help with cure

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by smokejob, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Tonight I mixed up 25 pounds of wild duck breast along with 5 pounds of bacon ends and pieces to give me a 20% fat ratio for my andouille recipe. I have a question about the cure, when calculating the proper amount of LEM cure to use I failed to subtract the already cured bacon from my total weight.  I used a total of 7.5 teaspoons of cure for 30 lbs of meat although 5 lbs of the meat was cured at the factory.  Is this unsafe to eat now?  Thanks for the info!
  2. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What percentage  of nitrite is in the Lem cure?

    We could calculate the ppm if we knew that, you might be on the high side but still safe
  3. 6.25% nitrite
  4. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Do they give you a weight measurement for using the cure, instead of volume?

    The reason I ask is doing 7.5 teaspoons  for 30 pounds, and using  6 gm's per teaspoon, (which is standard for #1) I come up with 206 ppm (part per million ) of nitrite. The USDA recommends a max in sausage of 156ppm. so you're over to begin with.
  5. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Man that's a tough call for me. Since I have no idea what the Lem weighs per tsp I don't know enough to help much. The other problem I have is you have no idea how much cure was used in the bacon it is an assumption, unless you made the bacon as well. Too many unknowns for me to make that call. 

    This is what the Lem web site tells me. "LEM Cure is a mixture of salt and sodium nitrite (6.25%), and should be used to control botulism and add color and flavor to your smoked or cooked sausage. The conditions created during the low temperature cooking of sausages and jerky are ideal for the promotion of botulism. This cure will not kill salmonella or E-coli bacteria. These bacteria are eliminated by proper cooking temperatures. The use of this cure in meat and fish is strictly regulated by the FDA. Follow directions to the letter.  DO NOT use more than directed.  Normal use is a scant 1/4 teaspoon per pound of meat, 1 oz. to 25 lbs. of meat or 4 oz. per 100 lbs. of meat. Keep out of reach of children!  For your safety and convenience, all our Backwoods Seasoning cure blends come with pre-measured packages of cure."By 

    By my calculations you have 1.25 tsp too much cure.

    The University of Minnesota Extention web site  lists the following on it.

    "How Much Nitrite Can Be Used?

    For the curing process, sodium nitrite legally can be used at up to the following levels, set by the Meat Inspection Regulations, Title 9, Chapter 111, Subchapter A, Code of Federal Regulations, 1974:
    • 2 pounds per 100 gallons pickle brine at the 10 percent pump level in the product
    • 1 ounce per 100 pounds meat (dry cured)
    • 1/4  ounce per 100 pounds chopped meat and/or meat by-product.
    As established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the Meat Inspection Regulations cited above, the use of nitrites, nitrates, or combinations of them cannot result in more than 200 parts per million (ppm), calculated as sodium nitrite, in the finished product. Parts per million can be calculated as follows:
    For example:
    Another way of expressing 200 ppm is to say it is 1 pound of sodium nitrite in 5,000 pounds of meat.

    Effective June 15, 1978, the USDA changed the curing procedures of "pumped" bacon as follows: the use of sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate is prohibited; the level of ingoing sodium nitrite shall be 120 ppm (or 148 ppm potassium nitrite); the level of ingoing sodium ascorbate (vitamin C) or sodium erythorbate (isoascorbate) shall be 550 ppm. According to USDA surveys, these changes have resulted in bacon that does not form nitrosamines when cooked at 340 degrees F for 3 minutes on each side. These three changes apply only to pumped bacon and do not apply to dry cured bacon."

    Hope this helps you out.
  6. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey Smokejob If you haven't stuffed it yet it could be an easy fix just by adding some more meat, like pork butt , chicken or pork,

    Don't throw it out yet brother

    The way I see it you're over on cure right off the bat, the bacon bumps that number up some but not really that much.

    Here's the facts:.

    USDA max ppm of cure in a sausage is 156ppm

    Your 30 pounds of meat with 7.5 teaspoons works out 206ppm plus a little extra for the residual cure in the bacon.

    USDA allows and error of 20%+/- ,that means 187ppm would be maximum cure, so you're still over the max by another 15%

    So technically, I can't recommend you eat it,,

    but if you could add some meat to the batch even if it meant unstuffing and restuffing you'll be good to go.

    I can calculate what you'd need for meat if it will help, I'd hate to see anyone toss out 30 pounds of sausage.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  7. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Dan am I understanding you correctly here. It sounds like you are saying that following Lem's directions for measurement on the package you get too much nitrite. I can see how this could happen very easily.  The package directions say and i quote "  Normal use is a scant 1/4 teaspoon per pound of meat" The scant is the key word which means a tad less. Most people reading that are going to use 1/4 tsp per pound there by putting too much cure in. There directions leave a bit to be desired in this aspect. Using the 1 oz per 25# of meat you don't get too much nitrite correct. 
  8. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Correct, by weighing the cure 1 oz per pound will give you a perfect 154ppm

    But if we assume the weight of the cure is 6 grams per tsp and there's 7.5 tsp's then it works out to 206ppm

    That's why a lot of us recommend measuring cures by weight and not volume.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  9. nepas

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

    25 lbs should have used 5 level tsp of cure.

    Not knowing what type of cure was used in the bacon you could have gone with 3.5 tsp of LEM cure and be safe.

    I never weigh the cure, i go by tsp of cure to the lbs of meat.
  10. well I have 5lbs of duck breast left over that I can add will that be enough meat to bring my ppm nitrite to a safe level?  I guess I need to buy a scale that measures in ounces.  thanks for all the help
  11. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    one thing I'm assuming is the bacon will take more cure and I'm including it's weight in the calculations

    35 pounds of meat would be 176ppm. that does fall within there guidelines

    to get it to 156 you would want 39 pounds.

    If someone could verify my math I'd feel a lot better about my statements. 2 head are better then one.
  12. nepas

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

    I did a large amount of goose SS, Sticks and jerky last year. I went with cure 1 tsp per every 5 lbs. I didnt add bacon to the goose. so i knew the exact amount of cure.

    If your used to measuring and its working for ya then stick with it. Shows how we all are different with how we do things.

    Grind, Mix, Stuff, Smoke ON
  13. from what yall have told me, I have added 2.5 teaspoons too much cure. So, keeping with the 1tsp per 5lbs rule I have added 10lbs of boston butt along with my final 5lbs of duck breast.  I assume this additional 15lbs of meat should put me in the safe zone.  Does anyone disagree?
  14. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I think you might be a little heavy, but I doubt you will be at critical degrees?

    You might want to be sure the andouille is cooked at lower temps so as not to form excessive nitrosamine?

    Just a thought, not a recommendation?

    I would like to hear from the experts here!

    Good luck and good smoking.
  15. Here it is 45lbs of andouille made from 30lbs of wild duck breast, 10lbs boston butt and 5lbs of bacon ends and pieces.  Will post a pic of the smoke later

  16. nepas

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

    I would think so.

    Just watch so you dont fat the mix out when your smoking. Fat out means to high of heat. Try to stay 170-180 cab temp

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