Non-Cured/Cured Bacon With Celery Juice? (No Pink Salt)

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by gretscher, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Before I joined the forum I was under the impression like many people that Sodium Nitrite and Nitrates were bad for you.  I learned here that so-called uncured bacon or bacon without Sodium Nitrite is actually cured in celery juice which contains Sodium Nitrite, I think some of you here say contains SN, therefore in some ways it's a bit deceptive.

    I did a search here and didn't find anyone who actually cures their bacon with celery juice.  I can only imagine because bacon will taste like bacon with Pink Salt but with celery juice I can guess it would not taste like bacon.  That's my guess.  Also maybe curing with celery juice might not be as efficient as with Pink Salt.  

    So my question is have any of you done this with celery juice?  If so what was your result? Did it taste good and was curing it with that as efficient as with Pink Salt.  Efficient I mean ease and time of curing. I take it that celery juice would cost more than the low prices of using Pink Salt. 

    I guess before Pink Salt people probably cured with celery juice.  


  2. pops6927

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

    Never had opportunity to try it.

    There are several "uncured" hot dog and bacon producers; if you like, pick up a package and report back here on it and give us your opinion and analysis!
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012
  3. Good idea, I should do that. I think I am going to get some of that Nitrite free Trader Joe's bacon. 

    Actually I did buy some BBB that was nitrite free at Fresh and Easy and it tasted great. I never had BBB before so I don't know how it compares to BBB with nitrites or nitrates in it.  I saw on the label no nitrites or nitrates but not sure if it said it had celery juice in it because I was not aware at that point that celery juice is used for curing bacon.  Now that was BBB not pork belly bacon so I have to go to Trader Joe's and try theirs. 
  4. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I believe the general consensus is that manufactures that use celery juice instead of Sodium nitrite do it so they can advertise the bacon as cured without nitrites.  They imply that the bacon is healthier for you.

    Please remember that properly cured bacon has very low amounts of residual nitrites in the final product.  This is the reason Sodium Nitrite is used instead of Sodium Nitrate.   If you use Sodium Nitrate to cure bacon there will be significantly higher level of nitrites in the final product.  The nitrites are then available to form unhealthy nitrosamines when exposed to the high heat of frying. 
  5. tjohnson

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

    The celery juice or powder was covered in a thread some time ago.

    Nitrites are nitrites, no matter where they come from


    Some producers use the "Nitrite Free" or "No Cure Added" statements as a marketing ploy, bu if you read the fine print, Nitrites are actually there, just not directly added.

    Most green vegetables contain nitrites and celery has more than most.

    I would be curious to know how well celery powder works, but have no way to test the results

    I guess I could have my MIL eat it, and if she' OK after, it's good

    If she's not...........Well????

  6. tigerregis

    tigerregis Meat Mopper

    Todd, you may have come up with a contemporary "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test". Very Wolfian of you.
  7. pamela powers

    pamela powers Newbie

    I agree. I use Himayalan Pink Salt for everything. 
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2012
  8. fpnmf, great links. Great reading. Thanks for the links. 
  9. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Careful with the celery powder, its not going to measure like cure 1 does. I tossed it, made my sticks taste funny.

    But if your the


    Go with it.
  10. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    We used to buy "organic nitrate free" bacon before I started making it. It tastes like bacon.
  11. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2012
  12. Saw some the other day but did not buy it.  Wish I did. I'm gonna go back to the store I saw it and buy some. It looked cool since it was pink.
  13. texman15

    texman15 Newbie

    I have been smoking and curing meats for years using celery seed along with the kosher salt and flavorings...haven't killed anybody!
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So, you measure success by how many folks die..  ???  Just curious...
    shedly likes this.
  15. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have to take issue with a General Statement like this on a forum that takes Safety and the Curing of meats extremely seriously. There is No Way to determine, in your home, how much Nitrate is getting into the meat with Celery Seed. Since there is little to no conversion to Nitrite, this can cause there to be too little Nitrite which can make for a Dangerous end product. This is especially true of curing Sausage and injecting Brines that contain Celery Seed or homemade Celery Juice. During the Cold/Cool (<200°F) smoking the meat is at a temperature that causes rapid reproduction of Bacteria and especially that which causes Botulism because of the low or no Oxygen environment in the smoker and within the meat. Small amounts of the Toxin produced can cause paralysis or death. There are prepackaged Cures made with Celery Juice that have specific use and measuring instructions, based on testing, to get effective curing. These are the only Celery based cures that are Safe to use...JJ
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  16. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Are the products mentioned on this thread "nitrites free" or "no nitrites added"? Very important distinction.

    As for using plain celery juice or seeds for curing: juice contains nitrate not nitrite. Once you start curing in the fridge you won't get nitrite out of the nitrate due to the low temps.
    Commercial products use " cultured celery juice" which already has nitrites as it was incubated with appropriate bacteria at appropriate temps.
    I saw pictures of some bacon cured with plain celery juice and salt. Turned Grey/brownish after cooking. Clearly there were no nitrites present there.

    I am sure this "cultured celery juice" is available for purchase but one must understand that is not just squeezed celery juice.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  17. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Oopps. You are correct. Force of habit typing Nitrite....JJ

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