Curing salt question

Discussion in 'Curing' started by apprentice, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. apprentice

    apprentice Newbie

    Hey guys I made a small experimental batch of deer sausage. 25 lbs. my question is I used 7 ounces of sugar cure which had .05 sodium nitrite and I also used 1 ounce of sure cure the pink stuff I think it was 6.25 percent sodium nitrite. Do I have too much cure in the meat or is it still at a safe level. The 1 ounce of sure cure was per instructions for 25 lbs but not real sure how much more I added with the 7 ounces of Morton's sugar cure
  2. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Does sugar cure have 0.05% nitrite in it or 0.05 (which is 5%)?

    Does it have nitrate?

    What kind of sausages are you making? Dry cured?
  3. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Apprentice.

    It would really help if you could confirm exactly all of the ingredients you used. From your post it looks like:

    Meat - 25 lbs

    Morton's Sugar Cure (0.5% Nitrite and 0.5% Nitrate) - 7 ozs

    Cure#1 (?) (6.25% Nitrite) - 1 oz - Can you confirm that it was cure#1
  4. apprentice

    apprentice Newbie

    Morton's sugar cure 0.5 percent nitrite and 0.5 percent nitrate. Excalibur sure cure 6.25 percent nitrite the pink stuff. 25 lbs meat brown sugar and a few other spices as well. 2 lb casings of sausage. Smoked to an internal temp of 160 F. Thanks guys hope this helps
  5. apprentice

    apprentice Newbie

    The one ounce sure cure is normally all I would use for 25 lbs and I know that part is right. My concern arose when I realized that the sugar cure had nitrate and nitrite so then I wondered if I had way too much overall cure and if it were even safe to eat.
  6. apprentice

    apprentice Newbie

    Excaliburs web site also says sure cure is similar to cure 1
  7. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If this is correct then doing the calculations...

    25 Lb of meat = 11,340 g

    7 oz Morton's sugar cure = 198g = 0.99g Nitrite and 0.99g Nitrate

    1 oz Cure#1 (?) = 28.3g = 1.779g Nitrite

    This gives a total of 2.766 Nitrite and 0.99g Nitrate in

    11.566 Kg Meat and salt (if you include the weight of the salt) = 238 Ppm Nitrite and 866 Ppm Nitrate


    11.350 Kg (meat only) = 243 Ppm Nitrite and 87 Ppm Nitrate

    If you are planning to hot smoke and freeze the sausages then you would not have had to use any cure at all. The levels of cure that you have used are slightly higher than I would normally use in sausages however they are unlikely to do you any harm.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  8. apprentice

    apprentice Newbie

    Thanks Wade for your expertise. I will not make that mistake again. It's good to have a forum that you chat with people with some knowledge.
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks to me that you should have enough cure there for more than twice as much meat as you had.

    First of all you really shouldn't mix different cures.

    Here's the simple way to figure it. Put the calculator away.

    If you used 1 ounce of Pink salt-----That's good for 25 pounds of ground meat.

    Then you used 7 ounces of Morton Sugar Cure-----That's good for 28 pounds of Ground Meat.

    That means you used enough cure for 53 pounds of ground meat, or more than double the amount you needed for 25 pounds.

    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  10. apprentice

    apprentice Newbie

    LeArning from mistakes. Those are the lessons you never forget
  11. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For future batches of sausage do take Bear's advice as using a single type of cure makes it so much easier to calculate. 

    If you do decide to use cure in your next batch then you should be looking for roughly half the amount of Nitrite than you used this time. Bears and your figures of 1 oz of Cure #1 per 25 lb of meat hits the spot perfectly... 

    For 25 Lbs (11,340 g) meat, 1 oz (28.35g) Cure #1 contains 1.77g NItrite = 156 mg/Kg = 156 Ppm 

    Although getting the correct amount of cure is mostly about calculating the amount of the active ingredients there are also other factors that come into play too. The amount of table salt added to the end product is also important - especially regarding taste. With the amounts of salt in the cures that you originally posted you would end up with 2% salt. This would be a good level, however if you added additional salt as well to season then you could easily end up with an end product that is way too salty.
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Got to wondering:

    Are you eating this stuff?

    I'm not too sure it's good to eat sausage with more than twice the proper amount of cure in it.

    I never ran into this because I use TQ specifically, and if you use twice as much TQ as needed, it would be too salty to eat.

  13. apprentice

    apprentice Newbie

    Well I had to try it and actually it tasted great more sweet than salty. Was just looking for something a little different than the usual 4 to 6 hundred pounds of deer sausage we make every year. I probably will eat it just try not to over consume on it due to the high levels of cure.
    Jusf some food for thought we have determined that my sausage has 240ish ppm sodium nitrate. I have heard that some vegetables countain levels upwards of 1000ppm of nitrite. Nobody says don't eat your vegetables.
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I don't worry about the calculations & PPMs. You don't need the calculations to see how wrong this is.

    All I know is:

    7 ounces of Morton Sugar Cure is good for 28 pounds of Ground Meat.

    1 Ounce of Cure #1 is good for 25 pounds of meat.

    That means you didn't use only slightly more cure than Wade would have used, because you used enough cure for 53 pounds in those 25 pounds.

    I would ask somebody like "ChefJJ" how safe it is to eat sausage that has more than twice the amount of cure in it, before you eat any more.

    I personally have no idea how dangerous that really is.

  15. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Vegetables have nitrate not nitrite (which is converted to nitrite inside you). And your sausage has 240ppm nitrite not nitrate. The concern with nitrites is not their presence in their body alone (which seems to be beneficial for out circulatory system) but what happens when you fry meats with nitrites: they react with the meat protein producing nitrosamine (found to be causing cancer). Same happens in your stomach as the acid there act as a catalyst. Limit in commercial product is 200ppm. You are at 240. We are talking about long term effects here - this will not kill you even if you eat 5lbs at a sitting. Draw your own conclusion. We each have our own set of rules and principles.

    P.S. if you decide to eat the sausage cook it at lower temps (in the oven).
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  16. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Although the residual Ppm in the sausage will be higher than the commercial limit set by the government limits in other meats (e.g. 200 Ppm for bacon) in practical terms with the amount in there, if the sausages are eaten in moderation, is highly unlikely to cause any issues to health.

    We cannot and should not encourage people to aim for Nitrite levels outside of the government limits when curing  but it would also be irresponsible to tell him to throw it away when, at the levels he has, any actual risk to health is minimal.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  17. apprentice

    apprentice Newbie

    Thanks Bear I appreciate all the responses. That's what I get for trying someone else's recipe. As soon as we mixed the meat I knew it was not right using the 2 cures. A friend of mine has been making this recipe for a few years so I never gave it a thought til after the fact. I have notified him and told him to use one cure or the other not both combined.
  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you want to do 25 pounds again, you can use the 1 ounce of Cure #1. That would be just right.

    And if you wanted to use Morton Sugar cure or Tender Quick for 25 pounds of ground meat, you should use 6 1/4 ounces.

    I'm thinking your friend was using "1oz of Cure #1 OR  7ounces of Sugar Cure"------Not   "1oz of Cure #1 AND  7ounces of Sugar Cure".

    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  19. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  20. apprentice

    apprentice Newbie

    Well guys I have learned a lot here. I have made probably somewhere around 4000 lbs of sausage over the last 10 year. Not all mine of course. Me and hunting buddies pool out deer meat togethor every year for making it. I am 38 years old so I missed out on the the good days where everyone butchered and produced their own product as my dad did. He is no longer with us so I am just trying to keep on a dying tradition of sausage making and butchering to pass on to my son. So I really appreciate everyone else's knowledge being posted. Thanks again guys.

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