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Old 03-23-2007, 05:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudbug
um........I thought I read somewhere that long ago saltpeter was traditionally used to render the troops less "frisky" while on R&R.

Am I dreaming?
I guess you never knew any military men!
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Old 03-23-2007, 05:04 PM   #12
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touche, Uncle Bob!
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Old 03-23-2007, 05:25 PM   #13
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You are not incorrect mudbug. That was one of the things it was used for in the "olden days".

I've commented a time or two that we should slip it into the water at work to keep the hormones at bay.
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Old 03-23-2007, 05:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix
You are not incorrect mudbug. That was one of the things it was used for in the "olden days".

I've commented a time or two that we should slip it into the water at work to keep the hormones at bay.
Miss Alix..

Slippin it into the water.. Was that in the "olden days" as well??
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Old 03-23-2007, 05:44 PM   #15
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Old 03-23-2007, 05:55 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
As much as I like Alton Brown - IMHO he really dropped the ball on this one because potassium nitrate comes in powder, small crystals, and large crystal forms. Without knowing which form he was using - using a volume measure could be dangerous.

Ironically - his episode of Corn the Beef is going to be on again this evening (23 Mar 2007) ... but here is his recipe for corning beef.

I have to second Uncle Bob's suggestion to consider using Morton's Tender Quick ... as does the National Center for Home Food Preservation on their page about Curing and Smoking Sausages - look under the section on Nitrates and Nitrites which says in part (but, I suggest you read the entire section):

... Extreme Cautions must be exercised in adding nitrate or nitrite to meat, since too much of either of these ingredients can be toxic to humans. ...

and

... it is strongly recommended that a commercial premixed cure be used when nitrate or nitrite is called for in the recipe. The premixes have been diluted with salt so that the small quantities which must be added can more easily be weighed. This reduces the possibility of serious error in handling pure nitrate or nitrite. Several premixes are available. Many local grocery stores stock Morton® Tender Quick® Product and other brands of premix cure. Use this premix as the salt in the recipe and it will supply the needed amount of nitrite simply and safely.

Oh - and a quick survey of drug stores in my area - they don't carry saltpeter anymore ... they have to have a special permit these days thanks to the "teeny" bombers and such. However, you can find it online from sausage making equipment suppliers, and the pharmacist at my son's store said you might also be able to find it at a feed store.

One other resource you might check is your local butcher ... if they make their own sausages. They might be able to sell you some, tell you how much to use, or point you in the direction of a resource.
Just wanted to bring this to the forefront again! This is MUST reading for anyone who contemplates using this stuff. Especially in it's raw form.

Great Job Michael!!!!!
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Old 03-23-2007, 06:31 PM   #17
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mudbug ... there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that potassium nitrate (saltpeter) is an anaphrodisiac - a libido killer. There are more "scientific" explanations available ... but I think Barbara "hard truths" Mikkelson offers a fine (not too technical) answer here on her page, The Saltpeter Principle.

Sorry - this is an urban myth.
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Old 03-23-2007, 06:38 PM   #18
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Steeeerike! Fast Ball down the middle!

Another (as usual) good job Michael! This myth needs to be debunked once and for all!
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Old 03-23-2007, 07:55 PM   #19
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I searched the Internet and found Morton's Tender Quick available at Morton's site. It's a little under $4 for a 2-pound bag. Here's a link: MORTON Salt Online Store | Product Catalog
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Old 03-23-2007, 08:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie E
I searched the Internet and found Morton's Tender Quick available at Morton's site. It's a little under $4 for a 2-pound bag. Here's a link: MORTON Salt Online Store | Product Catalog
Morton's Tender Quick can be found in most large/major grocery stores in the U.S. - saving the "shipping and handling" fee incurred when buying online. It can generally be found in one of three different places (depending on the store):

1 - with the canning supplies
2 - with the salt
3 - with the spices
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