Cure vs Pink Salt ??

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jmiller83, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. So I know there's a lot of opinion when it comes to cure but I was looking for some support on the basics. So a couple questions hopefully I can get some help on.
    Jerky- most jerky seasoning kits you see on the market come with some sort of cure. They seem to all be slightly different somehow whether it be flavor or name or whatever. They usually are all white and tend to take a pretty decent amount per pound based on the recipe recommendations. Pink Salt #1 is a very minimal amount per pound and you can obtain that nice deep red color as well. If following the recommendations for using pink salt per pound of meat does that fully allow you to not add these cure packets?
    Sausage - basically all the same questions.

    My basic goal is to create me own seasoning blends. I do not want to go out and buy seasoning kits and follow their recommendations because anyone can do that and I've had a lot of success creating great tasting blends. I also bought a 5 pound bag of pink salt hoping that I never had to worry about having cure packs on hand.

    I know there are a lot of people who are against cures altogether and I myself have made tons and tons of jerky with no cure but that's not why I'm here today. So cure vs pink salt. Same thing or totally different?
  2. Most Cure #1 packages are 6.25% Sodium Nitrite and if that's what you bought than it's 1 tsp per 5 lb of meat. I would not go swapping out different cures in the packages though. If you're saying that it takes a decent amount of whatever cure is in the pre mix to equal your 1 tsp of CUre #1, than I'd bet there's more salt in that pre mix. You might be messing up the whole thing.

    Now making your own blends is good and using the search feature there are ton of threads with people doing that same thing. It's also easy to use your own cure that way.
  3. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I take it that you are talking about cure #1 which contains 6.25% sodium nitrite. "Pink Salt" is a different thing than curing salt (although the names are used interchangeably). Most people call cure #1 pink salt but pink salt can also refer to Himalayan sea salt.

    There is some math involved with making your own cure blend and I am by no means an expert on it. You can do it but you have to ensure you have the proper concentration of sodium nitrite.

    Hopefully some of the more knowledgeable people will chime in.
  4. For example a general product that is available to mostly anyone is Hi Mountain. At 4 pounds they recommend 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of "Cure". I want to know if I remove this and add the correct amount of pink salt would that be the same. So as far as this example it would be less than 1 teaspoon of pink salt knowing that it's one level teaspoon for 5 pounds of meat.
  5. Do they list exactly what's in their cure package? Cure sodium nitrite percentage?
  6. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    If you want to make your own blend then you should probably just omit the pre-manufactured products and start from scratch. I'm sure the Hi Mountain package does not give you the exact weights of each ingredient so you are really just guessing as to what you are taking out by not using part of their mix.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
  7. Basically what I'm hearing right now cure is totally different than pink curing salt #1?
  8. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Not exactly. There are companies that make "jerky cure" that is a combination of seasonings and curing salt. Cure #1 is a curing salt that contains 6.25% sodium nitrite (and is pink).
  9. I mean I know what they are I'm just saying (remove the cure add proper amount of pink salt #1) is that safe.
  10. chewmeister

    chewmeister Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Not exactly. There are different types/brands of curing salts. Cure #1, cure #2, Morton Tender Quick, etc. Different uses and amounts with the different cures. Read up on the differences. Making your own spice mixes has it's advantages as you can adjust seasoning to suit your taste. The one constant is using the proper type and amount of cure for your product.

    Some info on the different types.

    A handy calculator.

    Hope this helps.
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Food manufacturers order their own "SPECIFIC" cure for their products.... As an example, I order bacon maple sugar cure... it is 0.7% nitrite in a mix of their own.... I add 2#'s of that cure per 100#'s of meat....
    The cure packet that you have could be any amount of nitrite, mixed to their own specifications....

    If you want to make your own jerky cure, and you have some sort of recipe, by all means use cure #1 and add your own stuff....
    Read up on things to add for "moisture retention" etc....
    Weigh up ingredients based on amounts per 5 pounds to add to meat (as an example)... black pepper, sugar, cayenne, old bay seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder..... cure #1 1 tsp....... mix all that together thoroughly and add to 5#'s of meat for jerky... you can add a little water to help it dissolve and mix thoroughly...

    Guidelines for Spice Usage
    General rule: About 1-2 g of spice is added to 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of meat. One teaspoon of dried ground spice weighs about 2 grams.
    The following tables are reprinted with permission fron the book "Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages" Chapter 12 Creating Your Own Recipes and will help you create your own recipes. This is how much spices the professional sausage maker adds to 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) of meat.
    Spice in grams per 1 kg of meat
    Allspice 2.0
    Bay leaf 2 leaves
    Cardamom 1.0 - 2.0
    Caraway seeds 2.0
    Caraway powder 0.5
    Cayenne pepper 0.5
    Celery salt 1.0
    Chillies 0.5
    Cinnamon 0.5 - 1.0
    Cloves 1.0 - 2.0
    Coriander 1.0 - 2.0
    Cumin 1.0
    Curry powder 1.0
    Fennel 2.0
    Fenugreek 1.0
    Garlic paste 3.0 - 5.0
    Garlic powder 1.0
    Ginger 0.5
    Juniper 2.0
    Mace 0.5
    Marjoram 2.0 - 3.0
    Mustard 2.0
    Nutmeg 1.0
    Onion (fresh) 10.0
    Onion powder 2.0 - 5.0
    Paprika 2.0
    Pepper-white 2.0 - 3.0
    Pepper-black 2.0 - 3.0
    Red peppers 0.5
    Thyme 1.0
    Turmeric 2.0 - 4.0
    Other Ingredients in g per 1 kg of Meat
    Non fat dry milk powder 4.0
    Soy powder concentrate 1.0 - 3.0
    Sugar 1.0 - 2.0
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015

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