Ground jerky cured for 3 days?



  • So im curious what peoples thoughts are on this. I make ground and formed jerky with which i use sodium nitrite for. The minimum realistically is 12 hours and the nitrite has performed its duty on the meat. But is there a maximum time you can have jerky curing before any ill effects from the cure? I have let ground venison cure for three days after being seasoned and the jerky still turns out just fine. Thoughts?


  • Walton's Employee

    @lamurscrappy You are correct that 12 hours is the minimum time for the cure to work if you do not add any encapsulated citric acid. Part of this answer is going to depend on what your process is and how much water you use when marinating the jerky. If you are adding a lot of water then I would say around 3 days is the max I would wait as the nitrite is going to convert to nitric oxide and eventually “gas out” and it will be sitting in a mixture of water and seasoning that no longer has an active cure. If you add very little water to it then this isn’t really a concern. Either way, 3 days wouldn’t put me off too much too far beyond that and i’d start getting nervous. The one thing that you might see is a lack of redness to the meat and with jerky that isnt really a concern anyway!



  • Thanks jonathon! Its good to see insight in this. I actually use no water and only a small amount of liguid smoke as i use powdered smoke. Its good to know their wont be any poor effects persay on the meat!


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  • E

    Here is a link to a website that has a handy Excel spreadsheet. It is, as it says a free non-commercial site.
    As for Waltons dropping the ball, I vote they are doing a great job.
    I think for all of us there are general guidelines, but unless you have a temperature and humidity controlled environment, both for the preparation, cooking (if you cook them) smoking, hanging etc, the results are bound to vary from batch to batch.
    Personally, I am searching how to get my home made smoked and dry cured pepperoni to the exact texture and firmness of Margarita pepperoni from the store.
    Through trial and error I have the flavor where I want it, but not the texture or firmness. I know time, temperature and humidity are all crucial, but the best I can do is in the basement and then subject to the environment that is there.
    I figure as long as I am not killing anyone or making anyone sick I am making progress. Thanks Waltons for all of the great information so far.
    Having said that, it would be nice to have your chart in an Excel spreadsheet.

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  • K

    @jonathon

    Thanks Jonathon! One question tho! You eluded to 178 being high for a temp! Don’t you guys recommend setting the temp at 175 during the final stage to completion to internal temp? Three degrees shouldn’t make that much difference should it??

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  • K

    @lamurscrappy

    Sounds reasonable. Thanks for your input. Pulling the meat at 152 will make a big difference I bet! Thanks again.

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  • @Kinger Thanks for the information. Your process, other than going to 178, is on in my mind. The only thing I do differently is an ice bath for 20 minutes. Showering for 10 minutes, if you are running a cycle and a fan in your smoker can work, but I still think an ice bath would bring it down faster and more. Last time I did thick summer sausage it was down to 110 in 20 minutes, I also tried showering it at 2 minutes on 2 minutes off for 20 minutes and it was only down to 136 (ish) but i did not have a fan running on them.

    One more thing you might want to try, if you are stalled towards the end you can finish them up by putting them in a vacuum bag (I have done then hot, right from the smoker, some condensation in the bag but it still gets a good vac) and get some water going at around 165, it should get up to temp in under an hour depending on the thickness.

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  • @Newbe There might be some breaking down of the meat but this shouldnt cause you too many issues. I have bought pork butts fresh, then froze them then processed and froze the product again. The taste might not be the BEST possible but it certainly wont be bad.

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  • @vjbutler no problem let us know

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