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Saltpeter??

XLentEGGXLentEGG Posts: 204
edited 5:05AM in EggHead Forum
I just printed a recipe for brined and smoked ham. The brine recipe uses 1tbs saltpeter. what exactly does this ingredient do? Where do you usually buy it. Thanx!!
More meat please !! :-)
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Comments

  • TXTrikerTXTriker Posts: 1,177
    I don't know if it is anymore, but it used to be used in gunpowder! :ohmy:
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  • XLentEGGXLentEGG Posts: 204
    Thats what I thought too. Sulfur, powder charcoal, and saltpeter. Not to mention all of the rumors about it when I was in the Navy.............
    More meat please !! :-)
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  • XLentEGGXLentEGG Posts: 204
    Thats what I thought too. Sulfur, powder charcol, and salt peter. Not to mention all of the rumors about it when I was in the Navy.............
    More meat please !! :-)
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  • PattyOPattyO Posts: 882
    Potassium Nitrate. A preservative for cured meats, and it keeps them pink. Who wants brown corned beef? Find it at a smoke house or a pharmacy. Now often substituted with Sodium Nitrate and Nitrite. I do not know the calculation for substitution.
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  • Google is your friend. Saltpeter is a curing agent. You maybe able to substitute TenderQuick Morton's curing salt sold in grocery stores. Potassium Nitrate is saltpeter. You can buy it online for 15 bucks. You can probably find it at the SausageMaker and other sausage suppliers.

    Google is really great just type in your question and it answers it. Research was never easier.
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  • chocdocchocdoc Posts: 456
    Saltpeter is potassium nitrate which was traditionally used to preserve meat. It has been replaced by sodium nitrate - pink salt or instacure #1. The nitrate in conjunction with sodium chloride acts as an effective antibacterial.

    You can get it from the Spice House in Chicago, Butcher & Packer is another source in the US. http://www.butcher-packer.com/
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  • XLentEGGXLentEGG Posts: 204
    PattyO wrote:
    Potassium Nitrate. A preservative for cured meats, and it keeps them pink. Who wants brown corned beef? Find it at a smoke house or a pharmacy. Now often substituted with Sodium Nitrate and Nitrite. I do not know the calculation for substitution.

    Thank you. I think I too would prefer that my ham does not turn brown while it brines.
    More meat please !! :-)
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  • TXTrikerTXTriker Posts: 1,177
    :blush:
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  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 8,479
    Ask Little Steven. Norma buys it for him all the time!! :laugh:
    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

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  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 17,303
    i grew up eating brown coned beef, all the local butchers have their own recipe :laugh: :laugh: (we call it grey corned beef) who wants red corned beef ;)
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  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    I wonder how old that brine recipe is.... saltpeter was used for years as a curing agent for meat (and it was also rumored to knock the edge off of the male sexual appetite - which is not true at all) and still has uses in fertilizer and in toothpaste.

    Nowadays, sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite have taken the place of saltpeter (which is potassium nitrate) for curing purposes, as they are more stable, more reliable and have more predictable results .... especially for home curing.
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
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  •  
    Salt Petre (potassium nitrate) is evaluable HERE. Be sure to read the cautions.

    The curing salts are also known as Prague Powders #1 an #2. Check out THIS site. They carry both. I believe Prague Powder #2 also called slow cure contains nitrates.


    Good luck, LC may have more about Salt Petre, she's smart. :)

    Blair


     
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  • I do not know this as a fact, but my late uncle did a lot of curing, smoking and such over the years.
    He used salt peter.....WAY BACK WHEN, but was into using Tender Quick from about the 60's forward.
    With that, I'm thinking that one will do the other... ;)
    I use Tender Quick in some brining and also in some of my sausage making.
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  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    XLentEgg: You really do not need Salt Petre to cure a ham. Prague powder #1 will do! No need for the extra nitrates in the Salt Petre, in fact, you often need a license to buy Salt Petre, but not Prague #1. Treat this ingredient with respect, using the recommended weight per the meat you are curing. Salt Petre is more powerful (but as I said, more difficult to procure for the same reason!). Prague powder #1 will do the job you need to cure, with out the added nitrates. As an added note, neither nitrates or nitrates are "good" for you, but the nitrates in Salt Petre are overkill. Salt Petre should be reserved for Air dried sausages without refrigeration.... no need to use in the States. Get some "pink salts" (Prague #1), and it will be more than adequate to cure your ham!
    PS...Overuse of any of the above, Prague #1, Prague #2 (salt petre) will affect blood pressures. Though correct use is no different than eating bacon. ;) Salt petre is far less forgiving. Stick to Prague #1. ;) Have never heard a negative report from Prague #1.
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  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 17,303
    so you really do want the #2 if you want to make the air dried stuff and leave it out
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  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    Actually Instacure #2 and Prague #2 contain salt as the carrier, sodium nitrite (6.25%) and sodium nitrate (1% to 4% depending on mfg). The nitrate is kind of the sleeper ingredient as it takes time for it to convert to nitrite, hence it's use in dry cured things like hard salami etc. Instacure #1 is salt with 6.25% nitrite, so it doesn't have the time release action of the #2 cures.

    Neither the #1 or the #2 cures contain potassium nitrate aka saltpeter.
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
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  • So, is Morton's Tender Quick or their Sugar Cure not high enough concentrations?
    I was pretty sure this is what they (Uncle and Auntie) were using, but maybe something else too.
    In the later years.....For the most part they were only doing jerky and sausage. This may also shed some light??!!
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