Curing Questions

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by jlhog, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. jlhog

    jlhog Smoke Blower

    In making jerky or beef sticks is cure really needed? As long as I store it in the fridge can I skip curing? It never last more than a week around our house so no long term storage is nesscary. I have been reading where to much cure is a bad thing and would like to not use it all if possible. What are the good vs bad on curing.
  2. brandsbay

    brandsbay Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I don't cure my jerky cause as you said It just don't last long enough,I keep it in the fridge and its fine,hope this helps
  3. lcruzen

    lcruzen Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You'll get a wide range of opinions on this one. The benefits of using cure is that the end product can be stored at "unsafe" temps for extended periods without nasties growing on/in your jerky/sausage. It also imparts a desirable flavor.
    There are some on here who never cure and store at "unsafe" temps and say they've never had a problem.

    It boils down to what your comfortable with. I cure because I like taking jerky/sausage stix into the woods with me hunting. I may not eat everything I bring and the next time I go that product is still in my blind or back pack and I know it is still completely editable.
  4. jminion

    jminion Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Using a cure incorrectly or eating too much cured food can be unhealthy but the other side is not using a cure does have it's problems. During the cooking process the meat is in the danger zone for long periods of time and bacteria is growing.

    As lacruzen said there is a flavor print lost without cure so it's your call.
  5. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You can go without cure but then you are subject to the 40°-140° danger zone thing. Can't have meat hovering at drying temps for hours without a cure safely.

    On edit: oops heh. Guess I should read all the replies first. Sorry JM!
  6. jminion

    jminion Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    LOL Great minds think alike.
  7. jlhog

    jlhog Smoke Blower

    Well I quess I can go with or without cure. It seems to be problems either way. What can happen if you use to much cure? Just wondering!!
  8. jminion

    jminion Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Cure recipes are specific on amounts of cures to use, it is in relation to the wieght of the ham. Cure 1 and 2 if used incorrectly can poison you. Used correctly they are not harmful and protect the ham during the curing and smoking stages from the growth of bacteria.
  9. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just don't use too much cure. Use the right amount. As stated, lots of opinions, but to my way of thinking we are producing some very ideal conditions for some very bad bacterial growth when making some of our products, particularly sausage (snack sticks) but even jerky to some extent. Warm, moist, slightly anaerobic environment, with a high protein food source for the bacteria to feed on. I'll take my chances with cure.
  10. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Simple: If you plan on slow/cool smoking,or dehydrating only- cure it. Hot smoking and keeping it refriged, get it to 140 within 4 hours, and at least to 160.
  11. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    what Rich says

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