Curing only with smoke

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by applewoodsmoker, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. If you DON'T add curing agents like nitrates and you only smoke your meats, are there concrete studies that indicate health risks from consuming meat that has only been smoked like in a smoker grill? I know there is quite a bit of literature about health risks from added nitrates. Meats for sale commonly referred to as "smoked" always have some kind of curing agents added.
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Welcome to SMF! Why don't you go over to roll call & introduce yourself so we can all give you a proper SMF welcome! If you are going to smoke bacon uncured your taking you life in your hands. First it will not taste like bacon. It will be smoked pork without cure in it, second it is dangerous to cold smoke a piece of meat without cure, because it will be in between 41-135 for longer than 4 hours, this is where harmful bacteria multiply & this is what makes you sick. There are many bacon & curing experts on here who will be able to explain this to you better. I'm sure the last thing you want to do is make someone sick eating your food.
  3. your not curing, you will ether get sick or dead  [​IMG]
  4. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    First is nitrites ...not nitrates..

    Here is some reading..

     And BTW


    This site has tons of info.

    I suggest you spend some time reading all the different forums and the WIKIs.

    Ask questions and use the handy dandy search tool for specific interests!!

    Take the awesome free E-Course!!!

    Have a great day!!!

          Make bacon the easy way!!
  5. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    At no time and no where would i  promote the idea of curing with smoke.

     If you are hot smoking 40 -140 in 4 hours or less and following USDA safety guidelines, then you don't need to cure .

     If you are trying to cold smoke without an accepted cure, then you are risking your and anyone else that you feed's health and safety.
  6. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I asked the Admins to release the original post because the responses where so darn good.

    We do not advocate using just smoke for curing.  Some of the old time recipes especially for fish use smoke only for curing.  The biggest problem with that technique is that Botulism thrives in low oxygen environments.  Smoking produces a low oxygen environment.   This technique can be very dangerous and is not recommend.  Remember in the old days the average life span was something like 35 years,  I wonder if smoke only curing had something to do with it?
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  7. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I would recommend that you listen to Al and Eman they know their poop. So don't smoke for cure.
  8. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Years ago, smokehouses ran for weeks on end, and they even used Saltpeter to preserve meat

    Nitrates/nitrites today, are the best preserving agent for meat that's currently available

    Pops wrote something up about this a while back

  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I think you will find you are consuming more Nitrite eating a Salad and having a side or two of Vegetables every day than the amount you will get from making and eating your own Bacon with a Nitrite Cure...The Safety benefits FAR OUT WEIGH any potential Health risks...BTW...The Ascorbic acid ( Vitamin C ) in a glass of Orange Juice helps reduce potential hazards regarding carcinogenic Nitrosamine formation from consuming Nitrite or Nitrate...Guess Mom had it right when she served OJ with Bacon and Eggs...JJ
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  10. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    JJ brings up an excellent, if unpopular, point here.

    Many foods we eat have nitrites/nitrates and MSG like compounds in them even in the natural state.

    Go figger?

    Good luck and good smoking

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