Salty Pork VS Bacon and curing..

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robert j mcgill

Original poster
Jan 8, 2017
I just realized today that I have been curing my pork belly without nitrates, just salt/sugar. Which technically means it wasn't being cured at all. Quite a number of articles out there claiming that kosher talk on its own is enough to cure meat. It might even be controversial within this forum.

Refrigeration obviously slows the growth of bacteria, nitrates are apparently very effective at this as well. But what about salt? Does it play a role in inhibiting growth at all? Or is it simply present for osmosis to occur?

My current thinking is that since meat can stay good under refrigeration for 5-7 days (Under correct conditions), then a salt brined piece of meat would either not affect the lifetime at all or would potentially even increase it. The only downside I would see is that the smoked meat/finished product would not keep in the fridge longer than any other cooked piece of meat without the nitrates present.

Is hot smoked meat that went through a 7 day salt brine without nitrates a health risk? 

I'd like to hear some thoughts from some experts here.
There are a couple of guys on here that can answer your questions.

I'm sure one will be along shortly.

In the meantime, would you swing by "Roll Call" & introduce yourself.

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