HELP - I'm new - how do I make bacon without the nitrate / nitrite

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by peppermill, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. peppermill

    peppermill Newbie

    I'd love to hear from the experts if you have experimented with making bacon without the curing salt # 1, saltpeter, quick cure or whatever you would like to call it.

    I am aware that there may be risks involved but would like to hear some opinions on it and even some recipes or proven ways that some of the members have made it.

    I have heard of some butchers making a wet cure with just salt, sugar and water, and then smoking a bit longer and at a slightly higher temperature.  I've also heard of a wet cure with just salt and water.

    I do apologize if some of this has been discussed and posted on before (and I'm assuming it has) but it would take me days to read through all the posts about making bacon.  

    Thanks in advance,

  2. jsdspif

    jsdspif Meat Mopper

    i see some times celery juice powder is talked about for curing . I did buy some hot dogs a while back that said nitrate free (only whats naturally occuring in celery juice ) or something like that on the label . I've never used it , i usually use mortons TQ or butcher packers maple cure . You might just google celery juice powder cure ... or whatever . I just did a really quick search and look but it seems like most people say nitrates are nitrates . I'm not sure why people don't want to use tenderquick or whatever . Maybe it's something along the same lines as people that claim they get a headache from foods with msg in them ?? I'm kind of curious on anyones reason as to why you don't want or can not use certain curing ingrediants ????
  3. peppermill

    peppermill Newbie

    Thank you so much fpnmf for the link.  I will have a look through those.

    jsdspif - there are more and more people wanting foods these days without preservatives - food that is as natural as possible.  Nitrates / nitrites are not a natural food product.
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I wouldn't do it----Without proper curing you will just have salty pork.

    If you go with just salt & sugar, don't keep it soaking too long, and make sure you get it to 140 IT in no longer than 4 hours. Then finish it to at least 145 IT.

    How can something found in veggies not be natural?

  5. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  6. peppermill

    peppermill Newbie

    Very interesting read fpnmf.  Gives me a lot to think about.  Thanks for sharing this link!
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Nitrates and Nitrites are Naturally Occurring Salts found in Sea Water, natural deposits and in many Green Vegetables. With approx. 120,000,000 Hogs being produced in the US each year with the bulk of the meat being Cured into Hams, Hot Dogs, Bacon and other Sausages...There is NO WAY all the Nitrite required to Safely and quickly Cure that much Pork could be obtained from Natural Sources, too much inconsistency, not to mention that few could afford the price of such products. The result is chemically produced Sodium Nitrite in sufficient quantities to meet the demand and to provide consistent results. There is no reason you can't make Bacon without a Cure but it is really just Smoked Salt Pork at the end. It will not have the same color and you can only Hot Smoke it at 200*F+ up to an IT of 135*F. I have used this Recipe with good results but it was not the same...JJ

    No Cure Bacon

    For each 3-4 Lb Piece

    1/2C Kosher Salt

    1/2C Brown Sugar

    Rub and Bag for 4 Days.Turn and Drain any liquid every 12 hours.

    Rinse well and pat dry well.


    2T Smoked Paprika

    1T Garlic Pwd

    1T Onion Pwd

    1tsp Cayenne Pepper

    1tsp Black Pepper

    1tsp White Pepper

    1/2tsp Allspice

    Rub and bag each piece for 4 days. Turn and Drain any liquid every 12 hours.

    Remove from bag and pat dry if needed.

    It can be sliced and Fried at this point or Hot smoked at 200*F+ to an IT of 135*F then cooled, sliced and Fried before eating.

    This is a bit on the Spicy side so reduce the Peppers if less heat is desired. The amount of Salt used and removing the Moisture reduces the risk of Bacteria growth.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013

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