Making Bacon and Pink Salt

Discussion in 'Open Forum With Bruce Aidells' started by nicko, Feb 13, 2009.

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  1. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    Former Chef
    Bruce,

    For the past couple years I have been making my own bacon at home and I use simple cure that consists of: salt, sugar, and pink salt. In my reading I understand that the pink salt is important for keeping botulism out.

    Do you always use pink salt when you cure your bacon? If no then what is your technique for curing the bacon and avoiding botulism. Is there anything you can use as a substitute for the pink salt? Lastly, would you mind sharing your ratios for your cure?


    Thanks,
     
  2. bruce aidells

    bruce aidells

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    By pink salt I assume you are referring to a nitrite or nitrate cure and yes I do always use it when using the dry cure method you describe. I would not leave it out. As far as a recipe goes 1 part sugar to 2 parts salt is good and the amount of pink salt that you already use.
     
  3. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    Yes in regards to pink salt I was talking about nitrates.

    How is it possible for some bacon manufacturers to create bacon without nitrates? I don't understand how this is possible and still be able to manufacture bacon on a large scale.
     
  4. bruce aidells

    bruce aidells

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    It is possible to make bacon using celery juice as a source of nitrites and this bacon is labeled "uncured" a term I consider very misleading since nitrites are supplied by organic means instead of in-organic and I'm not sure it makes a difference in our bodies.
    This type of curing involves water and is called wet curing.
    To make dry-cured bacon without nitrites can be done and is practiced in Italy and by at least one excellent smokehouse called Benton. To do this involves specific heat and temperature regimens that are too involved for this discussion. Maybe Alan Benton may share his thoughts with you if you contact him.
     
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