Elk summer sausage... Cure #1 or Cure #2???

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by krazy4bakon, May 5, 2013.

  1. I am making a 25 lb. batch of jalapeno/cheddar elk summer sausage and I am using Legg's Old Plantation Summer Sausage Seasoning.

    The suggested directions say to add water, seasoning and sodium nitrite.

    Then mix, regrind, stuff and smoke to 155 IT

    By specifying sodium nitrite, I'd assume that they are referring to Prague #2 but I haven't seen another recipe that uses #2 if you are going to smoke to temp.

    Did I just mess up a load of meat? I put the #2 in there but now I'm so paranoid that I need some reassurance that I didn't mess it up, or that I just made a huge mistake.
  2. Also, from what I understand of Prague #2 is that it is not to be fried at high temps like bacon, but will nitrosamines start forming if I smoke to 155 IT? I can't seem to find any info on what temp that happens at.
  3. -
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  4. Ok, well I'm starting to feel a bit better. I can live with snack sticks. That's how I intend to eat them anyway.

    So I should be ok as long as I don't cook them?
  5. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Sodium Nitrite is Cure #1.

    Cure #2 contains Sodium Nitrite and Sodium Nitrate and is used for meats that require a long curing time.

    I'm pretty sure you just messed up the meat to be used as summer sausage but there might be something you can do with it.

    I would hold it in the fridge and not do anything with it until some of the sausage experts give their advice!
  6. That's what I'm doing! Hopefully we hear from some experts!
  7. You should have followed the directions as written and used cure #1.

    Who's cure #2 formulation did you use?

    How much did you use?

    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  8. nepas

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

    For a 25 lb batch of SS you should use 5 level tsp of cure #1
  9. This was the recipe written on the front of the Legg's package. I used 1 oz of #2, as recommended for 25 lbs of meat. I now understand that I should have used #1 but is there any harm in using #2? I know they're not interchangeable and that they have two different purposes but nonetheless, it has happened. The only difference between #1 and #2 is that #2 has 1% sodium nitrate. I know that cooking #2 releases the nitrosamines but I don't intend on cooking this once it's done. The only cooking so to speak is when you smoke to 155 IT.

    The #2 I have is from Eldon's Sausage and Jerky Supply.
  10. nepas

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

    I know Eldon and Karen, they are both master sausage makers.


    What you have just done with cure #2 is made dried SS. Its going to harden like hard salami. You could cold smoke the SS for a few hours then hang in a cool place for a few days.

    Prague Powder #2
    Used to dry-cure products. Prague powder #2 is a mixture of 1 part sodium nitrite, .64 parts sodium nitrate and 16 parts salt. (1 oz. of sodium nitrite with .64 oz. of sodium nitrate to each lb. of salt.)
    It is primarily used in dry-curing Use with products that do not require cooking, smoking, or refrigeration. This cure, which is sodium nitrate, acts like a time release, slowly breaking down into sodium nitrite, then into nitric oxide. This allows you to dry cure products that take much longer to cure. A cure with sodium nitrite would dissipate too quickly.
    Use 1 oz. of cure for 25 lbs. of meat or 1 level teaspoon of cure for 5 lbs. of meat when mixing with meat.
    When using a cure in a brine solution, follow a recipe.
    krazy4bakon likes this.
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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
    krazy4bakon likes this.
  12. Sodium nitrite converts to nitrosamines, but only at high temperatures.
    Are you sure the cure #2 is 1% sodium nitrate?
    I'm asking because there are at least 3 different cure #2 formulas in the US.

    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  13. nepas

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

    Dry cured bologna using cure 2. Fermented and cold smoked. Hung for 8 days.

    SS using cure #1. Temps from 130 thru 170.

  14. Ok I'll try to answer everyone's questions.


    I used Eldon's Sausage Supply #2 formulation. I've read all over that sodium nitrate converts to nitrosamines at high temps but I don't know at what temp. Is a 150 IT high enough to cause that to happen?


    I mixed 25 lbs elk meat

    2 lbs. jalapenos

    2 lbs cheddar cheese

    1 pkg. Leggs Summer Sausage Seasoning

    1 oz. Cure #2


    Do you think it would be safe to still cook this product? I'm sure it would be fine to hang for a few days after a cold smoke but I'd really like to cook it if it's safe.
  15. Well shoot, the dry bologna looks awesome too! Perhaps I will just dry it!
  16. nepas

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

    I use AC allot. I think you used AC SS #114

    Tough call to tell you to cook it. I have done hot smoked SS before with cure 2 and it has turned out fair.

    Try it, i know 25lbs is allot. Split it and hot smoke half and cold smoke the other.

    Note the AC SS mix has phosphate in it that will retain moisture.
    krazy4bakon likes this.
  17. Nepas,

    You are correct. It is #114. At this point, all I can do is punt. I think I will do like you suggest and dry half and cook half and see which one turns out better!

    Thanks to everyone for your input! I won't make that mistake again!
  18. All i'm going to say is, there are a lot of people who make summer sausage with Morton Tender Quick.
    And if you used cure #2 that is 1% sodium nitrate, that's just 25 ppm nitrate, which is far less than what would be in MTQ.
    It's up to you to decide what you want to do.
    And no, 150 degrees is not high enough of a temp to worry about nitrosamines.

    "A bacon cooking study, "Effect of Frying and Other Cooking Conditions on Nitrosopyrrolidine Formation in Bacon" (Journal of Science, Vol. 39, pages 314-316), showed no evidence of nitrosamines in bacon fried at 210 °F for 10 minutes (raw), 210 °F for 15 minutes (medium well), 275 °F for 10 minutes (very light), or 275 °F for 30 minutes (medium well). But when bacon was fried at 350 °F for 6 minutes (medium well), 400 °F for 4 minutes (medium well), or 400 °F for 10 minutes (burned), some nitrosamines were found. Thus, well-done or burned bacon is potentially more hazardous than less well-done bacon."

    Source: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Bacon_and_Food_Safety/index.asp

    Last edited: May 5, 2013
    krazy4bakon likes this.
  19. Martin,

    Thanks! That's the piece of information that I was looking for. I could not seem to find anything I was looking for today!

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