Jillian, evening.... The method and conditions you are thinking about doing are dangerous..... Since you don't like the internet, and are a librarian, do some reading.... Dave
Originally Posted by AK1
I'm missing where this article talks about warm temps?
AK, Afternoon..... I was referring to cure #2 being an appropriate cure to use... I realize there are hazards included with this method of curing.... Nitrate needs warmer temps to work properly... It needs bacteria to convert to nitrite.... Since the poster was considering curing in warmer temps, (non refrigerated) I thought it was worth pointing out the "olden days" method of curing.......
Seems it was all in vain as Jillian has decided "nitrates are bad" and is going to cure in 55-60 deg temps with salt and sugar....
What’s Better, Nitrate or Nitrite?
Both Nitrates and nitrites are permitted to be used in curing meat and poultry with the exception of bacon, where Nitrate use is prohibited. Sodium nitrite is commonly used in the USA (Cure #1) and everywhere else in the world. To add to the confusion our commonly available cures contain both nitrite and Nitrate.
Many commercial meat plants prepare their own cures where both nitrite and Nitrate are used. All original European sausage recipes include Nitrate and now have to be converted to nitrite. So what is the big difference? Almost no difference at all. Whether we use Nitrate or nitrite, the final result is basically the same. The difference between Nitrate and nitrite is as big as the difference between wheat flour and the bread that was baked from it. The Nitrate is the Mother that gives birth to the Baby (nitrite). Pure sodium nitrite is an even more powerful poison than Nitrate as you need only about ⅓ of a tea-spoon to put your life in danger, where in a case of Nitrate you may need 1 tea-spoon or more. So all these explanations that nitrite is safer for you make absolutely no sense at all. Replacing Nitrate with nitrite eliminates questions like: Do I have enough nitrite to cure the meat? In other words, it is more predictable and it is easier to control the dosage. Another good reason for using nitrite is that it is effective at low temperatures 36-40° F, (2-4° C), where Nitrate likes temperatures a bit higher 46-50° F, (8-10° C). By curing meats at lower temperatures we slow down the growth of bacteria and we extend the shelf life of a product.
When Nitrates were used alone, salt penetration was usually ahead of color development. As a result large pieces of meat were too salty when fully colored and had to be soaked in water. This problem has been eliminated when using nitrite. Nitrite works much faster and the color is fixed well before salt can fully penetrate the meat. Estimating the required amount of Nitrate is harder as it is dependent on:
- Temperature (with higher temperature more nitrite is released from Nitrate).
- Amount of bacteria present in meat that is needed for Nitrate to produce nitrite and here we do not have any control. The more bacteria present, the more nitrite released. Adding sugar may be beneficial as it provides food for bacteria to grow faster.