I can add cure and smoke.

    Would anyone be willing to offer up a recipe for some good smoked kielbasa if I need to mix my own seasoning? I have made Brats, but this is my first run on Kielbasa and I don't want to ruin $30.00 worth of meat. Thanks.
  2. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I am not familliar with prepackaged mixes but I am assuming if the pkg doesnt have cure then yes you can add cure #1. I would not add Tender quick. Make sure and read the ingredients listed that there is no sodium nitrate or sodium nitrite in the mix.....

    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Does it say it contains no cure? Is it for Fresh Kielbasa ,aka not Smoked? Cure #1 is 93% Salt so adding it will bump the salt some...You could make it without Cure and Hot Smoke it...JJ

  4. I would be adding cure #1. I read the ingredients and it does not list any sodium nitrite or sodium nitrate.

  5. Exactly chef, it says it is for fresh sausage. The bump in salt is what I am worried about. I could do the hot smoke without cure, but am really wanting to try a slow smoke version. Thanks for the advice.
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I would Taste the Seasoning, If a pinch is salty, the whole deal will be extra salty after the cure is added...Maybe too salty...Fresh Kielbasa Grilled or Simmered with Saurekraut is Awesome...A family Favorite...I would make it as is and plan for the Cured slow smoked Kielbasa next run, Boykjo has a good premix...JJ
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  7. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I am at kinda a mix here... JJ has a point.... The added cure would be so little you probably wont notice but I dont want you to ruin the meat..... I ruind  a good 500 lbs in my sausage experiments... The neighbors dogs ate well.... Welcome to the sausage world

  8. Billdawg, how much meat are you going to process?  You say it's $30 worth but not the weight.... cure #1 goes a long way and even though it's mostly salt, you're not going to add that much.  A typical cure #1 is used in the ratio of 1 level (and I mean level) teaspoon per 5 pounds of meat... so all in all, you're really not adding that much salt to your mix....

  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thirty Dollars sounds like about 10Lbs so 2tsp is not that much...You have a point here...

    Joe...The more I think about it, the more torn I get as well...If the original mix is not too bad, I guess I would go for it if I really had a taste for Smoked Kielbasa...Tough call! [​IMG]...JJ
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  10. I bought 2 9lb butts. I have 15lbs ground. If I use the premix, it calls for 15lbs. If I mix my own seasoning, I will only do 10 lbs of Kielbasa and 5 lbs of Boudin.
  11. Well, here's another option.  You can use the pre-mix you have but go lighter on it than the directions call for and then add cure #1 at a rate of 1 level tsp per 5 pounds of meat...since there's no cure in the pre-mix, you're not in danger by cutting back the recommended amount.  Do the mix - going light on the pre-mix - then do your fry test (before stuffing) and adjust accordingly... way easier to add salt or seasoning than to take it out....


  12. Well, I hadn't thought about that option, but that makes sense. I will give it some more thought tonight. I am not going to mix and stuff until tomorrow morning. Thanks for the advice.
  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    That's a really good call!...JJ
  14. Hey Billdawg, here's my recipe for smoked kielbasa in case you want to skip the pre-mix.  This is my variation based on Rytek Kutas' recipe.  I've tweaked it a bit over the years... and you can too.

    This is for 10 pounds of ground pork (I like to keep my recipes gauged for 10 pounds that way I can adjust up or down fairly easy.  If you're doing 15 pounds add an extra half of what's listed below)

    1 pint ice water

    2 cups soy protein concentrate of non fat dry milk

    3 Tablespoons of Salt (you can adjust this to your liking)

    1 Teaspoon Sugar

    2 LEVEL Teaspoons of Instacure #1

    1 Tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper

    1 Heaping Teaspoon Marjoram (you can adjust this to your liking as well)

    10 cloves of fresh garlic, either diced fine of shot thru a garlic press.  I prefer using the garlic press method.

    Obviously, any of the ingredients above - except the Instacure #1 - can be tweeked to your liking...just remember to do a fry test before you start stuffing.  And remember, the flavors of the seasonings are going to get a bit stronger (especially the garlic) and more blended after they've had more time in the meat/sausage. The fry test is a great way to take a quick test but the final product - especially after smoking - is going to taste different to some extent.

    If your going to smoke the kielbasa, then you'll definitely want to dry hang the sausage overnight in a fridge.  The smell in that fridge will be awesome the next morning, but I would recommend using a second fridge if you can for the overnight drying because of the aroma!

    Hope this helps.

  15. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    At the rate of 1 tsp per 5 LBS of meat, I don't think I could taste the difference.

    My only concern would to be certain there is no cure in the mix already.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  16. Thanks GrayStrat! I think I am going to go with your recipe and save the mix for another weekend when I have less time to play with it. I am on a four day weekend and have plenty of time for my first run. I am assuming you mean dry hang it in the fridge after the smoke? I have a beer fridge in the garage I can use to hang it in. Thanks again for the advice and the recipe.

    Thanks Venture. There is no cure listed in the ingredients and it specifically says it is for fresh Kielbasa....I would hope that means there is none in it. I am going to use GrayStrat's recipe and not have to worry about it. I will just save the mix and use it later and hot smoke it.
  17. I just wanted to tell everyone thanks again for all of the input. I am continually amazed at the collective knowledge, experience, and willingness to share it with others that is demonstrated here on a regular basis. This may well be the friendliest site on the interweb.
  18. Hey Billdawg, first off, you're more than welcome.  That's what this site is all about, helping each other out in a pinch.  That's what is so very cool about this site, everyone is willing to help when one of us gets in a jam.....

    As for dry hanging, what I meant was air drying your sausage after you stuff it but BEFORE you smoke it.  For sausage I'm going to smoke, I typically hang it in my garage beer fridge over night.  This let's the flavors blend and also dries out the casings.  Sausage casings take smoke much better if dry.  Some folks just dry it in their smoker by running the smoker on low with no smoke for an hour or so and then start pumping smoke to it while ramping the temps in the smoker.  I prefer to hang it overnight to dry.

    Here's a picture of the last batch of kielbasa I made drying in the garage fridge....


    As for the actual smoke, I typically run my smoker at about 130* for the first 2 hrs and then ramp up to about 165* for another 2 1/2 hours or so.  You want to be careful in not getting your smoker too hot or you'll render the fat out of the sausage.  You're shooting for an IT of about 152*.  Once you hit your IT, you can take it out and rinse it down with cold water or dunk it in an ice/water bath.  This stops the cooking process and also helps the bloom (at least some experts say the cold water helps with the bloom, others say it doesn't....)

    Shout out if you have any questions.

  19. nepas

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

    You have the fresh, you will need to add cure 1 if you plan on making smoked kielbasa.

    I see your in coastal Georgia?  So am i sorta. 14 miles on 21 from Savannah
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012

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