Originally Posted by viggysmalls
Forgive my ignorance, which is better to use on bacon: pink or white curing salt?
Pink salt (ie. Cure #1 or #2) have nitrite/nitrates. In the US, "white" would probably be straight salt (ie. pickling salt, kosher salt, etc). Pink salt in curing does not mean Hawaiian salt.
Use what the recipe calls for. Basically, if you will be slow smoking or dry curing you want Cure #1 (for smoked sausage, for example) or Cure #2 for a dry cured ham. The nitrate/nitrite keeps the chance of botulism down.
Many will say they successfully cure without it using this stuff, but botulism kills.
InstaCure, TenderQuick, etc are different blends of salts and cure...read the instructions.
Also, the cure is what keeps the meat pink or red. A salt cured ham without "cure" will not be pink. Bacon can be cured successfully without using cure #1 but the meat will tend to turn gray when cooked. So, the cure provides color and has quite a bit of impact on the flavor.
I suggest reading Michael Ruhlman's book "Charcuterie" to get a good basic overview. I just bought his new book "Salumi" and it is great, too, but deals more specifically with Italian cured meats.
As always, YMMV! The above comments are my views and the way I cure meat. Opinions will vary...choose wisely and do mix/match processes -- that's a good way to kill people.