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Thread: My attempt at a return to normalcy

  1. #11
    Senior Member bluecat's Avatar
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    ...you know, you remind me of Alton quite a bit. That's a compliment.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm just like him...except for the culinary science degrees, and being in shape, and making boat-loads of cash from FoodTV, and....
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
    - Diemon Dave

  3. #13
    Senior Member bluecat's Avatar
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    I have to confess, I have a salt cellar thingy like his. Got it for father's day.
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    I write English not so well, but this thin string for sewing or fabric-making my funny wheel getickles. Baron von Schtupp

  4. #14
    Senior Member bluecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DParker View Post
    I always mix my own so that I can control the ratio of salt, sugar and sodium nitrite and perform what's called "equilibrium curing". Most cures involve an excessive amount of salt, which is why people generally rinse/soak the belly after curing so as to prevent the bacon from being way too salty. Not only is that an extra step I want to avoid (I'm lazy), it wastes ingredients and washes off almost all of the added flavorings which, like smoke, are a surface treatment that mostly don't penetrate the meat. Using the equilibrium method you measure each ingredient of the basic cure - kosher salt, sugar and cure #1 (a mix of 93.25% ordinary salt and 6.25% sodium nitrite) - by weight as a % of the meat's weight. You use just enough of each - no more, no less - to do their jobs. That way there's no rinsing required and all the added flavorings stay on the meat when it goes into the smoker.
    So cure #1 of which you speak. Is this like love potion #9 where no one really nos what's in it. So do you mix up cure #1? Do you buy it?

    I've used Morton Quik Cure (from memory) for curing. It does contain a lot of salt but then I don't add additional salt to the recipe.
    Zombie Response Team

    I write English not so well, but this thin string for sewing or fabric-making my funny wheel getickles. Baron von Schtupp

  5. #15
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluecat View Post
    So cure #1 of which you speak. Is this like love potion #9 where no one really nos what's in it. So do you mix up cure #1? Do you buy it?

    I've used Morton Quik Cure (from memory) for curing. It does contain a lot of salt but then I don't add additional salt to the recipe.
    Cure #1, which also goes by the names Prague Powder #1, InstaCure #1 and probably some others that I'm not remembering, is a mixture of 6.25% by weight sodium nitrite with the rest being ordinary salt (sodium chloride), pink food dye (so you don't confuse it for just ordinary salt, which would be dangerous) and usually an anti-caking agent. It's primary role is as an anti-microbial, killing nasties that the salt alone won't reliably handle (most importantly, botulinum). But it also produces the familiar pink hue you see in ham, bacon, etc, as well as the otherwise indescribable flavor that is characteristic of cured meat. It is something you buy as pre-mixed product.

    Products like Quick Cure contain everything (salt, sugar and nitrite) already, except for optional flavorings. Their advantage is just convenience. Their disadvantages are higher cost and the fact that they give you no control over the ingredient ratios. They also rob you of the flexibility of using alternatives to white sugar if you want.

    Also, be careful to not confuse it for Cure/Prague Powder #2, which also contains sodium nitrAte. It is intended for longer-term cures like hams, salamies and the like. It is used for them because the nitrite gets used up pretty quickly, and the nitrate breaks down into nitrite slowly over time, providing anti-microbial action for the duration of the cure. Short-term cures (bacon, pastrami, et al) don't last long enough for the nitrate to break down, and it would remain in the meat in an unhealthy amount when consumed.
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
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  6. #16
    Senior Member bluecat's Avatar
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    Yeah, thanks for going over that again. I know you've spoken about it before but I slept through that class cause there was a hot chick up front.

    I'm clipping your quote and storing it in my food file. I wasn't aware that my Quik Cure had sugar in it. I'll have to check the ingredients.

    Is the Prague Powder available at supermarkets or online? I'm guessing online or I think I would have seen it before. If I go that route I'll probably be starting at square one again on my recipe ingredients.
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  7. #17
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluecat View Post
    I know you've spoken about it before but I slept through that class cause there was a hot chick up front.
    Ah, that's why you were carrying your textbook in front of you when you got called up to show your work on the chalkboard.

    Quote Originally Posted by bluecat View Post
    I wasn't aware that my Quik Cure had sugar in it. I'll have to check the ingredients.
    I presume you're referring to Morton's "Tender Quick" product. I just looked up the ingredients again and was reminded that it also contains nitrate in addition to nitrite. I don't know how much, as it doesn't list amounts/ratios, so that's another reason I avoid it.

    Quote Originally Posted by bluecat View Post
    Is the Prague Powder available at supermarkets or online? I'm guessing online or I think I would have seen it before.
    I get mine in a 2 lb bag from Amazon. Given that you only use 1 tsp / 5 lbs of meat that's a LOT of cure, but it keeps a long time and I'll use it all eventually, so it's more cost effective.

    https://www.amazon.com/Curing-Prague...9834204&sr=8-2



    You can also get it in the BBQ supply areas of many sporting goods stores, often in small bottles like this one that I used to buy at a local Academy:



    Which reminds me of one of the other names that cure #1 goes by: "Pink curing salt #1", or often just "Pink salt #1". This is a rather unfortunate alias, as it commonly causes people to confuse it and Himalayan Pink Salt, which is of course just ordinary salt with some trace minerals mixed in.
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
    - Diemon Dave

  8. #18
    Senior Member bluecat's Avatar
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    Yes, "Tender Quick"

    Not to be a pest, but is the cure to kill nasties up until the time of smoking or beyond the smoking?
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    I write English not so well, but this thin string for sewing or fabric-making my funny wheel getickles. Baron von Schtupp

  9. #19
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluecat View Post
    Yes, "Tender Quick"

    Not to be a pest, but is the cure to kill nasties up until the time of smoking or beyond the smoking?
    Primarily up until the smoking and subsequent consumption/storage. But there is generally some tiny amount of residual nitrite that continues to do the job for a while after that (unless frozen, of course).
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
    - Diemon Dave

  10. #20
    Senior Member bluecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DParker View Post
    Ah, that's why you were carrying your textbook in front of you when you got called up to show your work on the chalkboard.
    To be fair, Miss Parker was bending over a lot to help students with their work.
    Zombie Response Team

    I write English not so well, but this thin string for sewing or fabric-making my funny wheel getickles. Baron von Schtupp

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