Cure vs. "Canning and Pickling Salt"

Discussion in 'Curing' started by mikewysuph, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. mikewysuph

    mikewysuph Fire Starter

    I found an Asian market that sells pork belly for cheap so I'm really really itching to do my own bacon.

    I'm doing my initial research here and came across Pops "Making Bacon" thread and read this recipe for a curing brine:

    1 Gallon clean, cold, potable water

    1 cup plain (non-iodized) regular table salt

    1 cup sugar

    1 cup brown sugar

    1 oz. (heaping tablespoon) of cure #1 curing salt

    Question: I couldn't find specifically the last ingredient "cure #1 cursing salt" at our grocery store. (Granted I was in a rush and didn't look that hard.) But what I did find was Morton's Canning & Pickling Salt. Is this the same thing??

    I'm thinking not, but the box says "This all-natural salt blends easily with liquid to make a clear brine....."

    Thanks all!

  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    No they aren't the same. 

    If you want to make Bacon using a Morton product, "Morton Tender Quick" is usually easy to find, and works Great.

    Below is a Step by Step of one of my best Bacon cure & smokes:

    Bacon (Extra Smoky)

  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The canning salt is just pure salt ground to a finer consistency. What that means is it should be measured by weight instead of volume. I usually just reduce the amount by about 10 tom 15%.

    "And knowing is half the battle!"

  5. talan64

    talan64 Meat Mopper

    I have to get Tender Quick or curing salt from my local butcher, since there are no local stores that sell either. 
    I did buy my current bag of cure #1 online. They sell it in a 1 lb bag, so there is plenty, since most recipes use like a tbs (by weight is better) at a time.

    At the butcher shop, they don't have the cure #1 just sitting out, but when I asked the guy at the counter, he told me to just ask them. I guess they buy it bulk, and will sell off smaller amounts.
  6. mikewysuph

    mikewysuph Fire Starter

    Thank you guys! Always a plethora of helpful folks on this site.

    I'll post up Q-View when I get going...Can't wait!!!

  7. mikewysuph

    mikewysuph Fire Starter

    Dang, went to our local meat specialty store to pick up some #1, and he said he only had #2....and didn't know what the percentage of nitrites (nitrates??) were in the mixture.

    Is there a huge difference between #1 and #2 Cures?


  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mike, morning..... Good that you asked..... My meat guy buys a mix of cure, sugar, salt, maple flavoring etc...... Purposely made for the product he is smoking..... that way they don't have to mix anything......
    The maple/bacon cure I get from him is 0.85% nitrite and his mix is added at a rate of 2#'s per 100#'s of belly..... he gave me 20#'s of the mix so I have enough for 1000#'s of bellies.... Most all meat places get their cure/? like that.... that way they make a consistent product....

    Using cure #1 allows for flexibility.... 120 Ppm for bacon.... 156 Ppm for sausage.... etc...... Dave
  9. mikewysuph

    mikewysuph Fire Starter

    Yep Dave, that's what the butcher said...buys it in bulk, premixed for a consistent product.

    But I did find some "Meryle's Modern Cure 6.25% Nitrite" which I am assuming is just Cure #1. It says to use 4 oz of Cure for 100 lbs of meat. See my questions under DiggingDogs Cure Calculator do I measure out such small amounts for only 3.46 lb of bellie?

    Thanks all!
  10. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    For dry curing, figure 1 teaspoon of cure #1 per 5 lb.s of meat, and go from there. If you're going to wet cure, definately follow Pop's recipe, i.e. 1 Tablespoon cure to 1 gallon water. Can't miss.
  11. mikewysuph

    mikewysuph Fire Starter

    Thanks mneeley.

    So the package on the cure says "Use 4 oz Cure to 100 lbs Meat". Does that roughly compute to 1 tsp per 5 lbs? I'm guessing so but it seems a tad much.

    What's the worse that can happen if you use too much Cure? Too salty? If it is, can't you do fry-tests to check the level of salt and go from there?

  12. talan64

    talan64 Meat Mopper

    If you have a scale I suggest weighing it out to what the package suggest, at least for dry curing.  I was using the 1tsp / 5 lbs before I got my food scale, and definitely saw a saltiness difference when I started weighing.
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Use too much nitrite.... It attaches to your red blood cells so they won't absorb oxygen... that can be bad...

    I recommend getting a small pocket electronic scale for about 15-20 $$$$.... Mine weighs from 0-600 grams in 1/10ths.... that's my GO-TO scale for weighing cure.... and spices... etc..
  14. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    "Heaping tbs" is not something you should use when measuring cures.
  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When you figure it out, that "heaping" TBS is less than half of the maximum amount allowed.... And.... Pops father had that amount certified by the food police, when they were in business...... (FDA or USDA or whomever was in charge at that time)

    You are correct in saying "that is not the correct way to measure cure" but in this case, it's perfect....
  16. It depends on the design of the can heap a heck of a lot more on some tablespoons than others because they're shallower and larger diameter.
    The ubiquitous flat stainless steel ones especially.

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
  17. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ooooo..... shiney!!!!

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