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Why nitrite brining is safe, and a new brining calculator

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  • docblonder
    Moderator
    • Jul 2014
    • 100

    Why nitrite brining is safe, and a new brining calculator

    I just posted a short article on the science of nitrite brining.

    http://www.genuineideas.com/Articles...etylevels.html

    It explains why the USDA sets the nitrite level around 150 ppm, and how much wiggle room you have around their recommendation.

    I've also written a new java brining calculator.

    http://www.genuineideas.com/Articles...alculator.html

    This calculator follows the "keep it simple, stupid" school of thought. As my article describes, the actual safe nitrite level depends on many factors, including fat content, pH, meat thickness, and so. Originally, I tried to correct for these factors in the calculator, but the extra "accuracy" only made things more complex. And since there are a range of acceptable nitrite levels that are effective and safe, decided to go with KISS.

    Interested in your comments and questions....

    Thanks

    (10 lbs of belly brining in fridge right now, 5 days away from reincarnation as bacon)
  • Jerod Broussard
    Moderator
    • Jun 2014
    • 9738
    • East Texas
    • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
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      Thermoworks Thermapen w/ Back light (gift)
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      Cambro Model 300MPC110 w/ Winco SS Pans
      B & B and Kingsford Charcoal
      B & B Pellets

    #2
    I likes, especially since you have a weight attachment for the powder.

    Comment


    • EdF
      EdF commented
      Editing a comment
      Dry or wet, docblonder ?
  • docblonder
    Moderator
    • Jul 2014
    • 100

    #3
    Works both ways. If you put in 0 liquid, it calculates the right amount for dry brining.

    Comment


    • EdF
      EdF commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks!
  • mgaretz
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 833
    • San Ramon, CA
    • Mark Garetz
      Rec Tec pellet grill
      Weber Genesis Gasser
      Maverick ET-732 and Thermapen and others

    #4
    I like the new calculator. When I open the page, it is not displaying the ppm until I move the slider or adjust something else. Even then it seems like a long time before it shows up. I am on Google Chrome.

    Comment


    • mgaretz
      mgaretz commented
      Editing a comment
      Just tried it in MS Edge. Same thing, but seems to be faster. If I click and hold or drag the slider in Edge, I get a tooltip with the ppm value. That doesn't happen in Chrome. Firefox works like Chrome.

    • docblonder
      docblonder commented
      Editing a comment
      Not sure why the calc is slow, but the ppm is initially missing by design. We wanted to be sure users filled in every value with intent, rather than accidentally use a default value.
  • Thunder77
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 2747
    • Halethorpe, MD
    • Weber 26.75" Kettle with SnS. Broil King Baron 5 burner. Akorn Kamado, and Akorn Jr kamado. Primo Oval Junior. Love grilling steaks, ribs, and chicken. Need to master smoked salmon Favorite cool weather beer: Sam Adams Octoberfest Favorite warm weather beer: Yuengling Traditional Lager All-time favorite drink: Single Malt Scotch

    #5
    Thank you Doctor Blonder for that comprehensive, yet easy to understand article. Thank you also for the calculator!

    Comment

    • Willy
      Charter Member
      • Apr 2015
      • 1820
      • High Desert of the Great Southwest

      #6
      Thanks for that. For those who might care, I recommend the book "The Dose Makes The Poison" by Frank and Ottoboni. Didja know that too much Vitamin D will kill you?

      Comment


      • Willy
        Willy commented
        Editing a comment
        @jerod broussard: What does solubility have to do with it?

      • Zman23
        Zman23 commented
        Editing a comment
        Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble. Your body does not process and remove them as rapidly as it does the water soluble vitamins. There are toxic levels for them.

      • tRidiot
        tRidiot commented
        Editing a comment
        Anything in sufficient amounts will kill you. I tell my patients, one of the most inert substances on Earth is silica, or plain ol' sand.... eat enough of that, and it will kill you, too!
    • Willy
      Charter Member
      • Apr 2015
      • 1820
      • High Desert of the Great Southwest

      #7
      Zman23 The reason I posted my comment/question about solubility of toxins being relevant is because many, many toxins have bad effects regardless of the agent in which they are soluble. Perhaps most relevant to this discussion is the fact that too much water, and I'm not talking about drowning, is toxic. (http://www.medicaldaily.com/water-in...-person-312958) People have actually died from consuming too much water. Salt is definitely water soluble, yet too much salt can also kill a person.

      The book I recommended above is quite interesting. It led me from a moderate "concern" about non-organic foods to what I believe is a saner position. Almost everything is toxic if one consumes too much. I'm with the Doc, bring on the pastrami!

      Comment

      • Shane Rakow
        Club Member
        • Oct 2016
        • 568
        • Nebraska
        • Traeger Pellet w/ add-on Cold Smoker attachment (2008)
          Weber-22" Kettle w/SnS Plus (2002)
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          Burn Pit (1992)
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          Favorite Dog Breed: German Shorthair Pointer
          Favorite Car: The ones that start
          Favorite Month: October
          Favorite Steak: Ribeye, rare, and reverse seared

        #8
        Thanks for your continued work on this subject, Docblonder! I've enjoyed making bacon, Canadian bacon, and hams from the AR site, and know how difficult it is to balance the nitrite PPM's to a safe level while making a tasty product. Your efforts are appreciated.

        Comment

        • Zman23
          Founding Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 319
          • Weber 21" One Touch for grilling Weber 22.5" Smokey Mountain for barbecue Maverick ET-733 Weber chimney starter Cajun Bandit Rotisserie Slow n Sear

          #9
          Willy My comment was strictly related to vitamins as that was what Jerod was responding to you about. Yes, you can experience toxicity on water soluble vitamins, it just takes a lot more because your body removes them faster. And yes, there is a chance of drinking so much water that you undergo water intoxication. I do understand your point and by no means was I suggesting you cannot consume dangerous levels of water soluble vitamins. Thank you for the other information.

          Comment

          • ecowper
            Founding Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 3262
            • Maple Valley, WA
            • Grill = Hasty-Bake Gourmet Dual Finish
              Smoke = Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5"

              Thermometer = FireBoard FBX11 with 2 ambient and 6 meat probes
              Thermometer = Maverick ET732
              Thermometer = ThermoWorks Chef Alarm
              Thermapen Mk IV = Light blue
              Thermapen Classic = Grey
              PID Controller = Fireboard Drive + Auber 20 CFM Fan

              Favorite cook = Tri-Tip for the grill, whole packer brisket for the smoker
              Favorite wine = a good Bordeaux with steak, a good Syrah with pork, or a nice bottle of Champagne or California sparkling wine
              Favorite beer = Sam Adams Boston Lager or Shiner Bock
              Favorite whisky = Lagavulin 16 year old single malt

              Best Cookbooks - Meathead's "The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", Chris Lilly's "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book", Aaron Franklin's "Franklin BBQ"


              Eric Cowperthwaite aka ecowper

            #10
            Great article, shared on Facebook. And love the calculator!

            Comment

            • Doc Hazard
              Charter Member
              • Aug 2014
              • 89
              • Houston, TX, and Maui, HI
              • Doc Hazard aka "Jim"
                PBC, small charcoal grill
                Houston, TX & Maui, HI

              #11
              Thanks for the article and the calculator. How about adding the amount of regular salt to put in the water for the brine?

              Comment


              • docblonder
                docblonder commented
                Editing a comment
                Tricky, depends on the recipe. For pastrami, the salt from the Prague powder is strong enough, but for bacon, I match the Prague with an equal amount of table salt.
            • Dr ROK
              Charter Member
              • Dec 2014
              • 1350
              • Morrill, Nebraska
              • Retired high school teacher and principal
                Dr ROK - Rider of Kawasaki &/or rock and roll fan
                Yoder 640 on Husker themed comp cart
                Cookshack Smokette smoker
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                Plenty of GrillGrates
                Uuni wood pellet oven, first generation
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                Meater Block
                "Go Big Red" Thermopen instant read thermometer
                Ultrafast instant read thermometer
                CDN quick read thermometer
                Maverick ET-732 thermometer
                Maverick ET-735 thermometer
                Tru-Temp wireless thermometer
                Infrared thermometer (Mainly use for pizza on the Uuni and Roccbox)

                Beverages - Is there really anything other than Guinness? Oh yeah, I forgot about tequila!

              #12
              Thanks for the great resource!!!

              Comment

              • Doc Hazard
                Charter Member
                • Aug 2014
                • 89
                • Houston, TX, and Maui, HI
                • Doc Hazard aka "Jim"
                  PBC, small charcoal grill
                  Houston, TX & Maui, HI

                #13
                RE: Salt: Thanks docblonder; interesting. I don't think I've ever used that little salt. The corned beef recipe calls for a LOT more salt than Prague, but of course, it, and pre-corned beef, gets soaked to remove some salt. For bacon, the original recipe here had salt of 2-3 times the Prague, in only a 1/4 C of water. That tasted good to me, but I like salt. For the new recipes, I've had to salt the finished product. More importantly, I thought the extra salt in the cure liquid was an essential part of the cure and safety process, and there is so little Prague (and thus salt), usually.

                Comment

                • HorseDoctor
                  Charter Member
                  • Sep 2014
                  • 1147
                  • Central Iowa

                  #14
                  Great job following the "KISS" principle!!! Almost always the best way!

                  Comment

                  • Powersmoke_80
                    Founding Member
                    • Aug 2014
                    • 874
                    • Bay City, Michigan
                    • Vintage Brinkmann Longhorn Offset Stick burner (newest addition)
                      Weber 22 w/SnS
                      Brinkmann Pellet Grill W/ Ortech TR-100
                      Vermont Castings, gas
                      Masterbuilt smoker, gas
                      Future build, 80 gallon tank hybrid, pellet/stick burner
                      iGrill black, dual probe thermometer
                      Thermapen instant read
                      Polder,Speed Read instant thermometer
                      Favorite Beer, Yeungling Black&Tan

                    #15
                    Thanks docblonder, I am going to brine some belly right now!

                    Comment

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