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Nitrites vs Botulism

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  • Nitrites vs Botulism

    ...in terms of home-curing.
    What do you think the relative risk/benefit equation is?

    (Background - nitrites are said to be bad for you and to be avoided. It is generally added to meat cures to kill Botulinum sp, as Botulism can kill you dead. So...)

  • #2
    Just wondering whether to try and source some sodium nitrite for curing. Shame to waste the meat if it's unfit for eating, my set-up isn't techy enough to tightly control other conditions (temp, humidity etc)

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    • #3
      Canning meat is very safe. My mother in law used to can venison and fish with a pressure cooker.

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      • #4
        I don't know a thing about canning - and don't have facilities for it - but I gather botulism is also a risk there?
        I can't find much info online, apart from "OMG bleach everything EVER" and "Granny used to use a saucepan and a cat". OK, not the cat, but there isn't much sensible middle ground....!

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        • #5
          Canning is done easily enough at home, but if you are going to can meat or other low acid foods, a pressure canner is required to eliminate botulism risk. Some people might get away with not using one, but since botulism would be pretty horrific, I certainly wouldn't. I also don't particularly enjoy canned meat, and I wonder what effects pressure canning has on it.

          As far as curing meat goes, as a very general rule, whole cuts can be salted and dehydrated safely without nitrates, with longed aging required for larger cuts. Examples are prosciutto, bresaola and jerky. I would be more leery of making sausages without nitrites.

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          • #6
            I agree with canning and dehydrating...I've never had a problem with dehydrating...canning I've never tried with meat, just veges and had no problem. I ferment veggies, but haven't tried meat.

            I will link this post to give you some other ideas though....The Definitive Guide to Traditional Food Preparation and Preservation | Mark's Daily Apple

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            • #7
              Originally posted by NorthernMonkeyGirl View Post
              Just wondering whether to try and source some sodium nitrite for curing. Shame to waste the meat if it's unfit for eating, my set-up isn't techy enough to tightly control other conditions (temp, humidity etc)
              I've made homemade summer sausage and corned beef with this~ Morton Tender Quick Salt But the directions say it needs refrigeration during the curing period so I don't know it it would meet your needs.

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