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Using Nitrite and Nitrate safely when curing

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I used to use coffee grinders too. They worked well but I kept burning them out within a few months. In the end I took the plunge and bought one that was designed for the job.

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Dear wade I have looked at your article regarding the use of nitrates with interest, I have been referencing from a web site called meetandsausages . The recommendations for the use of cure 2  are at much higher levels than you suggest for country ham or air dried whole legs , my question is are the levels they suggest way out of line . Thank you for your time Simon Hughes.

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On 11/5/2019 at 7:23 AM, Simon hughes said:

Dear wade I have looked at your article regarding the use of nitrates with interest, I have been referencing from a web site called meetandsausages . The recommendations for the use of cure 2  are at much higher levels than you suggest for country ham or air dried whole legs , my question is are the levels they suggest way out of line . Thank you for your time Simon Hughes.

Would be helpful if you could put a link to the website in question so @Wade can cross check the information.

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@Smokin Monkey  It maybe this site???.........https://www.meatsandsausages.com/

 

@Simon hughes    I have done sausages in the past, and do bacon most months. I'm wondering if the different salt levels are because it's a USA site?? and when I use the calculator I can use either a USA setting or go for the EU settings,?????  which I do stick with....@Wade will put us straight.

Just my 2 cents.

Ice.

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This is the link to the website https://www.meatsandsausages.com . I am also into bacon and air dried ham which drew my intention to the difference in the levels of cure 2 used on long keep air dried ham around 5x the level wade suggests. I can tell as I’m sure you can icefever that wade is clearly very smart on this subject so I will be interested to see if I can learn a thing or two , thank you for you interest . Simon. 

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On 11/5/2019 at 7:23 AM, Simon hughes said:

Dear wade I have looked at your article regarding the use of nitrates with interest, I have been referencing from a web site called meetandsausages . The recommendations for the use of cure 2  are at much higher levels than you suggest for country ham or air dried whole legs , my question is are the levels they suggest way out of line . Thank you for your time Simon Hughes.

Hi Simon

food-additives-legislation-guidance-to-compliance.pdf

Firstly there is a difference between the levels of cure permitted for commercial bacon production and those used by home curers. It may sound bizzare but there are actually no limits put on the amount of cure you can add to home cured meats !!! On the forum here we will only recommend the levels that are permitted for commercial production (as they are usually the most conservative) and we follow the recommendations of the food safety bodies in the order of UK, EU, USA, comon sense. The UK and EU limits are prety much in line, however where they do not exist we fall back to the USA limits - which are also prety much in line.

On the web site you are referring to he is quoting a permitted Nitrite level of 625 mg/Kg which is now out of date. It has subsequently been revised down to 155 mg/Kg. He has a lot of great curing background science there though.  Will the levels kill you? No. Would I use them? No. 

The current UK/EU limits for added Nitrite in commercial bacons and hams are 150 mg/kg (ppm). As many EU countries have "traditional" products that have used higher levels of Nitrites over the years there are opt-outs for some of these traditional products. When these producs were first developed (some generations ago) the chemistry of Nitrate/Nitrite preservation was not fully understood and so levels that were used were those found to preserve the meat, that tasted OK and which didnt make you sick. We now know that Nitrite levels of around 50mg/Kg are sufficient to effectively preserve and flavour the meats so even the current 150 mg/Kg is a lot of Nitrite. Remember though that the 150 mg is the amount of Nitrite added and this has been shown to be sufficient to ensure that there is sufficient residual levels in the final product.

When curing single muscle products adding the higher levels are important as not all the cure will be taken up. When making minced meat products (e.g. polish sausage, salamis etc) you can actually add a lot less as all of the added Nitrite/Nitrate will remain in the product.

When using Cure#2 you are adding both Nitrite and Nitrate. The Nitrite is what is actually doing the preserving and the Nitrate is there to slowly convert to Nitrite over time as the Nitrite breaks down. When calculating the amount of cure to use you only need to worry about the Nitrite levels in your calculation - but remember you will also be adding Nitrate so the less you need to add the better.

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I wonder if Wade, or someone with the experience could check over my base recipes for cures to see if they are in the right proportions.

 They are :  

Cure 1#   64 grams of sodium nitrite mixed with 1 kg of salt . This cures application for bacon : 35 grams of salt 2.4 grams of cure 1# 15 grams of sugar for 1 kg of pork .

 Cure 2#. 64 grams of sodium nitrite, 41 grams of sodium nitrate mixed with 1 kl of salt . This cures application for air dry hams is first made into a ready mix with sugar,  that is 6kg of salt, 2.8 kl sugar, 300 grams of cure 2# . This ready mix is then used to make air dry hams at 92 grams per kilo.  For salami I use for 9 kg of pork 21 grams of cure 2# with 225 grams of salt.

 I would be most grateful for advice on this matter Simon Hughes 

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