Jerky With No Curing Salt

treillw

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Can you make jerky without using the pink curing salt if you freeze it and/or eat it before it goes bad?

If i have too much of the cure, it gives me migraines and I have a tough time not binge eating delicious meat.

Any alternatives that might be healthier for me?

Thanks!
 

coop22250

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Yes you can make jerky with about any set of spices and reg salt. You just want to make sure it reaches a temp of at least 160 deg pretty fast, then back the temp to above 130 to finish drying.
If you bring up the temp slowly it can create a shell around certain bacteria’s and they can survive a 160 deg temp and multiply at room temps fast.

The cure allows a slower colder cooking process, but just cooking until it’s dry and packaging, storing in the freezer is just fine.

If you take it out as needed, it can be kept for a few days for hunting and whatnot, just don’t leave it out on the counter for a week and then eat it, unless it is crazy dried and you can test the water activity to verify shelf stability.
 

BRTreedogs

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Yeah man no problem. Most of the jerky I make is more like mini marinaded steaks lol.
I use 1/4 cup to 32oz water but I wouldn't say I really dry my jerky all way out or cure it with salt. Alot time I cut it 1/4-1/2" thick.

I vacuum seal it and freeze.
Refrigerate after opening.
The longest is leave it open in the truck or something would be a few days.
 

Tod osier

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Can you make jerky without using the pink curing salt if you freeze it and/or eat it before it goes bad?

If i have too much of the cure, it gives me migraines and I have a tough time not binge eating delicious meat.

Any alternatives that might be healthier for me?

Thanks!
i do not use pink salt for jerky. There is a concern of botulism in dried meat products, but like said jerky is not much of a risk. The salt content, the rapid drying, and the high drying temp all inhibit botulism. Low salt jerky sitting in a tub for a long time marinating and then dried slowly at low temp is a concern, but simple spoilage would also be a concern In those conditions. If it is salty jerky, once dry it isn’t a concern. I freeze, mainly to prolong the amount of time it lasts (does not get gobbled up).
 
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treillw

treillw

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Is it necessary to use curing salt in summer sausage? I didn't smoke it this year, as I do not have a smoker. Just cooked it to 160 in the oven.

Too many pounds of summer sausage is what's giving me fits haha. I'd like to avoid the curing salt in everything if I could.

What do you definitely need it for?
 

jfs82

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Jan 13, 2019
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I've done a lot of curing in the past... the general rules I followed were: is it a trich species? if yes, curing salt.
Is it ground meat? If yes, curing salt. Ground and stuffed insto casings leaves lots of room for air pockets to interact with bacteria and do dangerous things. Whole muscles I generally dont use it.
 

brad407210

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As a general rule I've heard that you don't need cure if the meat is in the danger zone for less than 4 hours (40-140 degrees I think), depending on the dehydrator it might not be possible to cook it quick enough, but I've started jerky on a dehydrator or smoker for a few hours then finish it in an oven to get it up to temp quicker. One of my friends is a food safety inspector and knows the official rules for this stuff, she doesn't understand how you could possibly harvest an animal in the mountains then take up to a week getting it home and processed before its in the freezer and not die when consuming it, so I try to blend common sense with the official food safety rules. Think of uncured jerky like a really think steak, keep it stored in a fridge, but it can sit out at room temp for a couple days without being a problem, but if it's moist enough to taste good there will be enough water in there to get bacteria growing eventually.
 

brad407210

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Last week I brought in a bag of uncured jerky to work, the person I gave it to was supposed to share it with everyone that day and if any was left at the end of the day he was supposed to put it in the fridge. He decided to hide it in his desk for a few days and it got moldy, so it doesn't take too long to spoil at room temp.
 

87TT

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Never used the curing salt but mine does have salt in it.

Take 3 lbs. of meat cut into 1/4 inch thick strips.
Combine;
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Worcester sauce
2 tsp season salt
2/3 tsp garlic powder( not garlic salt)
2 tsp onion powder
2/3 tsp black pepper
Marinate over night in the refrigerator'
Dry in dehydrator or oven on lowest setting

I either freeze it for storage or vac seal it. Had it vac sealed in the cupboard for a year without issue.
 

Tod osier

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Last week I brought in a bag of uncured jerky to work, the person I gave it to was supposed to share it with everyone that day and if any was left at the end of the day he was supposed to put it in the fridge. He decided to hide it in his desk for a few days and it got moldy, so it doesn't take too long to spoil at room temp.
interesting on the molding. We vac seal and keep in the freezer, but often we have it at room temp for a month or two on a road trip without molding. Ours is pretty dry, but still flexible (bends not snaps, but is not squishy) and is salty=ish (as salty as can be without being too salty), which would help reduce molding. We are definitely trying to produce a product that will stand room temp periods if need be (adventure food).
 
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brad407210

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interesting on the molding. We vac seal and keep in the freezer, but often we have it at room temp for a month or two on a road trip without molding. Ours is pretty dry, but still flexible (bends not snaps) and is salty=ish (as salty as can be without being too salty), which would help reduce molding. We are definitely trying to produce a product that will stand room temp periods if need be (adventure food).
My wife works in cardiology so she bugs me about cutting back the salt in my diet, I might have gone a little too far on this one. I've had it last a week or two on hunting trips with no issue, but those temps were cooler than the office. If I know the jerky is going to be out for a week or more I stick to published recipes, I use regular salt but haven't needed to use regular salt normally.
 

Team4LongGun

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I've always read that no curing salts or nitrates are needed IF you get the meat to 160 degrees within 4 hours
 

brad407210

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160 degrees is the temp needed to kill Trich, I normally make jerky out of straight venison so I'm not as worried about that, but it's a good rule of thumb. Other bacteria die at lower temps and even Trich dies at a sustained temp of less than 160, but the FDA likes to put buffers on things like this to be safe. The general rule is that bad stuff starts growing once the meat leaves the fridge and until it reaches your fully cooked temp. If you stick to 160 degrees when making stuff you shouldn't have any trouble.
 

EchoLimaKilo

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Ive made this recipe with deer/elk probably a dozen times (using a dehydrator set to 110 degrees) and it’s great. I usually make several pounds at a time. Once it’s all dry I measure it out into 4 oz portions vac pack and freeze. Ive had it in the freezer for months at a time without it going bad. Alton Brown knows his stuff, worth a watch to at least hear his explanation!
 

danarnold

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Ive made this recipe with deer/elk probably a dozen times (using a dehydrator set to 110 degrees) and it’s great. I usually make several pounds at a time. Once it’s all dry I measure it out into 4 oz portions vac pack and freeze. Ive had it in the freezer for months at a time without it going bad. Alton Brown knows his stuff, worth a watch to at least hear his explanation!

you didnt use furnace filters and a box fan?
 

Wapiti1

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Look up biltong recipes. It is dried beef or venison made in Africa with just a light salt/vinegar cure, then it is hung to dry. There is no curing salt used in it's production and you can hang it pretty much anywhere you have good air flow.

It follows the curing process used for dry aged sausages by combining simple salt with acid to prevent spoilage.

Jeremy
 

tugrivercopper

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i used ground meat for jerky, and dehydrate on highest setting on my dehydrator, never used curing salt. never had problems with mold or going bad either, i use a soy sauce and worchster based recipe very similar to what 87TT posted above, with the addition of some hot sauce. So the meat IMO gets plenty of salt (prob too much)
 

EchoLimaKilo

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you didnt use furnace filters and a box fan?
Lol the first time I made it I actually did and it turned out just fine. Decided to buy a dehydrator after that, saved myself some money and funny looks in the long run.
I was definitely more confident in using a lower temp to dehydrate after that experiment though
 
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