There are a plethora of things that effect cure final color. The biggest of which is meat selection. Its the hemoglobin that’s in the meat that ultimately brings color. Nitrite reduces to nitric oxide and fixes the iron molecules in the hemoglobin. The more hemoglobin the more iron and the darker the color. Muscles that work hard like shoulders or hocks have the most hemoglobin while muscles that work less like loin have the least.Shouldn't be a "pale grey brown" color but a nice pink-red one. That color is actually pretty easy to achieve if you're doing it right. Are you are allowing enough time for curing? From here, how much cure are you using? With any luck that is the flavor your i... PS That Teets stuff looks like a fairly large grind to me.
On the pale grey brown color, I was referring to the color of the ground pork after blending in basic spices, water and cure and prior to smoking. Not sure if that color description is accurate but it definitely loses the nice red/pink it has prior to cure addition which from all I've ever seen is typical and also allows one to judge if they've missed some areas of the mix. I use 1.36 g /lb of #1 cure.
I stated that mine hits a light brownish tan internally after smoking. Brown is probably also not a good descriptor and is probably closer to a very light pink/tan but if you look carefully at the Teets image, their cooked/smoked product is almost the color of an uncooked steak blood red which makes no sense to me.
That said, beef has more hemoglobin generally, pork much less as evidenced by the white and dark meat within the muscle groups. Pork generally is pail compared to beef. Meat selection is absolutely key for cure color.
A sausage made with beef hock and shoulder mix will be much more red once cured than a sausage made with any pork product.
Meat selections are absolutely key. Other things the addition of sodium erythorbate can and fix color and brighten the final product while also fixing the color as not to fade. This is all a science based class. Not hard but you do need to watch your top knot, (pay attention).