Saltpetre/Cure #2

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Saltpetre/Cure #2

Postby senorkevin » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:44 pm

What is the difference between Saltpetre and Cure #2?
Instead of cure #2 can I use saltpetre?
An Englishman living in México.
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Postby the chorizo kid » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:27 pm

you can do what you want if you know what you are doing based on careful research and discussion with experienced people. saltpetre is a pure nitrogenous compound. cure #2 has only a small amount of nitrogenous material and is mostly table salt [if i recall correctly]. therefore, you cannot substitue saltpetre for cure#2 without a massive adjustment of dose. for instance, i use 1/5 tsp cure #2/# meat. if i were to use 1/5 tsp saltpetre per pound of meat, i think that would be dangerously high. anyway,wait to see what the experts say.
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Postby senorkevin » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:30 pm

Ok thanks.
I think I reduce it by 5 if using saltpetre but not sure.
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Postby johngaltsmotor » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:48 pm

from http://www.lets-make-sausage.com/sodium-nitrate.html

Prague Powder #2 is used for dried meat and sausage. It has 1 ounce of sodium nitrite and 0.64 ounces of sodium nitrate in a pound of product. The rest of the pound is sodium chloride.
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Postby Wunderdave » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:37 pm

senorkevin wrote:Ok thanks.
I think I reduce it by 5 if using saltpetre but not sure.


Yeah this ratio is way way off...
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Postby senorkevin » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:09 pm

Well wunderdave what is the ratio and can i substitute cure #2 for saltpetre?
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Postby wheels » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:51 pm

I wasn't going to reply, as my honest opinion is that it's not something to be doing until you've got a good bit of experience.


However, I'd rather you do it safely than otherwise, so...
...you would use saltpetre - potassium nitrate - at 0.15gm per kg of meat (or pro-rata). That will then cure to the EU standard of 150mg/kg (150ppm).

You will need scales that are very accurate and should also ensure that the nitrate is food grade as a lot of it isn't.

Phil
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Postby senorkevin » Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:04 pm

Thanks Phil.
To be honest its not something I want to try right now but was just wondering. So is it possible to substitute?
I im finding it very hard to buy buy prague salt #2 here as sodium nitrate is banned here in mexico.
I have scales that are 0.01g
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Postby wheels » Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:24 pm

In that case, when you come to a recipe that calls for cure #2, just shout and someone'll work out the amounts for cure #1 plus saltpetre.

Phil :D
Last edited by wheels on Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby senorkevin » Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:44 pm

Thanks again!
Ok I will do dont worry about that :D
Now to start looking for saltpetre!!
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Re: Saltpetre/Cure #2

Postby vagreys » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:03 pm

Please pay heed to what the others have told you.
senorkevin wrote:What is the difference between Saltpetre and Cure #2?

Saltpetre is pure potassium nitrate. Cure #2 is a blend of table salt (sodium chloride), sodium nitrite, and sodium nitrate. Cure #2 is mostly table salt. The percentage concentrations of the nitrite and nitrate depend on the source of the Cure #2. As with your All-Purpose Curing Salt, you need to know what the concentrations of the nitrite and nitrate are in the batch you buy. As with your Cure #1, the concentration of nitrite and nitrate will vary depending on the source. How much you need depends on the concentrations of nitrite and nitrate in the Cure #2, and what kind of cured meat product you are making.
Instead of cure #2 can I use saltpetre?

Not directly, no. As others have stated, you CAN use saltpetre as your source of nitrate, but you would use a much smaller amount of pure potassium nitrate to achieve the same concentration of nitrate in the meat. If you do so, because the amount of saltpetre you use is so much smaller, you would need to dissolve the required amount in some liquid beforehand to ensure that it is distributed evenly throughout the meat.
I think I reduce it by 5 if using saltpetre but not sure.

No. The amount you would substitute depends on the concentration of nitrate in the particular Cure #2 you purchase. In the USA, standard Cure #2 contains less than 1/20th the amount of nitrate found in saltpetre. In the UK, Cure #2 contains a slightly different concentration, but again, less than 1/20th the concentration of saltpetre. It also depends on what kind of product you are making, because different kinds of cured meat products have different safe maximum amounts of nitrate, based on how they cure and how long they cure.

To further complicate things, the concentration of sodium nitrite in Cure #2 is usually (always?) higher than the concentration of sodium nitrate, and the maximum amount of nitrite allowed in cured meat products is lower than or the same as for the nitrate, so the amount of Cure #2 you can use in a given meat product really depends on the concentration of sodium nitrite in the Cure #2, and the maximum amount of sodium nitrite allowed in the cured meat product. This is because sodium nitrite is more toxic than sodium nitrate or saltpetre.

So, before ANYONE can tell you how much Cure #2 you need, you need to know the concentration (percentage content) of sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate in the Cure #2 you buy. It also depends on what you are making. I know you want an easy answer. The answer is NOT simple.

We use Cure #1 and Cure #2, instead of pure sodium nitrite and saltpetre, because the nitrite/nitrate are evenly distributed throughout the salt, and because the amounts of Cure #1 and Cure #2 are easier to measure than the very small quantities of pure nitrite/nitrate needed. Since the old days of using saltpetre, we have learned that saltpetre and nitrite are toxic, and in the case of nitrite, can be lethal. It is NEVER a good idea to use the amount of saltpetre found in old recipes. It is ALWAYS a good idea to recalculate the amount of nitrite/nitrate needed based on modern science and currently established limits. So, you need to know how much nitrite/nitrate is allowed in the kind of product you are making, how much you need for the method of curing you are using, how much your Cure contains, and how to calculate the correct amounts.

I'm glad you are asking these questions. People are wording their replies strongly because you are working with chemicals that are beneficial in the right amounts, and potentially lethal in the wrong amounts. You need to know what you are doing when you are curing meat. If you do not cure the meat properly, botulism can sicken or kill you. If you do not use the right amount of cure, the nitrite and nitrate can sicken or kill you.

I am a food historian. I, for one, would love to see the old recipes you have referred to. There are home curers, hobbyists, who think that, because people ate cured meat their entire lives that was cured with the old recipes and survived, that they did so with no ill effects. This is not true. We know from their bones and historical accounts, that people who ate improperly-cured sausages and meat died of botulism, and suffered the effects of long-term nitrite/nitrate toxicity, including, but not limited to erectile dysfunction, infertility, birth defects, lowered bone density, and nerve damage. While you can use the rest of a recipe unchanged, you should ALWAYS recalculate the amounts of nitrites and nitrates (an salt) needed for a proper cure.

I apologize for the lecture, but you need to understand this, Kevin. I'd much rather repeat things you know, than risk you plowing ahead without knowing.
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Postby senorkevin » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:20 pm

Please dont be sorry for "the lecture"!
Im glad to finally have a great answer.
Please understand I do not intend to start curing tomorrow as in reality I dont know anything about the subject and have a lot to learn but if I dont ask I will never know.
I am only trying to find ways around my problems. As you may or not know I have been living in Mexico for 2 years now.
Yesterday I bought cure #1 with a 7% nitrite ratio. (Thats the best I can do!)
I cant find cure #2 anywhere as I dont think anyone cures salami etc here hence why I want too!
I contacted a company in the U.S. but they cant say if the cures will get through customs here in Mexico.
Thanks again for your reply and knowledge.
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Postby DiyBacon » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:18 pm

senorkevin, I dont know if this will help or confuse ! but for what it is worth this is the result of my (limited) understanding after prowling the forum and interweb :-

From the host site [I know you are in Mexico, I am just quoting this for the numbers !]
(http://www.sausagemaking.org/acatalog)/Curing_Products.html
(quote)
Cure number 1
This cure is a mixture of sea salt and Sodium Nitrate. (me : < I think that is a typo for nitrIte!)
Prague powder(me : <I think that is, in this context, a typo for Cure !) #1 is 6.25% sodium nitrite and 93.75% salt,

Cure 2, contains 6.25% sodium nitrite, 4% sodium nitrate and 89.75 % salt
(/quote)

So my interpretation of the above is :-
Cure 1 is mostly common salt (sodium chloride 93.75%) with a little (6.25%) sodium nitrIte in it.

Cure 2 is mostly common salt (89.75%) with a little (6.25%) sodium nitrIte _and_ also a littler amount of sodium nitrAte (4%).

Now for our purposes in this exersize sodium nitrAte is much the same as potassium nitrAte (your saltpetre) and it would seem that in your case you have 7% not 6.25% nitrIte, but near enough.
So therefor,
I am no expert, but it would seem to me that you can take some of your cure 1 and convert it into cure 2 by adding a tensee weense bit of your saltpetre.
the maths of the 4% in mg I leave as a homework exersize :)

I hope that leaves you less confused than it does me :) :) !
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Postby wheels » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:26 pm

wheels wrote:In that case, when you come to a recipe that calls for cure #2, just shout and someone'll work out the amounts for cure #1 plus saltpetre.

Phil :D


Edit: reply to Senorkevin : crossed with DiyBacon's.

Phil
Last edited by wheels on Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby DiyBacon » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:08 am

DiyBacon wrote:From the host site
Cure number 1
This cure is a mixture of sea salt and Sodium Nitrate. (me : < I think that is a typo for nitrIte! )

Update :
Cath is going to correct the website.
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