Curing salt is primarily a combination of a curing agent, nowadays usually sodium nitrite, and salt. Depending on the particular mix, sugar, dextrose, propylene glycol, coloring, flavorings, and spices may be added. Some curing salts also contain additional curing agents, such as sodium nitrate. The purpose of the curing agent is to prevent the formation of botulism and to fix the pink color of the meat. The plain curing agents are toxic and used in very small quantities. To simplify measuring, curing agents are generally added to salt, as previously described. Typically, 125 grams (4 ounces) of curing salt is sufficient for 50 kilograms (100 pounds) of meat. This is the case when the curing salt is added directly to the meat, as in making sausage. Larger quantities are used for brines and dry rubs.
Prepare the brine with proportions as shown in sufficient quantity to cover the meat. If the meat is greater than about 2.5cm (1") thick, inject the meat with some brine, about 10% by weight. Place the meat in a non-reactive container and cover with brine.
Weight the meat slightly to keep it immersed. Brine for 3 to 5 nights, depending on the thickness.
On the final day, rinse the meat and pat dry with absorbent paper. Arrange on racks in the refrigerator and dry overnight.