Grind then Cure or Cure then Grind

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by shannon127, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. Cure the meat before grinding

    0 vote(s)
  2. Cure the meat after grinding

    0 vote(s)
  1. shannon127

    shannon127 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    We started to discuss this in another posting, but thought it deserved it own thread. 

    Do you prefer to cure your meat before or after grinding?

    If you answer the poll, please also comment as to why you do it the way you do. 
  2. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I prefer to add the cure with the seasonings after grinding before mixing. I have added cure and seasonings to cubed meat the night before but didn't notice any difference in flavor and always wonder if things get mixed enough. Sometimes I add pork and or fat after grinding everything and watch what the ratio looks like when mixing then weigh out the batch size and add seasonings and cure.

    I have not cured anything with cure #2 yet.
  3. boykjo

    boykjo SAUSAGE MAKER Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I dont see the point curing, then grinding. Your adding another step......just add the cure in with the seasoning and throw it in the ground meat.... It doesnt matter how you do it.. The meat will be cured in about 4 hrs
  4. shannon127

    shannon127 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Todd and Joe-- Thank you for posting your reasons.  There is no right or wrong answer to this question, as it is a matter of preference.  Both methods have their benefits and their drawbacks.  My hope was to solicit everyones views and facilitate a discussion of which method provides the greatest benefits with the least drawbacks. 

    To the other 4 who answered the poll-- Please share your views with the group. 
  5. I mostly cure after grinding. With the small amount of cure it takes I feel it's easier to get good even coverage once the meat is ground. Those are my thoughts at least...
  6. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I usually cure first..thats what most of the recipes I have call for...

    If it calls for adding the spices and cure after..thats what I do ....

    I'm with doesnt really matter as long as it gets in there..


  7. mike johnson

    mike johnson Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Im fairly new and have only added cure after the grind with the seasonings.
  8. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I add the cure after the grind and before the mix and always in a liquid form. 
  9. shannon127

    shannon127 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I was always a cure at least a day then grind person.  This is how we always did it, so I did it that way as well.  Someone asked this very question a couple of months back, which got me thinking. Why is that we did it that way?  Smaller pieces cure faster, right?  By grinding, you increase the surface area while reducing the thickness.   Both of these lend themselves to a faster cure of the meat.  So why was it that my great uncle was so insistent on curing the meat before grinding?  Since he passed a few years ago, my best guess is he was concerned with bacterial contamination.

    I looked around the Internet and found many articles which explain why ground beef spoils faster than whole muscle products.  There are 2 main reasons:

    Bacteria live on the surface of the meat, while the interior of whole muscles are sterile.  Grinding mixes any surface bacteria present throughout the entire volume of the meat. 

    Grinding also increases the surface area by millions of times and thus increasing its available habitat.

    I think this link says it best

    Like I said, there are no right or wrong answers here.  This is just my opinion.
  10. I learned to salt, spice and cure and then rest, at least overnight, before grinding from the old butchers in my family.
    Their main reasons for doing it that way were because doing so ensures that the spices and such mix in real well during grinding and the salt has time to extract lots of protein exudate so you get a really good bind....all of that means less final mixing and less smear.
    The old Polish butcher around here liked to cure prior to grinding because they were used to using saltpeter in the old days, which required extra time to work.
    Old habits never die.

    To each his own.

    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  11. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i grind the meat i'm using through a course plate first. then i mix all the seasonings and the cure in the proper amount of water or beer and add this to the meat. i also add 1 cup of dried milk to the mix at one cup per 5 pounds of meat mix which i sprinkle over the meat at this time. then i mix everything well. then i grind the meat again through a medium plate.  i then put the meat mix in a plastic container and cover with plastic wrap and put in refrigeration untio the next day to let the cure and spices blend in. i then stuff into casings.
  12. badbob

    badbob Smoke Blower

    I always double grind my meat and add cure and spices after the first grind, then mix well and grind again. So far so good.
  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Saw an episode of DDD where the Rest owner was making Chili. He loaded a pan with Ground Beef, stuck a Spoon in and covered the pan with foil. Guy asked why the spoon was in there and was told, " that's the way it has always been done. "  I think it is the same way here. Most follow the direction or do it the way they were taught. I think grinding the spices in gives an extra opportunity to get them mixed in. But both ways work...JJ
  14. I do the grind, then add the cure and spices, then grind again, then stuff and let rest for a day before smoking the sausage.  That is my usual mode of operation.  Unless the recipe says grind through one size then the other, I will mix in the spices between grinds.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013

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