**Cures and Curing**

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by pineywoods, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    With all the newer people starting to use cure I had someone PM me with some concerns last night. Seems he saw someone post questionable methods and thought maybe we needed to post a warning so

    There are different kinds of cure such as Prague #1 and Prague #2 which are the same as Instacure #1 and Instacure #2. Now there are differences between the #1 cures and the #2 cures and they are not interchangeable.
    There is a line of Morton's cures such as Tender Quick, Sugar Cure, and Smoke Flavored Sugar Cure.
    There is also High Mountain's cure and several others that I've seen. Please be advised all cures are not interchangeable as far as rates of use and times and even the cure type in some cases. Please know what you are using and the proper amount to use this stuff is safe when used correctly but can be very dangerous when used improperly if you have a question find out the answer before you use it. Its great to see so many people getting into making bacon and sausage but lets do it safely
  2. cajunsmoke13

    cajunsmoke13 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Agreed. Good post Jerry. I knew nothing about cures and curing...Learned it all here on this website. Lots of people here who know what they are doing when it comes to cures and curing. I'm not one. Know the basics, but I am learning..Another good source is Rytek Kutas' book called Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing...
  3. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    Good information/reminder from Pineywoods. And of course the cure contains sodium nitrite, which is added to prevent botulism poisoning. Botulism spores being present almost everywhere, but mainly produce the deadly poison toxins in moist, oxygen free temps between 40* and 140*. Perfect conditions like this are found in meat smokers. Smoked sausage and meats are good, but not to die for. If you can't/didn't cure it, don't smoke it.

    The best analogy I've ever heard for this was to remember the movie "The Ten Commandments" with Charlton Heston as Moses. If you remember when Death came to the city and those who painted the goat's blood over the door were passed by. Think of nitrite in the cure as being like the goats blood. Use it and Death will pass you by.
  4. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for posting that! It is important information to know. [​IMG]
  5. shooterrick

    shooterrick Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I agree Jerry. I was concerned some time back to hear someone was using cure 2 in place of cure 1 or tenderquick. Follow the uses of each cure and measure correctly. Unless you do long climate controlled cures for some sausages and hams and have an understanding of enzyme uses and such it is best in my opinion to keep things simple and stay away from cure 2. Someday I may venture into more complicated cures but for me TQ works for my CB and smoked sausages. YUM
  6. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    See now theres part of what I'm talking about Rick is using Tender Quick as does RonP and lots of others Desertilites and I and lots of others use Instacure #1 mostly. Both cures will do the job and do it well but the amounts of each cure are different and not interchangeable but yet either cure will do the job just fine. Thats why if your reading a recipe KNOW which cure is being used or use the cure you know the directions for. Also I think most people omit salt in the recipe when using Morton's cures and they don't when using Instacure.
  7. jaxgatorz

    jaxgatorz Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Darn, does this mean i need to make my own sausage now? Or can i just show up every 6 months and get some that you made?[​IMG]
  8. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    thanks for this great post i've been making bbb with high mountain and go by instructions. now i want to get into sausage and read lots of posts paying not alot of attention to the cures.
    now i will rethink and reread on this subject before i pursue [​IMG]
  9. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great thread Jerry, thanks for bring up the subject.
  10. Timely, Tested and Trustworthy!
  11. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great Advice from Pineywoods. I'm just starting out on Buckboard Bacon and read through a lot of material here. His advice sums it up though..[​IMG]
  12. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks Jerry for bringing this up again,It's time for a refresher course and a heads up to all that use cures.Please people learn about your cures of choice,as Jerry stated they can hurt you and the people that eat your foods.I have also read type from persons that have mis stated there intentions of the use of there cure -or just total boners in mis measureing cures.Some I have been able to PM and correct-but not all.I have read casual type from some saying 1 can't over cure,meaning as in takeing a loin 14 days instead of 10,the unexpereinced might see that the other way as in useing twice as much cure to shorten the time.I have been asked by more than 1 if they could do that!So we need to be careful in how we talk about useing cure.When I make cured meats I weigh the pieces-and measure out the ingreadents I need and the cure for each weight and add to a bowl-I double and triple check myself alot-nothing like measure twice cut once.As Jerry said theres more and more getting into bacon and sausagemaking which is really a good thing-I as others smile reading the excitment after the first batches-knowing just what those feelings are-but in the excitment of this wonderful hobby it's not hard to overlook things from time to time.So Everyone Read up on cures and cureing and WOW those around you in a safe way. thanks for reading
  13. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    yes Jerry thanks for the new and much needed infomation. I always check in with the folks here before I try anything new. You folks here know and I want to learn. Thanks again.
  14. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very good thread, thanks jerry. I have also noticed some of the inaccuracies.

    All I can add is that's the reason I use Tender Quick. The directions on the bag are very simple and easy to follow. All you need is a TBS for most cures, or a measuring cup for a pickle. Your meat is already weighed when you bought it. Most people do not have a good enough scale to measure some of the cures #1 or # 2 to be
    accurate. If you are making sausage it is a must to have a good scale that weighs in grams IMHO.

    I know I pay mostly for salt with TQ but I am OK with that for the convience and saftey.

    Thanks again, and this should be a sticky I think.
  15. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Every bag of cure I've bought has very specific instructions on it's use. If you get ahold of cure that doesn't have specific instructions on how to use it... don't. If you don't understand the instructions... don't use it until you get more information and know what your doing is correct. Using cure has opened up a whole new area of preparing meat for me and I love it, but I'm very precise in my measurements. If you don't understand something... stay away from it until you have a full understanding of using it safely.
  16. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    As Ronp said, buying a good scale is paramount to accurately calculate all your ingredients and meats. I bought one from the internet and it has proven to be a good one, see my thread on reproportioning sausage seasonings, 'Sausage Prep':


    At that time there were relatively few electronic scales available, but now they flourish, and Cabela's and other outfitters offer different models that would suit just about anyone. I do convert most all my calculations to grams as it's a much smaller unit of measure and you can get a more accurate precision that way, too.
  17. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Dang, just when I thought I was getting a handle on the equipment side of the house, here we go and find another gotta have (I have a very nice collection of gotta have's, thank you very much[​IMG]) but this one item is definitely an excellent add, and the price is quite reasonable, though I think I need only the 35. Uh, let's see, Christmas is covered, uh, hey, we got an anniversary coming up (45th for those who are curious). Thanks for the lead.
  18. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    FYI... I have done several trials on the proper WEIGHT (Actually mass, but that's another story) of Morton's curing products, TQ specifically, but I believe they are all used in the same quantities-
    Per 1 Lb ground meat/jerky- 6.25 g -1.5 level teaspoons
    Per 1 Lb Whole muscle meats 12.5 g - 1 level Tablespoon

    Used as a rub, or in the jerky/ground case, mixed thoroughly into meat.

    Using this formula it's easy to multiply out amounts by weight for different amounts of meat.

    Keep safe and read the directions.
  19. hoser

    hoser Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for a very important thread Jerry...I have noticed the errors as well..would it be a good idea to make this a "sticky" in the sausage and bacon forums?
  20. ol' smokey

    ol' smokey Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Great info from all. IMO anyone messing with cures, meaning Prague or Insta cure be it #1 or #2 should educate them self. These two publications are available online or in book stores. They have a wealth of information and are invaluable to me. Just my 2 cents and qview.

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