Some help with using Cure, and recipe- Brand new in the dehydrating world

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by urbanprep718, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. urbanprep718

    urbanprep718 Newbie

    Hi all. Im looking for a little help and I wanna make sure that the money and time is used correctly. What im shooting for is long term storage and if I got jerky left over or not i would like to have some for daily snacks. I been using 90/10 chop meat but the seasoning I used that came with my dehydrator was very salty. After reading about jerky coming out satly im guessing I prob didn't put the correct amount of cure.

    Im looking to use the 90/10 chop meat to make jerky. Im open for recipes but Im looking to know how much cure would I need. Also can anyone recommend a brand / type of cure I can buy. I wanna make and have jerky for long term storage. As far as storage I would be sealing with vacuum bags. So im thinking to vac seal and then store in the freezer. I had read on some companies that make cure that don't recommend on storing in the frig or freezer.

    If anyone got a sec and can shed some light I would greatly appreciate it !!!!!
  2. smokin phil

    smokin phil Smoking Fanatic

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
    best beef jerky likes this.
  3. urbanprep718

    urbanprep718 Newbie

    So when curing the meat / jerky. Can I store in the freezer / frig.
    best beef jerky likes this.
  4. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    After drying the jerky you can freeze if you want to.
    best beef jerky likes this.
  5. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I vac seal and leave in the fridge,some bags are in there for 3-4 months before eating and are fine.
    urbanprep718 likes this.
  6. urbanprep718

    urbanprep718 Newbie

    Im looking to make some chicken and beef jerky this week. These batches are for long term. Do I use cure for all types of meat that will be stored in the freezer ?

    Also give or take about how long will it last if vac sealed and put in the freezer ?
  7. The Folks at HiCountry recommend using cure for all types of meat. FDA regs. for commercial product I guess. Shelf life and all that.

    Seems that we home smokers/driers have different takes on it.

    That said, personally if I'm going to store it for "a while" I'm gonna' use cure.

    Nitrites "MAY" cause problems over decades; Botulism "WILL" kill you in about 30 minutes.

    Since I've survived 68 years eating nitrate preserved meats, no point in taking chances now. 


  8. urbanprep718

    urbanprep718 Newbie

    Thanx for the reply, i had a feeling using a cure will help pay it safe. Can't wait to give it a whirl
  9. urbanprep718

    urbanprep718 Newbie

    I made my marinate i got 5 lbs of meat. I also added mu cure along with the marinate. Was i suppose to add the cure along with the marinate or......... ?
  10. Hey UrbanPr.

    If you're concerned about adding the Curing Salts to your marinade, I think you don't need to worry.

    I was prowling around in some of the other threads looking for new recipes and found a discussion on Food Safety for Smoking and Curing. It's posted right after Jeff's welcome to the group on the Newbie welcome thread. It links to a government agency document that lays out almost everything you need to know about the chemistry and best practices behind food safety for home curing meat. It answered all the questions I had anyway, and a lot I didn't think of. ;)

    Here are the links:

    The thread is:

    The Link to the Government techicnal document is:

    There is a lot of important information buried in this document. If you haven't already read it, I recommend that you do. It's good stuff.


    About adding the Curing Salts to your meat:

    Somewhere, in one of the threads I was following on SMf, I ran across a post by one of the official  "Keepers of the Food Safety Wisdom" (that's not their title but it describes one of the important responsibilities they have, along with breaking up fights and other admin stuff).

    This KFSW was discussing "Brine Curing" (dissolving the curing salts in liquid ingredients, as you did) vs. "Dry Curing" (rubbing the curing salts onto the meat directly without extra liquid).

    Dry Curing has advantages since Smoking and Dehydration work by removing water from the meat until it reaches a level of dryness that preserves it. So Dry Cured meat gets done quicker in the smoker/dehydrator (luckily for us the 'dryness' test for us amateurs is the bend it and see what it looks like. I'm sure sure you've seen that discussion elsewhere).

    However, this KFSW did point out that, especially for us Newbies, spreading the Dry Curing Salts evenly over all surfaces of the meat is hard, and the curing salts can't penetrate the meat where they don't cover the surface.

    These un-penetrated areas can harbor different kinds of dangerous bacteria.

    His conclusion was that it is generally better to use the "Brine Cure" method to apply the Curing Salts, because if you use enough brine to cover all the meat then the cure will be evenly applied.

    My Conclusion; is that it looks like you chose the more reliable way to add the cure to you meat. I on the other hand decided to try to dry cure my beef. Have to rethink that in the future. Brine Curing is easier too. Leave it to me to choose the more difficult way to git-er-done.  ;)

    Another back stop they say we Jerky makers have is that most Jerky recipes tell you to do the entire Smoking / Dehydrating processing step at about 160 degrees. That just happens to be the magic number to kill almost all of the harmful bacteria and parasites common to meats. Since the Jerky pieces are thin and relatively small, the meat usually reaches 160 deg quickly enough to kill off the bacteria before they can multiply and get established.

    (there are other caveats involved but this is my Readers Digest synopsis, Check out the Gov't Document and the SMF threads on Food Safety. They cover about everything we need to know. :)


    In case you're interested I'm currently working on a second batch of Jerky in my Nessco FD-61 Dehydrator. I've posted the recipe, my plan for curing / drying the beef and my Lessons Learned. Lessons Learned might be the largest section because this is only the second time I've made Jerky by any method. ;)

    The thread is at:

    Hope your Jerky turns out good.

    good providence

  11. urbanprep718

    urbanprep718 Newbie

    Hi Dave, First off let me just say I have never got response like yours before. Im super impressed !!! You write very well and really nailed what I been confused on !!!! Very detailed and the links provided  are very informative. Im glad I went the route I did as far as when I added my cure. I also use the same model dehydrator you have. This was originally bought to make treats for my dog. He has cancer and his holistic doctor recommend a dehydrator so we can give him healthy treats. Since I also prep I figured this could also help me in that area. With your info and time shared I def feel better about what im doing.

    The Jerky that I mentioned came out dehydrator cook book, I did a chicken teriyaki mix.

    2/3 cup of teriyaki sauce

    1/2 cup root beer

    1/4 cup of water

    1    TBS honey

    1    TBS soy sauce

    1    TBS firmly packed brown sugar

    1    TSP liquid smoke

    1    TSP onion powder

    1    TSP garlic powder

    1/2 TSP of salt

    1/2 TSP of black pepper

    5lbs of chicken was used.

    Dave thank you again, I'll share whatever else I might come across !! I read up on your link with all the stuff you been working on. Its good to see we got good people out here helping each other, your self included !
  12. Hey Urban;

    I appreciate the reply and the new recipe. It seems like all Jerky recipes have a few basic ingredients in common with other flavorants for personal tastes.

    As to my "research", I'm just passing along stuff I've found, mostly on SMF, from the more experienced folks. A couple, like DaveOmak, seem to be working with us Newbies. As to my writing, I'm a freelance writer.

    One of the factoids I picked up is about the sugar that many recipes include. Apparently, it actually serves two practical functions. First it helps to bind up some of the water in the meat so you don't have to dry it for as long a time, and secondly the salt binds up most of the water from the meat that doesn't get evaporated out and the amount you have to use makes things too salty for most peoples taste. The sugar blunts the saltiness to make the jerky more palatable. Beyond that some people just like their jerky to have a sweet flavor.

    As you may have noticed if you read my Lessons Learned post. I don't like sweetened jerky very well, and leaving out most of the recommended sugar makes it a lot easier to clean up the racks after the Jerky is done.

    I noticed that your recipe has Honey, brown sugar and root beer for sweeteners plus the Teriyaki sauce is usually rather sweet. How did it come out? Was the jerky fairly sweet? 

    And did it leave a sticky residue on your dehydrator racks? That's an issue for me, I hate cleanup.

    Best providence in your dehydrating

  13. urbanprep718

    urbanprep718 Newbie

    As far as the taste yes. Sweet but not overly done. Im happy with this recipe. I prefer a spicy flavor but thats for the next adventure. As far as the mess, yes i def had a mess on my trays. I seen what u mentioned about the honey, brown sugar and root beer contributing to the mess. This is def my least favorite task !!!! If i didnt have to clean i would dehydrate alot more often.

    One thing i would suggest. When yr jerky is done and your gonna vacumm seal, trim any sharp or hard areas on the jerky strip. I popped the bag the first time. Got a pair of scissors trimmed any edges and i was good to go.

    With our dehydrator we have, is there a set amount of trays we csn use at one?time ?
  14. Urban;

    As many others have stated I don't expect this Jerky to be around long enough for the long term storage to be an issue.

    But, I can see your point about long term storage. From what I've found so far it seems that your on the right track with Vacuum sealed for storage, but home storage, even vacuum sealing is only said to work for about three months.

    I'd check the documents in SMF, and put out a question to the forum membership. The mythical entity know as "They" say that commercial Jerky only has a shelf life of about 4 years; but even the best home cure / smoker will only keep about 3 months, unless frozen.

    Sorry I can't be more help on this one.


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