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Old 11-02-2012, 03:06 AM   #1
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Pink salt, curing meat and charcuterie

Hey all, I was wondering if anyone had some information for me on the use of pink curing salts for doing pancetta, guanciale, and prosciutto. Is there any controversy over using such curing salts? Is it easily attainable? If there are issues surrounding using curing salt are there any nitrate and nitrite infused salts that are a better alternative.

Thanks for your help:)

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Old 11-02-2012, 03:48 AM   #2
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I don't know what a pink curing salt is, but I just use saltpeter.
Here is a nice guide: Curing and Smoking Meats for Home Food Preservation
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:56 AM   #3
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I've never used it before but in this book I just picked up by Michael ruhlman called: charcuterie it mentions pink curing salt in all the recipes. That was my thought as well, we use saltpetre for all our cures at work. Thanks for the reply, I'll give the guide a look!
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:01 AM   #4
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Great link! Prague powder #1 is pink curing salt fyi. It would seem its just premixed saltpetre
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:31 AM   #5
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I do not believe the Italians us pink curring salt for the meats you mentioned. Pink salt is generally used as a replacement for salt peter.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:13 PM   #6
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I used it a few months ago to cure a beef tongue. It was amazing. Took a week but it was so worth it. Can't wait to do it again
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The eager apprentice View Post
I've never used it before but in this book I just picked up by Michael ruhlman called: charcuterie it mentions pink curing salt in all the recipes. That was my thought as well, we use saltpetre for all our cures at work. Thanks for the reply, I'll give the guide a look!
"Pink curing salt" would appear to be a proprietary mixture of rock salt, saltpetre and pink artificial colouring to give the meat an appetising appearance. Not sure why it should be necessary because the saltpetre performs that purpose.

Impossible to buy saltpetre in pharmacies in the UK nowadays because of the explosive connection. Mind you, I don't think I could blow up very much with a quarter of an ounce of saltpetre and if I was really up to no good it would take me years to acquire enough to make a worthwhile bomb if I was traipsing round all the shops in the district buying it at the rate of 1/4 ounce a time. Oddly, you can buy it in 1 kilogramme quantities on Amazon so the rule seems a bit silly.

I used to prefer to make my own curing mixtures, mostly taken from Jane Grigson's "Charcuterie and French Pork Cooking", so I could vary the flavours for different meats or dishes. Don't do it much these days as I don't have suitable storage facilities in this house.

If you do cure your own meat I can't recommend Mrs Grigson's book highly enough. It has some wonderful recipes and a lot of really in depth information.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:55 PM   #8
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Prague Powder #1 is used for brine curing (bacon). 94% table salt and 6% sodiom nitrite
Prague Powder #2 is used for dry curing (pepperoni) Same as #1 except it also contains nitrate along with the nitrite.
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