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Anybody have experience with using saltpeter (Potassium nitrate) in cooking?

Commented on May 01, 2013
Created April 29, 2013 at 4:28 PM

I've found a recipe for Goa Sausages that I'd love to make (they're a fave for me and my lady).

The recipe calls for saltpetre. I ordered some and it arrived today. The label is covered in health warnings, this stuff seems quite harmful. Yet it's used in food.

Is it safe to use salt-petre in cooking? Is it necessary? Are there alternatives?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 01, 2013
at 05:58 PM

No idea. Watched an old episode of Julia Child and she cured it overnight. Just follow the recipe. Not worth the trouble of deviating from it really.

C5d2ca4998259d200a48e38847d19f06

on May 01, 2013
at 04:02 PM

Given that it can be harmful when ingested (and it's still nitrATE), is there a minimum period one should wait before eating meat cured with nitrates?

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2 Answers

best answer

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32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on April 29, 2013
at 05:00 PM

Added nitrates in our diet are a very minor component of our exposure to nitrates/ites. I wouldn't sweat it. It's a cure, it generally gives that sausage that desired pink color, it's largely optional for fresh applications, some cure however is necessary for aged product (which is what you're describing). I wouldn't skip it.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 01, 2013
at 05:58 PM

No idea. Watched an old episode of Julia Child and she cured it overnight. Just follow the recipe. Not worth the trouble of deviating from it really.

C5d2ca4998259d200a48e38847d19f06

on May 01, 2013
at 04:02 PM

Given that it can be harmful when ingested (and it's still nitrATE), is there a minimum period one should wait before eating meat cured with nitrates?

0
5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on April 29, 2013
at 04:56 PM

Doesn't sound paleo (or all that appetizing) IMO! Why risk it?

There are list and lists of things used in food that anyone here would consider quite harmful and actively avoid by cooking meals with whole and unprocessed foods. Potassium Nitrate seems to be something you should probably avoid if you can.

I doubt you'll notice a difference in your recipe without it but I haven't cooked with it personally so I'm not sure - test out the recipe without it and see what happens. If you don't want to just straight up omit it there are a few alternative suggestions out there that you can try. These include celery juice, sea salt and beet juice. More info here

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