How Much Cure Should You Use For Ground Beef Jerky?

Cure is an essential ingredient when making ground beef jerky. It helps preserve the meat, prevent bacterial growth, and enhance flavor. But how much cure should you use for ground beef jerky? Getting the right amount ensures your jerky is properly cured and safe to eat.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about using cure in ground beef jerky, including:

  • What cure is and why it’s important
  • Recommended ratios of cure to meat
  • Adjusting for partial batches
  • Cure types and alternatives
  • Ensuring proper food safety

Let’s dive in!

What is Cure and Why Use it For Ground Beef Jerky?

Cure contains sodium nitrite or sodium nitrate that serves multiple purposes in cured meats like jerky:

  • Prevents botulism – stops Clostridium botulinum bacteria growth
  • Antioxidant – delays rancidity and extends shelf life
  • Fixes color – gives jerky its characteristic red/pink color
  • Enhances flavor – develops taste over time through curing process

These functions are especially useful for ground beef jerky where extra handling increases risks Cure prevents deadly botulism poisoning and makes the jerky safer to store

Recommended Cure Ratio For Ground Beef Jerky

The USDA recommends using 1 ounce of cure per 25 lbs of meat or 1 teaspoon of cure per 5 lbs of meat

Converted for smaller batches, that equals:

  • 1 pound of ground beef: 1⁄4 teaspoon cure
  • 5 pounds ground beef: 1 teaspoon cure

Two common curing products for jerky are:

Prague Powder #1 – 6.25% sodium nitrite, 93.75% salt

Cure #2 – 6.25% sodium nitrite, 4% sodium nitrate, 89.75% salt

Follow the 1⁄4 tsp per 1 lb ratio for both.

Adjusting Cure For Partial Batches

To accurately measure small amounts, it helps to dilute the cure first. Here are two easy methods:

Dilute in water – Dissolve 1 teaspoon cure in 1⁄4 cup water. Use 1⁄2 teaspoon of diluted cure per 1 lb ground beef.

Dilute in seasoning – Mix 1 teaspoon cure with 4 teaspoons seasoning blend. Use 1⁄4 teaspoon of seasoned cure per 1 lb.

This allows more precise measuring for partial pound batches.

Cure Alternatives and Food Safety Notes

If you prefer not to use sodium nitrite, you can substitute celery juice powder. Use double the amount of cure called for.

Celery juice works similarly but may not prevent botulism as effectively. Refrigerate cured jerky and eat within 1 week for safety.

Finally, always keep raw meat chilled below 40°F before curing and drying to prevent bacterial growth.

To properly cure ground beef jerky, use 1⁄4 teaspoon of Prague Powder #1 or Cure #2 per 1 pound of meat. Dilute and measure precisely for smaller batches. Follow food safety guidelines and correct curing ratios to safely preserve your homemade jerky.

Easy and Affordable GROUND BEEF JERKY for The Carnivore Diet


Does ground jerky need to cure?

Is a cure necessary when making jerky? For safety, yes. Using a jerky cure will inhibit bacteria growth and prevent botulism or other foodborne illnesses, as jerky is dried at low temps, not cooked. Cured jerky will also lengthen the shelf-life of your product.

Can you use too much cure in jerky?

Did you measure the cure exactly according to the instructions? Too much cure will make the jerky salty.

What is the cure for beef jerky?

Cure is the ingredient nitrite, which typically is added as sodium nitrite, but it also may include sodium nitrate. Nitrite is used to fix the color of the jerky. Nitrite also is a potent antioxidant, which prevents spoilage during storage, and a flavor enhancer.

How much jerky does 1lb of ground beef make?

You can understand why, since processing jerky takes time, and a pound of meat only produces about 1/4-pound of finished jerky. However, it really is a manageable process that you can do at home.

How long does beef jerky take to cure?

The recommended curing time is 24 hours for stripped meat and 12 hours for ground meat; my jerky turned out to be very salty. It will become too salty if you let it sit for too long to cure. If done properly, you can reduce the cure by 1/2 teaspoon for every pound of meat. Does beef jerky need to be cured? Is a cure necessary when making jerky?

Can you consider beef jerky a healthy snack?

No, as this is high in salt and other preservatives to main both its structure, taste and longevity. As a processed meat, beef jerky is also higher in saturated fat. All the salt, preservatives and saturated fat can be harmful to primarily your heart health. It is best to swap this out for some chicken breasts that have been cubed or homemade turkey balls.

Is curing salt necessary for ground beef jerky?

Yes, using curing salt is essential for ground beef jerky to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and to ensure food safety during the drying and preservation process. Curing salt also helps to preserve the color and flavor of the meat while extending its shelf life.

Should jerky be cured?

With that said, I DO recommend using cure when making ground meat jerky because the meat has been handled and processed making it more susceptible to having bacteria. I also recommend using curing salt when making turkey or chicken jerky due to salmonella.

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