Hi - a question about saltpetre

Discussion in 'Curing' started by grenadianbacon, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. Here in Grenada at 12 degrees north of the equator, we can get great fresh organic meat, lovely hardwoods for smoking, and this is after all the spice isle, ingredients for rubs brines etc no problem.  I have fresh nutmeg, mace, pimento(allspice) in my garden.   Theres even kosher salt.

    HOWEVER - what we can't seem to get is the premixed preserving salts like prague 1/2.  

    BUT we can easily get food grade saltpetre.  

    My question is - while i have used recipes for saltpetre and am enjoying the result, there are a lot of lovely looking dry/wet recipes that use other preserving salts, how can i safely convert them so i can use saltpetre?  Anyone know a good place to see guidance on how much to use for volumes of liquid/weights of dry mixes etc?

    Regards ...
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Saltpetre is potassium nitrate...   As you probably know, it is the concentrated form of nitrate...   Nitrate is used for long time/term dry aging/fermenting of meats...   It is NOT used for short term curing of meats...   It is used at temperatures near 50 deg. F when long term curing...   It needs certain bacteria to convert the nitrate to nitrite...  It is the nitrite that turns meat a reddish color, kills botulism bacteria to make meats safe for human consumption...

    May I suggest you contact a hotel employee, in the kitchen, and have their supplier add a few pounds of cure #1 in their next shipment from the states...   If that works, be aware of the sodium nitrite concentration in the mixture..

    Check local meat markets....


    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    There are no direct susbstitutions of Saltpeter for Cure #1 that I know of, since they work differently. Recipes designed for one type of cure needs to be made with that cure only as there would require major changes to the recipe and cure procedure to substitute. Best advice, would be to see if a local Butcher makes Cured Ham and/or Belly Bacon and beg/buy some Cure #1 from them. Try sending a PM to DiggingDogFarm he may offer some options...JJ

    Some additional info... http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/curing-salts-for-sausage-making
  4. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

  5. Thnks for the info so far, the butchers here appear to use the basic ingredients to make their stuff as its too much hassle and duty to import big bags of the premixed stuff. I think as prague 1 is just 6.25 percent sodium nitrite and kosher salt, i can easily get the sodium nitrite, and mix up a few kilo's. I'll see if i can beg a bit for use now.

    NB this is another joy of this place, you can buy just about anything, im pretty sure the agricultural shop would sell me agent orange if they could find it. They sell me 50% glyphosate [roundup on steroids] to kill weeds... Which in the caribbean are also on steroids - look up thorn trees.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Making a mix with Sodium Nitrite is a different story and with a quality scale, is easily accomplished. I suggest the smallest batch you can accurately weigh out. You want to thoroughly mix before each use...JJ

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