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Uncured meats

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

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?

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post #2 of 12

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)

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

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post #3 of 12

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

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamfat View Post
 

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

 

mjb.

 

huh?

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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

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?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #6 of 12

@kk

Just read the following and you will know why teamfat asked about celery......

http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/seasoningflavoring/a/nitrates.htm

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post #7 of 12

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

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #8 of 12

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.

post #9 of 12

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. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #10 of 12

Found a pretty detailed page on fermented sausages (air cured/dried as for the Spanish Chorizo). Worth looking at. I learned some things.

 

http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage-types/fermented-sausage

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by butzy View Post
 

@kk

Just read the following and you will know why teamfat asked about celery......

http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/seasoningflavoring/a/nitrates.htm

 

Oh, I see.  This may be another case of coffee is good for you coffee is bad for you coffee is good for you.  

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post
 

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. 

 

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.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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