Olympic Provisions (book)- percentage tables

Discussion in 'Curing' started by carlo olivares, May 16, 2016.

  1. Hey all,

    I recently started trying to cure my own meat (basically just bacon and sausages, and picked up the book Olympia Provisions by Elias Cairo. If any of you have read it, or know about curing, i have a quick question regarding the percentage charts- specifically around curing salts to meat ratio.

    For the sweetheart ham recipe, the recipe lists 12g curing salt for 1.8kg meat (.667% curing salt to 100% meat) but the percentage chart that the book gives for the recipe (the guide youre supposed to use if your meat weight varies from the example lists 1.5% as the percentage of curing salt(ie 27g curing salt per 1.8kg meat) for whole cuts of wet brined meat (p96 of the book in case you have it). Anyone else catch this? Which would you recommend be followed?
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Carlo, evening....    Every recipe you find will have recommended amounts curing salts.....    The problem starts when they don't tell you which cure the recipe is referring to and they don't note the nitrite or nitrate concentration in that cure...

    Because you are in the Philippines, tell me what the % percent nitrite and/or nitrate is in your cure...  Then I can explain how to use it....

  3. Hi Dave,

    I use prague powder #1 that i bought off amazon and had shipped here. It's by Hoosier Farm and contains 6.25% Sodium Nitrite.

    The percentage chart from Olympia Provisions that I am having trouble with is the second one under Page 96. Its under the chapter 4 "the smokehouse". It goes as follows:

    Whole Cuts of Wet Brined Meat
    The example in this chapter is Sweetheart Ham (Page 111)
    *Meat - 100%
    *Water- 67%
    *Salt - 3.3%
    Sugar - 7%
    *Curing Salt#1 - 1.5% but this seems like a lot

    The recipe calls for 12g (1 tablespoon), which also seems a lot. 12g of 1800g meat = .667%

    Im hoping im doing something wrong. Else I am a little afraid to try the other recipes that use curing salt.

    Thanks again Dave!
  4. Carlo, I am sure Dave will be along to give you a thorough explanation and guide you through this.

    For a brine, you need to add the weight of the water to the weight of the meat to calculate your cure requirement.

    On page 111, taking an 1800 gram piece of meat plus 67% water (1206 g) you will have 3006 grams of meat and water.

    Applying Cure # 1 at 0.25% you would use 7.515 grams of cure. This is equivalent to 0.4175% of the weight of meat alone.

    This is less than the 0.667% listed by Olympic, if that was the intent of the table i.e using the meat weight as a base 100%. 

    For the brine example they are not following the listed percentages e.g. using 1500 g (83%) of water rather that 1206 g (67%).

    Applying my above explanation they have 3300 grams of meat and water which, at 0.25% would require 8.25 grams of Cure #1.

    My numbers would give you a cure of 156 parts per million. 12 grams would give you about 225 ppm.

    If you go to the curing forum you will find a number of helpful threads. I would recommend reading threads on Pop's brine.
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]...    Pete is correct.....   

    There are many recipes that have misprints or in general errors that seemingly come out of thin air....

    For a brine solution....    weigh the meat..   weigh 50% of the meat weight in water.... TOTAL the weight of meat and water....   Gently heat the water to infuse and dissolve stuff...  2-3% salt...  1-2% white sugar.... add spices to taste...   Cool the liquid below 40 deg. F and add 0.25% cure #1....   White sugar can be substituted using other sweeteners....   DO NOT USE COLAS...  Cola supposedly has some reaction with nitrite...  I can't find what that reaction is, BUT, the article states do not mix cure #1 with colas... http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/239348/brine-curing-and-adding-a-cola-to-the-brine

    Filter out the spices so they won't plug the needle we will inject with... 

    Inject as much of the brine/cure liquid as the meat will take...   submerge in the brine/cure for at least a week and longer if convenient....   Inject at 1.5" intervals, in all directions to insure complete infusion of the brine...


    For sausage......   Weigh the meat and refrigerate (of course)... 1.1 grams per pound ( 0.25% weight of the meat) of cure  #1..... (2%) salt, (1%)  sugar, spices  (What I start with on my first batch, then adjust in the furure)


    For BACON ....  Brining, it's pretty hard to inject so submerge for 14 refrigerated days....  Rinse, dry, let rest in refer up to 7 more days on a wire rack...  Then smoke as you would...  I recommend cold smoking.. below 70 deg. F for 4 hours to as long as you like..  include up to 16 hours between smoking sessions... 

    Bacon using a dry rub...  Use the sausage recipe but you can add up to 1.45 grams cure #1 per pound...  Cure in the refer for 14 days...   rinse and dry on wire rack for 7 additional days in the refer...   cold smoke and refer again for 7 days to allow for flavor enhancement.... This is the method I use and so far, the best bacon I have made...


    Seasonings are normally parts of plants which flavour food. The trade in and the processing of spices has developed into an important support industry for food processing enterprises in order to meet consumer preferences. Mixtures of seasonings were developed in order to serve as flavouring agents for various meat products. Natural spices, herbs and vegetable bulbs are the main groups of seasonings and are described hereunder.

    Natural spices

    The term "natural spices" includes dried rootstocks, barks, flowers or their parts and fruits or seeds of different plants. The most important natural spices used in processed meat products are pepper, paprika, nutmeg, mace, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, chilli, coriander, cumin and pimento. The most common natural spice in sausage making is pepper. Spices are mainly used in the ground form with particle sizes from 0.1 to 1 mm.

    Fig. 113: Origin of natural spices


    Herbs are dried leaves of plants grown in temperate climates. The major herbs used in processed meat products are basil, celery, marjoram, oregano, rosemary and thyme.

    Vegetable bulbs

    The main natural seasonings originating from vegetable bulbs and used in processed meat products are onions and garlic.


    Natural spices are often contaminated with high numbers of microorganisms, in particular spores, due to their production process. This may become a problem for the stability of the meat products. The microbial load of spices can be reduced by irradiation or fumigation. Such treatments are not allowed everywhere. Another option is the use of spices extracts. Extracts are produced by separating the flavour-intensive fractions through physico-chemical procedures (e.g. steam distillation) which results in germ-free flavouring substances. Extracts are preferably used in viscous liquid or oily form. Due to the absence of microorganisms, extracts are specifically recommended for the production of microbiologically sensitive processed meat products, such as cured-cooked hams or cured-cooked beef cuts.

    Procession and handling

    Most spices used in meat processing are milled or ground. The milling method used affects the quality of the spices. Spices are normally cold-milled at low temperatures. The raw spices are deep-frozen thus avoiding the loss of oleoresins, aqua-resins and essential oils, which are the active flavour components.

    Spices (whole or ground, natural or extractives) should always be kept in a cool, dark and dry place.

    They must be stored in tightly sealed containers or bags to avoid loss of flavour.

    For processing purposes, spices should only be removed from the storage container using a spice spoon. Under no circumstances should spices be removed by hand as the adhering moisture and germs will lead to contamination, loss of flavour and clotting of the dry mixes.

    For all production, spices should be added by exact weight in order to standardize flavour and taste of the product.

    Products, which are consumed hot should be spiced mildly, as in the hot product higher amount of flavouring agents (oleoresins, aqua-resins and essential oils) will be released.

    If spices are added to a product mix under high temperature, the seasoning should be strong. In case of cold consumption of this product less spice will be released and taste and flavour will be weak if there is not enough seasoning.

    Table 3: Common Seasonings used in processed meats

    Description and origin

    (in gram per 1 kilo of product)


    Black/white pepper

    Fruits seed

    Used in a variety (almost all) meat products

    1–2.5 g / 1 kg.
    Paprika (Fruit seed)

    Used in frankfurters, minced specialties and other products. Sometimes used as a colouring agent. 1-5 g / 1 kg.
    Chilli (Fruit seed)

    For spicy products
    Pimento (Fruit seed)

    It has an aroma similar to a mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Used in a variety of sausage products. Sometimes used as a partial replacement for black pepper in frankfurters and some smoked products. 0.3-3.0 g / kg
    Mace (Flower)

    Used in liver sausages, frankfurters and bologna and similar. 0.4-1.0 g / kg
    Ginger (Rhizome) (Root)

    Used in frankfurters and similar products. 0.3-0.5 g / kg
    Nutmeg (Fruit seed)

    Used in bologna and minced ham sausages, frankfurters, liver sausage and gelatinous meat mixes. 0.3-1.0 g / kg
    Clove (Flower)

    Used in bologna, gelatinous meat mixes and in blood and liver sausage. 0.3-0.5 g / kg
    Cinnamon (Bark)

    Astringent and sweet, used in some countries in mortadella and bologna sausage. 0.1-0.2 g / kg



    Rapid loss of aromatic constituents during storage. Used in liver sausage and gelatinous meat mixes. 0.3-5.0 g / kg
    Celery seed

    Used in fresh pork sausages. 0.3-2.0 g / kg
    Coriander seed

    Contains about 13% of fatty matter and a trace of tannin. It is used in frankfurters, minced ham, luncheon meat. 0.3-1.0 g / kg

    Used for meat specialties with distinct flavour.

    0.2-0.3 g / kg




    Used in liver and white raw-cooked sausages and gelatinous meat mixes. 0.5-2.0 g / kg


    Onion (Bulb)

    Used in liver sausage, gelatinous meat mixes, meat loaves. Sometimes replace garlic.

    2.0-10.0 g / kg
    Garlic (Bulb)

    Used in many types of raw-cooked sausages. 0.1-0.2 g /kg


    If you want to try injection method, like the commercial folks use, here it is.....  

    I have used it on chicken and hams.... It's easy, fast and provides a really superior product....



    Well, that's probably more than you were expecting....  Sorry if I get long winded...   Hope any and all of that information helps......

  6. Pete, thank you! Wow, i did a quick search on "Pops Brine"and there is a lot of material. Looks like it is a popular brine.

    Ill read these threads. thanks again Pete.
  7. Thank you Dave!!
  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Pop's brine is a great place to start. It will give you good consistent results. Then when you feel comfortable with the product you have from
    Using Pop's brine you can branch out and start using other methods. Pop's brine doesn't require weighing anything, which is why it's ideal for getting your feet wet.

    When your ready to try other methods make sure you have a good digital scale or two. A large one to
    Weigh the meat and a small one to weigh the spices and cures that goes into the 10ths or 100ths of a gram.

    I buy the same cure #1 that you have and it is perfect for pop's brine.

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