When To cure or not to cure?

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by backyard bbq, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Ok after reading several articlels and such I am more confused that before. Lol.

    Can someone please give me the REAL rundown of when to cure and when not?  My understanding is that if you prepare fresh sausage and the hot smoke it at around 220 till internal of 160 you don't need cure?  Cure is only needed when cold smoking right?  Also if you make a fresh sausage and don't want to smoke it,  can you freeze or eat it without cure.    Sorry for all the questions!!!  I just am wanting to do the basic without cure..
  2. Orry one more thing I forgot.  I see it is common to dry hang the sausage for about 1 hour after making before either smoking or putting in fridge or freezer.  Is this method ok for fresh sausage that is not cured?  What is the standard method prior to hot smoking after the fresh sausage is prepared?
  3. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    You want to follow the recipes you are using.  Cure is only required if you are not going to fully cook the sausage according to the 4 hour rule.  Keep the meat cold, get past 135 in 4 hours and fully cook no problems without cure.   If you intend to hang sausage at room temps that time goes to your  4 hour safe zone. 

    A bit of cure in sausage is not a bad thing if you use it properly.  It adds flavor and color to the sausage and protects it from the bad bugs.  But if making and cooking fresh sausage it is not required
  4. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  5. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Those three books are the sausage bibles. All three with great info and proceedures 
  6. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i have them all but the maranski bros. (green one in the middle) do a great job and explain things in simple terms.........i have 4 of their books.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  7. Thanks!
  8. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    one could argue that the grind/stuffing time would only expose the meat to 1/2-1 hr so that could only account for 2.5-3 hrs in the danger zone, but that is something i would not do....but that is just me.
  9. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you only choose a single book I would recommend Marianski,  love mine.

    Most of us keep our grinder parts cold and return the ground meat to the fridge as soon as possible. 

    It is impossible to duplicate commercial meat processing room environments at home but you can do some very simple things.  Start with absolutely clean equipment, remove only the amount of meat you intend to process from the fridge, return meat to the fridge between steps,  keep the grinder parts cold,  use a large enough grinder that you are not building excessive heat, be aware of how the meat is handled on the way home from the butcher  - don't leave it in a hot car!  If you have to make stops after buying fresh or frozen food an ice chest goes a long way to keep things safe.

    So many small things that we can be aware of to insure a safe final product
  10. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Those guys are all experts in sausage making & gave you good advice. I would only add that for your first sausage try a simple fresh Italian sausage recipe. They are great & you don't even have to stuff them in casings. They are delicious just as patties on the grill.
  11. you can get all of those books at Amazon.com at reasonable prices, and I would highly recommend you obtain one of them b4 you start making sausages, you need to feed your mind with knowledge, b4 you can feed your belly with great tasting sausages [​IMG]
  12. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    KISS it before you go all out.




  13. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    The Rytek book is a really good one as everyone has stated. (it's like a sausage Bible) .  Why don't you try making some fresh bratwursts. They are easy to make and you can freeze them and steam them later. I have been making sausage for 30 years now but most of my expierence has been with "fresh" sausage with the exception of doing some dried once in a while.  We used to use saltpeter years ago as the cure but with the Insta-cure and tenderquick cures it has made it safer for the avereage hobbyist like myself.

    The one thing I can say about using the cure is that your end product will sure look alot prettier with nice color as well as giving you the peace of mind knowing you ar not going to get ill if you follow the precise mix as labeled. Good Luck and Good Smokin !

    PS: I always use cure unless I am freezing it right away after stuffing.


  14. Thanks man!  I plan on getting some books.  So cure all the time huh?  That makes it easy.  How do you determine what kind of cure an how much to use for sausage? Thanks again buddy!!
  15. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    The directions come with the cure. follow them EXACTLY.

    This might be of some help : http://www.sausagemaker.com/11200instacureand153no15lbs.aspx

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