I want to make another batch of bacon this summer, but I've been doing a lot of reading about nitrosamines. This is the impression I have now:
-If you want to cold smoke bacon (and you do), you need a nitrite or nitrate.
-If you cure bacon with nitrite or nitrate, then when you cook it, particularly at high temperatures, nitrosamines form. These are bad.
-If you add ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, or sodium erythorbate to the cure, then that radically inhibits nitrosamines formation, which is a very smart-sounding thing to say. It's not just a matter of eating vitamin C with the bacon - it won't counteract nitrosamines that have already formed in the bacon, but it can prevent them from forming while cooking.
There are things I haven't been able to answer conclusively:
1) I found one site that said ascorbic acid will counteract the nitrite entirely over a ten-day cure, leaving me with a nifty case of botulism if I try to cold smoke that "cured" bacon. I can't find that site now, but I could find this one which suggests something similar: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22054846
So is ascorbic acid even safe to use in a dry cure? I've heard discussion about these accelerants being used mainly in pumped bacon, mainly because that's the kind of bacon the USDA specifies has to use one of these chemicals. Which of these three chemicals would I be recommended to use in a dry cure?
2) Let's say I'm curing 25 lbs of pork belly with a standard dry cure - 10 oz. salt, 5 oz. sugar, 2 oz. pink salt. Let's also say I want to use sodium erythorbate to make myself feel safer and to secure a nice color. How much do I add? Do I have to adjust any of the other amounts? Do I have to adjust the time I would spend curing? Any input would be appreciated.