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What's "cure" for in jerky?

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Can anyone tell what the purpose of the "cure" is for in jerky kits?

Do I need it if I'm going to freeze after I smoke it?

I'd rather just use some bulk seasonings but if need it to kill germs or something, then I better use it.

By the way, notice I said smoke my jerky? I've done this now for 2 years...man is it good !

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basicly what you have in commercial jerky cure/seasonings such as High Mountain for example as far as the cure is the same as Morton Tender Quick. you are smoking or drying jerkey at low temps so the chance of bacteria is higher. they are preserving agents that have salt, sugar, both sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite[ curing agents that also contribute to development of color and flavor], and propylene glycol to keep the mixture uniform.

i use tenderquick always. when i do my own spices then i omit the salt in the recipe. the normal use for tenderquick is one tablespoon per pound of meat. do you need cure for jerky? guess that's up to the individual. most likely if you use fresh products and smoke the jerky till done and freeze right away, some have done that and had no problem. being in the buisness for over 35 years i use cure. i dont want to take a chance. good luck.

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