Big Doubt about Cure procedure

Air dried cured Meat Techniques

Big Doubt about Cure procedure

Postby juliolarab » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:50 am

Hi, I´m new to the forum, and to the cure topic.
I had been reading and getting the most info as i could before atempting to do by the first time. in this I has found something that really call my attention. Let me explain with the numbers that are in the
Injected Brine Cured Meat FAQ for Beginners post.

1000 g Water
155 g Salt
120 g Sugar
33g g Cure #1
Total 1308 g

the after convert the cure to its components asuming a 6.25% of nitrite, and rounding decimals

1000 g Water
186 g Salt
120 g Sugar
2.06 g Nitrite
Total 1308 g

So basically we have a Brine with a
1577ppmNitrite = 2.06gm Nitrite*1000000/1308gm Brine)

We take 176 g of this brine an injected a 1760 g piece (10% pump), so we are moving
0.27gNitrite =176 gBrime * 1577ppm to produce a final concentration of
158ppm=.027gNitrite/1760 gMeat

So far so good.

But then not only here, in the mentioned post, but almost in every place I had read , it is said that the meat must be placed in rest of the brine. ( it is a 1577 ppm Nitrite Solution !!!)

If we use the formulas in the FDA articule to immerse cure and use 200ppm as limit, and the same numbers we have

Brine 824 g = 1038 - 176
Meat 1760g
0.52gNitrite = (200ppm/1000000)/(1760gMeat + 824gBrine)

So we have a solution of
627ppmNitrite = 0.52gNitrite/824gBrine

That will equalize in a 200ppm between brine and meat.

Using the rest of the pumping brine at 1577 ppm the equilibrum point would be 503ppm !!!

Again I'm new to the topic, I really dont see where the incongruence come from.
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Re: Big Doubt about Cure procedure

Postby wheels » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:32 pm

Welcome to the forum - what a great first post.

You are correct. That is, you are correct if you believe that there is a cumulative effect, and if the meat were left long enough to reach equilibrium.

However, this would then make a nonsense of the rule of equilibrium curing as detailed in the same USDA handbook.

Now, at this point I imagine you're saying to yourself: "Why would I believe this idiot when the USDA are telling me otherwise?"

So, let me explain. Firstly, when asked to explain why the 'non-equilibrium' method of calculation, that has been proved to be totally inaccurate, is in the rules, they tell us they don't know because it was a long time ago. It hardly instils confidence!

By testing, we have some confidence that the equilibrium method of calculations are accurate.

Assuming the EQ method of calculation are accurate, then whatever is injected into the meat forms part of the system that is moving towards equilibrium. It can't stand alone. If the salt/cure in the meat via injection is at a greater concentration than the brine that surrounds it, then in theory it should move out of the meat until the meat and brine have the same level. That is what the equilibrium rules say.

The subsequent rule for using two methods of curing just ignores this and treats it as if it is a separate entity outside of the system which is clearly not the case. The injected amount forms part of the equilibrium system, and in theory part of that calculation. But it can't be used twice, so where do we stand?

It is my belief that, following a 10% injection, there is very little further movement into the meat. How do I know? Well, the salt level in some of my cures should be 5 - 7% according to the 'two methods' rules. They are not! They are less salty than meat that's been tested and has 2.5% salt - i.e. The level of salt is as calculated to the injection regs.

I've written more about it, and you'll also find a calculator for curing ham that complies to both methods, here: ... /index.htm

If you seek an alternative injection cure without these issues, there's a good injection/dry cure combination on the forum:


I hope this helps.

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