|Meat Curing Calculator Tool|
|Method|| Equilibrium Dry Curing
Equilibrium Wet Brining
|Meat Weight||lb kg g|
|Pink Curing Salt||1.59 g or 0.056 oz (optional depending on preference or recipe)|
|Sea Salt||15.88 g or 0.56 oz|
|Water||0.181 litres or 0.048 gallons|
- Recent tweaks – adjustable water for equilibrium brining (it was 40%, but that isn’t enough to submerge some shapes, I’ve had to go up to 80% for hams – I suggest dropping your hunk of meat in the container and test filling first!)
- Hopefully the above makes sense, it’s 0.25% pink curing salt for either pink curing salt #1 or #2
- If wet brining, it’s a base of 40% water ratio to the weight ie. 1L=1Kg therefore 1 Kg of Meat would need 400 ml of water.
- It’s up to you, for simple dry-cured meat 2.25% is a very common sea salt level (pink salt in addition to this, so it ends up being 2.5% TOTAL SALT.
You really need accurate digital scales with equilibrium curing, the whole point is consistent salt flavor and also consistent meat curing results
Here is a page I wrote with some digital scales I can recommend.
When used, the recommended amount is a ratio of 4 oz for each 100 lb (1 kg for each 400 kg) of meat or 0.25% of the total weight of the meat.http://www.britishbutcher.co.uk/Page-114-Curing.html
If you’re looking for a guide on building a DIY curing chamber for dry-cured meat or you are interested in a charcuterie course – check out more info on this page.
The amount of pink curing salt for the amounts of meat that you are curing is a ratio that should always be the same, but there are some calculations needed.
If you want to control the level of saltiness then this method will achieve this.
Getting accurate salt and pink curing salt is a must for meat curing at home or anywhere. Plus you get consistency in repeating recipes and your spice profiles.
So I created this tool/calculator to easily work out the amounts for you (well it was my awesome brother coding Mathematician Mike D).
For either Pink Curing Salt No.1 or No.2 (same percentages of pink curing salt anyway).
Rather than using a hit-and-miss method.
This calculation can be done manually, and I used to do it that way for many years.
I want to summarize the equilibrium curing and equilibrium brining process if you are new to these terms.
I think the confusion comes from the directions on a lot of pink curing salt, which talks about it in commercial quantities and applies to commercial methods
From using a lot of different types of curing salt. There are a whole bunch of methods that people use and you read about. So regardless of whether you’re cured meat will be consumed in under 30 days for Pink Curing Salt No. 1. Or over 30 days for Pink Curing Salt No. 2.
But there’s one way to work out exactly how much curing salt for dry curing or wet brining cures.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love the traditional ‘by the eye’ salting, that a master salter is respected for in Italy (Like the Parma Ham Salt Masters).
But many uses weighed amounts of salt over the whole pork leg anyway for proscuitto.
But if you want a more consistent outcome at home the below should help.
The owner of an 85,000 a-year Parma Ham factory (mid-sized out of 150 producers around Parma) I visited, said 2-3% of his hams are wasted every year. Due to the variations with hand salting, that’s about 2,550 Parma Hams a year in the rubbish bin.
Tables & Tools for Working out the Curing Salt
For Dry Curing Using Equilibrium Curing,
It’s the ratio of 0.25% pink curing salt to the total weight of the meat
How Much Curing Salt Per Pound or Kilogram of Meat?
|Per Pound of Meat (453.6 grams)||Per Kilogram of Meat (1000 grams)|
|Under 30 Dry Cure – Pink Curing Salt No. 1 (0.25% of the Weight)||1.134g||2.5g (0.25%)|
|Over 30 Dry Cure – Pink Curing Salt No. 2 (0.25% of the Weight)||1.134g||2.5g (0.25%)|
The biggest challenge for most people when they use this method is that the digital scales or even analog scales do not have the level of accuracy or precision to work out the precise amount to 2 decimal places or 1 decimal place.
ie. 5-pound slab of pork belly for bacon
1.134g per pound of meat
5 x 1.134 = 5.67 grams of pink curing salt for 5 pounds of pork belly
I would highly recommend that you get precise digital scales to do this method. (here is a link to some gear I have)
When you have an accuracy of 0.1 or 0.01 (check out the scales you need here)you can finally work out exactly the amount of saltiness you want in your cured meats. Whether it’s bacon or pastrami, this was a game-changer so that’s why I decided to come up with this helpful calculator.
For Wet Brining Using Equilibrium Brining
A ratio of 0.25% pink curing salt to the total weight of the meat & the water (1 kilogram = 1 Liter, easier with the metric system to do this).
Going to use metric system since it’s easier 1 gram (1,000gram=1kg) = 1 milliliter (1,000ml=1 Liter)
ie. 5 kilograms (5,000g) of pork belly for bacon in a wet brine
Pork Belly 5kg + Water 4L /4kg = 9kg or 9,000g
If I wanted to use a 2.5% total salt level for flavor (a bit salty for most people)
2.25% sea salt x 9,000 = 202.5g of salt for the brine
0.25% Pink Curing Salt No. 1 = 22.5 grams of pink curing salt
So for % of spices or sugar, you add this on top of the above
say plus 1% sugar, 0.01 x 9,000 = 90 gram of sugar
You would dissolve it all and have brine which can be varied to ‘choose’ your level of saltiness or sweetness! in your bacon!
The other benefit is that it doesn’t matter if you leave the pork belly in for 1 week or 2. It won’t overdo the saltiness!
For those of you concerned about reaching the right salt and pink salt levels, you could use a technique called equilibrium brining, which I first read about in Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine. To do this, combine the weight of the meat and the weight of the water, then add 2% of that weight in salt, and 0.25% pink salt, in addition to aromatics. This can cure from seven days up to twenty-one days (and maybe longer). This way you will never have bacon that’s too saltyhttp://ruhlman.com/2016/04/11/bacon-time/
Ingredients in Curing Salts
Pink Curing Salt No.1 (Under 30 Days Curing)
- 93.75% Salt (Sodium Chloride)
- 6.25% Sodium Nitrite
Pink Curing Salt No. 2 (Over 30 Days Curing)
- 89.75% Salt (Sodium Chloride)
- 6.25% Sodium Nitrite
- 4.0% Sodium Nitrate
Pink Curing Salt & Tender Quick are Completely Different
Morton Tender Quick
- Salt & Sugar
- 0.5% Sodium Nitrite
- 0.5% Sodium Nitrate
I don’t use tender quick, because I don’t know how much sugar is in it exactly.
Just note, it is not a tenderizer, the name is confusing – it is a curing salt that serves as a preserver.
Guys I know make wet brines from tender quick, for wet brining bacon for instance. They use 50 grams of tender quick per 1 Liter of water.
Don’t Measure with Teaspoons
Specifically, a level teaspoon is meant to be = 4.2g (depending on the teaspoon!)
Which is inaccurate in my opinion.
But how many people use accurate level teaspoons, since teaspoons vary a lot also.
Different Styles of Meat Curing
- Salt Dry Curing
- Salt Dry Curing then Cold Smoking
- Salt Dry Curing then Hot Smoking
You can Wet Equilibrium Brine any of the Above Methods as well. But some people prefer wet or dry. I always find dry curing will create more depth of flavor, especially with the spices and flavors you use.
Thanks for dropping by, I’ve been passionate about meat curing for decades.
I Hunt, Fish, Forage, Buy, Butcher (Wannabe Norcini), Make, Savor (I’m not a Saviour), and love curing and smoking meat.
Learning and consuming in a circular fashion, I am always interested in what is happening around the curing and smoking world
Seeking the passionate behind the passion.