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#6132270 - 01/12/16 12:16 PM Deer Sausage "Cure"
gasman777 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 08/11/14
Posts: 41
New to processing deer sausage and I need some clarification on the "cure" that goes into the sausage for smoking and dried sausage. From what I can gather, I need to use prague powder #1 for the regular smoked sausage but if I want to make dried sausage I need to use prague powder #2....is that correct?

Also, if I smoke jerky in the smokehouse...do I need to use prague powder? If so, which? #1 or $2?

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#6132320 - 01/12/16 12:51 PM Re: Deer Sausage "Cure" [Re: gasman777]
MacDaddy21 Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 1648
Loc: CO
Yes, cure #2 is what you want for dried sausage and jerky. A meat using cure #1 will still need refrigeration while meats using cure #2 can be stored without refrigeration.

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#6138881 - 01/16/16 04:52 PM Re: Deer Sausage "Cure" [Re: gasman777]
gasman777 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 08/11/14
Posts: 41
So when I'm using curing salt....does this replace the salt that was called for in the original recipe? Meaning, let's say the recipe I find online (raw sausage) calls for 2 tablespoons of salt....and if I smoke it I figure I have to add 1 tablespoon of curing salt #1.....does this mean I should add only 1 tablespoon of regular salt and 1 tablespoon of curing salt? or is the curing salt in addition of the regular salt?

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#6139687 - 01/17/16 08:43 AM Re: Deer Sausage "Cure" [Re: gasman777]
StretchR Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 05/14/14
Posts: 309
Loc: Hutto, TX (Williamson Co)
Be really careful for the amounts on the Prague powders. One tablespoon is about the amount to use for 15 pounds of meat. Follow the instructions on the package of cure for the amounts, not somebody's internet recipe. Too much nitrate or nitrite can be toxic!

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#6139739 - 01/17/16 09:24 AM Re: Deer Sausage "Cure" [Re: gasman777]
decook Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 1218
Loc: Montgomery, TX USA
gasman777, the short answer is NO! Cure does not replace the salt in the recipe, it is always in addition to the recipe if you intend to cure the product outside of the safe temperature zone of meat (40-140F for 4 hours). I see you are using cure (instacure, pink salt, etc) number 1 which is a mixture of sodium nitrite and salt, with a pink dye to make sure you do NOT mistake cure for table salt.

Instacure No.1 maximum recommended by the FDA is 4 ounces per 100 pounds of meat. You must scale that down to your application. Here is a great site that has a calculator for cure.

If you see a recipe that calls for a teaspoon of cure, keep in mind that it aint a heapin teaspoon here and a heapin teaspoon there, it is a carefully leveled off teaspoon, half-teaspoon, etc. per measure of product. This stuff is toxic to people, enough to do 100 pounds of meat can have you pushing daisies.

Two things I recommend:

1. Do your internet homework but when you take something for the gospel, be sure it has credibility (such as the USFDA web site for example).

2. Put your recipe here before you make it. There are experienced sausage-makers on this site that can review it to make sure everything is safe. I consider them credible.
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#6139745 - 01/17/16 09:31 AM Re: Deer Sausage "Cure" [Re: gasman777]
decook Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 1218
Loc: Montgomery, TX USA
gasman777, one more thing I want to add but I wanted it outside of the reply i just made. If you bought a product from Morton Salt called Morton Tender Quick, then the answer is YES. But, you have to follow the directions on the box no matter what the recipe says.
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#6139788 - 01/17/16 10:08 AM Re: Deer Sausage "Cure" [Re: gasman777]
Simple Searcher Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 4153
Loc: Helotes, Hext
We use what is called Modern Cure for both fresh and dried sausage, it is the same thing as the #1 cure. This might be wrong way to do it, but we have not had any issues yet (15 years now), and we do about 1200-1500 pounds a year. (Yes, we have all day sausage making parties).
Our fresh sausage (or smoked sausage that we grill), after it is smoked, gets vacuum packed and frozen the next morning. But we put the sausage to be dried in a refrigerated walk-in cooler (with a dehydrator) for a few weeks and then vacuum pack and freeze it.
We only take out dried sausage as we want some throughout the year. I think using this method instead of hanging it for months, we are okay. I am going to do some googling on the idea, and watch for replies here.
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#6144959 - 01/20/16 11:50 AM Re: Deer Sausage "Cure" [Re: decook]
gasman777 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 08/11/14
Posts: 41
So it sounds like you're saying I really don't need the cure #1 if I'm smoking the sausage? I plan on smoking the sausage for 3-5 hours at 125-150 until the internal temp is 150-155ish. No need for cure #1 with this? I figured I needed it because that's what the recipe called for online.

As for my recipe, here is what I found online and what I plan on adhering to (making 100# of smoked sausage):

half pork, half venison, 13 oz of garlic, 8 oz of black pepper, 29 oz of salt, 1 oz of paprika, 2 oz of cayenne pepper, 8 oz of sugar, 40 oz of water, and 2.4 oz cure #1 (unless you tell me it's not needed).

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#6145132 - 01/20/16 01:37 PM Re: Deer Sausage "Cure" [Re: gasman777]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23452
Loc: Texas
If your smoking it to 150-155 internal temp you are cooking it and you don't need to use curing salt, just eat/refrigerate/or freeze after smoking(read cooking) it.
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#6145157 - 01/20/16 01:54 PM Re: Deer Sausage "Cure" [Re: gasman777]
BuckRage Online   happy
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 20512
as long as you can get the internal temp up to 140 within 4 hrs your fine. I don't see a reason not to go ahead and use cure to be on the safe side but just make sure to use the correct amount and get it mixed in very well. Its very cheap insurance. Botulism isn't fun for you or the toilet.
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#6145400 - 01/20/16 04:34 PM Re: Deer Sausage "Cure" [Re: gasman777]
skinnerback Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 05/30/11
Posts: 10697
Loc: Rockport, Tx.
If you hot smoke the sausage and keep it refrigerated you do not need to add cure. Hot smoking is normally done at 200-250 for 1-2 hrs or until the internal temp reaches 165+. Hot smoked sausage is "cooked" sausage, the fat has been rendered. We add cure to allow us to cold smoke (low temperature cook) the sausage slowly and at lower temperatures giving us more smoke flavor and rendering very little fat (like store bought smoked sausage but way better, it's safe to eat but you still COOK it when you get home to render the fat). It takes my sausage 6-9 hrs to get to the "safe to eat" temperature of 150-152. I go longer than the 4 hr "safe zone" so I use a cure. I HATE food poisoning, so I don't chance it though there are people that do. Mine have gone as long as 10-12 hrs in the smoke house before hitting an internal temp of 150, (depends on weather and load). You can cold smoke at various temperatures depending on what you're doing, (cheese, fish, sausages, bacon etc). The general understanding among most sausage makers out there (and your deer processors that make smoked sausage), is that you are cold smoking until you start rendering fat. Once you start rendering fat you are now hot smoking AKA "cooking". There are a few folks that call cold smoking cooking, call it whatever makes you happy I guess. cheers There are some that call smoked sausage fresh sausage too, as most understand fresh sausage as sausage that is ground, stuffed, and frozen - no smoke/cure any of that. Anyway, since I cold smoke my smoked sausages at lower temps for longer periods of time I use a Sodium Nitrite cure. There is some good material to read out there if you're just getting started. People do things differently and for different reasons, it's all good as long as nobody starts to vomit. grin
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#6145525 - 01/20/16 05:53 PM Re: Deer Sausage "Cure" [Re: gasman777]
decook Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 1218
Loc: Montgomery, TX USA
Please read, and then re-read skinnerback, BuckRage, and redchevy's posts. Then go here and read the FDA's information on food borne illnesses.

Making sausage can get you very sick. What you need to understand is that it is preventable. It isn't magic or fuzzy art - preventing is predictable science. But you have the responsibility to educate yourself before you put yourself or someone else at risk.

Asking questions here is one way, but back it up with your own homework also. Following directions is easy, but knowing what you are doing makes the difference when you come up on something unexpected.
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#6145847 - 01/20/16 08:21 PM Re: Deer Sausage "Cure" [Re: gasman777]
skinnerback Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 05/30/11
Posts: 10697
Loc: Rockport, Tx.
Here is one of the links that I used to reference, has some good information in it. CLICK ME When I first starting making my own smoked sausages I did a TON of research before hand. Talked to lots of old timers, read books, read a lot of stuff on the web, and watched a crap load of Youtube videos. I took all of that knowledge, and put it together with kinda how I wanted to do things to find for myself what worked and what didn't for my set-up. It ain't rocket science so don't need to overthink it, just play it safe IMO. Keep all of your equipment clean and sanitized, (soapy bleach water is your friend) and if you are going to smoke your sausage from 40-140 degrees for more than 4 hrs (that's the temps where bacteria can grow/danger zone), use a cure. That's me, some choose not to. Their choice. up Lots of different recipes out there and the more you make the better you'll get at it.
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#6145930 - 01/20/16 08:59 PM Re: Deer Sausage "Cure" [Re: skinnerback]
bigbob_ftw Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/26/08
Posts: 13971
Loc: White Settlement, TX.
Originally Posted By: skinnerback
If you hot smoke the sausage and keep it refrigerated you do not need to add cure. Hot smoking is normally done at 200-250 for 1-2 hrs or until the internal temp reaches 165+. Hot smoked sausage is "cooked" sausage, the fat has been rendered. We add cure to allow us to cold smoke (low temperature cook) the sausage slowly and at lower temperatures giving us more smoke flavor and rendering very little fat (like store bought smoked sausage but way better, it's safe to eat but you still COOK it when you get home to render the fat). It takes my sausage 6-9 hrs to get to the "safe to eat" temperature of 150-152. I go longer than the 4 hr "safe zone" so I use a cure. I HATE food poisoning, so I don't chance it though there are people that do. Mine have gone as long as 10-12 hrs in the smoke house before hitting an internal temp of 150, (depends on weather and load). You can cold smoke at various temperatures depending on what you're doing, (cheese, fish, sausages, bacon etc). The general understanding among most sausage makers out there (and your deer processors that make smoked sausage), is that you are cold smoking until you start rendering fat. Once you start rendering fat you are now hot smoking AKA "cooking". There are a few folks that call cold smoking cooking, call it whatever makes you happy I guess. cheers There are some that call smoked sausage fresh sausage too, as most understand fresh sausage as sausage that is ground, stuffed, and frozen - no smoke/cure any of that. Anyway, since I cold smoke my smoked sausages at lower temps for longer periods of time I use a Sodium Nitrite cure. There is some good material to read out there if you're just getting started. People do things differently and for different reasons, it's all good as long as nobody starts to vomit. grin


This is good stuff.
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#6146152 - 01/21/16 06:25 AM Re: Deer Sausage "Cure" [Re: gasman777]
decook Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 1218
Loc: Montgomery, TX USA
gasman777 I didn't look at your recipe until just now. Sorry I was in a hurry last night and didn't get to that. Your recipe looks to be a bit short of cure if you are making 100 pounds. You should bump that up to 4 ounces if you intend to cure the sausage as well as cook it.

Something else too. You should make a 2 to 5 pound batch before diving in at a full 100 lbs. Nothing worse then fining out you hate it and still have 99 pounds to go.
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