The Wet Cure Calculator - Support

For an introduction into the sorts of brines or pickles the app can create please see the recipes and equipment sections below.

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Recipes

If you are new to curing and smoking try these recipes out. Simply enter the values from a recipe into the Wet Cure Calculator and then adjust the weight to match the cut you have.


Honey Cured Bacon

A nice bacon for everyday use. Select a loin or belly cut around 4lb / 2kg with the skin intact. The loin should have the bone removed. Your local butcher will be able to prepare the meat for you.

  • Product: Bacon
  • Cure Method: Inject
  • Preparation: ‘Skin On’ enabled, ‘Bone In’ disabled
  • Weight: The weight of your cut.
  • Thickness: The height of the cut when it is lying flat on the benchtop.
  • Nitrite Target: 120ppm-140ppm if selectable (it is quite common for this to be regulated and so you wont be able to change it)
  • Pump Rate: 20% (it is fairly difficult to go above 20% with belly / loin)
  • Cure Accelerator: 500ppm if selectable (this is very important for Bacon as it supresses the formation of nitrosamines when it is fried)
  • Salt Concentration: 7%
  • Sweetener: Honey
  • Sweetener Concentration: 2%
  • Container: Ziplock bag (best option as it reduces the amount of cure needed)
  • Approach: Prudent (adjust this as you become more confident)

Leg Ham

Use this recipe as a starting point for creating ham. I find a whole leg is a bit large to do in a domestic kitchen, a half leg works well, 3/4 is just possible. Also when calulcating the thickness be aware it needs to be a path that is skin free so in all likelyhood it will be the width of the leg (along the bones) rather than the height.

  • Product: Ham
  • Cure Method: Inject - You may find a marinade synringe can&slquo;t quite reach the middle of the leg from the sides so a couple of small holes in the skin will help.
  • Preparation: ‘Skin On’ enabled, ‘Bone In’ enabled
  • Weight: The weight of your cut. This will be around 3kg to 4kg
  • Thickness: For a leg with skin on the thickness will be the distance from the hock to the hip (ie along the bone) as this is the only path the cure can take due to it being wrapped in skin.
  • Nitrite Target: 120ppm-140ppm if selectable.
  • Pump Rate: 30% (whole muscles like leg can take more cure)
  • Cure Accelerator: Preferably @ 500ppm due to the leg being so large. Highly recommended for adventurous or daring aproaches as it will help with an even cure in the shorter timeframes.
  • Salt Concentration: 10% (adjust to suit desired salt level)
  • Sweetener: Honey
  • Sweetener Concentration: 4.0% (Ham should be a bit sweet)
  • Container: Tub (There is no way you are fitting a leg into a ziplock bag!)
  • Approach: Prudent (adjust this as you become more confident)

Simple Corned (Salt) Beef

An easy corned (salt) beef recipe for the home cook. Traditionally corned beef is made with the tougher cuts. The best cut is the silverside ‘eye’ however you can use any part of the silverside or brisket. Trim excess fat off the cut.

  • Product: Corned/Salt Beef
  • Cure Method: Inject
  • Preparation: ‘Skin On’ disabled, ‘Bone In’ disabled
  • Weight: The weight of your cut.
  • Thickness: The height of the cut when it is lying flat on the benchtop.
  • Nitrite Target: 120ppm-140ppm if selectable.
  • Pump Rate: 20% (it is fairly difficult to go above 20%)
  • Cure Accelerator: Optional as it is unlikely the corned beef will be fried. Consider using it at 500ppm if you are using the adventurous or daring aproaches as it will help with an even cure in the shorter timeframes.
  • Salt Concentration: 7%
  • Sweetener: Sugar
  • Sweetener Concentration: 1.5%
  • Container: Ziplock bag (best option as it reduces the amount of cure needed)
  • Approach: Prudent (adjust this as you become more confident)

Equipment

You will need some equipment to cure at home.


Scales

You‘ll need scales that can weigh up to 20lb / 8kg (a whole leg of pork) to under 0.1oz / 1g (cure and other additvies). Its unlikely a single set of kitchen scales will be able to cover this range. As a general rule of thumb the lowest weight you can measure is 10x the accuracy of the scale.

  • Kitchen scales generally can weigh up to 10lb / 5kg with an accuracy of 0.1oz / 1g. This will be suitable initially but you may find you end up using 2 other scales, one for under 1oz / 25g and another for over 10lb / 5kg.
  • With a bit of searching you should be able to find scales that can weigh up to 20lb / 8kg with an accuracy of 1oz / 5g. This will probably be a better choice as a whole pork leg can be 18lb / 8kg or more. You will just need a second scale for the low range (under 2oz / 50g). Google Search
  • For very small quantities look for scales with at least 0.01oz / 0.1g accuracy. I use jewellers scales. Google Search

Syringe

Out of all the cure methods stitch injecting is the way to go, large peices of meat can take a very long time to cure using immersion techniques. So you are going to need a syringe.

  • Make sure it has a ‘stitch’ needle. This is a needle with multiple holes.
  • Make sure it can come apart for cleaning, even better make sure it iso dishwasher safe.
  • A choice of needles might be useful if you plan to do small cuts like corned beef and large cuts like whole legs.
  • The syringes are often called ‘marinade’ syringes. They are found in food stores, bbq stores and smoking specialty shops. Google Search
  • You do not need a medical syringe / needle!

Sodium Nitrite

Sodium Nitrite is the essential ingredient for curing. I do not recommend obtaining pure sodium nitrite as in its pure form it is toxic. Use curing salts instead (mixed with salt) instead as the salt content makes it impossible to consume harmful dosages.

  • Its goes by several names: Prague Powder #1, Insta Cure #1, Pink Salts #1.
  • Its ‘E’ number is 250.
  • Its chemical formula is NaNO2.
  • Do Not confuse it with Sodium Nitrate (NaNO3), this is used to cure non-cooked products like salami.
  • You should be able to find it in food technology stores, bbq stores and smoking specialty shops. Google Search

Sodium Erythorbate (Sodium Iso-Ascorbate)

Sodium Erythorbate is an anti oxidant / cure accelerator. Its helps prevent the formation of nitrosamines when cured meat is fried.

  • It is highly recommended in Bacon (in some countries its use is mandatory in bacon).
  • It is also recommended if you use daring or adventurous as it will help obtian an even cure in the shorter timeframes.
  • It is a salt of an isomer of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)
  • Its ‘E’ number is 316.
  • This will be the hardest to obtain, try food technology stores and smoking specialty shops. Google Search