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Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing

GrannyX4GrannyX4 Posts: 1,476
edited January 2012 in EggHead Forum
I'm going to order this book and I was wondering what curing salt or salts are used in this book? I have morton tender quick and I'm not sure what if any, other salts are that I might need.

56 and sunny in the Sunshine state. The egg and the fireplace are on.
Every day is a bonus day and every meal is a banquet in Winter Springs, Fl !

Comments

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited January 2012
    you ideally want pink curing salt (not pink himalayan salt, that's just 'salt').

    curing salt is nitrite mixed with a lot of salt in order to make measuring easier, since nitrite is technically toxic (especially to bacteria).  they color it pink so you won't confuse it with table salt.

    tenderquick is similar, but it is a premixed cure, whereas pink salt is only an INGREDIENT of a cure.

    tenderquick has even more salt and more sugar, but no other flavorants. it also has nitrate in it in addition to nitrite, so it is kind of a universal base cure.  you add other flavors, and cure away.

    problem is, the Charcuterie book will have ratios for cures that depend on adding salt and sugars separatelt.  since they're already in the tenderquick, you'd have to do a little math...

    best to buy the pink salts for the recipes in th book, and to use the tenderquick in recipes that call for tenderquick specifically.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • BotchBotch Posts: 5,157
    Got this book awhile back but haven't perused it yet.  What's weird is everytime I go to Amazon's site, there's an ad on the side that says something like "Hi Botch, sell your book Charcuterie back to us and earn $8.27!"  They haven't done that for anything else I've bought from them, just that particular book... ?  
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • GrannyX4GrannyX4 Posts: 1,476
    I found different curing salts:

    Pink salt from Williams Sonoma
    Intacure
    Prague Powder
    DQ Curing salts

    I'm not sure which one to order?

    I'm in a little fog over the salt thingy.

    Every day is a bonus day and every meal is a banquet in Winter Springs, Fl !
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    they are all the same thing: nitrite mixed into salt to make measuring easier.

    you want either "pink curing salts", or anything with "#1" (DQ#1, instacure#1, etc.).

     that's what is used for curing meat (whole chunks).  for air dried sausages and some whole meats that will hang after curing at room temp you will be needing the #2 versions, which have nitrate (with an 'a') in them also.  this breaks down into nitrite over time, like a time release version.  when you hang sausage, you will want that time release aspect... but that's more advanced.  stick with the pink CURING salts for the first few forays.

    cheapest by far is here.
    Pink Curing Salt by the Pound>>  HERE
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • GrannyX4GrannyX4 Posts: 1,476
    Thanks, that cleared a few things up for me and I will take your advice and stick with chunks of whole meat. I'm looking forward to getting the book in my "tiny little" hands.
    Every day is a bonus day and every meal is a banquet in Winter Springs, Fl !
  • Yup, this book is great. 

    I've made the bacon a handful of times...you won't buy the store bought stuff once you make your own.  Although the book suggests buying pork belly with the skin on, I've had better results with skin off bellies.  I find the flavours penetrate the meat better and it seems to cure a little faster too.  I've also modified their recipie.  After coating with the salt cure, I add equal parts brown sugar and maple syrup and add a generous coating of ground black pepper.  Once cured, I smoke with sugar maple.  It's awesome!

  • Pink curing salt at savoryspiceshop.com. $6.30 for 1lb. They make all of the rubs for my business and will custom make them for anybody. I use their smoked salts all of the time.
  • GrannyX4GrannyX4 Posts: 1,476
    Subnet - your tweaks on the bacon are very similar to how I did the buckboard bacon but you added a little more sugar and I will be giving that a go when the book comes in. What is sugar maple?

    SL - thanks for the link and I will give it a try. What is your business and do you have a web site?
    Every day is a bonus day and every meal is a banquet in Winter Springs, Fl !
  • Granny,

    I do mostly on-site corporate bbqing with a couple of fairs mixed in. The fairs are strickly things like Renaissance Faires where we have an actual building to work out of. With catering we do everything at a higher level than most by grilling prime steaks and top of the line seafood on site with a custom made 4-cooking chamber grill that allows us to do different types of cooks at one time. We have no set menu so we work with each client on their wants or needs. At fairs we do some of the same things just not at nearly the same level. But we keep it above most normal fair food by having things like our brats made larger with an authentic german recipe that has a lot stronger flavor and a little heat. We'll take a Pearl or Nathan's hot dog, wrap it in bacon and grill it. We cook our pretzels on a pizza stone. We use BGE's for that and we stand out because of it.

    We dropped our website because we just don't need it and don't have the time to keep up with it.

  • GrannyX4GrannyX4 Posts: 1,476
    edited January 2012
    Sounds like a great job. Thanks for sharing.

    I'm in love with the spice shop and it's my next place to shop.
    Every day is a bonus day and every meal is a banquet in Winter Springs, Fl !
  • bill_bbill_b Posts: 13
    Tender quick has propylene glycol in it.   I would much prefer they take that out.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    it's in a lot of stuff.

    frankly, there is no reason to buy a universal cure like tenderquick now that you can get nitrite and nitrate easily enough over the web.


    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • What are the advantages of using the pink salt with the nitrates (nitrites) vs. regular salts? I am really interested in making some homemade bacon and I've found some recipes online that call for only Kosher salt with good reviews. I am not opposed to using either but I know that the Nitrates are bad for you.

    LBGE, Weber OTG w/ Rotisserie, Weber Genesis S-330, Chargriller Duo, AR-15, AK-47
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited January 2012
    salt is 'bad' for you too.

    the nitrate hot-button issue is debatable.  i don't think it is as easy as saying "i won't have any nitrates", becasue if that were the case, you wouldn't be eating spinach, celery etc. then either.

    had a friend say they bought only organic bacon of some brand name or other because it wasn't cured with 'chemicals' (keep in mind, salt is a 'chemical'). and that they only used celery powder to cure the bacon.  when i mentioned the reason they used celery was because the nitrite in it cured the bacon, she replied "well, at least they aren't man made chemicals".  hairsplitting.

    anyway, soapbox dismounted.

    but nitrites DO play a role, and not one simply for preserving food.  we don't keep bacon very long, there's no real reason to cure it in the first place.  unless you want 'bacon' and not simply salt pork or porkbelly.

    salt alone will remove water from the pork, which is one thing you are trying to do.  make it denser.  it will also of course make it, well, salty.

    but nitrite causes physical changes to the meat, and gives it a hard to describe 'piquancy' and cured flavor that it otherwise wouldn't have.  it also gives it the pink color, which is purely cosmetic.

    salted pork (or "salt pork' as we call it around here) is something you may have purchased to make baked beans. that is salt+pork.  if you remember, it's wet, white/pink, and basically just salty.  salt-cured bacon will likely have other flavors, but it is essentially salt pork. 

    nitrites and nitrates are necessary to truly cure many things.  there are recipes with and without them (prosciutto has no nitrite, for example). but if you want a city ham, you need nitrite.  country ham? salt will be fine.

    but those two, both made from the rear leg of a hog, are very different things.  though the nitrite is the only ingredient missing from one of them
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,740
    Not to mention that commercial producers use more nitrites to be on the safe side. Home curing gets you away with less.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Very insightful, thanks Stike. I have tried some of the "Nitrate-Free celery juice" hot dogs and found little difference in flavor or texture. I can't wait to experiment with macon bacon.

    LBGE, Weber OTG w/ Rotisserie, Weber Genesis S-330, Chargriller Duo, AR-15, AK-47
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    just remember, nitrite -free celery juice does not exist. instead of saying "nitrites added" on the package, they can say "cured naturally with celery juice", which just happen to contain nitrites. nitrites are natural

    it's all a question of how much to use.

    frankly, i think those people who say that they choose nitrite-free bacon because it is "healthy" aren'tvery critical thinkers.  "i like my fatty fried salty pork products to be healthy".  yeah.  m'kay there.... tough to take the high road with bacon.  ;)
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Then the bottom line is this:
    Life kills, so live it in balance and all will be well.
    Enjoy your bacon, eggs and everything else in balance with vegetables, fruits, grains etc...
  • trevorst, that doesn't always work.  That's like saying don't commit genocide but killing a few people is OK :)


    No just yourself :-)
  • BotchBotch Posts: 5,157
    Ironically there was an article on nitrates in my local paper this morning:
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • GrannyX4GrannyX4 Posts: 1,476
    I got it today and the book is better than I thought it would be. It has so many more options and things to cook. Whiskey - glazed smoked chicken may be my first cook.

    So I have turned down the AC, turned on the fireplace and cuddle up with a good book ........ Later.....
    Every day is a bonus day and every meal is a banquet in Winter Springs, Fl !
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