• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Did I use too much prague #1?

nkseal

Newbie
6
0
Joined Feb 10, 2020
Hello, new to the forum! Forgive me if this is posted in the wrong spot.

I cured a porkloin for the first time to make some canadian bacon. The recipe I followed called for 8 tsp prague powder #1 dissolved in 1 gallon of water for a 4 lb chunk of loin. I used 11 tsp for a 9 lb loin and 3/4c kosher salt, 1c maple syrup. I feel like the amount of powder is probably way too high, but I have read that people make brine with 4 tablespoons (12 teaspoons) prague #1 per gallon water. The canadian bacon was smoked to 150 and it tastes fine, but before consuming much I want to be on the safe side. What is the cutoff of prague #1 per gallon of water that you experienced users would feel safe consuming? I cured for 5 days and used about 3/4 gallon of the brine (4.5 lbs loin per gallon ziplock bag). I washed the loins after pulling from brine. Any help is appreciated so I don't end up in the obituaries.
 

noboundaries

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
7,304
1,589
Joined Sep 7, 2013
The rule is 1 tsp Prague #1 per 5 lbs of meat...and ingredients. A rough measurement would 9 lbs meat + 8.5 lbs water + 1 lb salt/syrup = 18.5 lbs, or about 3.5 tsp Prague #1. (I did say a rough measurement).

It won't kill you, but I did something similar to what you did the first time I made Canadian bacon. My wife and I both ended up with horrible gout (swollen joints). Took drinking gallons of tart cherry juice over several weeks to clear our systems. My suggestion: throw it out and start over.
 

smokerjim

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,795
986
Joined Jan 14, 2014
I just use pop's brine which calls for 1 tbsp. per gallon. I would be more concerned about only curing for 5 days usually I ago 1 day for every 1/4 inch of thickness plus 2 days.
 
Last edited:

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
18,528
2,938
Joined May 12, 2011
1 teaspoon Cure is about .2 ounces.
9 lbs meat + 8.5 lbs Water = 17.5 lbs
17.5 × 16 = 280 oz × .0025 = .7 oz or 3.5 teaspoons, as stated above. You Tripled that amount. Not an issue for meat that will be cooked, since much of the Nitrite will cook off.
If this was Jerky, you would risk issues.

I have read that people make brine with 4 tablespoons (12 teaspoons) prague #1 per gallon water.
" People " on the net frequently make mistakes. They may be Clueless, following some recipe, God Knows Who gave them or Typed the Recipe wrong when they posted it Don't Trust PEOPLE on the Net to know what they are doing. Nitrite is nothing to mess with, unless YOU know what you are doing. You made a Great Call checking in with SMF. Search here for recipes you want to try, they have All been Peer Reviewed to be Safe. Or, Post a recipe you found on the Net to be reviewed by folks with extensive Curing experience, before you make it.
We all knew little to nothing when we got here. Hang around and you too will be Teaching Others some day...JJ
 

nkseal

Newbie
6
0
Joined Feb 10, 2020
Would you say my canadian bacon is toast then? It did not taste salty by any means. Did not consume a ton. I agree I over did it. I found the attached image on this forum. It states 3oz for 1 gallon water of brine. I appreciate the responses. Is there validity to most of the nitrite burning off cooking it to 145 degree internal temp? Just trying to learn and understand. I agree people are uneducated when posting recipes...especially with something that can be potentially lethal.
Screenshot_2020-02-10-16-34-40.png
 

nkseal

Newbie
6
0
Joined Feb 10, 2020
The rule is 1 tsp Prague #1 per 5 lbs of meat...and ingredients. A rough measurement would 9 lbs meat + 8.5 lbs water + 1 lb salt/syrup = 18.5 lbs, or about 3.5 tsp Prague #1. (I did say a rough measurement).

It won't kill you, but I did something similar to what you did the first time I made Canadian bacon. My wife and I both ended up with horrible gout (swollen joints). Took drinking gallons of tart cherry juice over several weeks to clear our systems. My suggestion: throw it out and start over.
Just saw this. Ill toss it not worth health problems over a chunk of pork. Thank you.
 

chopsaw

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,876
2,591
Joined Dec 14, 2013
Ill toss it not worth health problems over a chunk of pork
Your're in the right place if you have interest in doing this type of thing . You will learn the right and safe here .
Like said above try Pop's brine to start .
 

nkseal

Newbie
6
0
Joined Feb 10, 2020
Your're in the right place if you have interest in doing this type of thing . You will learn the right and safe here .
Like said above try Pop's brine to start .
Thank you I appreciate it. Thoughts on the image I posted about 3oz to 1 gallon of brine? Seems excessive compared to what everyone here is saying. I am not sure if adding water and meat weight tells the story on how much prague #1 to add. It would be all about nitrite % absorbed in a dilution/brine? Again just looking to understand and not discrediting anyone at all.
 

chopsaw

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,876
2,591
Joined Dec 14, 2013
Thank you I appreciate it. Thoughts on the image I posted about 3oz to 1 gallon of brine? Seems excessive compared to what everyone here is saying. I am not sure if adding water and meat weight tells the story on how much prague #1 to add. It would be all about nitrite % absorbed in a dilution/brine? Again just looking to understand and not discrediting anyone at all.
I don't do that method . I dry cure or use Pop's brine . Pop's is safe and easy and makes a great end product . The guys that do the weight can answer your question .
If you want to cure meat , learn it here , these guys know what they are talking about . Then if you go on the net and see a recipe , you will know if it's right or not .
 

fivetricks

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,395
642
Joined Jan 7, 2017
If you're interested in trying dry curing with it, the formula is 1.13g of #1 per lb of meat.

If you want to do a wet brine, then pops brine can't be beat. If you're doing something that is not bacon, I would suggest his low salt version brine.

However, the most concerning thing I saw as well was your cure time. Assume 1/4" of cure penetration per 24 hours of curing time. Pork belly is best cured 2 weeks to give an example and I'm sure your loin was far thicker than a pork belly.
 

nkseal

Newbie
6
0
Joined Feb 10, 2020
If you're interested in trying dry curing with it, the formula is 1.13g of #1 per lb of meat.

If you want to do a wet brine, then pops brine can't be beat. If you're doing something that is not bacon, I would suggest his low salt version brine.

However, the most concerning thing I saw as well was your cure time. Assume 1/4" of cure penetration per 24 hours of curing time. Pork belly is best cured 2 weeks to give an example and I'm sure your loin was far thicker than a pork belly.
Refrigerated for 5 days in the brine isn't long enough for a porkloin for canadian bacon?
 

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
18,528
2,938
Joined May 12, 2011
3 oz Cure #1 per Gallon sounds like, I didn't run the math, that they are adding the max amount. While safe, that is A LOT of Salt with that Nitrite and more Nitrite than needed to get the job done in an Equilibrium Brine.
1T per Gallon is what Pop's uses. Some respected Authors use 2T per gallon. Many of us Weigh the Meat and Water then add .25% Cure #1 by weight which gives about 156ppm when equilibrium is reached...JJ
 

nkseal

Newbie
6
0
Joined Feb 10, 2020
3 oz Cure #1 per Gallon sounds like, I didn't run the math, that they are adding the max amount. While safe, that is A LOT of Salt with that Nitrite and more Nitrite than needed to get the job done in an Equilibrium Brine.
1T per Gallon is what Pop's uses. Some respected Authors use 2T per gallon. Many of us Weigh the Meat and Water then add .25% Cure #1 by weight which gives about 156ppm when equilibrium is reached...JJ
This sounds more reasonable that its a large amount but still within safe limits. It seems there is some controversy over what the max and minimum amounts are diluted in 1 gallon of water. I will tinker with ppm / math and compare to charts on what is considered safe. This has peeked my interest.
 

SmokinEdge

Fire Starter
71
41
Joined Jan 18, 2020
3 oz Cure #1 per Gallon sounds like, I didn't run the math, that they are adding the max amount. While safe, that is A LOT of Salt with that Nitrite and more Nitrite than needed to get the job done in an Equilibrium Brine.
1T per Gallon is what Pop's uses. Some respected Authors use 2T per gallon. Many of us Weigh the Meat and Water then add .25% Cure #1 by weight which gives about 156ppm when equilibrium is reached...JJ
I use 2Tbs of cure #1 per gallon of water. Always works fine.
 

fivetricks

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,395
642
Joined Jan 7, 2017
Refrigerated for 5 days in the brine isn't long enough for a porkloin for canadian bacon?
Depends on the thickness of the loin. Like I mentioned earlier, cure penetration happens at a rate of approx 1/4" per 24 hours. 5 days at this rate would be approx 1 1/4" of penetration from all sides towards the center, assuming the loin was not left to sit on one side continuously.

So if your loin had a measured radius of less than 1 1/4" then 5 days was enough, otherwise no.

Good news for you is that the loin wasn't subject to bad tastes in only 5 days. It would just be a matter of not being very "bacon flavored" at that point. When you start getting into larger cuts, you really have to pay attention to cure penetration.

:-)
 

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.