How to make Cure??

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by potatoc, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. potatoc

    potatoc Meat Mopper

    I have used HiMountain seasoning for years to make my jerky.  I am looking to see what it would take to make my own cure so I do not have to buy their product anymore..  Not that it is bad, but I am itching to make my own jerky recipes!!!!

    I have no idea what is in a "cure" but would like to make something along the lines of what is used so jerky can be left out of the fridge...  Let me know what you have, look forward to trying this...  Thanks...
  2. rstr hunter

    rstr hunter Smoking Fanatic

    I'm sure you can find some good Jerky recipes in the Jerky section of this forum.  I found one on here that I used last fall to do some really good jerky as a teriyaki recipe.  However, "cure" as you are asking is not something you make, many times it refers to "Insta-Cure #1" or "Prague Powder #1" and is a pink curing salt with nitrates that you will need to buy from your local butcher or other meat processing supplier.  When using this type of product, extra care must be used to use it exactly in the right proportions, too little and your meat won't cure, too much and you'll kill people from nitrate poisoning.  Good luck on your jerky and if you have cure questions get help from an expert. 
  3. potatoc

    potatoc Meat Mopper

    Kill someone???  Dang man.. So what would happen if I didn't get the exact measurements with the HiMountain??  Even a little would make them sick if having to much can kill??  Little confused and concerned here...
  4. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]'Yes we here at SMF can not stess enough how important it is to get the correct amount of cure. I personally have not gotten sick or gotten anyone else sick before but I have read it here and I believe theses folks. We have a couple of food safety experts here and I'm sure they will chime in on this subject befopre to long. If they say it I believe it and that's enough for me. 
  5. lugnutz

    lugnutz Smoking Fanatic

    Tender Quick is a pretty safe option, but even with it you need to follow the directions. It is my understanding that  Tender Quick is designed for us home use guys and gals more so than the #1 or #2 cures are.  By that I mean it can be measured by volume where as the other two are measured by weight.  The other thing I've been told is that with the TQ if you use too much the finished product will be so salty you won't want to eat it anyhow. 

    Morton has a recipie section on their website, it might have jerky. I haven't looked at it closely enuff to say for sure or not.
  6. potatoc

    potatoc Meat Mopper

  7. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    YES!  Those are the measures I use when making Beef sticks, jerky, etc.  Use as exactly stated.  I make sure I use the meat weights exactly, i.e. 5 lbs is exactly 5 lbs ( I have an excellent digital scale for this purpose), not 4.7 or 5.2 and try to juggle the measure for the cure.  I don't profess to be a chemist or anything else, other than another ordinary joe trying to beat the high prices of prepared foods and hopefully a better product, so yes, use the amounts mentioned exactly.
  8. lugnutz

    lugnutz Smoking Fanatic

    Hey thats a handy lil chart Thanks!
  9. potatoc

    potatoc Meat Mopper

    Hey that link said it was for sausage only..  Would beef really be that much different??????????
  10. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I would stick w/ pre made cures  so that you have a guide to go by.

     don't know that you can purchase sodium nitrate or sodium nitrite anyway.
  11. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    One caveat to this thread; if you do have an odd weight you can easily adjust the cure amount to the proportional difference in weight.  For example, say you have 6 lbs. 8 oz. of meat.  That's 6.5 lbs.  Divide that by 5 lbs. and you get 1.3 or 130% of the original.  So, multiply your amount of cure for 5 lbs. of cure by 1.3 to get the exact amount of cure needed for 6.5 lbs.  That is called 'reproportionment of ingredients to exact weight ratios".  You can use this method in all areas of ingredients, such as prepackaged mixes or cutting down a recipe to a smaller weight. 

    Another example, the hot dog ingredient recipe from Rutas book that 's quoted on The Sausagemaker site is for 20 lbs.  But, say you have 7.38 lbs. of meat, how much of each ingredient do you use?   7.38 / 20 = .369, so multiply each ingredient amount by .369 and that will be the exact amount of ingredient to use for that weight of product!

  12. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Go with either cure 1 or cure 2 and just add the spices you like to your jerky.  When I was doing a lot of backpacking I would make jerky in the oven using just salt, pepper, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne.  The jerky was pretty dry and I kept it refrigerated when I could.  After about three weeks of sitting in a ziplock without refrigeration it would start to pickup a bit of mold, but a little bit of mold didn't detract from the taste any.  Once it got wet all bets where off.    We ate more of it on the drive up then we did on the trail.  I think it's pretty forgiving, as previously stated the amount of salt in pre-made cures precludes having to much nitrate/nitrite.  As long as it's just meat and spices it holds up pretty well.  I'm not sure about adding sugar or honey to it and having the same success.

    Cure 1 and Cure 2 are pretty cheap, can be bought in bulk by Internet or at local butcher supply.

    I soaked mine in the soy sauce and spices for a couple of days in the refrigerator, patted dry, sprinkled with a bit more salt while still damp. Put in a very slow oven with the oven door cracked until dry.  Place in a zip lock with additional spices and refrigerate.

    Just a reminder I am neither a food safety guy or a dietitian.  I'm just telling you what we do. 
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  13. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    We use Morton's Tender Quick (along with other spices) to make corned beef.  However, we need more and are having trouble finding it.

    Any suggestions?
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Those TQ measurements are only good for sausage (ground meat)!

    For solid meat, you use 1/2 ounce (1 TBS) of TQ per pound (twice as much as with sausage).

    Tender Quick is much harder to screw up with than the others.

    Just remember:

    1/2 ounce (1 TBS) of TQ per pound of solid meat, such as Bacon or Jerky.

    1/4 ounce (1/2 TBS) of TQ per pound of ground meat, like sausage or beef sticks.

    Then all you need to learn is how long to cure each item.

  15. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    there is a difference between cure #1 and cure #2, for jerky you want to use cure #1 or tenderquick... Cure #2 is used on items that are dry cured over an extended period of time, like salumi   or pepperoni.
  16. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Mortons has a web site .www.mortonsalt .com
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  17. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    Make your own TQ. It isn't that hard and I have done it a number of times to try some of the TQ based recipes here.

    2 ounces Instacure/Prague Powder #1

    8 ounces granulated sugar

    16 ounces kosher salt (or pickling salt)
  18. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Just for my clarification, please correct me if I am wrong.  

    Cure #2 for items dry cured for an extended period of time or kept without refrigeration for an extended period of time.  That's the reason I didn't make the distinction.  I would not keep items cured with Cure #1 without refrigeration while I would keep very lean jerky cured with Cure #2 without refrigeration for an extended length of time.  Nitrate breaks down into Nitrite which breaks down to NO nitric oxide. They all act together to prevent the formation of Botulism and to preserve the color and texture of meat.  Cure #2 has a higher proportion of Nitrate thus having more "starter" for the conversion so it has a longer protective effect. 

    If I am making jerky to be eaten within a week or two I will use only soy sauce, salt and spices but my method may not be considered safe so I recommend using either of the two cures depending on how long you will keep the jerky without refrigeration.  And how long you will cure the jerky before drying   Edited for clarification  Al

    I only use very lean whole muscle meat (top or bottom round) sliced about 1/4 inch  thick or less, against the grain.  Trim all visible fat.  If the jerky is not lean the fat will get rancid before anything else.  Marinate the slices of meat in Soy Sauce, salt and spices (select your own but I like granulated onion, granulated garlic, cayenne, ginger, Italian seasoning)  for a couple of days in the refrigerator.  Remove from the marinade, dry till tacky on racks in the refrigerator and lightly sprinkle with additional spices, especially the cayenne.  If you like sugar as a seasoning instead of as a curative this is when I would add it.   

    Move the racks to an oven set on it's lowest heat.  Dry with the oven door ajar to allow a low gentle heat and improve air flow.  The jerky is ready when stiff but still pliable.  I have a decent dehydrator now so I will use it instead of the oven but it takes a bit longer.

    I have always thought of jerky as trail / emergency food, hence no refrigeration.  This is how I have made jerky for 35 years and it is always a "please bring your" request when I go camping with friends.

    I haven't gotten anyone sick yet, but the night is still young.

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  19. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nitrate Cures

    For any aspiring sausage maker it is a necessity to understand and know how to apply  Cure 1 and Cure 2 as those two cures are used world wide though under different names and with different proportions of nitrates and salt.

    What is Instacure 1

     Instacure 1 is a mixture of 1oz of Sodium Nitrite (6.25 %) to 1 lb of salt

    It MUST be used to cure all meats that will require smoking at low temperatures. It may be used to cure meats for fresh sausages (optional).

    What is Instacure 2

    Instacure 2 is a mixture of 1 oz of  Sodium Nitrite (6.25 %) along with .64 oz od Sodium Nitrate (4 %) to 1 lb of salt. It can be compared to the time-releasing capsules used for treating colds. It must be used with any products that do not require cooking, smoking or refrigeration and is mainly used for products that will beair cured for long time like: Country Ham, salami, peperoni, and other dry sausages.

    Both Instacure 1 and Instacure 2 contain a small amount of FDA approved red coloring agent that gives them a slight pink color thus eliminating any possible confusion with common salt and that is why they are called sometimes “pink “ curing salt.

    They also go sometimes by the name Prague Powder 1 (Instacure 1) and Prague Powder 2 (Instacure 2).

    Note: Instacure1 is not interchangeable with Instacure 2 and vice versa.

    Morton Salt Cures

    Morton™ Salt Company in addition to making common Table Salt also produces a number of cures like Sugar Cure mix, Smoke Flavored Sugar Cure mix, Tender Quick mix, Sausage and Meat Loaf seasoning mix. To use them properly one has to follow instructions that accompany every mix.

    here is the link to the site this info came from.....  
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  20. potatoc

    potatoc Meat Mopper

    This sounds like a plan Bearcarver...  Where does a guy get info on cure time for this method????

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010

Share This Page