Universal Cure calculator

This cure calculator can be used for measured dry cures or equilibrium brine (wet) cures. Measured dry cures are also sometimes referred to as EQ Cures.

It is designed for the experienced curer – those who will know to adjust the meat weight for any bone. Those who realise that meat takes a very long time to reach equilibrium in an eq brine.

They will also be aware of curing safely and using a sufficiently strong brine to protect the meat whilst it is curing when using a brine cure.

The input to the form is in grams rather than lb and oz. This is for purely practical purposes; for example, 2.5% of 1000gm is far easier to calculate than 2.5% of 2lbs2oz. It also uses weight for all measurements; this is because the volumes of solids are variable.

To convert US measures to grams you can use our:

US measures to grams converter

Dry Cure and Brine Cure Calculator
Input boxes require a number or zero
Total Weight of Meat in grams gm
Salt % required %
Sugar % required %
Nitrite % in Curing Salts %
Parts Per Million (mg/kg) Nitrite required
If you are adding Saltpetre:
Parts Per Million (mg/kg) Nitrate (if required)
For brine cures:
Total Weight of Curing Brine Required gm
Your results are:
Water/Liquid required gm
Nitrite Curing salts required gm
Saltpetre required gm
Salt gm
Sugar gm
Total gm

29 thoughts on “Universal Cure calculator”

  1. I’m afraid to say your salt calculation for the brine calculator is wrong. If you use
    Total Weight of Meat in grams = 1000
    Salt % required = 3
    Sugar % required = 1.5
    Nitrite % in Curing Salts = 6.25
    Parts Per Million (mg/kg) Nitrite required = 150
    Parts Per Million (mg/kg) Nitrate (if required) = 300
    Total Weight of Curing Brine Required 1000

    Then the result for salt is 55.5g
    it should be 60g
    This is only for information you site is full of good information.

    1. That would be the case if there wasn’t additional salt in the Cure #1. The calculator adds the salt in the Cure #1 to the added salt to calculate the total salt percentage.

  2. Hi Wheels,

    I can,t get hold of Cure #1 where I live. I have a product called Nitritex and they won’t give the percentage of Nitrite to salt ratio in their product. But the recommended dosage per kg of meat is 1gm per kg of meat. Can you tell me how Nitritex to put in a wet cure for 7kg of meat on the bone to be pumped and wet cured.?

    I will neex about 7 litres of liquid to cover the meat

    1. Sorry for the delay in replying – the dreaded Covid got me! I’m loathed to advise based on guesswork but whereabouts in the World are you? Do they have a maximum legal limit for nitrite in meat? If so, I’m prepared to guess if you have no possible alternative.

  3. First time curing meat. I was using your calculator and was unsure about what it meant. The meat is 1030 g and the nitrite level in the salt is 6.25. The calculator calls for 150 ppm of nitrite. So, is it calling for 150 ppm of nitrite or pink salt?

  4. This calculator has been incredibly helpful, especially since my curing salt is 12.5% & this was the first calculator that allowed me to adjust that. Thank you 😊

  5. Hi Phil, I’m back in the saddle but a bit rusty! Planning on2 ham hocks, 1 wet and 1 dry brine. Re hock weight do you use the total (meat + bone) weight or guesstimate the meat weight only. TIA

    1. Hi John. I’m lad to hear that you’re back in the saddle. I generally allow around 40% for the bone. However, it’s one of the things that I think we have to accept won’t be 100% accurate. Enjoy the hocks, they have great flavour and are one of my favourite cuts.

      1. Thanks Phil, I went for guesstimate of 30% and I think my cure#1 will be a bit light as it had absorbed some moisture and I had done the brine and dry rub before I twigged! I’ll give it a couple of extra days to compensate. I later dried the cure salt in a low oven but it has lost its pink color so have ordered a new packet.

  6. I’m wet curing two pork loin joints for the first time using Lucas sweet cure at 50 gms per kg of meat. 2% salt and 1% sugar required. Nitrite is 6.25%. Curing to be done in a bag with 500 grams total of brine. The meat joints weigh respectively 1128 grams and 1330 grams. Could you tell me please how long it will take to complete curing before drying and smoking?
    May I just say this cure calculator is great. I’ve used it a lot for dry curing

    1. Hi Roger
      As far as I am aware Lucas sweet cure is not 6.25% nitrite. You will need to contact Lucas for a specification for the cure to be able to use it safely in a wet cure. My guess would be that it’s around 0.3% Nitrite but I’m not prepared to advise a cure based on a guess. For an equilibrium wet cure I would normally cure for around 10 days per kg. Please post back with the details and I try to help in formulating a cure using the Lucas product.

      1. Hi Phil,
        Thank you very much for your prompt reply. I have enquired of Lucas for the constitution of their sweet cure and am awaiting a reply and will let you know as soon as I hear back.

        I have to say that your site has been a very great help to me. I started on sausages some 3 years ago and now onto curing and smoking bacon and hams. Your advice is so good I am rather surprised that you do not require some sort of subscription. Yoy clearly put a great deal of work into research. Thank you for all your assistance so far.

  7. Hi Phil,
    I have been onto Weschenfelder and the best they do was to go to Laycocks the manufactures. They would only say Sodium Nitrite E250 1.5 – 2.0%. Sodium Nitrate E251 2.1 – 2.6%. They advised against using it for wet Brining
    I also found LucasEasicure Trad: Flavour curing salt to be E250 Sodium Nitrite 0.80% and Sodium Nitrate E253 0.5% Antioxidant E301 less than 2%. For dry curing 30grm per Kg meat.
    The two joints are together in one container with 2.5 litres of water. All three joints have been brine of a sort for days.
    Would the best bet be to decant ll. Dry them and start again using Surfy’s Insta cure at the advised rate of 7.5 gms per total kilos of meat and water together. This cure is 93.75% salt and 6.25% Sodium Nitrite and I’m advised it will need extra salt.
    Do you think there is a reconstruction plan? I await your good advice as to which way I Go.
    Best Regards

      1. Hi Phil,
        There are three joints. Two are together in one container. The third is in a vacuum pack bag and sealed twice. I was using Leycocks Sweet Cure # 1 at 50 gms per Kg of meat and water. For the two together in a single container the total weight of curing brine required was 2500 gms. On the calculator the water required was 2356.43 gms and the Nitrate curing salt required 11.43 gms.
        With the single joint curing in a bag, the weight of the curing brine required was 700 gms. The water required was 435.68 gms. The Nitrite curing salt required was 4.39 gms. This seemed very little when I weighed it out. which lead me to contact Weschenfelder the suppliers; the results I have explained above. I had no indication on the packaging of the cure that there was any Nitrate in it. All it said was the rate of usage to be 50 gms per kilo of meat. I have been using Leycocks Sweet Cure #1 for dry curing with no seeming trouble for the last three years.
        I hope this helps you to be able to advise.
        Best regards,

        1. Oh Blimey!
          So that’s 2 pieces of meat together – 1128 grams and 1330 grams = total 2458gm?
          2356.43gm water ?
          11.43gm Lucas Sweet Cure?
          in one container.
          Plus, in a bag
          a piece of meat weighing how much?
          435.68gm water?
          4.39gm Laycocks sweet cure?
          Please advise/confirm/correct in the format above so that I’m 100% on the details

  8. Hi Phil,
    Now correct. 2 pieces of meat together – 1128 grams and 1034grams. total 2154 grams. I apologise my error
    Correct. 2356.43 grams water/liquid required according to the result of the calculated cure
    The total weight brine required and put into the calculation was 2500 grams.
    Correct. 11.43 grams of Lucas (it is the same as Leycocks. They seem to be all part of the same company who manufacture the cure )
    Correct. in one container.

    Correct. The third pork loin joint is in a bag.
    This joint weighed 1330 grams.
    Correct. 435.68 grams of water/liquid required according to the calculated cure.
    Correct. 4.39 grams of Leycock/Lucas sweet cure.
    I am truly sorry to be such a pain.
    I still wonder it would be possible to decant all three joints and start again with Surfy’s 93.75% salt and 6.25% Nitrite cure#1 at 7.5 grams per kilo of meat and water together.
    Again I apologize for all the errors and confusion and thank you for the trouble you are taking.
    Best regards,

    1. Whilst the two cures may seem the same, they have very different levels of nitrite/nitrate.

      I have run the figures through my spreadsheet and would do as you suggest. However, I would calculate the amount of salt. sugar and cure #1 (Instacure) using the universal cure calculator. Cure time will need to be in the region of 10 – 15 days per kilo with a resting period after curing to allow the cure and other ingredients to equalise throughout the meat.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know how it turns out.

  9. Hi Phill,
    Will take yor advice. Decant all 3 joints, wash,dry and start again with Surfys Prague #1at the rate of 7.5 gms per kilo of combiued weight of meat and water, 2.5% salt and 1% sugar.
    Will let you know results when done .Thank you for aall your help.
    Best regards,

    1. What I actually said was: “…However, I would calculate the amount of salt. sugar and cure #1 (Instacure) using the universal cure calculator.”

  10. Hi,

    This has been incredibly helpful so far and i agree with being able to change the nitrite levels.

    I have two pieces of venison with the intention of making pastrami.

    666+570grams for a total of 1236grams of meat.

    I used
    2% salt
    1% sugar
    1.6% nitrite (MPC 16 total cure, which also has salt and sugar in it)
    1000g (mL) brine

    I added
    19.5grams of MPC 16
    25 grams salt
    20 grams sugar
    1 liter of water ( i figure 70ml) extra should be okay
    pickling spice.

    Heated the brine, mixed and chilled it and added to sit in for 50-60 hours. Is that long enough? Seems to be fine according to many youtube cowboys. I will smoke and steam this meat of course.

    Pretty anxious with nitrite or botulism concerns but that seems to come a lot with first times and harvesting / field prepping your own meat. More so I just really want make some killer reuben sandwiches with all this meat.


  11. Hi Phil,
    Do you rember the 6&8 I got myself into wet curing 4 pok loin hams. Two wet together in a tub. One wet cured in a bag. One driy cured. Tha ks to yor guidance they all turned just great, Tha k you.
    I now have another question. I am wet curing a spatchcocked chicken using this universal curing calculator. With chicken should I reduce the meat weigh by 30% to allow for bone or a bit more or even at all? When immersed in the cure how many days should it be before washing, drying and smoking?
    Again your advice will be much appreciated.
    The next time I cure such a chicken it will dry curing. Then find which way produces the best meat when cooked.
    Very best regards,

    1. I’m sorry for the delay in replying Neil. I guess you’ve sorted this by now. The nearest thing I make similar to this is cured turkey meat. I pump cure (Inject) a cure containing seven-up (or sprite) as a cure accelerator. It was originally posted as a wet brine on the sausage-making forum and I’ve adapted it. For chicken I’d go for a (very) short cure, almost a marinade, and treat the end product as if it was fresh. I hope this helps

  12. Hi Phil I am planning on smoking a 75 lb hog for our 50th anniversary I was wondering what your thoughts were on pumping the hind quarters so they would be like a ham the rest would be pumped with a rib rub solution any thoughts would be helpful thanks

    1. Hi Randy

      This is way outside of my skill set. I’ve never done whole hog cooking as I just don’t have the space. I would have concerns about injecting nitrite cure in a short term brine in that it might leave patchy results with some areas red and others grey – this would not look good or eat well.

      I’m afraid you’ll have to trust one of the online bbq groups.

      I’m sorry that I can’t be of more help. Please let me know what you end up doing and how it turns out.


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