Bacon Without Pink Salt (Nitrates/Nitrites)

Discussion in 'Pork' started by swampmouse, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. swampmouse

    swampmouse Fire Starter

    Hey Guys,

    I am wondering if anyone has ever done any bacon without nitrates / nitrites in it. Seems like a shame to make homemade bacon and add chemicals. I know its been done that way forever, but if I can avoid the chemicals, then I would like to try it. Every bacon recipe i have seen on here uses pink salt or cure. My brother is allergic to nitrates and nitrites, and I am sure he would love me to figure out how to do it without it.

    Any advice would be appreciated!


  2. Welcome to the forum!

    Salt is a chemical, so it's pretty difficult to avoid chemicals when making bacon.
    Nitrite is recommended when cold smoking meats.for protection against the bacterium that causes botulism.

    You can hot smoke nitrite-free 'bacon' safely, but you'll end up with something that's more like smoked roasted pork belly.

    Just sayin'
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  3. dpeart

    dpeart Smoke Blower

    I'd suggest you use the search feature, there are lots of threads on this subject.

    Also read up on the "food danger zone"

    IMO you cannot safely make what I would call traditional (cold smoked) bacon without curing the meat for two reasons. First, the cold smoking keeps the meat in the danger zone for too long for a safe product and secondly if it isn't cured it isn't what I call bacon, but pork.

    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  4. Can your brother eat vegetables?

    I ask because you can use celery juice powder in place of a traditional cure.

    Nitrates are naturally present in many vegetables. Vegetables high in nitrates are beets, lettuce, spinach, and most green, leafy vegetables.
  5. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Tomato, tomoto... Like mentioned above,  nitrites are found in nature especially in greens. Celery is used to made nitrite free cured meats, as the big guys advertise, but they use it cause it contains large amounts of Nitrite. 

    With out the nitrite it's not bacon and it will never taste like bacon.

    The sells the celery power....check it out.... but it's still nitrite.
  6. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    so if BIL is allergic to nitrates/nitrites i am guessing he cannot eat celery, or any of the brassica family of veggies... cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccolli etc... not to mention the naterally produced by your body. dont matter where they come from, an element is an element.
  7. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    In the average person's body, 10% of nitrites come from cured items.  90% are from other items or otherwise naturally in the body?

    Is BIL allergic to himself?

    Good luck and good smoking.
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Not only is Cold smoking without cure risky...No cure Bacon doesn't taste the same...There are recipes for Refrigerator Bacon that is Salt cured with Smoke Salt, Smoked Paprika or Smoke Powder added for the flavor of Smoke without Smoking...About as close as you can get...JJ
  9. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you really don't like cure?

    Salt the bellies down well and hold them in the fridge for about a week or a little more.  Add seasonings if you wish.

    You will get "salt pork".  Not a bad product.  It just ain't bacon.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  10. swampmouse

    swampmouse Fire Starter

    Well, I guess in that case I'll be makin' me some bacon, and too dang bad for my brother! If it don't taste like "bacon", then it aint! So, I guess I'll find me some cure and get to making bacon!

    Thanks for all the info guys.


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