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preserved smoked meats without sodium nitrate

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:58 am
by callmefence
Last fall we got set up with smoker and all equipment to make venison jerky sticks , sausage etc. We've always done home butcher, but just steaks and ground meats.

After a couple of years of dealing with quite severe indigestion. We , and my doctor have determined the cause to be sodium nitrate.
I can eat a pound of bacon without it and be fine. One piece with sodium nitrate and I'm in pain.

Does anyone make, jerky, snack sticks etc. Without sodium nitrate.

Re: preserved smoked meats without sodium nitrate

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:23 am
by HDRider
Not knowing anything about it, I just made sausage by grinding up venison and putting my homemade spices in it. Smoked it and ate it, or froze it. I was not expecting it to be good sitting at room temperature for any length of time.

My jerky I just marinated it in my homemade hot sauce and dried it. It did not need to be refrigerated, or I'd have a lot of sick former friends.

It was all good and fine to me.

Jo is the master of meat.

My good luck normally overrides my ignorance on most things, at least so far..

Re: preserved smoked meats without sodium nitrate

Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:30 pm
by Jogeephus
Must be something else, its illegal to use sodium nitrate when you make bacon. Do you get indigestion eating lettuce, spinach or celery? All these will have 100-200 times higher nitrate/ite levels than any bacon you'd consume so it must be something else.

Re: preserved smoked meats without sodium nitrate

Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:59 pm
by callmefence
Jogeephus wrote:Must be something else, its illegal to use sodium nitrate when you make bacon. Do you get indigestion eating lettuce, spinach or celery? All these will have 100-200 times higher nitrate/ite levels than any bacon you'd consume so it must be something else.


With all due respect Joe. I don't think that's right. I've seen it on the ingredients label. I'm not at the grocery store so I can't confirm. I will check. If I'm wrong I owe you a apology.

Re: preserved smoked meats without sodium nitrate

Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:07 pm
by skyhightree1
I didn't think it was illegal either. I have been reading up on making meats etc and 80% of what I read has that listed as an ingredient.

Re: preserved smoked meats without sodium nitrate

Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:26 pm
by callmefence
callmefence wrote:
Jogeephus wrote:Must be something else, its illegal to use sodium nitrate when you make bacon. Do you get indigestion eating lettuce, spinach or celery? All these will have 100-200 times higher nitrate/ite levels than any bacon you'd consume so it must be something else.


With all due respect Joe. I don't think that's right. I've seen it on the ingredients label. I'm not at the grocery store so I can't confirm. I will check. If I'm wrong I owe you a apology.


It appears that the difference is nitrate or nitrite. Similar chemicals.
But my apologies. :D

I would still like to make my snack sticks without the sodium nitrate. The pink crystal powder. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Re: preserved smoked meats without sodium nitrate

Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:43 pm
by Cross-7

Re: preserved smoked meats without sodium nitrate

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:49 am
by Jogeephus
The pink powder is sodium nitrite and if you are smoking the sticks or cryrovacing them this could be dangerous because nitrite is the only barrier we have to defend against botulism. People do it, or claim they do, but if I did it I surely wouldn't let children eat any of it because botulism will kill them quicker than adults.

Re: preserved smoked meats without sodium nitrate

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:05 am
by Caustic Burno
Jogeephus wrote:The pink powder is sodium nitrite and if you are smoking the sticks or cryrovacing them this could be dangerous because nitrite is the only barrier we have to defend against botulism. People do it, or claim they do, but if I did it I surely wouldn't let children eat any of it because botulism will kill them quicker than adults.


I agree secondly you need to use the correct amount per pound and the appropriate brining .
Here is a good site for getting your levels correct


http://www.pelletsmoking.com/searching- ... #post72951

Re: preserved smoked meats without sodium nitrate

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:12 pm
by tater74
Thanks for the link CB. My son and I made our first ham out of a Boston butt. It turned out pretty good for our first time.

Re: preserved smoked meats without sodium nitrate

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:49 pm
by TexasBred
According to this both nitrates and nitrites are used.

http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage ... g/nitrates

Re: preserved smoked meats without sodium nitrate

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:20 pm
by Jogeephus
TexasBred wrote:According to this both nitrates and nitrites are used.

http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage ... g/nitrates


True, both are used for curing meat but each is used in different situations and nitRATE is not allowed for use in bacon production. USDA will not allow the use nitrate when curing bacon and to make "cured bacon" you MUST use nitrite and can use no more than 200 ppm on the ingoing side which will yield no more than 50 ppm in the finished product if an accelerant isn't used. If you use one, its only 10 ppm when you end up cooking it.

Lots of confusion over these two things. Nitrate is the mother of nitrite. Like Tylenol, nitRATE is a slow release and creates nitrite over a long period of time but only at warmer temperatures where nitrite is like a BC powder and fast acting and can work at cold temperatures well within the safe zone. So if you were curing a ham or salami that will age a long time you need to use nitRATE or a mixture of the two. For something like a snack stick or bacon you want to use nitrite which will react with the meat quickly and get used up through the reactions leaving little if any when they are finished.

Personally, I think much of the fear over nitrates/ites is BS brought about by agenda driven shoddy research that has since been debunked many times but the liberal anti-meat folks ran with it in their efforts to hurt meat producers.

Just consider the pros of using this curing salt. It is the only thing - barring radiation - that will stop botulism in meat. Botulism kills so I think that's enough reason in itself to use it. Granted, if you scorch a bunch of heavily cured bacon and force feed it to lab rats at 20 times their weight it will cause cancer in the rats however this has never proven to be true in humans. In fact, recent studies have shown nitrate consumption is good for the body. But that doesn't get much publicity so you now have producers making "nitrate/ite - free" bacon catering to the Whole Foods clientele. This bacon is cured using dehydrated celery juice from "organic celery" no less. This unicorn fart has but one flaw and that is chemistry because when you dehydrate celery juice you are left with nitrate which is illegal to use in making bacon but it is considered a "natural additive" by the USDA. But to a chemist its still nitrate but to the man-bun wearing Whole Foods crowd and the USDA its not really nitrate because it is dehydrated celery juice and organic celery is good. Hypocrisy and ignorance is shown when tests show this "nitrate/ite" free bacon has up to ten times the amount of allowable nitrites than does regular traditionally cured bacon yet it is perfectly legal to sell it and produce it - and at a premium price no less. I guess this is what one might call the Liberal Privilege because if a traditional processor made bacon containing this much nitrite they would have to destroy all of it. Makes perfect sense doesn't it?

Bottom line is I think much of the fear about this stuff is an urban legend that just won't go away since man has been curing meat for over 2000 years. Granted, it does get confusing but not so much when you think of them as you would Tylenol and BC powder - each has their place and their main purpose is to stop botulism. The bun-wearers would have you believe nitrates in processed meat cause cancer so we all need to refrain from meat and go vegan. Problem with this logic is again chemistry because spinach contains 1631 ppm, lettuce 1051 ppm, onions 48 ppm and potatoes 155 ppm of nitrates and bacon only 10-50 ppm of nitrite. Then you have those bun-wearers who successfully cure meat using only artisan sea salt because of the wonderful magical impurities these high priced sea salts contain. Bet you can't guess what one of these impurities might be. Yep, nitrate/ites. Don't know about you but if I'm going to die I think I'd rather die eating bacon than eating wilted spinach and potatoes.

Granted, I know of nothing about food allergies but it strikes me as odd how someone can be allergic to nitrates when the body actually creates them and when they are found in such vast quantities in most all our foods but all this is above my level of understanding but I guess its possible. I'm just amazed at how man could figure out how to use then nitrogen cycle and work with nature to make meat safe since 800 BC. My money is on aliens. :nod:

Here is the bacon regulations.

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fs ... y/ct_index

Re: preserved smoked meats without sodium nitrate

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:45 pm
by callmefence
Fwiw when I smoked my jerky sticks this year I cut the cure salt in half, and it seemed to help.could it have been something else? Of course. I really don't care about why except it works for me.

If that offends someone's political values, well I'd guess their probably a little on the sensitive side. :nod:

Re: preserved smoked meats without sodium nitrate

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:23 pm
by Jogeephus
Unless you are using the high end of the cure amount with pink salt there should be little to no nitrite in the meat when its finished because it reacts quickly. What would be interesting is if you made some again only this time use the same amount of cure you did the last time only this time use sea salt rather than purified canning or kosher salt.

Re: preserved smoked meats without sodium nitrate

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:08 am
by Kingfisher
Jogeephus wrote:Unless you are using the high end of the cure amount with pink salt there should be little to no nitrite in the meat when its finished because it reacts quickly. What would be interesting is if you made some again only this time use the same amount of cure you did the last time only this time use sea salt rather than purified canning or kosher salt.

I wonder if it's something in the spice mix. I know I like Popeyes but something in their spice upsets me