marinating time-length...

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by jp61, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    How critical is marinating time (w/instacure#1) for jerky? Would 36hrs instead of 24hrs cause any issues? I just finished slicing and cutting the beef into strips. Was thinking of starting the marinate around midnight tonight. It's no big deal though, I can wait until tomorrow morning to start it, but I am curious. The reason I am asking is that, I don't want the end of dehydrating time ending in the middle of the night.

  2. My last jerky marinated for 4 days and it was fine. I also used #1.
  3. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Thank you! 

    I didn't think it would hurt the process, if anything, it would help. But, this is my first attempt at making beef jerky.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    JP, morning....   Since the meat is sliced thin.... and full penetration to the center will happen in about 12 hours (1/4" per day and you are curing from each side of the slice) You are in good shape... 
  5. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Thank You...
  6. No problem! I just massage it once or twice a day if it's in a bag.
  7. Why use instacure? Ive never used it,doesnt need it at all IMO.Ive been making jerky for decades without it.
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Spuds, morning....  Folks have been curing meat for a few thousand years... Periodically some died from pathogens growing in the meat. There is a window of opporunity, during the drying process, for pathogens and their offspring to multiply....  Nitrite and salt eliminates these risks....

    Kind of like wearing a seat belt...   The one time you think you are safe and you end up dead, is not good....

    Chef JimmyJ has all the scientific info and types of pathogens that can and will multiply during food curing processes.... temp ranges etc.... 

    Since I joined this forum, I have learned some pretty interesting things about curing meats etc...   Risking my families well being, including grand children, who love grandpas beef sticks, is not an option... food safety is #1 on my list of good practices to follow....

    On this forum, we try to teach and learn from others.....  It is up to the individual on what they choose to do with the advice... 
  9. grabber

    grabber Smoke Blower

    Hi Spuds.  The reason to use Instacure #1 is, when you put moist meat in a smoke environment and dry at 160%, it provides the perfect situation for the forming of nasty bacterial growth.  The smoke removes the oxygen.  If you cook it over 170% it probably won't be a problem but than you're cooking, not dehydrating.  The lack of oxygen between 40 to 140% along with smoke provides  the perfect environment for botulism to start,  Cooking at a higher temperature later will not kill the bacteria.

    The reason they tell you not to stuff a turkey is for the same reason.  The interior cavity stuffing doesn't get hot enough to destroy the bacteria and it may cause botulism.
  10. Yeah,kind of figured it may be 'forum policy' meat cant be dehydrated without a cure but its what I do,what plenty folks do,and Ive never met or heard of a person killed from dehydrated beef slices with a salt or sugar cure.Ever.Salt and sugar are very effective dehydration cures. Nitrites and nitrates are indeed just salts,am I wrong?I will continue to use sea salts and marinades such as soy sauce that are loaded with salts.

    I will let it go with this proviso,IMO nitrates and nitrites are also supposedly linked to adverse health effects and thats pretty well documented.Im personally not into adding additives to my food with known health hazards.Im willing to bet you are more likely to be killed by lightning than you are from home processed salted dehydrated non nitrated beef slices

    Now as for sausages and ground meats and porks (A lot of pathogens can be introduced into ground meats that doesnt happen with clean sliced products,a matter of surface area possibly open to contamination being hugely increased ),I can understand the need for nitrates/nitrites,but sliced beef? There is a lot of evidence backing the safety of dehydrating without nitrites/nitrites than there is with the proven dangers of nitrites (though again the risk is apparently minimal) , just search the web. The risk is miniscule at best.

    There is a big difference between smoking ground meats and dehydrating beef slices.

    As for the turkey,I stuff mine too.Always.And havent killed anyone with those either.

    But if its against forum policy to mention dehydrating beef jerky with other salts without nitrates... like some forums have no discussion policies of canning unless approved by FDA standards,I will comply.
  11. Maybe Im confusing 2 processes,you are talking smoking vrs dehydrating? Maybe thats where the confusion on my part is coming in. In my thoughts jerky is a dehydration process,is that where Im missing the boat on this thread?
  12. This is interesting....

    Chance of botulism is 163 cases in 10 years in 263 million people.

    Not a single case was in beef jerky.There was one case involving a roast beef.

    The majority was improperly canned foods,the next was dried uneviscerated fish... and then moist packaged foods opened then  kept in an anerobic enviornment at room temps.

    From 1990 to 2000, restaurant-associated outbreaks continued to cause a disproportionate number of botulism cases.
  13. grabber

    grabber Smoke Blower

    Spuds, I make ribs, pork butts, brisket, etc. at 225%  That's low and slow cooking.  Anything over 170% is considered cooking, not dehydrating.   I sent you a PM, go to that site and you can post all the questions RE this topic.  Listen to Chuckwagon the Moderator, as he taught Microbiology at a university.  IMHO- he'd be the go to guy on such topics.  The jerky that got over 170% was brittle, not very soft and tender. 

    You can do whatever you want with things you make,.  Another thing is, it's your body and your families,  just trying to help out.  Good luck.
  14. shocka

    shocka Newbie

    Glad I didn't attend that university. Spud has evidence and facts, the biology teacher has hearsay about the olden days. How about the other side produce some facts about people who got botulism from jerky dried at 160 or admit they are wrong?
  15. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Grabber-Chuckwagon is not a moderator on this site. We do however have a number of people here that do know the proper science of using cure and are just as knowledgeable as Chuck.
  16. Thank God for that!!!!!

  17. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

     Yep, While Clostridium Botulinum is common the cases of Botulism are few because the technology of canning and food presevation has gotten better and the Toxin that produces the disease is detroyed at cooking temperatures. However, Clostridium Botulinum is not the only thing you need to worry about. Here is a chart of the most common Foodborne Pathogens, take heed of the number of pathogens that produce Toxins that are heat stable and more importantly the number of Spore Forming Bacteria that recognize the moderate temperature and increasingly reducing moisture of Jerky production as a stimulus to form the spores.

     You are the key to preventing food-borne illness. By observing the simple rules of good handling, food poisoning can be eliminated.
    [size=-1]Description[/size][size=-1]Habitat[/size][size=-1]Types of
    [size=-1]Staphylococcus aureus[/size][size=-1]Produces a heat-stable toxin[/size][size=-1]Nose and throat of 30 to 50 percent of healthy population; also skin and superficial wounds.[/size][size=-1]Meat and seafood salads, sandwich spreads and high salt foods.[/size][size=-1]Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea within 4 to 6 hours. No fever.[/size][size=-1]Poor personal hygiene and subsequent temperature abuse.[/size][size=-1]No growth below 40o F. Bacteria are destroyed by normal cooking but toxin is heat-stable.[/size]
    [size=-1]Salmonella[/size][size=-1]Produces an intestinal infection[/size][size=-1]Intestinal tracts of animals and man[/size][size=-1]High protein foods - meat; poultry, fish and eggs.[/size][size=-1]Diarrhea nausea, chills, vomiting and fever within 12 to 24 hours.[/size][size=-1]contamination of ready-to-eat foods, insufficient cooking and recontamination of cooked foods.[/size][size=-1]No growth below 40o F. Bacteria are destroyed by normal cooking.[/size]
    [size=-1]Clostridium perfringens[/size][size=-1]Produces a spore and prefers low oxygen atmosphere. Live cells must be ingested.[/size][size=-1]dust, soil and gastrointestinal tracts of animals and man.[/size][size=-1]Meat and poultry dishes, sauces and gravies.[/size][size=-1]Cramps and diarrhea within 12 to 24 hours. No vomiting or fever.[/size][size=-1]Improper temperature control of hot foods, and recontamination.[/size][size=-1]No growth below 40o degrees F. Bacteria are killed by normal cooking but a heat-stable spore can survive.[/size]
    [size=-1]Clostridium botulinum[/size][size=-1]Produces a spore and requires a low oxygen atmosphere. Produces a heat-sensitive toxin.[/size][size=-1]Soils, plants, marine sediments and fish.[/size][size=-1]Home-canned foods.[/size][size=-1]Blurred vision, respiratory distress and possible DEATH.[/size][size=-1]Improper methods of home-processing foods.[/size][size=-1]Type E and Type B can grow at 38o F. Bacteria destroyed by cooking and the toxin is destroyed by boiling for 5 to 10 minutes. Heat-resistant spore can survive.[/size]
    [size=-1]Vibrio parahaemolyticus[/size][size=-1]Requires salt for growth.[/size][size=-1]Fish and shellfish[/size][size=-1]Raw and cooked seafood.[/size][size=-1]Diarrhea, cramps, vomiting, headache and fever within 12 to 24 hours.[/size][size=-1]Recontamination of cooked foods or eating raw seafood.[/size][size=-1]No growth below 40o F. Bacteria killed by normal cooking.[/size]
    [size=-1]Bacillus cereus[/size][size=-1]Produces a spore and grows in normal oxygen atmosphere.[/size][size=-1]soil, dust and spices.[/size][size=-1]Starchy food.[/size][size=-1]Mild case of diarrhea and some nausea within 12 to 24 hours.[/size][size=-1]Improper holding and stroage temperatures after cooking.[/size][size=-1]No growth below 40o F. Bacteria killed by normal cooking, but heat-resistant spore can survive.[/size]
    [size=-1]Listeria monocytogenes[/size][size=-1]Survives adverse conditions for long time periods.[/size][size=-1]Soil, vegetation and water. Can survive for long periods in soil and plant materials.[/size][size=-1]Milk, soft cheeses, vegetables fertilized with manure.[/size][size=-1]Mimics meningitis. Immuno- compromised individuals most susceptible.[/size][size=-1]Contaminated raw products.[/size][size=-1]Grows at refrigeration (38-40o F.) temperatures. May survive minimum pasturization tempertures (161o F. for 15 seconds.)[/size]
    [size=-1]Campylobacter jejuni[/size][size=-1]Oxygen sensitive, does not grow below 86o F.[/size][size=-1]Animal reservoirs and foods of animal origin.[/size][size=-1]Meat, poulty, milk, and mushrooms.[/size][size=-1]Diarrhea, abdomianl cramps and nausea.[/size][size=-1]Improper pasteuriztion or cooking. cross-contamination.[/size][size=-1]Sensitive to drying or freezing. Survives in milk and water at 39 o F for several weeks.[/size]
    [size=-1]Versinia enterocolitica[/size][size=-1]Not frequent cause of human infection.[/size][size=-1]Poultry, beef, swine. Isolated only in human pathogen.[/size][size=-1]Milk, tofu, and pork.[/size][size=-1]Diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting. Mimics appendicitis.[/size][size=-1]Improper cooking. Cross-contamination.[/size][size=-1]Grows at refrigeration temperatures (35-40o F.) Sensitive to heat (122 oF.)[/size]
    [size=-1]Enteropathogenic E. coli[/size][size=-1]Can produce toxins that are heat stable and others that are heat-sensitive.[/size][size=-1]Feces of infected humans.[/size][size=-1]Meat and cheeses.[/size][size=-1]Diarrhea, abdominal cramps, no fever.[/size][size=-1]Inadequate cooking. Recontamination of cooked product.[/size][size=-1]Organisms can be controlled by heating. Can grow at refrigeration temperatures.[/size]

    You don't have to take my word for it...Here is an excerpt from the USDA whose policies are the bases for all answers on Food Safety and Preservation...Please notice the last paragraph that is a conclusion reached for All Jerky Production not just Ground Beef...

    Why is temperature important when making jerky? Illnesses due to Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 from homemade jerky raise questions about the safety of traditional drying methods for making beef and venison jerky. The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline's current recommendation for making jerky safely is to heat meat to 160 °F and poultry to 165 °F before the dehydrating process. This step assures that any bacteria present will be destroyed by wet heat. But most dehydrator instructions do not include this step, and a dehydrator may not reach temperatures high enough to heat meat to 160 °F or 165 °F.

    After heating to 160 °F or 165 °F, maintaining a constant dehydrator temperature of 130 to 140 °F during the drying process is important because:
    • the process must be fast enough to dry food before it spoils; and
    • it must remove enough water that microorganisms are unable to grow.
    [Top of Page]

    Why is it a food safety concern to dry meat without first heating it to 160 °F?
    The danger in dehydrating meat and poultry without cooking it to a safe temperature first is that the appliance will not heat the meat to 160 °F and poultry to 165 °F — temperatures at which bacteria are destroyed — before the dehydrating process. After drying, bacteria become much more heat resistant.

    Within a dehydrator or low-temperature oven, evaporating moisture absorbs most of the heat. Thus, the meat itself does not begin to rise in temperature until most of the moisture has evaporated. Therefore, when the dried meat temperature finally begins to rise, the bacteria have become more heat resistant and are more likely to survive. If these surviving bacteria are pathogenic, they can cause foodborne illness to those consuming the jerky.

    [Top of Page]

    What research findings exist on the safety of jerky?
    "Effects of Preparation Methods on the Microbiological Safety of Home-Dried Meat Jerky" was published in the Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 67, No. 10, 2004, Pages 2337-2341. The authors are from the University of Georgia (Brian A. Nummer, Judy A. Harrison, and Elizabeth L. Andress, Department of Foods and Nutrition, and Mark A. Harrison, Department of Food Science and Technology) and from Colorado State University (Patricia Kendall, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and John N. Sofos, Department of Animal Sciences ).

    Marinating meat doesn't make raw meat safe. "Marination alone did not result in significant reduction of the pathogen compared with whole beef slices that were not marinated," concluded the study.

    In the jerky studies, some samples showed total bacterial destruction and other samples showed some bacterial survival — especially the jerky made with ground beef. Further experiments with lab-inoculated venison showed that pathogenic E. coli could survive drying times of up to 10 hours and temperatures of up to 145 °F.

    A study by the Harrisons and Ruth Ann Rose, also with the University of Georgia, was published in the January 1998 Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 61, No. 1. The authors analyzed ground beef jerky made with a commercial beef jerky spice mixture with and without a curing mix containing salt and sodium nitrite.

    Half of the ground beef was inoculated with E. coli O157:H7 before making it into jerky strips and dehydrating it. The authors found that in both the heated and unheated samples, the jerky made with the curing mix had greater destruction of bacteria than jerky made without it. The jerky made with the mix and heated before dehydrating had the highest destruction rate of bacteria.

    Some believe the USDA are just Paranoid and put out reports to continue receiving Federal funds. Here is a brief synopsis from a more detailed study...

    The aim of present work was to investigate the antimicrobial effects of sodium benzoate, sodium nitrite and

    potassium sorbate and their synergistic action (sodium nitrite + sodium benzoate, sodium nitrite + potassium

    sorbate, sodium benzoate + potassium sorbate) on selected food- spoiling bacteria and fungi, for a potential use in

    food industry. The following species of microorganisms were tested: Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus mycoides, Staphylococcus

    aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium oxysporum,

    Candida albicans, Trichoderma harsianum and Penicillium italicum. The strongest antimicrobial effect was

    exerted by sodium nitrite (MIC 0.5 mg/ml) in relation to the species Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Synergistic

    action was noticed against 40% of the tested species (Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus

    mucoides and Candida albicans) in the case of the sodium nitrite + sodium benzoate combination; and against

    30% of them (Bacillus mucoides, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli) in that of the sodium nitrite

    + potassium sorbate combination. Escherichia coli manifested the greatest sensitivity to the combined action of

    preservatives, Aspergillus flavus the greatest resistance.

    Quote:  "  Ive never met or heard of a person killed from dehydrated beef slices with a salt or sugar cure.Ever.Salt and sugar are very effective dehydration cures. Nitrites and nitrates are indeed just salts,am I wrong?I will continue to use sea salts and marinades such as soy sauce that are loaded with salts.

    I will let it go with this proviso,IMO nitrates and nitrites are also supposedly linked to adverse health effects and thats pretty well documented.Im personally not into adding additives to my food with known health hazards.Im willing to bet you are more likely to be killed by lightning than you are from home processed salted dehydrated non nitrated beef slices "

    Yes Nitrite is just a Salt but considering you are eating more Nitrites having a Salad, ( See last link),  the addition of a small amount Nitrite in Jerky production is that little bit of insurance against hurting your loved ones...JJ
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  18. Jimmy,you make my point about GROUND BEEF and the need for nitrites,it is a different critter from slices.

    If we are going to contaminate slices by injecting e-coli into slices,gee,no surprise it may come out contaminated.Wouldnt expect otherwise but guess what,that Doesnt happen in the REAL world.

    However e coli/bacteria on slices is a surface contamination and will be addressed by salted marinades.E coli doesnt permeate into the middle of slices.Thats why hamburger gets contaminated,they take 1000 cows,grind em all together and if just one cow is contaminated with SURFACE e coli,now the whole batch is and its now INSIDE the patty you make....very risky.

    If you arent properly preparing your meat you will have problems. Which is why the gov guidlines have to produce 'recipes' that acct for the lowest demoninator of persons who may prepare a product to include those who dont contaminate product prior to preperation,ie,the great majority of us..

    Im still looking for the person who ate the contaminated salted sliced dehydrated jerky,I havent met him,nor have i seen any cases among DEHYDRATED beef marinated in salt solution jerky.But I can google thousands and thousands and thousands who do so without any problems.

    Can you provide true examples of real people for this HUGE risk as the regulators portray,or is it just what a few gov agencies promote to the lowest common denominator? I mean folks actually poisoned from dehydrated jerky? All I can find is it doesnt exist in the literature. And yet I know from research that it,dehydrated jerky, has an excellent track record and is  immensly safe.For decades.

    So IMO I will continue to salt marinade my sliced beef and live long and prosper,like all the rest of us have for decades doing the same.

    And I will nitrate pork and ground product because that process/product IS a risk for contamination that also is easily verified.But not sliced jerky,not for me.
  19. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I thought I was pretty clear that Spore Forming Pathogens occur on ALL meat...Ground and on the surface of Sliced and Intact Muscle...But I did provide a lot of information and it could have been easily missed...You may certainly do as you wish. But be aware if you chose to post a recipe or technique you used to make your jerky that is not heated to160°F first...and...does not contain Cure#1, I or other Moderators will have to add an addendum stating, " This Recipe or Technique may cause serious Illness and is not recognized as Safe by the USDA or this Forum! " So please do not be offended...JJ
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014
  20. JJ,I wont be offended at all. Youve made it clear its forum policy NOT to post anything with meat without nitrates,I respect that. Even if you are wrong IMO,and I can back it up but thats pointless,we are beating a dead horse.[​IMG]

    Promise I wont post any of my superb marinated jerky recipes.Tested and proven by countless folks.Millions in fact do so..

    Im NOT a big believer in the Gov telling me what is or isnt good food practice for a host of reasons/agendas.And believe me,the Gov does NOT have our best interests in food policy or home processing,its factory farmed/processed GMO/Pesticides drenched..... grown for shipping and profit margins and if YOU do it you'll put your eye out with that thing.

    Now,how about a discussion on canning butter if you really want to open a can of worms,thats the one. [​IMG][​IMG]


    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012

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