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 Post subject: Curing Meat.
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:55 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:44 pm
Posts: 160
So complicated.
Recipes vary like weather
Instacure or what?

I can't seem to figure out any way to adapt one recipe to another. my local butcher says they only use salt to cure. this great book I have Charcuerie explains instacure #1, and #2 and some equivelents. Morton has there meat curing salt. Is it most important to just use the advised weight of salt per lb of meat, and adjust to flavor, or is there some conversion factor? It seems like there is a high risk of messing food up by just doing it to taste, which is how I cook.


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 Post subject: Re: Curing Meat.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:46 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:15 am
Posts: 979
Location: Raleigh, NC
If you're talking about using just salt, no, that can have a little wiggle room, but a tested recipe is best. You're conducting a chemistry procedure to produce a specific product. I once did some bacon and the chef had me go way above and beyond the salt suggested for the recipe; the end result was... ahem... puckering. The next batch was good because I followed the recipe.

When you start talking Prague powders/TCM, they contain nitrogen compounds that can be excessively dangerous in large quantities. When so curing I stick to recipes from very reputable sources as though they are the Bible. Something's going to set off that poor guy's heart condition, but it's not going to be me.


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 Post subject: Re: Curing Meat.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:06 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:56 pm
Posts: 284
It is all a ratio. Scale everything to the amount of meat you are doing. You never have a perfect 5# pork belly... If it is large, you don't want to waste it, if it is smaller, you cry.

Aromatic and actual seasoning you can mess with. TCM, salt, et al should not be messed with. Keep those in your ratio! There are acceptable limits and it has been a while since I have dealt with it (I just use recipes that I've used before...) so I am not going to post what I think it is.

Craving some smoked venison sausage right now...


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 Post subject: Re: Curing Meat.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:22 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:44 pm
Posts: 160
My issue stems from the fact that salts made containing Nitrates and Nitrites are hard to obtain. I can only get them online personally, and I don't care to have $40 worth of different chemical salts just hanging out in my cabinet. I guess the best thing to do is to figure out the content of all the various products, and do the calculations myself. I'm making a pastrami and today is smoke day I will also be smoking some lamb ribs that marinated overnight in a yogurt/lime/herb rub.


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 Post subject: Re: Curing Meat.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:33 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:56 pm
Posts: 284
DQ#1, DQ#1 and possibly prague powder should be all you need. A pound of each will last a long time. For the stuff I make I only need #1 and a pound lasts a long time. It cost me no where near $40.

Most things you can get away with using just salt. The color will different.


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 Post subject: Re: Curing Meat.
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:15 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:15 am
Posts: 979
Location: Raleigh, NC
Agreed. Amazon has TCM/DQ#1/Prague Powder #1/Pink Salt (boy it has a lot of names) for $12.25 a pound on Prime. I doubt I've used a total of one pound of TCM ever. Just keep it from the line cooks who think Pink Salt sounds like the perfect garnish.


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 Post subject: Re: Curing Meat.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:48 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:21 pm
Posts: 427
Stable temperature and humidity are the most important aspects of curing meat. Salt or nitrate does not matter if you do not have the proper environment for curing the meats.

Also you've got to have patience. If you don't I suggest getting pork belly and making salt cured bacon. It's not nearly as complex as making salumi or coppa.


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 Post subject: Re: Curing Meat.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:20 am
Posts: 143
Location: north carolina
a lot of using curing salts is to keep the color I have cured almost anything just using salt


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 Post subject: Re: Curing Meat.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:27 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:47 pm
Posts: 73
Jack wrote:So complicated.
Recipes vary like weather
Instacure or what?

I can't seem to figure out any way to adapt one recipe to another. my local butcher says they only use salt to cure. this great book I have Charcuerie explains instacure #1, and #2 and some equivelents. Morton has there meat curing salt. Is it most important to just use the advised weight of salt per lb of meat, and adjust to flavor, or is there some conversion factor? It seems like there is a high risk of messing food up by just doing it to taste, which is how I cook.


Jack...

I am no expert and have only cured twice, both times making bacon. I followed the instructions in Michael Ruhlmans "Charcuterie" once and I think the "Modernist Cuisine" recipe once, both worked out great. I was able to buy the Prague Powder #1 at a local spice shop for about 2 or 3$ if I remember correctly. Unless you do a lot of curing, a little will last a long time. Important to scale your ingredients to the weight of the product.

Everyone who got to try my bacon loved it.

Approach it as a project and have fun!

Todd in Chicago


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 Post subject: Re: Curing Meat.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:44 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:21 am
Posts: 116
Location: Long Island, NY
I'm not an expert and except for pastrami have only played around with this.

That said when I'm corning my beef for pastrami I pretty much now only use prague powder and a wet cure anymore. Truthfully only use prague power for color as family wants red pastrami. If I were to try it simply with salt (loosely koshering) I'd double the amount of salt to prague powder per weight of beef in the brine. No harm since I desalt the beef anyhow.

On the few occasions I've dry cured I've used tender quick and followed the instructions by weight of the meat.

The only other tips I've picked up are:

- If you're curing a fattier cuts of meat increase the curing time. Don't increase the proportion of cure.
- When wet curing with multiple pieces of meat move the meat around in the brine. Surface to surface contact meat to meat can prevent penetration of the cure.
- With both dry and wet cure it's important any fat cap you have on the meat not be too thick. It will prevent absorbtion of the cure.



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