How much salt with dry cure?

  • I am not a big fan of salt, and would like to keep the amount to a minimum in my next batch of dry cured pepperoni.
    If I was not using #2 curing salt, I would use about 2.75% salt . But, since I will be using #2 curing salt, do I still need to add any other salt, or will the curing salt take care of everything without any additional salt?

  • Walton's Employee

    @ed_orum Salt plays a much bigger function in meat processing than just taste. The upper limit of salt for meat is usually 5% and anything over that would be considered too salty by almost anyone, 1.5% is generally the lower limit. But that is for a normal product, when making a dry cured product, like you are doing, the salt plays a very important role in keeping bacteria growth down during the first stage. Dry cured sausage needs right about 3% salt and semi-dried needs about 2.5%.

    What is your entire process? Let me know and I will try to find out what a lower salt content would do to your meat but if you are dry curing it then there is no way (at least that I know of) to get away with lower salt content.

  • Jonathon,
    There is not much to the process. After I combine the meat and spices (I have been using about 2% salt with cure # 2 @ 1 teaspoon per 5lbs of meat) then stuff it into natural hog casings, I put it in the basement to hang for abut 6 weeks. The humidity is low, so it dries out about half it s weight by then, maybe a little bit less.
    Then we eat it. I have only had one hollow batch so far and i think that may be the stuffing issue or maybe the very low humidity combined with temps of around 42 degrees. The good batches came out when the humidity was a little higher and the temperature stayed around 58 degrees.

  • Walton's Employee

    @ed_orum As far as I am aware there is no way to make a lower salt dry cured sausage, it plays too important a role in the initial stages. That being said I am going to talk to someone next week and I will see if they have any ideas on how, or if this would be possible!

    Just spitballing here but dipping it in an antimicrobial might help and make sure your meat is clean and your processing area is pristine.

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