# FS Cure injection

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A. how does a person determine how much water to use in the first place (presume the meat will be placed in a 1 or 2-gallon ziploc for the duration of the cure)?
B. where does the weight of the water enter into your calculation?

I want to try an equilibrium cure for a 3.03-lb prime tri tip to smoke for a pastrami and I am more confused after reading all of this than I was before I started

So for this, I would take the 3.03 lb and convert it to kg. (1.37 kg)

From there I would apply the following formula.

1.37 kg meat + 10% of the meat weight in water = 1370 + 137 =1407

For this cure, I want a 1.85% salt concentration and a 1% sugar concentration

1407 * 0.0185 = 26 g salt
1407 * 0.0100 = 14 g sugar

Mix salt and sugar with water and add to your meat. It should take a few days to get to equilibrium in the meat. You would also add any curing spices you were intending to use. Remember to increase by 10% for the added water weight.

Did this help?

JC

Never mind - I will figure it out.

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Never mind - I will figure it out.

Last edited:
With respect - this thread is unbelievably confusing, and incomplete.

If an equilibrium brine/cure does NOT use InstaCure #1, your formulas should state that.

And when one person is using grams, the other person is using kilograms, and other internet references are specifying .76 cup of Morton Kosher salt (I dare ANYONE to measure .76 up of ANY type of salt), this all adds up to extreme frustration.

I just want to cure a 3.03-lb tri tip to make a pastrami out of it. I have cured briskets previously with information from another website, and smoked a fantastic pastrami - more than once - but after reading this thread I am left more confused than ever. I cannot even develop a baseline formula to compare to the other website - .76-cups of Morton Kosher Salt notwithstanding...

And you are just going to have to trust that I can, in fact, do simple grade-school math.

With respect - this thread is unbelievably confusing, and incomplete.

If an equilibrium brine/cure does NOT use InstaCure #1, your formulas should state that.

And when one person is using grams, the other person is using kilograms, and other internet references are specifying .76 cup of Morton Kosher salt (I dare ANYONE to measure .76 up of ANY type of salt), this all adds up to extreme frustration.

I just want to cure a 3.03-lb tri tip to make a pastrami out of it. I have cured briskets previously with information from another website, and smoked a fantastic pastrami - more than once - but after reading this thread I am left more confused than ever. I cannot even develop a baseline formula to compare to the other website - .76-cups of Morton Kosher Salt notwithstanding...

And you are just going to have to trust that I can, in fact, do simple grade-school math.

Wow, I tried to help. Apparently I was too stupid to be of any help. Not to put too fine a point on this but I answered your cure #1 question in my first post. I won't waste any more of your time on my inane ramblings.

JC

SmokinEdge
A. how does a person determine how much water to use in the first place (presume the meat will be placed in a 1 or 2-gallon ziploc for the duration of the cure)?
B. where does the weight of the water enter into your calculation?

I want to try an equilibrium cure for a 3.03-lb prime tri tip to smoke for a pastrami and I am more confused after reading all of this than I was before I started
Now is when a rule of thumb gets tossed in with all the calculations. The rule is that the amount (weight) of water needed when building a covering brine is between 25% and 50% of the meat weight. I usually go for 50% of the weight of the meat. I have several brining buckets, so bucket selection is important. So, 1.5 pounds of water should do the trick for a 3 pound tri-tip.

Now.... all that said, I'm not sure if you have read about Pop's Curing Brine here on the forum. It's a universal curing brine based on 1-gallon of water and 1 ounce of Cure #1. I have adapted Pop's recommendations and come up with my preference of salt and sugar... then, I went one step further and re-engineered my corning brine (which is loaded with aromatics) to make corned beef or corned pork... which can be used for pastrami, or porkstrami. Give this article a read:

tallbm
With respect - this thread is unbelievably confusing, and incomplete.

If an equilibrium brine/cure does NOT use InstaCure #1, your formulas should state that.

And when one person is using grams, the other person is using kilograms, and other internet references are specifying .76 cup of Morton Kosher salt (I dare ANYONE to measure .76 up of ANY type of salt), this all adds up to extreme frustration.

I just want to cure a 3.03-lb tri tip to make a pastrami out of it. I have cured briskets previously with information from another website, and smoked a fantastic pastrami - more than once - but after reading this thread I am left more confused than ever. I cannot even develop a baseline formula to compare to the other website - .76-cups of Morton Kosher Salt notwithstanding...

And you are just going to have to trust that I can, in fact, do simple grade-school math.

This stuff can initially be a bit frustrating and confusing so I'll take a stab at it. Pictures speak 1,000 words so hopefully they help a bit as it's hard to imagine things without visuals, I run into this all the time at work :D

• 1 gallon of water (3,780 gm )
• 3.03 pounds of meat (1,374.4 gm)
• 12.86gm of Instacure#1
• 73gm Salt (1.65% salt used here and whole calculation takes into consideration the salt that is included in Instacure#1)
• 51.5gm Sugar (1% sugar used here)
Using 1.65% for Salt will ensure a good amount of salt that is not too powerful, especially when injecting this solution + submerging in it.
If you don't use sugar or don't want to use sugar than it can be omitted without affecting any other ingredients.
If you want a straight brine that doesn't use Instacure then omit the Instacure and you should be just fine for a straight brine.ok

Easiest way to get this answer:
1. Go here to this handy dandy and accurate calculator webpage, the pictures I took are from using the calculator tools on that webpage: http://diggingdogfarm.com/page2.html
2. Convert your meat weight to Grams. Not kilo grams, no ounces, no pounds. Grams is the simplest to work with where pounds, ounces, cups, etc. are all a pain and no scales weigh small amounts in pounds or even ounces and cups/spoons/etc, are not weight at all.

3. Figure out how much water it will take to cover the meat in your container. and know that 1 gallon of water weighs 8.333 pounds which is 1,374.4gm

4. Add up your TOTAL WEIGHT in Grams which is simply your meat weight + water weight

Meat Weight + Water Weight

TOTAL WEIGHT

5. Enter the TOTAL WEIGHT into the Cure Calculator. **Important** the calculator says "Meat in Grams". You are using meat and water so you need the total weight. If you were doing a dry cure (like with pork belly bacon) then there is no water. You are doing an equilibrium cure or brine so you must use meat weight and water weight here. If not using Instacure#1 then simply ignore the cure number this produces and you have a non-cure Brine.

Enter 1.65% for the Salt% field as the default 2% is way too strong from most things unless you love heavy salt.
Hit the calculate button

6. Now for the final values: (Instacure#1 =97

So rules of thumb for this stuff:
• Use the digging dog calculator webpage
• Figure out how much water you will need to do your equilibrium cure/brine and convert that weight to Grams (we can talk more on how to easily figure out how much water you will need but that is a separate conversation once this is cleared up)
• Convert meat weight to Grams
• Add up water weight and meat weight to get TOTAL WEIGHT in Grams
• Enter the TOTAL WEIGHT and 1.65% as the Salt
• Click the button and done!

Once you get these steps down you can calculate any equilibrium brine/cure you want for any meat you do. Heck you can do dry cures/brines (no water) as well and even more easily :)

Let me know if this is going down the right path and if you have any questions.

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thirdeye
• 1 gallon of water (3,780 gm )
• 3.03 pounds of meat (1,374.4 gm)
• 12.86gm of Instacure#1
• 73gm Salt (1.65% salt used here and whole calculation takes into consideration the salt that is included in Instacure#1)
• 51.5gm Sugar (1% sugar used here)
Using 1.65% for Salt will ensure a good amount of salt that is not too powerful, especially when injecting this solution + submerging in it.
If you don't use sugar or don't want to use sugar than it can be omitted without affecting any other ingredients.
If you want a straight brine that doesn't use Instacure then omit the Instacure and you should be just fine for a straight brine.
Thank you, sir. I will use this recipe and re-read the rest of your post a few times over at my leisure.

VERY much appreciated.

tallbm
Thank you, sir. I will use this recipe and re-read the rest of your post a few times over at my leisure.

VERY much appreciated.

One final thing to cover.
The cure and salts travel 1/4 inch deeper into the meat every 24 hours.

If you just soak (no injection of this mixed up solution) then you get 1/4 inch penetration all around each day.
So a 3 inch thick piece of meat would take 6 days minimum and probably 7-8 days just to make sure it cured all the way through.

If you soak and inject the solution well, it will go in half the time since the salt/cure would be traveling from outside in and inside out. This speeds things up greatly if you need speed!

Don't heat your cure it will kill it. If you need to quick dissolve just put it in the blender with some of your 1 gallon of water and blend the crap out of it without heating it. It doesn't have to be perfect but it helps and you can always blend a little pour it in the bucket, add more salt and water to the blender and continue to get a more even dissolve. Pretty easy.

Finally, at 1.65% you should not get too salt no matter if you went 7 days or 21 days. The salt/cure will distribute evenly among the water and the meat at a 1.65% level because that is what it naturally does, hence the reason it is referred to as an "equilibrium" cure/brine :D

I hope this extra bit of info helps and hoping to see good results of your cook soon :D

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thirdeye

One final thing to cover.
The cure and salts travel 1/4 inch every 24 hours.

If you just soak (no injection of this mixed up solution) then you get 1/4 inch penetration all around each day.
So a 3 inch thick piece of meat would take 6 days minimum and probably 7-8 days just to make sure it cured all the way through.

If you soak and inject the solution well, it will go in half the time since the salt/cure would be traveling from outside in and inside out. This speeds things up greatly if you need speed!

Don't heat your cure it will kill it. If you need to quick dissolve just put it in the blender with some of your 1 gallon of water and blend the crap out of it without heating it. It doesn't have to be perfect but it helps and you can always blend a little pour it in the bucket, add more salt and water to the blender and continue to get a more even dissolve. Pretty easy.

Finally, at 1.65% you should not get too salt no matter if you went 7 days or 21 days. The salt/cure will distribute evenly among the water and the meat at a 1.65% level because that is what it naturally does, hence the reason it is referred to as an "equilibrium" cure/brine :D

I hope this extra bit of info helps and hoping to see good results of your cook soon :D
Roger all that, Sir!

Just so happens I bought a real nice Ninja blender only a couple of months ago

tallbm
This stuff can initially be a bit frustrating and confusing so I'll take a stab at it. Pictures speak 1,000 words so hopefully they help a bit as it's hard to imagine things without visuals, I run into this all the time at work :D

• 1 gallon of water (3,780 gm )
• 3.03 pounds of meat (1,374.4 gm)
• 12.86gm of Instacure#1
• 73gm Salt (1.65% salt used here and whole calculation takes into consideration the salt that is included in Instacure#1)
• 51.5gm Sugar (1% sugar used here)
Using 1.65% for Salt will ensure a good amount of salt that is not too powerful, especially when injecting this solution + submerging in it.
If you don't use sugar or don't want to use sugar than it can be omitted without affecting any other ingredients.
If you want a straight brine that doesn't use Instacure then omit the Instacure and you should be just fine for a straight brine.ok

Easiest way to get this answer:
1. Go here to this handy dandy and accurate calculator webpage, the pictures I took are from using the calculator tools on that webpage: http://diggingdogfarm.com/page2.html
2. Convert your meat weight to Grams. Not kilo grams, no ounces, no pounds. Grams is the simplest to work with where pounds, ounces, cups, etc. are all a pain and no scales weigh small amounts in pounds or even ounces and cups/spoons/etc, are not weight at all.
View attachment 683867

3. Figure out how much water it will take to cover the meat in your container. and know that 1 gallon of water weighs 8.333 pounds which is 1,374.4gm
View attachment 683868

4. Add up your TOTAL WEIGHT in Grams which is simply your meat weight + water weight

Meat Weight + Water Weight
View attachment 683869
TOTAL WEIGHT
View attachment 683870

5. Enter the TOTAL WEIGHT into the Cure Calculator. **Important** the calculator says "Meat in Grams". You are using meat and water so you need the total weight. If you were doing a dry cure (like with pork belly bacon) then there is no water. You are doing an equilibrium cure or brine so you must use meat weight and water weight here. If not using Instacure#1 then simply ignore the cure number this produces and you have a non-cure Brine.

Enter 1.65% for the Salt% field as the default 2% is way too strong from most things unless you love heavy salt.
Hit the calculate button
View attachment 683871

6. Now for the final values: (Instacure#1 =97
View attachment 683872

So rules of thumb for this stuff:
• Use the digging dog calculator webpage
• Figure out how much water you will need to do your equilibrium cure/brine and convert that weight to Grams (we can talk more on how to easily figure out how much water you will need but that is a separate conversation once this is cleared up)
• Convert meat weight to Grams
• Add up water weight and meat weight to get TOTAL WEIGHT in Grams
• Enter the TOTAL WEIGHT and 1.65% as the Salt
• Click the button and done!

Once you get these steps down you can calculate any equilibrium brine/cure you want for any meat you do. Heck you can do dry cures/brines (no water) as well and even more easily :)

Let me know if this is going down the right path and if you have any questions.
tallbm OK, I have read this a couple of times and it is a great description and a great calculator! I have all the ingredients needed and I will be starting the cure tomorrow, according to your injection/penetration guidelines.

Now - how did you come up with the 1-gallon of water for my 3.03-lb tri tip?

Last edited:
A. how does a person determine how much water to use in the first place (presume the meat will be placed in a 1 or 2-gallon ziploc for the duration of the cure)?
B. where does the weight of the water enter into your calculation?
What I gave is for a dry cure. If I were doing a wet brine I would use enough water to cover the meat and use the combined weight of the meat and water in the calculation.

If an equilibrium brine/cure does NOT use InstaCure #1, your formulas should state that.
Cure #1(which goes by various names depending on who you get it from, but cure#1 is cure#1) is all I use for cure times less than 30 days.

Retired Spook
tallbm OK, I have read this a couple of times and it is a great description and a great calculator! I have all the ingredients needed and I will be starting the cure tomorrow, according to your injection/penetration guidelines.

Now - how did you come up with the 1-gallon of water for my 3.03-lb tri tip?
Good question.

I cure 8 pounds of meat or more quite often. From my experience I know that 1 gallon of water should have no problem covering 1 pound of meat so it was just a "sure nough" measurement to know you would be covered provided you aren't using some giant rectangular shaped tub to cure/brine in lol.

In reality you use just enough water to cover your meat by a couple of inches, BUT figuring out how much water that is and how much that water weighs can be a bit tricky.
I figured that would be lesson 2 of your equilibrium cure/brine adventures :D

I have a simple method to figure it out though.

• Measure out 64 oz of water and pour it in
• Repeat measuring out 64 oz and pouring it in and write down how many times you do this so you know how much water was added
• STOP adding water when you get to a point where you know one more 64oz pitcher of water is going to cover the meat and give you 2 inches more water on top
• Add up how many 64oz pitchers of water you have added plus the last 1 you have not poured in it. Multiply that number by 1,890gms and that is how much your water weighs :D (64oz is half a gallon and half a gallon weighs 4.1667 pounds which = 1,890gm)
• Finally, measure out your salt and cure and sugar based on Meat Weight + Water Weight = TOTAL WEIGHT (omit cure if not using it, omit sugar if not using it). Blend some of that final 64oz of water and some of the salt, sugar, cure in a blender and get it partially dissolved (may take a 2-3 loads of water and salt, sugar, cure in the blender)
• Pour that dissolved stuff into the bucket/tub and repeat that last blending step until the final 64oz of water, salt, sugar, and cure are all done and poured into the bucket/tub
• At this point you can swish the solution around and start injecting it into the meat if doing injections :D
This method lets you figure out how much water you needed and how much it weighs no matter what your bucket/tub shape or size is AND allows you to accurately calculate your salt, sugar, cure!

So, to recap. I knew 1 gallon of water should have no problem covering 3 pounds of meat so it was a heavy handed solution.
In reality some one would use the most accurate solution and minimal amount of water, salt, sugar, and cure needed but they have to know the tricks to getting this all sorted out which I'm sure you will be ready for very soon but you are armed with the ability to move on that 3 pounds of meat right now using the 1 gallon of water and the numbers provided :D

Retired Spook
Good question.

I cure 8 pounds of meat or more quite often. From my experience I know that 1 gallon of water should have no problem covering 1 pound of meat so it was just a "sure nough" measurement to know you would be covered provided you aren't using some giant rectangular shaped tub to cure/brine in lol.

In reality you use just enough water to cover your meat by a couple of inches, BUT figuring out how much water that is and how much that water weighs can be a bit tricky.
I figured that would be lesson 2 of your equilibrium cure/brine adventures :D

I have a simple method to figure it out though.

• Measure out 64 oz of water and pour it in
• Repeat measuring out 64 oz and pouring it in and write down how many times you do this so you know how much water was added
• STOP adding water when you get to a point where you know one more 64oz pitcher of water is going to cover the meat and give you 2 inches more water on top
• Add up how many 64oz pitchers of water you have added plus the last 1 you have not poured in it. Multiply that number by 1,890gms and that is how much your water weighs :D (64oz is half a gallon and half a gallon weighs 4.1667 pounds which = 1,890gm)
• Finally, measure out your salt and cure and sugar based on Meat Weight + Water Weight = TOTAL WEIGHT (omit cure if not using it, omit sugar if not using it). Blend some of that final 64oz of water and some of the salt, sugar, cure in a blender and get it partially dissolved (may take a 2-3 loads of water and salt, sugar, cure in the blender)
• Pour that dissolved stuff into the bucket/tub and repeat that last blending step until the final 64oz of water, salt, sugar, and cure are all done and poured into the bucket/tub
• At this point you can swish the solution around and start injecting it into the meat if doing injections :D
This method lets you figure out how much water you needed and how much it weighs no matter what your bucket/tub shape or size is AND allows you to accurately calculate your salt, sugar, cure!

So, to recap. I knew 1 gallon of water should have no problem covering 3 pounds of meat so it was a heavy handed solution.
In reality some one would use the most accurate solution and minimal amount of water, salt, sugar, and cure needed but they have to know the tricks to getting this all sorted out which I'm sure you will be ready for very soon but you are armed with the ability to move on that 3 pounds of meat right now using the 1 gallon of water and the numbers provided :D

Excellent explanation!

Thank you again, sir!

Alright 3.03-lb 2-1/2" thick tri tip injected and soaking in 3/4-gallons of brine (calculations adjusted) in a Winco 1/2 size stainless steel pan with stainless steel measuring cups holding the tri tip under water, with the lid on and some cold cuts and cheese packages on top for added weight to hold the lid pressing down on the measuring cups.

I thought I would leave it in there until Friday to be sure it gets cured completely, all over (I did not trim the fat off the top so I want to make sure it all gets cured).

And next Saturday or Sunday "should" be perfect smoking weather - fingers crossed...

I am going to use Katz's pastrami rub from that other website - I have used it before and it is excellent.

A massive pile of pastrami, couple slices of Swiss cheese, a mound of some great cole slaw from Billy's Pit in Bastrop (best coleslaw anywhere in Texas - or at least it was...) piled on, and some home made Russian dressing on some good rye bread from Central Market, and I will be going to town.

I do not think there is anything I miss more from back home than a real, Jewish deli, pastrami sandwich. If you have never had one, you are missing out.

Last edited:
Alright 3.03-lb 2-1/2" thick tri tip injected and soaking in 3/4-gallons of brine (calculations adjusted) in a Winco 1/2 size stainless steel pan with stainless steel measuring cups holding the tri tip under water, with the lid on and some cold cuts and cheese packages on top for added weight to hold the lid pressing down on the measuring cups.

I thought I would leave it in there until Friday to be sure it gets cured completely, all over (I did not trim the fat off the top so I want to make sure it all gets cured).

And next Saturday or Sunday "should" be perfect smoking weather - fingers crossed...

I am going to use Katz's pastrami rub from that other website - I have used it before and it is excellent.

A massive pile of pastrami, couple slices of Swiss cheese, a mound of some great cole slaw from Billy's Pit in Bastrop (best coleslaw anywhere in Texas - or at least it was...) piled on, and some home made Russian dressing on some good rye bread from Central Market, and I will be going to town.

I do not think there is anything I miss more from back home than a real, Jewish deli, pastrami sandwich. If you have never had one, you are missing out.
Looking forward to seeing how it comes out!

I've wet cured/injected my brisket pastrami's and had fantastic results. Just remember that it already has all the salt it's going to need so season away with all the pastrami seasonings without the salt and you should be good to go! :D

Can't wait to see it! :D

Retired Spook
tallbm

Question: I have always used a dry cure for bacon - can I use the same calculation criteria on Digging Dog minus the water weight? Do you increase / decrease salt or sugar for bacon?

If you want an EQ cure, you'd run the combined weight of the meat and water through the calc.

tallbm

Question: I have always used a dry cure for bacon - can I use the same calculation criteria on Digging Dog minus the water weight? Do you increase / decrease salt or sugar for bacon?
Yes you can! That is what I do.

It works for dry cure and just like you are thinking, you simply eliminate the water weight and just use the meat weight. Easy, peasy!

I still stick with 1.65% salt. It seems to be the magic number for me when you get things enough time. I used to do a little higher but found on fish and thinner areas of meat it would get a little too salty for me. This 1.65% is forgiving in that regard and good to go overall :D

For clarity, my bacon is done using that calculator and is simply:
• Meat weight
• 1.65% Salt
• 1% Sugar
• the calculated amount of cure it tells me
• Done!
Let me know if this covers it :)

Oh final thing, I do this for all my dry cure. This includes my cold smoked (never cooked) Salmon Lox which is cured and I use True Orange/Lemon or zest oranges and lemons which is something not so common with other cures. It's a flavor thing with the citrus stuff though so not needed in other meats :D

Retired Spook
Yes you can! That is what I do.

It works for dry cure and just like you are thinking, you simply eliminate the water weight and just use the meat weight. Easy, peasy!

I still stick with 1.65% salt. It seems to be the magic number for me when you get things enough time. I used to do a little higher but found on fish and thinner areas of meat it would get a little too salty for me. This 1.65% is forgiving in that regard and good to go overall :D

For clarity, my bacon is done using that calculator and is simply:
• Meat weight
• 1.65% Salt
• 1% Sugar
• the calculated amount of cure it tells me
• Done!
Let me know if this covers it :)

Oh final thing, I do this for all my dry cure. This includes my cold smoked (never cooked) Salmon Lox which is cured and I use True Orange/Lemon or zest oranges and lemons which is something not so common with other cures. It's a flavor thing with the citrus stuff though so not needed in other meats :D
Thank you, sir!

Don't get me goin with the Lox - that is something else I miss from back home, dearly, on a real garlic bagel, with cream cheese...

The weather outlook may be good for smoking a couple slabs of bacon in a couple/few weeks (it's always so damned warm here) so I will keep my fingers crossed.

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