New to curing

Discussion in 'Curing' started by cole5000, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. I've been smoking for a couple years now but I've never cured anything. I went down to a sasauge shop and got the cures for bacon and pastrami. I mixed them all together and dumped the solution in a zip lock bag with the meats. But there was a lot of the cure in the bottom of the bowl. I'm just curious if this is alright or do I need to do it again and mix it better? I'm worried it won't cure properly. I have 5lbs of side bacon and 5 lbs of brisket. Curing really don't wanna wreck it haha.
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hopefully seperate bags. It's recommended to keep beef and pork seperate when curing.

    You need to flip and massage the bags once or twice daily during the curing period.
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    No matter if this is a dry cure or a brine I would want to make sure it all got into the bag. This is a good question for Chef Jimmy J. If he doesn't see this soon, I would PM him.

  4. Ya the pork and beef is separate. The brine for the pork was twice what I needed for the size of meat. I injected some of the brine into the beef. I just don't want it to go bad in the fridge
  5. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    by all means you need every bit of the cure to be in the brine... and now that you injected a weak brine/cure into the meat I'm not sure what needs to be done to correct the problem... next time use a couple of cups of hot water to dissolve all cure/salt/sugar ... and then ice it down after all has dissolved ...

    what kind of cure was it ?? cure #1... tenderquick....
  6. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    you might want to also edit the title to this thread to somehow say that you might have a problem and need quick help...
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I need to ask...You went to the shop and got the EXACT amount of a mix, Cure, salt  and seasoning, for 5 Pounds of each meat? OR...Did you get two bags of Cure #1, aka DQ, Instacure, Prague Powder, Pink Salt, and add it ALL to the bags with water. Big difference!!!...JJ
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  8. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If, you made the brine to the proper concentration, it doesn't matter if you had 100 gallons of brine and dumped a 10lb piece of meat into it. or 2 gallons of brine and dumped the same meat into it.
  9. The pork brine was set up for 10 lbs and I only had 5 lbs of meat. But there was some un dissolved cure in the bowl after I filled the bags. The flat ratio was set to 7 lbs of meat for the cure but only have 5 lbs of brisket. There was also indissolved cure left over
  10. I really hope I didn't screw it up I don't wanna waste $60 work of meat..
  11. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Give it extra time in the cure, you should be fine. It will equalize between meat & solution.
  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I must be misunderstanding some thing or I am the only one seing a potential problem...You go to the Butcher Shop, say I want to make Bacon and Pastrami and he hands you two mystery bags of Curing stuff. The Butcher tells you the bag for Pork Curing is for 10Lbs but you only have 5Lbs of Belly so you mix the whole bag with water anyway and add the Belly? The Butcher also tells you this other bag is for 7Lbs of Brisket but yours is only 5Lbs so you mix all that dry mix with water as well and add the Flat? Is this an accurate description of the process so far?...JJ
  13. Yes chef jimmy pretty much.
  14. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    [​IMG]Yes I'm misunderstanding, or you have too much cure for the amount of meat you have? It don't matter if you take Cure for 10lb of Belly and add 1 Cup water, 1 gallon of water or 2 gallon, you still have 2X the cure needed for 5Lb of Belly...You add the needed cure for the weight of the meat Plus the weight of the water when Brine curing...OR...You measure the cure needed for the weight of meat and add water to let the cure get in easier. They are Not The Same!..JJ
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  15. Haha Sorry yes I have to much cure for my meat I knew that. I'm worried that when I mixed the cure with the water there was still some sediment at the bottom of the bowl that didn't get mixed together. After my week cure is there a way of me telling weather the meat is still good?
  16. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    There is no way to tell looking at it if it is ok...That said, I am confident there is no Bacterial Safety issue with what you got. The only concern is, the guy gave a MIX of Cure, Salt and Seasoning and not Cure #1 aka Pink Salt. Regarding using TOO MUCH " MIX ", I would try to find out how the mix was made. Was it made at Max 200ppm or 120/156ppm as is common for Belly Bacon/Pastrami. Twice the max is still not Toxic unless you ate a whole lot in one sitting. The meat is probably be fine but  something you want to be cautious with. See if you can get more info on the mix. Here is some info on toxicity...

     With a single dose; the fatal dose of sodium nitrite is in the range of 22 to 23 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. To obtain 22 milligrams of sodium nitrite per kilogram of body weight (a lethal dose), a 154-pound adult would have to consume, at once, 18.57 pounds of cured meat product containing 200 ppm sodium nitrite (because nitrite is rapidly converted to nitric oxide during the curing process, the 18.57 pound figure should be tripled at least). Even if a person could eat that amount of cured meat, salt, not nitrite, probably would be the toxic factor.

    For your and readers benefit...Curing meat is nothing to mess with unless you know what you are doing. It is NEVER a good idea to get a MIX and not follow directions. The Butcher say, " This is for 10 pounds.." Buy 10 pounds of belly or use Half the Weight of the mix if you have 5 pounds of meat...JJ
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  17. I'm going to hot smoke them too so that should kill anything that might be in there right?
  18. And with the beef the pink cure was portioned out pretty close only a pound or two off.

    Thanks for all the help! I'll let you know if I get sick or not haha
  19. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    OK, we're not getting some important information. Are you dry curing or are you using a wet brine. If you are dry curing, there is the possibility that there will be some un dissolved material in the bag. If, on the other hand you are using a wet brine, if you have undisolved material... that's a problem. You either have too much cure, salt...for the amount of liquid, or not enough liquid for the amount of cure you're using.

    We're not sure exactly what you bought. A dry cure, or a brine. 

    sounds to me like you've bought a dry cure & tried to make a brine out of it. It's doable, but there is some calculation involved.
  20. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yep...Our concern is just that you "Now" have a safe amount of Cure on the meat and that "Next Time" you have a better understanding of Cure, how to use it and what could go wrong. We are here to watch each others back and help do things right and safely...JJ

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