Discussion in 'Curing' started by aram, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. How much to use in cured sausage? It's driving me crazy. I see people using anywhere from 1.5% to 3.0 of total meat + fat.

    What's a good rule of thumb to follow without making the sausage taste overly salty but salty enough to keep the nasties at bay. 

    With other ingredients i feel like i can play around with them. if i want it more spicy i'll add more hot peppers. more garlic i'll add more garlic. but with salt i feel it's a little trickier because it can make the whole recipe either unpalatable or unsafe. 

    As with everything fermented I feel like the most common answer will be something like "there is no rule of thumb... you just have to try it for yourself" but i'm anxious to hear about your experiences...

    And here are a few of pictures of what i've been up to: salami cacciatore and soppressata calabria style (both from poli's recipes)

    I've actually had to use a dehumidifier because the humidity nevers goes below 85% in my set up. These went in on 21/02/2016.

  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    28 grams Kosher salt and 2.5 grams cure #1 per kilogram of meat....   So, the total salt is ~ 3%.....
  3. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I followed len poli's recipes on those two sausages. I wouldn't put more salt than what it calls.
  4. Here are the percentages of salt according to a few of poli's recipes (these are based on salt/meat&fat only, not cure because i always calculate the cure as 0.25%, so it doesnt change anything in terms of the total):

    1. soppressata calabria style: 1.7%

    2. Salami Cacciatore: 1.69%

    3. Milano: 1.95%

    4. Toscano: 1.57%

    5. Genoa: 1.93%

    6. Cascina: 1.94%

    7. Kulen: 2.25%

    8. Bulgarian Loukanika: 2.25%

    9. Dry Cured Pepperoni: 2.39%

    10. Salchichon - Spanish dry cured sausage: 1.65%

    so according to these recipes, salt is used anywhere from 1.57% to 2.39%. im only asking because if i want to start creating my own recipes I want to have a standard to work with. 
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    2.5% is the minimum % I have read from Charcuterie folks that are in the business... So, I guess 2.6 minimum is my new number + cures... 

    Salt is vitally important, as you can see below... I know I am not smart enough to stray from the below mentioned 2.6% ...

    Importance of salt, curing agents and sugars

    One of the main targets during fermentation and ripening of raw-fermented sausages is the reduction of their water content. The moisture to be reduced is exclusively from the muscle meat which has a water content of around 80%. The addition of salt lowers the aw value of the mix by absorbing water, which presents an initial hurdle for unwanted bacteria. Furthermore, in the presence of salt, salt-soluble proteins are extracted from the small lean meat particles after grinding and chopping. These solubilized or gelatinous proteins act like an adhesive between the interfaces of lean meat and fat particles in the meat mix. The result is an increasingly firm structure with progressive ripening and drying of the products. The average quantity of salt added to raw-fermented sausages should be between 26-30 g/kg (2.6-3.0%) but not below 26 g/kg (2.6%). It should be noted that the salt content in percent in the final products will always be higher than in the initial mix, as these products lose a substantial amount of water. Salt contents in final products can be from 3 - 4.5% depending on the initial salting.

    In raw-fermented sausages, salt is also used as a carrier for the curing agent, normally sodium nitrite. This curing agent is not only responsible for the development of a typical red cured meat colour, but also has bacterial growth inhibiting properties, especially on some pathogenic bacteria (see page 68). In raw-fermented sausages with a slow decrease of pH-values and prolonged ripening periods, nitrate can also be used as a curing substance. The use of both, nitrite and nitrate results in similar colour and taste. The main difference is that nitrate must first be reduced to nitrite by bacteria, which is a time-consuming process and hence only applicable to long-term ripened products. The slowly progressing acidity in such sausages allows the bacterial breakdown of nitrate to nitrite. The following reduction of nitrite to nitrogen oxide (NO), which is the substance effective in the curing reaction, is a relatively fast chemical process (principles of curing see page 34). The use of nitrate, mixed with nitrite is favoured by some processors as it is associated with better colour and flavor.

    From the technical point of view, the purpose of adding sugars is to facilitate and strengthen the fermentation by bacteria. Provision of a sweet flavour to counteract acidity in the final product is normally not intended. The bacterial breakdown of sugars results in the accumulation of lactic acid and in a low pH-value (acidification) as well as the development of a typical flavour. In order to support this process, lactic acid producing bacteria (starter cultures such as lactobacillus or pediococcus, see page 118) can be added to the sausage mix. Simple sugars such as dextrose or fructose support an early drop in pH-values as they are easily broken down by bacterial action. The breakdown of lactose is slower and takes longer. Often a mixture of different sugars is used. Another sugar-based additive is GdL (Glucono-delta-Lactone), which accelerates and intensifies the acidification process by reacting to glucono-acid in the presence of water (muscle tissue water). It is preferably used in semi-dry and/or spreadable products, which are not for long-term ripening and storage, but for consumption within a short period after production.
  6. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I always thought 2% salt and 0.25% cure #2 was the magic number.
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Seems some folks supply numbers "thinking" it's OK..  then those numbers get passed on and on and on....     Home adjusted recipes because they don't like too much salt maybe ??

    Like folks changing Pops brine recipe type thing....  Then they say they used "Pops recipe"....  
  8. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    2.5% seems the minimum required in commercial establishments. Of course that has to keep everyone safe: from the food safety conscious mother who drives straight home and dumps everything in the fridge, to the ignorant foodie who saw sausage hanging at room temps during his Italian vacation.

    Your formulations are yours. Just don't post the numbers here if they are less than 2.5 or you'll get lectured. I go by taste.
  9. I find this bit about sugar really interesting and helpful because i may or may haven't forgotten to add any dextrose but there's plenty of lactose in there. [​IMG]
    ha! :) i don't mind getting lectured if there's a good point to be made. but for these recipes, it called for ~1.7% of salt and things seem to be going well. 

    there's slight smell of ammonia - is this normal? 
  10. Here's a shot of their progress. nice mold development after 7 days in curing chamber. temp: 15C and humidity around 85%


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