Jerky and tumbling questions

  • Military Veterans Veteran


    It sounded like in the video Jonathon did, if you are using a vacuum tumbler and are going straight to smoker or dehydrator afterwards, that you didn’t need the accelerator. The vacuum tumbler made it so you don’t need it, at least from the way the video made it seem. That’s why I wanted some clarification.

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Power User Arizona Dry Cured Sausage Dry-Cured Expert

    Tex_77 said in Jerky and tumbling questions:

    armyguy no you don’t need an accelerator if you hold over night, if you aren’t holding overnight you will need an accelerator.


    Also, add cure1 for the total meat and water. If just meat, 2.5g cure1 per kg meat. You can see that if you had 1kg meat, and added 100 kg water, but no more cure, most cure1 would be dissolved in water and get tossed out, leaving not enough in meat. So yeah, water plus meat. 1kg meat, 1kg water, use 5g cure1, etc

  • Military Veterans Veteran

    Dave in AZ

    How about the cure accelerator? As it sits now, I’m using .2835 grams of sodium erythorbate per every 454 grams of meat. At least that’s with sausage making.

    Now sure how that translates over to jerky using a wet marinade?

    Thanks again guys!

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Power User Arizona Dry Cured Sausage Dry-Cured Expert

    Jerky… you need to let it sit in marinade and soak up flavor, at least overnight. You don’t need any cure accelerator, there is no reason to spice and cook jerky asap. I mean, would you buy jerky that didn’t soak up sugar and soy overnight?

    I just bought and ate 2 lbs of Jack Links original jerky. Of interest, I calculated its ingredients yesterday while eating it, based on dried as eaten weight on nutritional label:
    4.9% salt
    21% sugar!!
    Un-named nitrites from “celery juice”.

    So, at 50% weight loss you are still looking at beef soaking up 100% of a 2.5% salt and 11% sugar per meat weight. You think you ca get beef to uptake that syrup in an hour? No. You need to marinate that overnight, so no accelerator is needed.
    Hope that is helpful! 😉

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Sous Vide Team Blue Power User

    I was thinking the same. Your going to put meat in the fridge overnight to absorb the marinade. Tomorrow you got to run it up quickly on the smoker or oven to 165 then into the dehydrator to well… Dehydrate it. Am I missing something?

  • Military Veterans Veteran


    Yes! By putting the meat in a vacuum tumbler, you are getting the marinade all the way through the meat in an hour instead of letting it sit in a marinade for 24 hours. You can go from marinade to smoker in an hour. I use my vacuum tumbler for almost all my meats. I’ve done several comparisons side by side with soaking for 24 hours vs 45 minutes to an hour in a vacuum tumbler. The vacuum tumbled meat has flavor all the way through. Picture a chicken breast for example. Say it’s an inch thick. Same lawrys lemon pepper off the shelf marinade. This isn’t scientific but when I marinated the same size breast with the same amount of marinade, cooked them both to the same IT, the one hour vacuum tumbled one the flavor was all the way through the middle. The 24 hour soaked one had the flavor around the outer 1/4” or so but not all the way through. The vacuum tumbler pulls a heavy vacuum, opening the pores of the meat up. Then when you tumble, the marinade penetrates all the way into the meat. It tenderizes and marinates at the same time. Crazy but they really work.

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Sous Vide Team Blue Power User

    armyguy I agreed with the vac tumb. I love mine and use it on roasts chicken etc. I was commenting more on the cure needed for jerky. I don’t believe you should add cure because your going to move it thru the zone to quickly.

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Sous Vide Team Blue Power User

    armyguy I missed his original post saying he had a vac. Shoulda had the glasses on lol

  • Team Blue

    armyguy said in Jerky and tumbling questions:

    I went back and reviewed the Meatgistics jerky videos. Before I make my batch in a bit, just want to be sure. If I’m using Cure#1 in a wet marinade, and I’m vacuum tumbling, I don’t need to use a cure accelerator?

    Also, when adding cure to a wet marinade, do I still use the .25% per weight of meat or does the amount change?

    armyguy the amount of cure is based on the total weight of meat plus marinade. So if your liquid weighs 2lbs. And your meat weighs 5lbs. You calculate the amount of cure on the total weight of 7lbs. When I vac tumble my jerky I let it rest in the refrigerator overnight then I re-tumble it in the morning just before I put the meat into my smoker. Here is a post that explains how I do mine.

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    Dave in AZ he is using a vacuum tumbler which in turn does exactly what the overnight rest does only better, just speeds up the process. I’m not sure if accelerator is needed, I wouldn’t think so since it will be dried at a higher rate than sausage

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    armyguy I am not positive on the accelerator but I wouldn’t think you would need it since you would be bringing the temp up quick and drying. Nothing like a summer sausage or snack stick procedure

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Power User Arizona Dry Cured Sausage Dry-Cured Expert

    twilliams thx, I missed the vacuum thing!
    armyguy , if it works fast enough, then you can go right to smoker.
    If you use cure1, then you need to use an accelerator. Doesn’t matter how fast the marinade penetrates, the NaNO2 >> NO gas reaction still takes 12 hrs or so without an accelerator. So, if you don’t want to leave in fridge for 12 hrs, then just add some sodium erythorbate or ECA to accelerate reaction.

    I would use cure1 in any case, myself, because of the flavor and color it imparts.

    Interesting to hear your take on the vacuum tumbler working well, I had read they didn’t do much. Glad it works wel for you!

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Sous Vide Team Blue Power User

    Dave in AZ again I ask, why cure at all. I thought this was discussed in one of the threads on USDA recommendations. That jerky needs to go quickly from ambient to 165. Then dehydrated in smoker oven etc. Since the cure adds no flavor, why use it at all. I’m confused, not arguing.

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Power User Arizona Dry Cured Sausage Dry-Cured Expert

    Oh, the cure adds lots of flavor!
    Pork without cure, is roast pork. Pork WITH cure, is ham. Beef without cure, hamburger. Beef WITH cure, corned beef.

    Cure gives smoked meat, like jerky, the nice red color you associate with commercial jerky like Jack Links. Without cure, the meat is grey or leather colored.

    Marianski says, in his book Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages,
    “Meat cured only with salt, will have a better flavor but will also develop an objectionable dark color. Adding nitrites to meat will improve flavor, prevent food poisoning, tenderize the meat, and develop the pink color widely known and associated with smoked meats.”

    Using cure1, with NaNO2, gives more bacterial resistance to all the standard pathogens, but particularly to botulism. The USFDA Jerky guidelines specify achieving a time-temp lethality combination for jerky WHILE MEAT IS STILL MOIST, and THEN drying… but a lot of home producers don’t do this, just letting it get dry before it gets 112 minutes at 131f, or 37min at 135f, etc. This dries surface before bacteria is killed, allowing them to create a coat that lets their spores survive well above even the 160f level. So, using cure1 gives added protection against this non-recommended but often used jerky production method.

    My position is that NaNO2 cure is beneficial in every way I can think of–flavor, color, food safety, and adding a pad against substandard production. I can’t see a reason to ever NOT use it, unless someone can’t eat nitrites, celery, beets, lettuce, etc.

    Hope that helps!

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Sous Vide Team Blue Power User

    Dave in AZ thanks Dave. I wasn’t thinking past the cook to 165. I think I’ll try some on the next batch. So many things to try to keep straight I’m so glad we got a place to discuss things without someone getting offended. Tks brother.

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