Biltong questions?

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by tgil, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. crys

    crys Newbie

    Regarding the request for pictures of my first batch...

     
  2. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

    Hi Mummel,

    This is the best explanation;

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curing_salt

    #1 is faster acting and used more in things like fresh sausage that is going to be smoked or pastrami etc

    #2 is slower acting and is used more in dry aging..salami etc

    If you are looking to get into to, go to amazon and buy Stan Marianski's "The Art of Making Fermented Sausages"...best book for understanding the whole process.

    Re the Droewors..it is unlikely that the mix has cure in it. You might be able to talk your local butcher out of some, otherwise...Butcher-Packer.com is where I get mine.

    HTH
     
  3. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

    Hi Crys, Good looking Biltong. Re; salt..it depends on the recipe. 5% would be considered high in a lot of dry aged recipes.
     
  4. crys

    crys Newbie

    You can also get cure 1 and 2 on amazon, look under prague powder 1 and 2 which is the same as cure 1 and cure 2.
     
  5. crys

    crys Newbie

    Really...that's very interesting as to be honest I associate dry cured meats with being overly salty.  What percentage do you usually go to?
     
  6. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

    Again, it depends on he formulation. The last Spanish Feut I did was 2.8%. There are some minimum requirements, but my Marianski is in storage right now so I cant look it up.
     
  7. crys

    crys Newbie

    Interesting, what would you recommend I change if I wanted the next batch to have less of a vinegar taste and less salt?

    My idea is to let it sit first in the vinegar mix for a few hours (3 or 4) and then put the cure in the salt mix while dropping the salt to 4% by weight.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  8. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Is this the stuff I should get for biltong?

    Hoosier Hill Farm Prague Powder Curing Salt, Pink, 1 Pound


     
  9. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Mmmm, now I'm not so sure.  Dave was kind enough to provide me with this explanation:

    The nitrate is used to cure meats that are not intended to be cooked... It needs to be applied and the meat needs to be above 48 degrees F so bacteria can grow and convert the nitrate to nitrite...

    Prague Powder #1 vs Prague Powder #2
    SmokinHusker


    By: SmokinHusker

    Posted 1/2/13 • Last updated 1/2/13 • 11,884 views • 3 comments

    Rick (NEPAS) posted this recently in another thread here.

    CURES - Cures are used in sausage products for color and flavor development as well as retarding the development of bacteria in
    the low temperature environment of smoked meats.
    Salt and sugar both cure meat by osmosis. In addition to drawing the water from the food, they dehydrate and kill the bacteria that make food spoil. In general, though, use of the word "cure" refers to processing the meat with either sodium nitrite or sodium nitrate.
    The primary and most important reason to use cures is to prevent BOTULISM POISONING (Food poisoning). It is very important that any kind of meat or sausage that will be cooked and smoked at low temperature be cured. To trigger botulism poisoning, the requirements are quite simple - lack of oxygen, the presence of moisture, and temperatures in range of 40-140° F. When smoking meats, the heat and smoke eliminates the oxygen. The meats have moisture and are traditionally smoked and cooked in the low ranges of 90 to 185° F. As you can see, these are ideal conditions for food poisoning if you don't use cures. There are two types of commercially used cures.


    Prague Powder #1
    Also called Insta-Cure and Modern Cure. Cures are used to prevent meats from spoiling when being cooked or smoked at low temperatures (under 200 degrees F). This cure is 1 part sodium nitrite (6.25%) and 16 parts salt (93.75%) and are combined and crystallized to assure even distribution. As the meat temperate rises during processing, the sodium nitrite changes to nitric oxide and starts to ‘gas out’ at about 130 degrees F. After the smoking /cooking process is complete only about 10-20% of the original nitrite remains. As the product is stored and later reheated for consumption, the decline of nitrite continues. 4 ounces of Prague powder #1 is required to cure 100 lbs of meat. A more typical measurement for home use is 1 level tsp per 5 lbs of meat. Mix with cold water, then mix into meat like you would mix seasonings into meat.


    Prague Powder #2
    Used to dry-cure products. Prague powder #2 is a mixture of 1 part sodium nitrite, .64 parts sodium nitrate and 16 parts salt.


    (1 oz. of sodium nitrite with .64 oz. of sodium nitrate to each lb. of salt.)

    It is primarily used in dry-curing Use with products that do not require cooking, smoking, or refrigeration. This cure, which is sodium nitrate, acts like a time release, slowly breaking down into sodium nitrite, then into nitric oxide. This allows you to dry cure products that take much longer to cure. A cure with sodium nitrite would dissipate too quickly.
    Use 1 oz. of cure for 25 lbs. of meat or 1 level teaspoon of cure for 5 lbs. of meat when mixing with meat.
    When using a cure in a brine solution, follow a recipe.


    DO NOT MIX EITHER CURE #1 OR CURE #2 WITH MTQ
     
  10. crys

    crys Newbie

    Yes, Prague Powder 1 is the same as Cure 1. Morton's Tender Quick is also a Cure 1 but has a lot more salt mixed in with it. Prague Powder has almost no salt mixed in with it.

    Prague Powder 2/cure 2 is used for long term (like a month or more) curing while Prague Powder 1 is used for shorter term cures. Biltong needs to cure for only a few hours to a few days so use a cure 1.
     
  11. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Excellent!  Thank you.
     
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Morton's Tender Quick also has Sodium Nitrate in it.... It is NOT equal to cure #1....... It cannot be substituted for cure #1.....

    Depending on the thickness of the cut of meat, biltong may take up to several weeks to dry PROPERLY..... no moisture in the center... no case hardening.....
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  13. crys

    crys Newbie

    Interesting to know, I've always seen MTQ or Cure 1 in jerky recipies so I thought they were the same. In any case MTQ has too much regular salt in it for me so I perfer using Prague Power 1.

    And we are talking two different types of curing here, this is a question of how long will it take for cure 1 to work not how long it will take the biltong to air dry. That is of course dependant on the thickness. I usually give meat a day for every 1/2 inch as a rough guideline, so I guess for an inch thick bilton I'd let it set in the cure for 2 days before starting my air drying.
     
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [quote name="Crys" url="/t/175980/biltong-questions/20#post_1444258]

    Interesting to know, I've always seen MTQ or Cure 1 in jerky recipies so I thought they were the same. In any case MTQ has too much regular salt in it for me so I perfer using Prague Power 1.

    And we are talking two different types of curing here, this is a question of how long will it take for cure 1 to work not how long it will take the biltong to air dry. That is of course dependant on the thickness. I usually give meat a day for every 1/2 inch as a rough guideline, so I guess for an inch thick bilton I'd let it set in the cure for 2 days before starting my air drying.[/quote]



    Nitrite and salt need time to penetrate to the center of the meat cut.... Generally it is figured at 1/4" per day... submerged in liquid, that penetration occurs from both sides of the meat...
    Then taking that a step farther, it does take more time for the meat to come to "equilibrium" where the outside of the meat and the center are the same concentration....
    That general rule is 2 more days...

    As a side note, when you first put cure on the meat, the outside layer, 1/32" or so is at 60,000 Ppm nitrite... High in salt also.... while the center is at ZERO Ppm everything.... so you can see where time is an important factor in getting the meat to equilibrium....
     
  15. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

    I agree with Dave's comments regarding cure time.

    FWIW...(NOTE: I haven't tried this yet) For my next batch of biltong I am going to use the Equalization method. (i.e. mix my cure, salt, vinegar and water together and vac pac my strips in it). Why? My concern with the traditional salt dip method is how do you know how  much cure you actually applied. Using the EQ Method I'llbe able to accurately control all inputs. I'm sure it will take some experimentation to find the correct percentages of ingredients but once I do it should make the process very repeatable.
     
  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dingo.... Afternoon....

    The equalization method of curing......

    As an example...... 4#'s meat... (1816 grams)..... 1# water ( 454 grams).... total 2270 grams....

    150 Ppm nitrite, 2.5 % salt.......

    2270 X 0.000150 = 0.341 grams nitrite or / 0.0625 = 5.45 grams cure #1....

    2270 X 0.025 = 62.4 grams salt

    Dissolve the 5.45 grams cure and 62.4 grams salt in cool water..... add to the 1816 grams of meat.... mix thoroughly and refer and mix periodically for several days..... zip bags work well for this....

    You want to use about 1/4 or so, the weight of the meat in weight of water.... You will NEVER over cured or over salted the product....
    Impossible with this method.... you can leave in the refer and cure mix for 14 days or longer...

    Hope that makes sense.... if not , let me know....
     
  17. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Dave,

    I've used the EQ method on other projects..just not on Biltong to date. The big question is...what are the %'s for the other spices & vinegar. I haven't come across a recipe presented this way. I guess it due to the traditional method of dredging and soaking etc.

    Anyway...since I dont have my curing chamber any more..i'm a little away from figuring it out.
     
  18. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Marianski just says, "soak in vinegar for 2 hours" pat dry then sprinkle the stuff on both sides... If your strips were thick, I'd soak longer in the vinegar so it penetrates the meat fully.... acidic meat will not grow pathogens... or so they say.....
     
  19. dingo007

    dingo007 Smoking Fanatic

    Yep..that's the traditional way....I'm looking to combine ALL the ingredients and do the EQ method.
     
  20. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think there may be a problem with combining all the ingredients... Acid speeds up curing.... It is used in commercial operations....

    I would not do it unless you had a laboratory at your disposal to determine how all the intended reactions were working.....

    What's wrong with making it the traditional way.... a couple hours in vinegar then add the stuff for several days in the refer....

    Weigh the meat and add ~1 gram cure per pound to all the other stuff... 10.5 grams salt...(2.3%) ... etc...

    You can safely add a Tbs or 2 of water to the meat and dry mix so it will become a slurry and keep stuff moving around the meat for a uniform distribution.... That water does not need to be added into the equation if you let it evaporate during the drying process... It does appear the spices etc. are left on the surface of the meat....


     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015

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