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Cure for Venison Bologna


Joined Jan 3, 2018
My family and friends in my hometown have been making the same cold-smoked “deer bologna” as we call it for several generations. The recipe calls for 30 lbs of meat/fat, 8 oz salt, 2-3/4 oz. garlic salt, and a few other ingredients for flavor. The mixture is then stuffed into hog casings and cold smoked at 35-45F for 3-4 days. It’s then immediately frozen. The sausage is eaten raw while still moist, or allowed to dry by hanging out at room temperature for several days. To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever become sick after eating this sausage, but I am concerned that we are at risk since there is no curing salt and the meat is never actually cooked. I’m considering substituting some Cure #1 for some of the salt to get the same salt concentration while targeting the 156 ppm nitrite concentration from the cure ( i.e. something like 1.2 oz cure #1 and 7 oz. salt to get 8 oz salt plus the nitrite-I haven’t done the exact math yet). Does this sound like a good idea? Would I be better using cure # 2 since we often leave it hanging out at room temp to dry, and if so, would the target now be 156 ppm combined nitrite and nitrate, or still target 156 ppm nitrite and the nitrate is in addition to that? Thank you!


Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jan 18, 2020
Just add 6 tsp of cure #1 and cut your other salt by the same. Cure #1 is 93.75% salt with 6.25% nitrite. The rule of thumb is 1tsp per 5# meat.


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Apr 27, 2017
Use the cure #1. You need staphylococcus bacteria or a cure accelerator for the nitrate to be reduced to nitrite. Cure #1 will offer protection for 30 days...
As far as the amount and concentration, 30# of meat is 13,620 grams. 13620gX 0.0025 percent cure #1 is 34.05grams cure #1.


Joined Jan 3, 2018
Thank you all! I’ll try the substitution and see how it turns out.
I agree cooking would be important to make sure it’s safe, which is why I started researching this more. From what I’ve gathered, we could potentially be at risk both from not having cure and from not cooking it. However, texture is one of the main things people like about this sausage, thus it is never cooked. Most often it is eaten while still moist, when it still has a consistency near that of raw hamburger. Thus, I don’t think it has dried enough to have a high enough salt concentration to be safe from many of the bacteria. Assuming all of the garlic salt is salt, it’s only about 2.25% salt as is. The 3-4 days of cold smoking penetrates all the way through the meat, giving it a brown color. I’ve always been told that the smoke cures it, which was why it didn’t need cure or to be cooked, and (to the best of my knowledge) no one has gotten sick from this recipe. Is the smoke and salt concentration enough to cure it, or are we still taking quite a bit of risk by not cooking it?
Thanks again!

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