Uncured meats

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by koukouvagia, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I've been recently buying nitrate and nitrite free uncured meats such as ham and bacon and find them to be really good.  I'm wondering why most commercial bacon and ham is cured with nitrates and since the flavor is so good why bother with it?
     
  2. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Nitrites give the meat a bit of a redder color and the flavor a 'sharpness'.  Go get yourself cataloges or visit these two companies' websites: The Sausage Maker and AlliedKenco.

    Nitrates are used for ageing meats (term used loosely) like balogna where over time the nitrate will decompose into nitrite.

    nitrITE = NO2

    nitrATE = NO3 (one additional oxygen atom)
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  3. teamfat

    teamfat

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    Do these meats have ingredient lists?  Is celery of some sort involved?

    mjb.
     
  4. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    huh?
     
  5. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I'm just saying, what benefit do nitrates and nitrites have if I can buy bacon that is free of these but tastes great if not better?
     
  6. butzy

    butzy

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  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Nitrates and Nitrites are also used for food safety. They prevent spoilage, botulism and such. 
     
  8. j20832

    j20832

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    I am familiar with curing corned beef and bacon, but several recipes (when I google "how to make Spanish chorizo") don't call for any nitrates/nitrite, no pinking salt, tenderquick, instacure or prague powder.  How is it that chorizo can hang for weeks without botulism, etc.?  Are the most popular "hits" all potentially dangerous?  My thoughts going back to safeserve training are that mildly acidic + protein without refrigation = trouble.
     
  9. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Usually in those cases, the sausages are quite "dry" and the salt concentration is high.  There are also lactobacillus cultures involved in some cases that tend to fend off other bacteria.  Temp and humidity are also important for this technique and will not succeed in all climates. 
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  10. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    j20832 likes this.
  11. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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  12. teamfat

    teamfat

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    There's a Facebook group, The Salt Cured Pig, that focuses on such things.  These guys are SERIOUS about it, some are professionals that sell products, some are dedicated hobbyists that have special curing rooms built to precisely control the curing environment, work with farmers to raise certain breeds of pigs under certain conditions - that kind of serious.  And also a few folks like me who just make bacon and fresh sausages from time to time, though someday I may try making a real country ham myself.

    mjb.