Dry rub VS brine for jerky? With no cure.

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by canadianbacon, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. canadianbacon

    canadianbacon Fire Starter

    I am making some jerky and I was considering trying a dry rub for once, Usually I brine it (soy, Worcestershire sauce, peper, chilli, mayple syrup, brown sugar ) or mix the spices in with ground beef.

    What would the dry rub end up doing that the brine will not and what will the outcome be?

    I am smoking in cold weather and using beef fajita strips along with thin round eye slices because I had them in the frezzer. I do not use cure only sea salt and soy/ Worcestershire sauce. Using a big chief smoker and dry hickory chips. The main reason I try to avoid cure is because I have a extremely long family history with cancer and rather not use anything to raise the risk.

    I was reading rub is not suppose to be used without a cure? I will be eating all this within 1-2 weeks tops. Sea salt in the dry rub.

    Thanks for the tips!
  2. canadianbacon

    canadianbacon Fire Starter

    I completely agree with the oven part and heating the jerky up and i do do that with all my batchs and noticed I don't get stomach aches as often as i used to when my brine wasen't as salty and i had no cure.  but I stayed away from doing it at the beginning mainly in case the smoke flavor dosent take well once its heated at that temp.

    Dose anyone know if heating it to 170 prior to smoking for about 30 min - 1hr make a difference in smoke adhesion.
  3. dropkick

    dropkick Newbie

    I was thinking about doing the whole thing in my smoker - heating my smoker to 180F at the start and letting it cool down from there, smoking the meat the entire time. It doesn't actually have to be at high temperature for a long time, just long enough to kill any surface bacteria or molds.

    Could also let the meat (after it's sliced) sit uncovered for a time, so it will dry a bit and absorb more smoke - maybe in the refrigerator after the rub is applied.

    I haven't tried this yet so I don't know if it's a good idea, but the theory sounds good to me.
    -What we really need is a more experienced jerky smokers opinion.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  4. canadianbacon

    canadianbacon Fire Starter

    Wouldn't the vinegar in the marinade kill surface bacteria tho? I think that's the basic concept of drying bitlong. 
  5. dropkick

    dropkick Newbie

    Yes, vinegar would kill the bacteria, but then you'd have to add the step of marinating. And if you marinate why bother with a rub?
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    CB, morning..... To be safe, use a brine with cure spices and whatever.... It's my opinion, trying to do a dry rub on slices of beef will not uniformly cover and penetrate the slices... You could end up with a good portion of the meat without cure...
    Elevating the temp to 170 or 180 does not kill all the bacteria, pathogens and especially botulism spores... then when the meat is in the smoker, in a reduced oxygen atmosphere at the perfect temperature for bad stuff to grow, botulism and other pathogens could grow, the growing medium for other pathogens is still available for growth...

    The amount of cure I would use is.. slice the meat, mix up the brine and add to the meat, to just barely cover in a freezer bag.. weigh it... add 1 tsp. of cure per 5#'s of meat and brine.... Mix every few hours or so and keep refrigerated for 24 hours... drain, dry on paper towels and smoke as normal until the meat starts to crack when bent...
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    dropkick, morning..... You are entitled to your opinion... and you can process meat any way you wish... on this forum we have rules to follow in the best interest of others... Below is an excerpt of one of the rules....

    The SMF will hold to the USDA regulations with no deviation. These things need no discussion in my opinion.

    I expect OTBS members as well as other seasoned members to make it clear as to what the SMF recommends based on the USDA documentation.

    I will be instructing the mods to edit/delete/lock whatever is necessary to make sure that incorrect information is not being given out.

    I am not asking you to agree.. just know that this is how it will be handled here.

    Most of you may not realize just how far reaching our forum posts are..

    I have seen posts less than 20 minutes old show up in Google searches. Google indexes our forum on a constant basis due to it's dynamic nature.

    This means that people we don't even see are finding the posts in bits and pieces and I need for these pieces to be as correct as possible.

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The "below" was taken from the first link you posted..... Rare outbreaks or not, botulism can kill folks... and it can be found in beef....

    D. Food sources and products causing outbreaks

    Until the early 1960s nearly all outbreaks of botulism in which toxin types were determined were caused by type A or B toxins and were usually associated with ingestion of home-canned vegetables, fruits, and meat products.

    Beef, milk products, pork, poultry, and other vehicles caused fewer outbreaks.
  9. mickey jay

    mickey jay Meat Mopper

    I have recently switched from a dry rub of salt/spices to a semi-wet brine with cure to solve for the very problem of under penetration of the salt and cure. I originally used a dry rub because I didn't want the soy/worcestershire flavor profiles; I imagine some water mixed with your dry rub spices would work fine if you don't want to use soy/worst. Just drain it off with a colander of sorts before drying/smoking.

    Btw, I switched to using cure because I didn't trust the recipients of the jerky to refridgerate.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  10. Canadianbacon:  In my opinion making jerky you might as well just use a brine/ marinade.  If you use a dry rub you would be using a whole muscle piece. You would cure it first and then slice it to the thickness you want.  I say this because If you  would slice it first and then apply a dry rub you would be crazy because your just making a brine or marinade anyways.  Aside from the wait your spices would take double the amount to have the same effect as marinating.

     If you must avoid cure because you are afraid of cancer I hope you don't eat vegetables because they hold more nitrate than any properly cured meat unless they are true organic.  Their are several products which help preserve meat but they are not a cure, they are loaded with sodium and the  USDA doesn't have a guideline on how much to use to be safe.  To kill certain bacteria you must use at least 4% salt.  Did you ever eat a country ham? they are about 4% salt.

     Vinegar kills surface bacteria and the salt in vinegar helps preserve but you taste vinegar, so you would be making biltong.  Soy sauce helps preserve because of the salt content. In my opinion unless you are making a dry cured product such as, raw bacon, air dried beef, country ham or prosciutto just marinade or brine it.

     As far as not using cure you do what you want, but make sure you heat the meat to 156 internal temp and store it in a refrigerator.  I would make a brine bring it to a boil, place the meat strips into the boiling brine for at least a minute.  By doing this you will kill bacteria right away. If you just use a dehydrator an it doesn't bring the meat temp up to 156 degrees within 4 hours you are just heat tempering the bacteria which might make them survive 156 degree temps.
  11. phrett

    phrett Smoke Blower

    In your post you give a list of spices and call it a "brine". I thought a brine included salt, which was a part/needed to assist in the curing process or to prevent bad stuff from growing in a cook.
    " Usually I brine it (soy, Worcestershire sauce, peper, chilli, mayple syrup, brown sugar ) or mix the spices in with ground beef."

    Are a cure and a brine two different animals, I'm newer to this type of cooking?
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A cure can be a brine and a brine can be a cure, but a cure doesn't have to be a brine and a brine doesn't have to be a cure.

    There are wet cures and dry cures. There are brines that don't cure but infuse flavor modifiers using osmosis thru the means of any dehydration medium, as salt, sugar, etc.

    What confused me is that when we talk of brine water or brackish water its salt water. But a brine can be made with sugar. The salt works better or faster, but other elements can serve the purpose. 

    Like above I never cured my jerky, I double dried with smoke first then a dehydrator. Even this way there is no guarantee, ever notice some folks jerky needs refrigeration? That is jerky flavored meat to me. I now cure, smoke and dehydrate (if needed), because other people eat and enjoy my jerky. Since coming here and learning from Dave, its just not worth the chance. Now my jerky can set on the kitchen counter for months , years, and unless something else naws on it, its as good now as it was when it was made, and safe! That is the big word here, safe.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014

  13. Yes . Cure is the process of preserving meats using nitrates or nitrite. Brine is a method for curing the meat. ( soaking the meat in a solution of salt ,water and cure)
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  14. burl stotts

    burl stotts Newbie

    I tend to over do it when I make jerky.  I have two big chiefs and a little chief.  I usually start my jerky for 8-10 hours on the smokers and finish them up in my oven at 170 and indirect heat on my two propane bbq grills.  I live in Washington so the weather is usually humid and cold.  If I have to leave the house I take box fans and place them on top of my smokers blowing down so it dehydrates the meat without catching my house on fire.  Of course make sure you dont have any burning chips in your smoker and it is unplugged.  I usually bring them inside but the wife doesnt appreciate the smokey aroma that is in the house when we get back.  Like someone had a campfire in my living room.  If I wasn't renting I would build a smoke house.  Oh and yes a dash of vinegar will kill the bacteria so less tummy aches.  I usually cover my brine and stick it outside in fall or winter, just make sure the coons dont get to it.

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