What is the best method for using this cure? The directions seem pretty vague, other than it says 2lbs will cure 100lbs of bellies. Is this cure supposed to be used as a brine/pickling solution? I’ve watched the video where Austin and Jon inject it into a belly. Thanks for any help you can provide.
I was trying to find a thread where cure times for ground meat were discussed. I could not find an answer to my specific question which is, how long can you hold ground meat that has been cured before you smoke it? My smoking got interrupted by a rain storm and I have a few pounds that didn’t make it to the smoker yet
Dave in AZ Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona last edited by Dave in AZ
So long as it is stuffed already, you can hold it for days in the fridge. The sodium Nitrite remains active for a long time, protecting you against botulism during the low temp smoke process. Usually I see 15 days referenced for total processing time limit when using Nitrite. After that long, Nitrate mix i.e. cure#2 is used.
If not stuffed already, it gets hard to stuff. If citric acid or ECA was used, coating will degrade and cause texture binding issues. Otherwise, you’re good for quite a while.
Marianski has a section in his book Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages:
“What Will Happen if Curing Time is Shorter or Longer? If the curing time is too short, some areas of meat (inside or under heavy layers of fat) will exhibit an uneven color which might be noticeable when slicing a large piece of meat. It will not show in sausages which are filled with ground meat, although the color may be weaker. If curing time is longer by a few days, nothing will happen providing the cured meat is held under refrigeration.”
In an ideal commercial setting, you usually see meat smoked within a fairly short time window after curing is completed. I believe that is more about minimizing the time that unfinished products are held since it ties up cooler space that could be used for the manufacturing of other products. Another factor is extending shelf life as long as possible for any product usually means getting uncooked product through thermal processing and packaging as quickly as possible.
All this doesn’t mean you can’t hold cured ground meat longer. It just mean it might not be the best practice from the standpoint of shelf life or effective use of cooler space.
In your situation, cooler space is probably not a big deal. The effect on shelf life is probably insignificant in your case as well.
Dave in AZ this is great! Thank you. I’ll have to get that book. I didn’t add any accelerator and it was stuffed. It sounds like I’m just fine.
processhead thank you!
Great discussion, thank jou
mrobisr Team Blue Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Military Veterans Power User Regular Contributors last edited by
Deepwoodsbutcher I have held ground meat for 3 days on a couple occasions due to unforeseen circumstances and it was perfectly fine. Being cured the botulism is not and issue and when fully cooked or pasteurized any E.coli growth should be killed.
mrobisr Thank you. I smoked the rest of what I had. So it all was smoked in less then 3 days