Making cure powder

Air dried cured Meat Techniques

Making cure powder

Postby btkramer » Fri May 20, 2016 6:23 pm

I live in Nepal and have a restaurant here. I am getting into curing meats and making cheese as for the most part, it is not available here, and what is is poor quality and high priced. Cure is also not available here, and shipping + taxes are very high, and things get 'lost' in the mail quite frequently here, so importing is not a good option.

I was able to find fairly pure sodium nitrite and nitrate here though, and I am looking for info about making cure powders from sodium nitrite and nitrate. I have 500g of each that I got from a laboratory supply shop here that are 98%+ pure. Would these work ok for making cure? I found info about what ratios to mix them at, but I don't know how to actually mix them up, at least not evenly.

Any ideas? I was thinking a spice grinder or something. I have a pretty large one at the restaurant. Also, how important is it that the salt mixed with it is kosher? I haven't been able to find non-iodized salt here.
btkramer
Registered Member
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:23 pm

Re: Making cure powder

Postby wheels » Fri May 20, 2016 11:49 pm

Welcome btkramer.

I was hoping that someone else would answer this! :lol: :lol:

If you were anywhere else I'd insist that you used a commercially produced product. But you're not anywhere else!

It's late at night here, so I'll reply fully tomorrow. But, in the meantime, can you get scales online that measure to 1/10th or 1/100 of gram? There's loads on ebay here; often sold as jewellers scales or just digital scales.

Unless you are planning to make big amounts of cure, you'll need very accurate scales.

Phil
User avatar
wheels
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 12177
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:29 pm
Location: Leicestershire, UK

Re: Making cure powder

Postby btkramer » Sun May 22, 2016 6:49 pm

Thanks for the reply! I actually already have a scale that is accurate to 1mg. But I can make large(ish) amounts too. It doesn't go bad right?
btkramer
Registered Member
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:23 pm

Re: Making cure powder

Postby wheels » Sun May 22, 2016 11:21 pm

No, it doesn't go bad.

Cure #1 is a 15:1 salt:sodium nitrite mix. The original (Prague powder #1) patent dissolves the two salts and then vacuum dries them so that they are bonded together.

Just mixing the two could lead to issues of separation etc in storage.

To me, the best option (assuming that you can't vacuum dry them) would be to measure each individual salt for the batch that you are making, grind them together in an electric coffee grinder or similar, and use them straight away.

If you make large batches, a 1g scale would suffice.

I this of any help?

Phil
User avatar
wheels
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 12177
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:29 pm
Location: Leicestershire, UK

Re: Making cure powder

Postby btkramer » Mon May 23, 2016 4:32 am

You said to use it straight away. Do you think if I mixed up a larger batch it may lose its homogenization over time?

Also, is normal iodized salt ok for making the cure? The only non-iodized salt I can find here comes in big crystallized chunks. Since I'm grinding it all up anyways, should I use that instead?
btkramer
Registered Member
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:23 pm

Re: Making cure powder

Postby btkramer » Mon May 23, 2016 10:26 am

or what about mixing them in water, and putting the solution in a rice cooker overnight until it evaporates? Not quite the vacuum drying method, but do you think it would have similar results?
btkramer
Registered Member
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:23 pm

Re: Making cure powder

Postby wheels » Mon May 23, 2016 1:46 pm

btkramer wrote:You said to use it straight away. Do you think if I mixed up a larger batch it may lose its homogenization over time?


That was my concern

Also, is normal iodized salt ok for making the cure? The only non-iodized salt I can find here comes in big crystallized chunks. Since I'm grinding it all up anyways, should I use that instead?


I'd go with the purest you can find. If it's feasible to use the non-iodized then that would be my choice. But, if you need to use iodized 'c'est la vie'!

btkramer wrote:or what about mixing them in water, and putting the solution in a rice cooker overnight until it evaporates? Not quite the vacuum drying method, but do you think it would have similar results?


I'm not enough of a scientist to know what effect the heating would have on the nitrite, so can't comment on this. NCPaul?

I hope this helps.

Phil
User avatar
wheels
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 12177
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:29 pm
Location: Leicestershire, UK

Re: Making cure powder

Postby NCPaul » Mon May 23, 2016 6:35 pm

Do not heat the sodium nitrite, it is heat sensitive. I would grind the salts together as fine as possible to make the most uniform blend. Store in an airtight container that is well labeled.
Fashionably late will be stylishly hungry.
NCPaul
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2303
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:58 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Making cure powder

Postby Dibbs » Tue May 24, 2016 9:12 am

NCPaul wrote:Do not heat the sodium nitrite, it is heat sensitive. I would grind the salts together as fine as possible to make the most uniform blend. Store in an airtight container that is well labeled.


Stable to 320C normally but will also decompose in an acid environment.
Dibbs
Registered Member
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:39 am

Re: Making cure powder

Postby NCPaul » Tue May 24, 2016 10:33 am

The temperature of decomposition you cite is for the solid salt, in boiling water it will also decompose.
Fashionably late will be stylishly hungry.
NCPaul
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2303
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:58 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Making cure powder

Postby RodinBangkok » Tue May 24, 2016 12:22 pm

I used to make our salts:

1. use only USP grade chemicals
1. Reference http://www.sciencecompany.com/Learn-Che ... y-W53.aspx
2. Keep all of these chemicals in a separate area from any of our regular cooking supplies. I kept ours in a cabinet in my office and it was never ever anywhere near our kitchen. Its like keeping cyanide in a spice container in your kitchen, don’t take the potency of these chemicals for granted.
3. I never used a scale that was not maintained to a calibration standard, and never below an accuracy of 0.1 gram. Even then we calculated our batch size to insure the accuracy of the scale was within the tolerance of the batch.
4. Large batches will mean the potential for separation due to settling, particle size of the salt should be very close to the particle size of the chemical. Then insure you tumble or mix these batches vigorously each time you use.
5. Don’t allow others ever to mix these chemicals, only do it yourself.
6. Try and make your batch sizes as close as possible to your usage so you are not too worried about separation. This is where a very accurate scale would be better.
7. Try and find a jewelers scale, they are not that uncommon, especially in countries where precious metals are bought and sold.
8. Get away from doing this as soon as possible, I never liked making ours and was always very careful when mixing. I was very glad to rid our kitchen of these once we found a source.
9. I do not recommend doing this, its not worth the risk, I spent many hours researching this beyond what I’ve mentioned here.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
_____

Rod
RodinBangkok
Registered Member
 
Posts: 334
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:55 am
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Re: Making cure powder

Postby btkramer » Fri May 27, 2016 7:07 pm

Thanks for all the responses. As far as using USP grade chemicals, that's not a thing here, but the ones I got are over 98% pure, and the potential impurities are listed, none of which look scary, so I think I'm ok.

I measured everything out with a jeweler's scale which is accurate to 1mg and has calibration weights with it which I check every time I use it.

I made a 200g batch using the coffee grinder method, as suggested, and I mixed it with rock salt, as other forms of non-iodized salt is not available here, and it came out a very fine powder that seemed quite uniform. I've got a piece of pork belly curing in the fridge now for pancetta. We'll see how it comes out.

Incidentally, I also keep my chemicals in my office.
btkramer
Registered Member
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:23 pm

Re: Making cure powder

Postby btkramer » Fri May 27, 2016 7:12 pm

I also ground up some more plain rock salt to use for the balance salt for the recipe. Anyone have any experience curing with fine ground salt? It was like powder. It was really easy to rub on, and it was pretty cheap. I paid 25 cents for 1.7kgs of it.
btkramer
Registered Member
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:23 pm

Re: Making cure powder

Postby wheels » Fri May 27, 2016 11:35 pm

It seems to me that you've done the best you can in your situation. I look forward to seeing the results of your efforts.

Phil :D :D
User avatar
wheels
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 12177
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:29 pm
Location: Leicestershire, UK


Return to Curing Techniques

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests