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Old 01-28-2008, 01:20 AM   #1
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Default Making pepperoni, Did I use the wrong cure?

So I am really getting into this whole sausage making thing. Yesteday I bought 2 pork butts (14 Lbs) and a six pound chuck roast. I ground it up yesterday, mixed in my seasonings and left it on the porch (28*F) overnight. I followed a recipe that I found on line. I used 9 tablespoons salt, 3 tablespoons cayanne, 3 tablespoons black pepper, 5 tablespoons hot hungarina paparika, 5 tablespoons sweet paparika, 2 tablespoons dried garlic, and a couple of cups of wine. I also used 2/3 ounce of the cure. Today I stuffed the sausages and hung them back out on the porch. (Still cold.)

But now I'm afraid that I used the wrong cure. It has 6.25% sodium nitrite and NO sodium nitrate. Does this mean that I can't dry the sausages for pepperoni safely? Or do I need to smoke them? I could smoke them if I need to but it's a big pain in the neck cause my big smoker is a bear to muscle around and it's put away for the winter. What will happen if I leave things as is? Will I kill myself?

Assuming that it's ok as is, do I just leave them in the cold for a few days and then bring them inside and put them in the cellar to age? I'm really flying by the seat of my pants here and now that I have a boatload of pepperoni (and I have a huge amount of pepperoni, like a years supply, for several families) I want to be sure that it is safe. It tastes great, BTW.

Here is the results...

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Old 01-28-2008, 01:34 AM   #2
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Did your recipe not have some instructions on temp and humidity ranges needed to dry cure? If you didnt use cure #2 I think you are going to have to smoke and store refriderated or frozen.

By the way those look super I cant wait to try my hand at dry curing.

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Old 01-28-2008, 03:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewBlood
Did your recipe not have some instructions on temp and humidity ranges needed to dry cure? If you didnt use cure #2 I think you are going to have to smoke and store refriderated or frozen.

By the way those look super I cant wait to try my hand at dry curing.
What he said. Do be aware that making dry cured sausages is serious business. If you don't do it right, you can end up with botulism (from botulus, or sausage in Latin) , the most deadly form of food poisoning known to man. If you haven't already, buy a good book on the subject and read it through so you know your sausages are safe to eat. Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas is a great book along with Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman.
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:46 AM   #4
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Hey Paul... NICE SAUSAGE! Are you sharing?

Oh, FYI - I've got a few sausage making books that I could let you borrow if you're interested?
We could meet you at Witches Brew Thursday around 6... LOL

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Old 01-28-2008, 12:06 PM   #5
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Those sausages do look great.

And, yep, you should have used InstaCure #2/DQ#2 which includes sodium nitrate as well as sodium nitrite. The nitrate converts to nitrite over time, kind of a time-release version of nitrite. That's what makes long drying times above refrigeration temperatures possible.

InstaCure#1 (pink salt) is 6.25% nitrite and is used for sausages that are going to be smoked. According to my reference books it doesn't have enough staying power for long-dried sausages like traditional perpperoni.

Looks like you may need to hot smoke your pepperoni, which I suspect will be delicious.

Chad

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Old 01-28-2008, 12:33 PM   #6
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The problem is there will be no nitrate conversion by the bacteria as has been mentioned. What to do, that's the question. I suppose you can simply let them incubate, allow them to surface dry, then HOT smoke them. They'll be fine, but more along the lines of a Kielbasa in terms of texture.

The rule is #1 cure for anything that will be smoked/cooked. #2 must never be heated for cooking (creates nitrosamines iirc) and must always be used for dry cures.

Be careful of naming conventions and colors on packages. I have seen pink #2 cures. Always, always check the concentration on the package as well. The European standard (not sure if we get it here, but just to be on the safe side) is much lower in Nitrite Nitrite/Nitrate concentration. I think an ounce of Cure #1 is enough to kill you so levels MUST be correct. The standard (using the US concentration) is 2.5 grams to 1 kilogram of meat when you are adding it in directly. (different for brine).

Good luck on this and future endeavors!

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Old 01-28-2008, 12:47 PM   #7
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On a related theme... If you are not supposed to cook sausages dried with CUre 2 what happens when you cut up your pepperoni and put it on a pizza?

And as far as smoking the sausages/pepperoni's, how long and at what temp should I smoke them for. Do I allow them to hang for a while before I smoke them or smoke them ASAP?

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Old 01-28-2008, 12:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melana
Hey Paul... NICE SAUSAGE! Are you sharing?

Oh, FYI - I've got a few sausage making books that I could let you borrow if you're interested?
We could meet you at Witches Brew Thursday around 6... LOL
I can't make it there this week, I have an appointment. LOL

Sorry I missed you guys, we'll catch up. I won't make it by TWB for a few weeks, this week I'm all booked up and next week we're headed down to the Keys for some drinking and diving. A great weekend, narced all day and night.
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulthenurse
I can't make it there this week, I have an appointment. LOL

Sorry I missed you guys, we'll catch up. I won't make it by TWB for a few weeks, this week I'm all booked up and next week we're headed down to the Keys for some drinking and diving. A great weekend, narced all day and night.
WOW do you have room in your suitcase for some stow-aways?
No worries... We'll catch up at some point (preferably with beer)!
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Old 01-28-2008, 02:00 PM   #10
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My advice with these formulas would be to stick with the metric system. It is much easier to scale the amounts than with the English system.

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