Ham with no Nitrates

Discussion in 'Pork' started by magnum3672, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. So. I have a friend who was asking if I could cure and smoke hams for her without nitrates.  All the research I've done alludes to nitrates being in commercial hams but no hint as to they'd be in a home-cured product.

    I was wondering if (with a typical recipe) I'd get nitrates in my hams or if there's a specific curing salt that I should avoid to avoid the nitrates.

    Also this probably makes a difference but they'd be butchering their own organic piggies for these hams.

    There's no rush for this since they don't even have their first squealers yet but any help would be appreciated!

    I'll keep researching too and once I find info I'll post for you other curious folk
  2. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  3. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    Even "organic" cured meats that claim to have no nitrates use nitrates. They get away with labeling it that way because they aren't directly adding nitrite or nitrate. Instead they add celery juice which is full of nitrates. Without nitrates it is not cured.
  4. smokinal

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

  5. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just tell her NO. Anyone who asks that question doesn't have a clue why they use cures.

     There's a reason they use nitrates/nitrites to make hams.....because if they didn't you'd have smoked pork and depending how ya smoked it, it could make ya sick or very dead.

    People should worry more about drinking their water out of a plastic bottle then eating some ham that was cured with nitrate/nitrite.

    My 2 cents
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
  6. Yeah the more I've researched the more I've seen that its super time intensive for no reason other than you don't add a nitrate chemical from the get-go

    Also from what I've seen from the research the bigger concern is Sodium Nitrate rather than Potassium Nitrate for use in cures.  So I'll try and find a cure with Potassium Nitrate.

    I've also pretty much told her no, but I'd still happily take her piggies off her hands once she's raised them [​IMG]

    Also she's SUPER organic (lives on an organic farm and her husbands family has an organic dairy) and kind of obnoxious... I just wanted her organic pork
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
  7. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    keep researching Magnum...Nitrates are going out of fashion because the difficulty controling the curing process. Cure #2 is a combination of nitrites and nitrates, and is not dependent on bacteria in the meat to start doing it's thing. Oh and they are "all natrual" cemicals as in not man made.
  8. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    that is saltpeter and i'm not sure if you can still get it.
  9. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  10. fife

    fife Master of the Pit

    Good luck hope all goes well
  11. Ah, looks like she did about as much research as I had into this topic before I asked you guys (none) and now that I've done some research and shown her some articles she's coming around.  She still isn't big on using a mass-produced curing agent but realizes the importance of it.  I on the other hand am fully prepared to do more research and perhaps invest in a piggy of my own to experiment with.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH GUYS!!!!!! (and perhaps ladies, the internet is so ambiguous)

    BTW I love this website, so helpful for a newbie like me
  12. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

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