Discussion in 'Sausage' started by backyard bbq, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. After reading about cures I have a question.

    If a recipe calls for a cure#1 or Prague powder can you use a different cure instead if you don't have that like tender quick.  How about when I calls for cure #2?  If I read it correctly you can interchange the cure#1 with tender quick minus the extra salt but when the recipe calls for cure#2 you must use cure#2?  I could be wrong but if someone could please provide to me the correct answer that would be AWESOME!
  2. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sure you can. Remember cure #1 AKA Insta cure, prague powder #1, modern cure. Used at 1 level tsp per every 5 lbs of meat

    If you use MTQ you will need to adjust the salt in the recipe. MTQ used at 7.5 tsp per every 5 lbs of meat.

    You can use cure #2 but keep in mind your product will be very dry. Cure #2 is used mainly for dry curing and produces a shelf stable low or no refrigeration product.

    In other words if your going to use cure #2 in place of the cure #1 in your recipe, you might not like how it comes out.

    Your call.
  3. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    OK this is the way I understand it. cure#1 can be substrate for DQ cure1, Insta cure, Prague powder 1, any of the cures that have 6.25% sodium nitrite  in the same measurement. It CAN NOT be substituted for tender quick, or vice versa in the same measurement, as tender Quick is measured differently. Cure #2 CAN NOT be substituted for cure#1 and vice versa. When using cures you need to follow the directions for amount required exactly for the type of cure you are using.  If I am not under standing this correctly please correct me.

    EDIT in red

    I wasn't entirely clear on this. I left out info that was needed to be 100% clear.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  4. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    If a recipe calls for Instacure #1 you could use Tender Quick but not at the same rate. You would have to look at the label and use the proper amount of the cure you are going to use for the amount of meat you are curing. You will also need to adjust the amount of salt in the recipe if substituting Tender Quick for Instacure # 1 then you would want to cut back on the amount of salt the recipe calls for. If your using Instacure # 1 in place of Tender Quick you will probably want to add some salt to the recipe.

    As was also said Instacure # 1 can't be substituted for Instacure # 2 nor can # 2 be used in place of # 1
  5. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  6. Thanks all.  Pinewoods- that's pretty much what I understood by reading the link by venture!  Thanks!!!
  7. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  8. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Try this to start...

    good hunting.....

  9. [​IMG]
  10. Tender Quick is used 1 level tablespoon per pound for whole cuts and 1/2 a level tablespoon per pound for ground meats.

    My Super-Easy Cure-Mix #1 is used at exactly the same rate, which makes using it super easy.

    17.5 oz pickling salt

    5 oz granulated sugar

    2 oz cure #1

    Mix well before using.
    Again, use 1 level tablespoon per pound for whole cuts and 1/2 a level tablespoon per pound for ground meats.

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  11. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    TenderQuick is not interchangable with Cure1 because you don't know the conversion rate of Nitrate to Nitrite.  

    USDA calls for 156 ppm of Nitrite in Comminuted products

    Cure 1 is 1 part Nitrite and 15 parts salt     or  1/16 = 0.0625 oz nitrite and 0.9375 oz salt

    1 oz cure1 per 25lbs meat  recommended   25lbs meat is 400 oz      0.0625 oz nitirite / 400   =  .00015625  or 156.25ppm nitrite  for comminuted meats  shows where the 1 oz per 25lbs meat comes from  turn the equations around    0.00015625 * 400 = .0625 oz nitrite for 25lbs meat   0.0625 * 16 = 1   1oz cure1 per 25lbs meat

    This is the basic part of cure calculations.

    Proper curing for ground meats require 1oz cure1 per 25 lbs of meat.  This equates to  0.04 oz cure 1 per lb of comminuted meat or 0.0025 oz nitrite per lb of meat  or  0.00015625 oz nitrite per oz of meat

    Your mix has a total weight of 24.5 oz   of that there is a total of (0.0625 * 2)  0.125 oz nitrite total in your cure mix   0.125 / 24.5  =  0.00510 oz nitrite per oz of cure mix

    We need 0.0025 nitrite per lb of comminuted meat.    0.0025 / 0.00510 =  0.49 oz Special cure mix per lb of meat.

    You recommend 1/2 tablespoon of your cure mix per lb of comminuted meat.   1/2 tablespoon is about 1 1/2 teaspoons cure mix per lb meat   5 teaspoons is about 1 oz 

    The calculations show that the USDA recommendation requires about 1/2 oz by weight of your cure mix or about 2 1/2 teaspoons.    You are light on the amount of cure you are using if you are trying for USDA recommended 156ppm Sodium nitrite

    Please look over my math but I think this is about right
  12. 156ppm sodium nitrite is the maximum.input level of sodium nitrite in raw ground meat, not a required amount.
    50 ppm of sodium nitrite is accepted as the minimum .
    The cure mix weighs 1/2 an ounce per tablespoon (pickling salt must be used.)
    24.5 ounces of cure mix X .5=49
    The 24.5 ounces of cure mix will cure 49 pounds of whole cuts with 2 ounces of Cure #1

    Add an extra 1/2 ounce of sugar to make it an even 50 lbs. if you like!

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  13. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    And that's why I go by weight and not volume,  I get to confused..
  14. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Me Too!

  15. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I never use volume measurements when doing cures.

    SausageBoy,  I received some questions about the cure mix you used.  I did the math so others can learn how to figure out how much nitrite is in a cure they are reading.  You are correct, the minimum effective concentration of nitrite is much lower then the maximum amount allowed.  Darn, we even make many sausages without cure.   I always recommend using the maximum allowable amounts of nitrite when curing to allow for waste.  The most important thing to remember when making your own cures is to accurately weigh and mix all ingredients

    As a side note, this conversation points out that the amounts of salt, sugar and spices are irrelevant to the effective cure concentration.   When creating your own cure mix it is helpful to determine what concentration of salt is desired in the final product.  With bacon we look for a 3 or 4 percent final concentration of salt with 3% being used most often.  You can also do this with sugar and your other spices.    Knowing these percentages will help you design and reliably reproduce a cure mix that meets your expectations.  The math is the same for each individual ingredient

    As another side note, I don't see the need for TenderQuick? Cure1 is great for bacon and short term cure products, Cure 2 is used for long term curing. Combining Nitrates and Nitrites in a cure to be used for short term curing complicates the math and provides un-necessary Nitrate in the final product. The vast majority of Nitrite has dissipated at the end of the curing process if using a nitrite only cure mix, But that is another discussion.
  16. My cure mix works out to about 2.5% salt for ground meat, which is perfect for me.
    Since the weighing has already been done when the mix was made, I don't need to do any special calculating when it's time to get busy, just measure out the appropriate amount of mix...the cure and salt are taken care of without fuss.

    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012

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