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Home Brew Forums > Food and Beverage > Meat Smoking, Curing and Sausage Making > Nitrates/Nitrites in meat, Friend or Foe?
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:04 PM   #21
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I don't get it if you go to a fancy steakhouse they dry age or wet age their meat for like a month or more with no sodium nitrite/nitrate that I am aware of. No botulism.

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Old 12-15-2010, 05:22 PM   #22
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Dry aging is still done in a sanitary temperature controlled environment, below 36*F. They only age whole sections or roasts with a layer of fat left on for some added protection, not individual steaks. Aging is typically 10-21 days. After 21 days they must freeze the meat if they're going to keep it.

Moose

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Old 12-15-2010, 05:46 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh_Jass View Post
Ok, so maybe I'm confused or maybe a bit thick or a bit of both, dunno

I made Chef's recipe for pepperoni last evening. It's in my fridge at the moment. The recipe contained no nitrates. Have I elevated my risk of botulism by not including nitrates as part of the recipe? Just a bit confused after reading Ed's post.

Sorry, Complete noob here. This is my first venture into sausage making. I used the search tool, honest injun
Sorry, Im referring to traditionally fermented meats and sausages. Here is a breakdown of different sausages by production method. There are a lot of cooked sausage types. Cooked sausages are stuffed, then cooked, either by poaching, baking or smoking. Fermented sausages are stuffed and not cooked. They rely on benefecial bacteria (usually added in a culture) to change the meat chemistry so nothing bad can grow on or in it. Salt and nitrites are almost unavoidable in these types of sausage, unless another production method is used. I'm still new to this, but in my mind, making say a cooked salami would be more a salami-like sausage than a true salami.

Its going well so far. The real point of this thread was to discuss the uses of nitrites in different cured meats. Why they are used, what types don't necessarily need it, and peoples concerns about using them. I felt like there was a lot of mystery and misinformation around nitrites in cured meats. Some people avoid them for a very good reason. Yoop for example has made an informed decision given her family history and possible health issues with nitrites. Others may just be avoiding them because the media says they are bad. Others just don't care.
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:55 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Hugh_Jass View Post
Ok, so maybe I'm confused or maybe a bit thick or a bit of both, dunno

I made Chef's recipe for pepperoni last evening. It's in my fridge at the moment. The recipe contained no nitrates. Have I elevated my risk of botulism by not including nitrates as part of the recipe? Just a bit confused after reading Ed's post.

Sorry, Complete noob here. This is my first venture into sausage making. I used the search tool, honest injun
That's why I'm going to try this recipe! It's not a dry cured sausage, so you don't have to use nitrates. You do have to eat it quickly, or freeze, as it isn't preserved.

As Ed said, I've made a choice to not consume nitrates, at least not knowingly. We don't get nitrates in our vegetables, as we don't use nitrogen based fertilizers, and we grow the vast majority of our vegetables.

I was talking to Bob tonight about my diet, which probably isn't ideal according to the AMA! I eat a low carb diet, with lots of vegetables. My big indulgence is unlimited beer! I drink as much beer as I want, whenever I want. I don't know how much- maybe an average of 3 glasses a day, more or less.

I don't mind skimping a bit on food calories, as long as I'm getting enough nutrients, and I don't mind giving up bread and potatoes and pasta. But I MUST have my beer in return.

It's all about choices- and I love the idea of making some sausages that will mimic the smoked/cured stuff without the additives I choose to not use.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:18 AM   #25
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I recommend 10lb batches of this stuff... it will be gone quick (reminds me of something else we make)

Botulism needs moisture and warm temps, so not an issue with cold hunks of dry meat (or beef in general. Now that foil wrapped baked tater, different story if they abuse it). And the cut is then subjected to high heat. And it can be aged longer than 21 days. Looks awful. Tastes amazing!

This recipe is for a long cook. Internal temp kills everything that matters (if it lives, call NASA).

You guys are in for a treat with this. You will love it. Honest injun.

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Old 12-16-2010, 03:15 AM   #26
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I really like the information in this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Great-Sausage-...2469196&sr=8-1

He discusses a lot of the nitrate/saltpeter stuff, along with curing and temps.

His recipes tend to be a bit high in salt: I cut the salt in half. The other spices and techniques in the book are dead-nuts on.

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Old 12-16-2010, 03:22 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by MenkeMoose View Post
Not at all. The key avoiding botulism is keeping the meat very cold for all processing prior to cooking, and then cooking at above 170*F. Since Chefmikes recipe cooks at 200*F, you should be just fine. Of course the same caveats apply here as in brewing - use proper sanitation and temperature control.

Meat should be partially frozen when grinding to avoid the heat of the grinder causing spoilage, then depending on batch size and how you will be mixing, mix in some crushed ice or keep it on ice. For a small, quickly mixed recipe like Chefmike's I wouldn't worry about the ice.

If you're smoking,cooking,or curing below 170*F, then you'll need to add nitrite,nitrate or other curing agents.

Moose
That is completely true but one thing that needs to be added is that with this recipe it needs to be kept refrigerated after cooking and eaten or frozen quickly. Treat it pretty much the same way you would leftovers.

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I don't get it if you go to a fancy steakhouse they dry age or wet age their meat for like a month or more with no sodium nitrite/nitrate that I am aware of. No botulism.
That is completely different.
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Old 11-13-2011, 03:21 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnTheBrewist View Post
Dry aging is still done in a sanitary temperature controlled environment, below 36*F. They only age whole sections or roasts with a layer of fat left on for some added protection, not individual steaks. Aging is typically 10-21 days. After 21 days they must freeze the meat if they're going to keep it.

Moose
I dry age my ribeye, sirloin, and NY strip subprimals for 28 to 35 days, generally. I use the drybagsteak bags.
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Old 11-13-2011, 03:28 AM   #29
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Here's a good source of information about nitrites and nitrates on the Wedliny Domowe site. Anyone interested in making sausages (especially) and curing and smoking meats in general should find the site very useful.

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