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Thread: Nitrites vs Botulism page

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    NorthernMonkeyGirl's Avatar
    NorthernMonkeyGirl is offline Senior Member
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    Nitrites vs Botulism

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    ...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...)

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

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    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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    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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    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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    Nady's Avatar
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    Quote 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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