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Making bacon...do I really need pink salt?

 
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yukoff
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03 13 9:19 am    Post subject: Making bacon...do I really need pink salt? Reply with quote

I am about to make some bacon, which calls for a marinade in the fridge for 7 days. I'd like to avoid using pink salt, what changes would I have to do to avoid bacteria growth?

I've seen one recipe that doesn't use pink salt, but requires 7days in the fridge, just can't tell how this one differs.
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03 13 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are using TenderQuick you don't use Pink Salt, or if you use a commercial cure, what you do need are the nitrites and nitrates that are in Pink Salt and in the other cures.
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yukoff
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03 13 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! I am trying to avoid nitrates/nitrites altogether. Trying to make it chemical free. Any suggestions?
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roxy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03 13 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Without cure of some sort in the recipe you wont really end up with "bacon".. What you get is salt pork. The cure will change the colour of the meat so it looks like bacon as we know it.
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yukoff
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03 13 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

is that all that cure does - add color and prevent spoilage?
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BUGSnBBQ
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03 13 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's something I did last year. I caught a lot of flak for not using Cure, but it turned out GREAT. Funny your post came up, as the wife and I were just talking about doing this again.
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jess
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03 13 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yukoff wrote:
is that all that cure does - add color and prevent spoilage?
I would not down play the prevent spoilage... Rolling Eyes
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OKBBQEA
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03 13 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you eat celery, carrots, spinach, etc... You are eating sodium nitrate, which is a mineral.

When you ingest this mineral your body converts it to sodium nitrite which is a bacteria inhibitor.

You can skip the sodium nitrate in the bacon making process and make some tasty bacon but remember you are playing a game of Russian Roulette.

You may make 5 good slabs but that 6th one is going to kill you.

Since I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables that naturally contain sodium nitrate. I prefer to play it safe and add it to my processed meats as well.
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biker.chef
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04 13 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you make good bacon with TenderQuick rather than "pink salt"?

just askin'. I have TQ and I'm thinking of makin bacon
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GF
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04 13 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

biker.chef wrote:
Can you make good bacon with TenderQuick rather than "pink salt"?

just askin'. I have TQ and I'm thinking of makin bacon


biker.chef, you can use tenderquick with no problem. Very Happy
If the recipe your using calls for a different cure, cut way back on the salt you add, TQ is mostly salt. Wink
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biker.chef
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04 13 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks GF
the daughter is coming home for winter break so I'm thinking of making her some bacon.
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southpaw_1979



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04 13 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought I replied to this last night but I guess I never hit submit and got distracted.

I make my bacon with no pink salt or nitrates/nitrites.

I use only sugar and salt for the cure. I use 2 parts salt, 1 part sugar. I started doing it by cups, but found by weight is better. Then a bunch of black pepper. I add some herb to it usually, I've used crumbled bay leaves, rosemary, whatever I have on hand. Some I do with no herbs. I am very generous with the salt/sugar mixture. I put rub it on and put in ziplock bags for about a week in the fridge, turning over a few times.

Then I rinse it/soak it and hot smoke it, until it is fully cooked, (I usually take it off around 165°F). I eat a couple strips right away, then I freeze it. After this I do not eat it, without fully cooking it.

This is partly why I feel safe without the cure, I am hot smoking to fully cooked, and I fully cook it again before consumption. This is nothing like salt pork that I grew up making, that was salt only, in a brine solution, no sugar, and no smoking.

I do not make any guarantees that this is as safe as using a curing salt, but my evaluations are that it is adequately safe for me, and I am controlling all the steps and how it is stored, etc. If there were any variations along the way, I would pitch it in the garbage. I am very concerned about food safety. I would not store this in the fridge for a long period of time like you might do with a "cured" bacon or sausage. Like I said I know the steps I've taken and how I've stored, cleaned, cooked, etc. I think each person must do their research and evaluate the risks before they choose to eliminate the cure from their bacon. If they do, they must take steps to countermeasure those risks.
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Chef
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05 13 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now remember folks if you are adding salt you are adding nitrates. You are also adding nitrates and nitrites if you are smoking, burning coals release both. The nitrates and nitrites are not for adding color that is simply a by product of the chemical reactions that preserves the meat. If you look at smoking meats, which is anything cooked over coals. Then you are adding nitrates and nitrites, the "smoke ring" on a brisket has nothing to do with smoke it is part of the curing process ans coals are burning. lol seems like we are always discussing Garde Manger 101 on here. Nitrates are for long term curing where the meat will not be cooked, ie serrano ham, nitrites break down faster and are used for short term curing where the meat will be cooked before eating, ie smoked sausage. Now what people are scared of are chemicals called nitrsamines. Many years ago they were deterined to be carcinogenic. Nitrosamines are found in the body naturally in the salivary glands and in the intestinal tract, their level in the body are also affected buy the amount of nitrates and nitrites you ingest. Now nitrosamines are formed when we cook meat that contains nitrates and nitrites, ie frying bacon. There are some cure accelorators that inhibit nitrosamine formation. If you are not cooking the coured meat then there is no danger of raising your nitrsamine level. Hundreds of other substances have been tested to cure meat, but not work as well as nitrates and nitrites, Therefore the risk of not using them is much more dangerous then using them to prevent to prevent botulism.
Dang you would think I teach this stuff. lol After Christmas break my 2nd year students will be making sausage so this is a good warmup for me explaning the importance of being able to cure foods. Now of course the need to cure foods is no longer necessary, but we still do it for the flavor it imparts to meats.
Well I think I have said enough, if you have some question or want to study this some send me an IM and I can give you the names of some different books that may help.
Johnny
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