Can you tell the difference between Cure #1 vs Cure #2

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by jp61, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I understand pink color of cure has an effect on the final color of the finished product. But, why don't "they" put in a small trace amount of say red dye in the mix, one or the other cure, to eliminate any chance of mix-up? Is it not warranted? Maybe not..... I'm trying to understand.
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm not sure but I think that is not necessarily true.... The color change in the meat comes from the nitrite interaction with the myoglobin in the meat.... And the meat color change is most predominant when the meat reaches something near 140 ish degrees....

    The red dye, added to the cure, is to foil the "unsuspecting" from using it improperly.....
  3. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'm not sure either.... from what I've read it's mainly dyed pink so it won't be confused with salt for example. And yes the color of cured meat does come mostly from chemical interaction but, the pink color of cure does have some effect on the final product or at least it blends in easier than if it was green or blue, etc. ..... that's what I've read anyway.

    What I meant with the red dye was this....

    Since the pink color of cure has some effect on the final product, why not add/mix a certain percentage of darker red granules mixed with the pink, in either cure #1 or #2. This way a person can differentiate between the two cures just by looking at it. One is solid pink the other is pink with red specks. Just a thought.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014
  4. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That pic is interesting Dave, I have DQ #2 and its not pink but white.
    I leave my cures in the original packet then ziplock or vac seal them. no way you'd mistake them for salt or sugar.
  5. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've been wondering the same thing Md, I don't think it will kill anyone or make them sick. you have the same amount of nitrite in #2 as in #1, or less even. so they will cure just like you used the #1. now you have the issue of the 3-4% of nitrate thats still in the sausage. does it convert to nitrite and then nitric oxide while cooking? I'm not sure. Martin or some others would probably know, me, I'm a little rusty.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014
  6. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    If the product is cooked/fried at high temps nitrosamines will form. That's the main reason bacon shouldn't be cured with Cure #2, I think [​IMG]  
  7. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think the issue with nitosamines only begins around 600°f I cook sausage well below 200°
  8. Thanks Dave and Dan for weighing in on this one.  I also noticed Martin having a read.  It seems the answer is that without scientific analysis you can't tell the difference.  SO! Buy from a reputable retailer, AND meticulously label ALL your curing products.

    It should be said for any members new to curing meat reading this that we were having a bit of fun with a hypothetical situation earlier.  Both Cure #1 and cure #2 are both necessary in certain meat curing processes.  Both are perfectly safe when used properly.  Do your homework and ask as many questions as needed until you feel confident in using either cure.  We have many members ( I'm not included ) who really know their stuff when talking about cures.  Great bunch of folks here who will answer question after question to help you get started.  It ain't rocket science but it does require guidance and confidence.  These folks are happy to help with both.  Keep Smokin!

  9. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I find it strange that two different products used for different purposes in mind when curing meats, look identical. I'm not sure what the consequence would be if any, if they happen to get switched in their use. I know people make mistakes. Many mistakes in the food industry are made on a daily basis, some resulting in suffering or worse. Just check out all the recalls at the USDA.

    Seems to me there would be an easy fix to eliminate any mistakes and/or confusion by making one product look different from the other. If it's warranted.... I'm not sure if it is or not.
  10. Hello JP.  I'm with you.  Seems easy.  One is pink  and one should be red. SIMPLE!  The sky is blue, grass is usually green and we can't wake up the suppliers to the fact that both look the same.  BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL and METICULOUSLY label seems to be the way forward,  Keep Smokin!

  11. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The first time I purchased Cure #1 was from a local mom and pop business. The owner served me that day and I was confident he gave me what I ordered, in that unlabeled ziploc bag. Oh, btw..... I didn't buy the book Sausage Making- It's So Easy A Caveman Can Do But, this guy could have been distracted somehow, drunk or who knows what, when filling my order. I could have very easily ended up with Cure #2. There was no way I could have known any better. I did make a bunch of smoked sausage with that cure and gave the majority of it to friends and family.

    It was right before Christmas [​IMG]  
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014
  12. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Maybe he's refreshing his memory or thinks I'm an idiot [​IMG]  

    I vote for #1 
  13. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    How did we get here have items in our pantry that can kill us by tablespoon?

    Worst could happen when I was a kid was having a very salty hot chocolate or burning my mouth with my dad's plum brandy...thinking it was mineral water (identical bottle).
  14. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    JP I'd have to be really desperate if I had to buy my cure in a unlabeled bag....Please don't take offence but I need to at least see the label of the product they're giving me. If they imported the cure from there home country in Europe it could be 0.06% nitrite.. you never know.
    One other thought for what its worth, everyone who uses TenderQuick is adding nitrate along with the nitrite when they make there sausage.
  15. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I totally agree!

    However, I wasn't desperate, just excited to make my own smoked sausage for the first time. I trusted he knew better than I, since he made and sold smoked sausage for a living. I knew the meat had to be cured with Cure #1 and that it was pink. Remember, I was just starting to learn.
  16. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Humans by the billions in need of tasty energy?
  17. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    This is a very interesting read... I too am a beginner sausage maker... I too keep my cure in it's original package and then put it in a zip lock bag... I keep it in a closet with all my sausage gear.. that way the wife, or anybody else, can't mistakenly use it....
  18. Then you have to think about the cure that you don't think is a cure, Celery maybe??? An off label cure! I didn't mean to fan the fire [​IMG]

    Happy smoken.

  19. I'm going to avoid bloviating ad nauseum by simply saying it would be very difficult to seriously endanger yourself or others when using or even somewhat misusing modern's just not likely to happen....folks just don't ingest several teaspoons or tablespoons of salty cure at one sitting.
    Yes, nitrite and nitrate are toxic...nitrite is more toxic than nitrate. Putting it in perspective......nitrite has approximately the same LD50 toxicity level as caffeine.....nicotine is about 200X more toxic than either. Consuming any of those at a toxic level is essentially impossible in the way that they're commonly used.
    Pure nitrite (or pure caffeine or pure nicotine) is/are extremely dangerous, but that's not what we're dealing with here.

    On the subject of bacon and nitrite/nitrate....under certain situations bacon MAY contain nitrosamines that MAY be carcinogenic.....the key word is "MAY"...there isn't a proven case of it ever happening.....but there's a heck of a lot of hype and irrational fear.

    Confusing cure #1 with cure's important to note that cure #1 doesn't exist because cure #2 is more dangerous...they're simply different products intended for different purposes....using cure#2 in place of cure #1 (at the recommended level) wouldn't be any more dangerous (in terms of the nitrite/nitrate level) than using Morton Tenderquick in the same situation (at the recommended level.)


    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
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  20. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Thanks Martin!

    It's good to read that there isn't any health issues to be concerned over, if somehow, the two cures (#1 or #2) weren't used for their intended purpose.

    I guess that's the reason they're both pink.

    Q- What would happen if someone (unknowingly) made a dry cured product with cure #1?

       - Would the product just simply go bad before it's done and end up getting tossed? 
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014

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