Question about curing pork belly

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by nichiowa, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. I have been doing a lot of reading and have two questions.  I am on day 6 of curing a pork belly using Mortons Tender Quick.  My question is what is the safe variable (how much over is too much?)  My pork belly is 4.6 lbs and I used 5 tablespoons (as opposed to 4.6 tablespoons.)  I do not think this is an issue as it seems like the mixture is created so that it is too salty if you used too much (so I've read).  I just want to make sure that I am not taking a chance in regards to toxicity.

    Secondly, I have a very good friend who is strictly Non-GMO, organic, no nitrites/nitrates, the whole shebang.  We were stationed in Germany and we both have a weakness for mettwurst (raw cured pork either on a roll or a casing) and I would like to surprise him with a batch.  I have found "No Nitrite Cure" and am wondering the calculations/time for curing the pork so that I can make the mettwurst.  T

    Thank you for all the help.
  2. smokin phil

    smokin phil Smoking Fanatic

    Your MTQ use will be fine..4g MTQ is not a significant amount to "overdose" 5 lbs of meat.

    No nitrate cure IS NOT!!! They generally are sold as "natural cure" They have an uncontrollable amount of nitrate. You would likely give your friend a FAR HIGHER dose of nitrite than using the "real" stuff, which is actually far more natural that the stuff sold as natural!!!!! If you and your friend eat leafy green vegetables, even "natural", you're getting a FAR FAR higher dose of nitrates than from a reasonable amount of sausage.

    Remember Mark Twain's famous saying:
    "Everything in moderation."
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The MTQ amount you used is fine, toxic levels are much higher.

    The No added Nitrite Cure is most likely Celery Powder or Extract...It contains high levels of Nitrate. The cure procedure results in the Nitrate being converted to Nitrite to get the curing done...So ZERO gain. This is like saying, " These Cookies contain no added Sugar..." Then look at the Ingredients and they are made with Honey and Maple Sryup...Same thing, Different name...

    There are folks that use Celery Powder but you must find a source of the Celery Cure that is reputable and gives precise instructions on it's use and exactly how much is used as a substitute for Cure #1 and/or Cure #2. Next, find a Reputable Recipe for Mettwurst that either uses the Celery Cure or other cures. There are some bad recipes out there like the one below...Contains no Cure and vague instructions on hanging Raw sausage for 7-14 days at room temp....Scary Stuff!!!!...JJ
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  4. I appreciate the response of the MTQ.

    Secondly, the cure that I have found states that it is salt, sugar and spices.

    I have read about the inconsistencies with the celery powder and am definitely trying to avoid that as well.  How would you use the cure that I listed the link for? 

    Thanks for the help so far.
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As others already said, that slight amount of extra TQ isn't going to hurt anyone.

    However if you're worried about it being too salty, take a couple slices after curing & give it a "Salt-Fry-Test". If it's a little salty, you can soak it in cold water an hour or so.

    Here's my favorite Bacon Step by Step:

    Bacon (Extra Smoky)

  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    With Approx. 1 ounce of (Sugar, Salt, & Spices) per pound (Dry curing), I would Hot Smoke it to 145° in less than 4 hours, since there is no cure in it. That's twice as much Salt as is in TQ.

    Or I would just continue to use MTQ.

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  7. I appreciate it but the only problem with hot smoking it is that it is no longer mettwurst, the consistency is supposed to be raw and spreadable.
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I was talking about Bacon without actually curing it. If it's not cured it's not Bacon.

    I can't help you with raw spreadable sausage---That's beyond my pay grade.

    Maybe Chef Jimmy J can help you on that.


  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The amount of that stuff they recommend using, 6Lb per 100Lb Bellies is for solid meat, cured under refrigeration and will be Smoked and cooked before eating. Way different than dry curing raw ground pork at room temp. Even if you tried using it, at 6% by weight, this would make some SERIOUSLY Salty Mettwurst and be inedible!!! This so called Cure is just not intended for what you want to do!

    I get the joy of making a treat for your friend but Mettwurst, or any dry cured raw sausage, without the proper Cure and procedure IS NOT something to mess around with. It would be a shame for your friend, a guy that goes so far to lead a Healthy Lifestyle, to be cut down with Botulism or other illness from your uncured raw Mettwurst...[​IMG]...Sorry to be so Hardcore, but this is THAT Serious...JJ
  10. So what do German's do for their pork when they make Mettwurst?  It is fresh "that day" I know that.  So does anyone know what their process is for making it safe to eat?  Fresh mett on a roll with sliced onion is about best breakfast there is!
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  12. Yes sir, I can say it was made without cure.  Mainly because of the time frame that it had to be sold and I have found the recipe in a few places that describe the use of raw pork.  It was always fresh made everyday and had to be sold that day, My understanding is that any cure would not even work that fast.  As far as the meat that is used, like I said there are USDA guidelines that I can do to kill the trichnosis bacteria.  I am curious as if there are any other concerns.  I am just trying to get as educated on the process as I can.
  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    From this more detailed answer, I can only guess the variety of Mettwurst you had was Processed Cold, Held Cold and Served Cold that same day...So Yes, for this type of non-aged sausage, no Cure is needed.

    Many of the Mettwurst Recipes I have reviewed call for it to be aged at room temps for at least 72 hours and some up to 2 weeks. Based on this statement from your first post... "  I have found "No Nitrite Cure" and am wondering the calculations/time for curing the pork so that I can make the mettwurst." It is only reasonable to assume you were taking about the styles that are aged a few days at room temp. This would be dangerous without cure and I generated the previous responses. I am Sorry, I should have pushed for more details from the beginning. I got concerned for your safety and was Burned by an assumption...JJ

    Just some info...Cure #1 Sodium Nitrite does it's job near instantaneously in ground meat. Cure #2 which also has Sodium Nitrate, is used in sausage or other meats that need to be hung and/or dried for days or months above 40°F, longer acting.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  14. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  15. Chef JJ, I appreciate it, I apologize for not giving all the details upfront. So there is no safe way to not use nitrite then, I will talk to him and see if he realizes the amounts in the meat. Thank you.

    Dan, that is correct, I was just wondering if I could process the met wurst the same way as met but with the "no nitrite" cure. I have a question in another forum about making met, lol.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  16. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you " don't age "or" cold smoke " it. In other words, make and eat it keeping everything cold and clean, you can get away without cure. Make sure to use certified Trichinella Free Pork or previously Frozen Pork. If the recipe calls for aging at room temp or cold smoking, you should use Cure...JJ
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  17. Thanks a lot!

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