Cure #1 quantities vary per chef/butcher/Pit Master

Len Dennis

TVWBB Diamond Member
This has been done to death (and I searched TVWBB and found the same info) and I take it as a given that we use 1 teasp (about 6 gm) of #1 cure per 5 lb of raw meat (call it pink salt, whatever).

Just got Raichlen's "Project Smoke" for Christmas. There are lots of good lookin' recipes in there including ones for making regular and back bacon.

His regular bacon recipes (dry rub in a bag with other spices) calls for 2 teasp for 3 to 3 1/2lb belly (shouldn't this be a max of ~ .5t per the "calculator" ?)--maybe a bit more
His back bacon recipe calls for 2 teasp in 2 (U.S.) qt of water and 2.5 to 3 lb loin which again should be about .5 tsp. per the "calculator") (the "other site" even calculates it at .5 tsp).

so 4X recommended in both cases.

These have to have been proof-read but really. Am I reading his recipes incorrectly?

This is for reg bacon:
 
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Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Sorry, can't help you on that Len.
I bought pink salt to make Ruhlman's maple bacon, it was very good, but the whole process was a pain for bacon that didn't taste different than I have made for several years.
So I went back to my old tried and true MTQ method.

Maybe Martin still checks in here now and again.
 

Dustin Dorsey

TVWBB Honor Circle
I use .25% for sausage. I'm not sure why he's saying double that for bacon. That make me nervous about that recipe.
 

Anne M.

TVWBB Super Fan
First of all, using teaspoons as measurement is inherently flawed.
Weight is the way to go.
Then, always check the cure you are using, as where I am, the cure with the same name is an 8% formulation, not 6%.

The best info (in my opinion) is found in Marianski's book "home production of quality meats and sausages".
Their website and forum is also very good (www.meatsandsausages.com and http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/index.php?sid=258d2bf2010c854f3a8d3aa4d947218c.
Generally, more cure is used for bacon as it is not mixed in with the meat, like you do with sausages.
I will double check on Marianski's amounts when I got a bit of time.

I do like Ruhlman's book, but I did find a number of inconsistencies in the recipes.
Raichlen is a bit "loose" with his cure, almost as if it is not important how much you use.

Furthermore, if you smoke your sausages above 78 oC, you don't need any cure (below 4 oC, you don't need any either)
I generally cold smoke my bacon and sausages....
 

Len Dennis

TVWBB Diamond Member
First of all, using teaspoons as measurement is inherently flawed.
Weight is the way to go.
....
Raichlen is a bit "loose" with his cure, almost as if it is not important how much you use.
1) I only use weight (in grams). The sources I quoted used teaspoons is why my question is posed this way. Not the issue.

2) I usually use Kutas' recipes. If I come across others, I then compare those to Kutas version (if he had published a similar recipe).

I think your statement about "being loose" is bang on and is probably going to be my opinion going forward.

My question I guess could be simplified down to : on something as important as home curing, why can't these guys get their act together in regards to #1?

And I guess the answer is: no one knows, least of all these charcuterists (is that even a word :confused: ;) ).
 

Andrew F

TVWBB Super Fan
My guess is that for a cook book that will go to the "masses" they might be going over board on the salt with the thought of too much is better than not enough? That might limit their liability?
 

TonyUK

TVWBB Wizard
I'll muddy the waters a bit more. :)
I have a charcuterie book, "Smoking, Curing & Drying" by Turan T. Turan.
In it he calls to use 3/4 tablespoon of kosher or sea salt, & 1/4 teaspoon of Prague Powder #1, (pink salt), for every pound of bacon.
I use the chef type measuring spoons. (Make sure it's a level measurement & not heaped).

I've used this method on a few bacon forays, & it works great.
 

Anne M.

TVWBB Super Fan
I have no problems using those measuring spoons for most things.
It's just cure #1 and #2 that I want to have totally accurate.
Maybe it's just me.

Or maybe just the fact that I was raised with the metric system and weighing scales......
 

Len Dennis

TVWBB Diamond Member
I'll muddy the waters a bit more. :)
I have a charcuterie book, "Smoking, Curing & Drying" by Turan T. Turan.
In it he calls to use 3/4 tablespoon of kosher or sea salt, & 1/4 teaspoon of Prague Powder #1, (pink salt), for every pound of bacon.
I use the chef type measuring spoons. (Make sure it's a level measurement & not heaped).

I've used this method on a few bacon forays, & it works great.
And that's about 25% more than the "accepted" (and I use that term loosely) standard. I guess I'm going to be sticking with my 1t/6gm measurement.
 

Jim Lampe

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
if i remember correctly, the bag of Morton's Tender Quick clearly states:
"Use 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz.) of Tender Quick for each pound of meat, rubbing into the meat thoroughly."

this direction has never failed me yet, so i will continue.
 

Len Dennis

TVWBB Diamond Member
if i remember correctly, the bag of Morton's Tender Quick clearly states:
"Use 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz.) of Tender Quick for each pound of meat, rubbing into the meat thoroughly."

this direction has never failed me yet, so i will continue.
Thanks for the input Jim but I'm asking about #1 ("Quick Cure"?) TQ not sold up here and I'd prefer not making my own TQ. THere may be other versions up here (not Mortons) but I wasn't looking for those.
 
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Dustin Dorsey

TVWBB Honor Circle
I use weight in grams and a digital scale now. Although if I'm making a simple rub I might fall back on table/tea spoons. I did read in that article that Anne posted that 4 times the ppm of nitrite could be used for to cure solid meats (such as a ham) and that fat doesn't react with cure, so it makes sense that bacon might require less cure than a ham, but more than sausage depending on how fat/lean.
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Like Dustin I use a digital and measure in grams. Now that I've been following this thread I will forgo the #1 cure and stick with the MTQ as this # ! thing is way to confusing for me.
 

Dustin Dorsey

TVWBB Honor Circle
I know this is an old thread, but i picked up the Marianski book and it is excellent. On bacon, you can go up to 200 ppm for a dry cure per USDA rules and that may account for discrepancies such as the two teaspoons of cure#1 in the Ruhlman book. In that case, using grams you'd multiply the weight of the meat in grams by .32% or 3.2 grams per 1000 kg. I'm not sure that makes the Ruhlman recipe make sense. I've used 156 ppm (which is the max for sausage for instance ) in my last bacon which is fine and considered enough.

Check this out though. A lot of the Marianski book is online. This is their recipe for bacon:

https://www.meatsandsausages.com/hams-other-meats/bacon-cured-smoked

There's a typo on the website as the amount of cure for 5000g of meat at 7.8 grams is accidently given as the amount of cure in 1000g of meat. You can tell it's a typo from the 150g of salt in 1000g of meat. That'd be 15% salt. Go ahead and try that! In the book the recipe doesn't have this typo.

Anyway, I just find this stuff kind of interesting and how easy it could be to screw up. Tenderquick is a much safer product to have on hand because to get a toxic dose you'd have to eat so much you couldn't handle the salt. Cure#1 is a lot more dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. What's scary is you can buy straight up sodium nitrite online and a 1 gram dose of that is toxic enough to kill you. They sell this stuff to cure salmon eggs that's for fishing bait I guess that says it's 99% pure sodium nitrite. I find that bizarre as hell.
 

Anne M.

TVWBB Super Fan
I hear you.
The cure #1 I can get here is an 8% formulation, so much higher than the more standard 6.25%.
Most of mainland Europe uses Clorozo, or pokelsalz (pekel zout) which has 0.6% Sodium Nitrite in it, and you just use it instead of "normal" salr.

Some time ago, I worked my way through the whole Marianski book and a number of different publications and made a little spreadsheet for myself (for the 8% formulation) and I added the different minimum and maximum levels as I could find them.
And yes, it's confusing:
The recommendation on the packaging gives 160 ppm
120-156 was given by Marianski as minimum and max level
100 is the Danish maximum
130 is recommended in most of Europe
And 50-60 ppm was the minimum given to have any effect
I normally use something like 110-130 ppm (the amounts are so small. I put the amount to use between these 2 values and later calculate what I actually used)
 

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