Sausage - how much cure for colour only?

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by atomicsmoke, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Does anyone know the minimum ppm cure level to achieve the colour effect of the cure? I don't want the meat cured...just to maintain the colour when the sausage is cooked (sausage).
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  2. Maybe someone will jump in that knows ???

  3. The pink color that your talking about is actually the effect of the cure on the meat. The meat becomes "cured" causing it to retain it's color when it's cooked. If the meat doesn't "cure", then you'll have the same result in color as an uncured piece of meat.
  4. szynka

    szynka Fire Starter

    All you need to get the pink/red color is .6g per kilo, maybe even a bit less.  But .6 only gives you 40ppm nitrite and for obvious safety reasons you need 2 to 2.5g of cure to per kilo be in the safe zone of 120ppm minimum and 156ppm maximum.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  5. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I know some curing will take place. What I want to avoid is the " ham" taste that you get with fully cured meat (nothing wrong with that - just don't want it in the summer sausage).
  6. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds about right . I saw 40ppm mentioned somewhere but can't remember where.
  7. But that's just it. The meat remaining that pink color is a product of the meat curing. If a piece of pork isn't fully cured, it won't maintain that color. I think there a great picture of an example of an undercured pork loin in Pop's Brine/Cure thread. There might be other chemicals to get this done, but I'm not sure the best way is the undershoot the cure amount. I could very well be wrong though.
  8. Also remember, since you're not fully curing the meat that the 40-140 in 4 hours rule now applies concerning spoilage and bacteria.
  9. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Viva Google. Got something from American Meat Institute:
    "Addition of nitrite was the overall controlling factor on cooked product color. In general the cured color was not influenced by the addition of the non-nitrite antimicrobial ingredients. Treatments containing 30 to 120 ppm nitrite did not differ in cooked color. The minimum of 30 ppm nitrite was sufficient to produce a pink cured color in contrast to the absence of pink in the no nitrite control."

    This was for poultry. Don't know if pork, beef need more.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  10. Well there ya go! Learn something new everyday. Now the question is regarding the cooking times. I'm guessing that by lowering the PPM you don't have the same protection to do a low and slow method....
  11. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm sorry.....way complicated here for my old brain to wrap around. I use 1 teaspoon of Cure to 5 pounds of meat for all sausage. I've never tasted sausage I've made having a ham flavor. Of course, I've got a lot of other spices & heat generating ingredients in there so perhaps that ham flavor is masked or my taste buds are so fried I can't taste anything anymore. I just know my sausage endeavors aren't gray....not necessarily 'hot pink' perhaps but not off putting visually.....Willie, with just an opinion
    ribnibbler likes this.
  12. Chef, I will agree with you here. I'm a big bold spice kind guy, so I don't get a lot of hammy flavors from my stuff. But all our taste buds are different, and if you kept a sausage simple (salt & pepper & Cure), it would probably have a hammy flavor. But then again...I love ham too [​IMG]
  13. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I dry whole muscle meats both with and without cure.
    With both hanging I can tell which one is salt only and which one has cure.
  14. szynka

    szynka Fire Starter

    "However, 40-50 ppm nitrite is useful in that it has some preservative effect. This amount has also been shown to be sufficient for color-fixing purposes and to achieve the expected cured meat or poultry appearance." Stanley Marianski

    If you are going to smoke, going below 120ppm is exposing you and anyone else who might consume your product to serious risk. 
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
    ribnibbler likes this.
  15. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you Szynka,

    I remembered now it was on where I saw 40ppm mentioned.
  16. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've been making sausage for over 40 years and never heard of "just enough cure for a pink color".  I'm with Chef Willi here on this one.  Use one tsp. per 5 pounds of meat.  This is a safe method without taking any risk and is really not that much cure to volume. I've never noticed a ham flavor to any of my sausage using cure.  Of course there are a variety of seasonings used and that is the reason.  So I would never recommend to anyone using less cure than required if doing the slow smoking method normally used.  You could use smaller amounts of cure in fresh sausage for color [if wanted] since it is fully cooked at high temps and then consumed but I would not use less of a amount required for smoked sausage.  Reinhard
    ribnibbler likes this.
  17. Atomic, can you share your planned cooking method?
  18. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Cold smoked (maybe) and poached.
  19. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The pink coloring came from BBQ competitions..  Some folks were using cure to simulate a smoke ring....  Since then, the "smoke ring" is not to be judged....
  20. Seeing as your in canada, if you're able to keep the chamber below 40 degrees...and of course above freezing, I think cold smoking would be ok since you're not risking spoiling.

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