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Unread 05-25-2012, 09:06 PM   #1
Tatoosh
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Default Prague #1 or #2?

I'm getting ready to make my first stab at bacon. I have some locally purchased, repackaged "Pink Salt". But no idea if it is #1 or #2. I know that #1 is for cooked items and #2 is for air dried items, but is there a major problem if this stuff is #2 and I use it as a dry or wet cure for bacon?
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Unread 05-25-2012, 09:29 PM   #2
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Good question, I cannot answer as I have never interchanged them, I have both on hand.

Someone with a chemistry background can probably answer your question.
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Unread 05-25-2012, 09:39 PM   #3
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Does it list ingredients and %?

Per FDA and USDA regulations.
Prague Powder #1 Contains 6.25% sodium nitrite and 93.75% sodium chloride
Prague Powder #2 Contains 6.25% sodium nitrite, 4% sodium nitrate and 89.75% sodium chloride

Prague powder #2 should never be used on any product that will be fried at high temperature (eg.bacon) because of the resulting formation of nitrosamines.
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Unread 05-25-2012, 09:57 PM   #4
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It says, and I quote, "Prague Powder 250 grams" Hence the confusion. I will trundle back to the store I bought it at, but I do not expect anything except, "Sorry, sir, we don't know."

It seems to me that the Sodium Nitrate in #2, often described as "time capsules" of protection for air dried meats, shouldn't be a problem for cooked meats, but I hate to make bacon and feed it to my family based on an assumption.

Getting the "good" stuff, i.e. labeled Prague Powder #1 from the States is a 45 to 60 day process as I am impatiently waiting for my Pizza Kettle and some stuff for cheese making to show up. If #2 is okay for bacon, I'm good to go regardless. No Morton TenderQuick around these parts either. Drat!

Rereading the post above me:

Okay, so Prague #2 is used in air dried meats, but sometimes those meats are fried occasionally as part of food prep. Bologna in a fried bologna sandwich is often hit with high heat. Pizza made in WFO hits 700F to 1000F, no pepperoni allowed? I'm not disputing Matt A's post, just puzzled.
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Unread 05-25-2012, 10:13 PM   #5
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Nitrates convert to nitrites in long-te4rm dry-cured fermented meats such as summer sausage, bologna, pepperoni. It is not converted in wet-cures like bacon. That's the primary difference.
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Unread 05-25-2012, 10:20 PM   #6
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So even the rubs that some do for bacon would technically be called a wet cure? I know that bakers consider sugar as "wet". Same with smoking? I am not trying to be argumentative, just curious. I have friends that do what I call a wet cure with the bacon submerged (along with injected) while the Ruhlman recipes I have only call for a rub and plastic bag with the air removed. But both are technically wet cures?

I'll hit the store where I bought this months ago, in hopes of getting a definitive "what is it" answer, but I don't have high hopes. And if I was to guess, considering that the local Filipino sausages here seem to be air dried, I'd lean toward the stuff being #2.

Thanks for your insight Matt.
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Unread 05-25-2012, 11:41 PM   #7
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Even dry rub bacon is wet cure since the internal moisture of the meat stays relatively high and it isn't exposed to the air so moisture can evaporate, unlike pepperoni, and such that are dried to a very low moisture content.
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Unread 05-26-2012, 09:28 PM   #8
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Well, we stopped at the store and they did not have a clue about which pink salt they sold. Checked their register to see if showed up there and nothing. So I guess I will be shipping Prague #1 from the States. I will get a bit of Tenderquick sent as well, though I realize they are not interchangeable. Lastly, a bit of maple sugar to go with my stash of maple syrup for maple flavored bacon.

Anything else I need to get shipped across the Pacific ocean for my bacon project? I really hate getting pushed back a month and a half on this! Arghh!
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Unread 05-27-2012, 06:47 AM   #9
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I've seen this before where it wasn't labeled. For me it's always been #1,


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Unread 05-27-2012, 06:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatoosh View Post
Well, we stopped at the store and they did not have a clue about which pink salt they sold. Checked their register to see if showed up there and nothing. So I guess I will be shipping Prague #1 from the States. I will get a bit of Tenderquick sent as well, though I realize they are not interchangeable. Lastly, a bit of maple sugar to go with my stash of maple syrup for maple flavored bacon.

Anything else I need to get shipped across the Pacific ocean for my bacon project? I really hate getting pushed back a month and a half on this! Arghh!
Wow long shipping time but its worth wait to stay safe!
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Unread 05-27-2012, 07:35 AM   #11
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The long shipping time is based on the cheaper container ship transit. I have two pizza stones and pizza kettle add-on for my Weber coming that way. The 6 weeks is an optimistic estimate. I hit six weeks tomorrow on that shipment and it hasn't arrived in Manila yet, to heck with clearing customs and getting shipped to my house up the mountain.

Nick, interesting and I'm tempted to do one small batch with it, since it doesn't turn into rat poison, particularly if I do a very low temp smoke on it, in the 135F or lower range. I'm still puzzled how Prague #2 can be used in air dried sausage that is later cooked at high temps and be bad in low temp manufacture but cooked later at high temp. Pepperoni is made with #2 and often cooked as part of a pizza in a wood fired pizza ovens that go 800F or more, which to me is high temp cooking.

Most of my bacon (commercially purchased) has been cooked a package at a time on a sheet pan with a wire grid at 400F. I save the bacon grease for other uses and after cooling the bacon, I keep it in the fridge, bagged, for quick reheating and use.

But ultimately, I agree with NBBD, better safe than sorry.
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Unread 05-27-2012, 08:52 AM   #12
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My two cents...I have read the same information that Matt A is referencing about not using nitrates in anything that will be exposed to high temperature.

That being said, I am sitting here looking at a bag of Morton Tenderquick Sugar Cure. This is a commercial product that contains both nitrite and nitrate. The back of the bag says this a product for "dry curing hams, bacon and small cuts" emphasis added. The label specifies 1/2 oz of cure per pound of bacon.

When I make bacon I use the commercial product according to the manufacturer's usage guidelines.
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Unread 05-27-2012, 09:49 AM   #13
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Even though MTQ contains nitrates I feel this is actually a safer way for most people to make bacon.

The USDA also specifies that cured meats are not allowed to contain more than 200 ppm nitrite.

When most people make their own cure mix from Cure#1 there is tremendous potential for them to formulate incorrectly. Example: Was that 7 teaspoons or tablespoons? Most people will not accurately weigh the individual components on a scale.

Even if they do formulate correctly they may apply at a much higher rate than needed since they do not have a set of manufacturers instructions in front of them.

It is not hard to imagine a scenario where someone formulates their own cure mix and ends up with bacon containing 5000 ppm nitrite. This thread started with a question about a bag of repackaged cure of unknown identity.

If you use MTQ you do not follow USDA guidelines around nitrates. If you use Cure #1 and make your own cure mix you run the risk of not following USDA guidelines around nitrite levels.

In my opinion, the risks are lessened by using the commercial product according to their instructions.
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Unread 05-27-2012, 09:58 AM   #14
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#1 curing salt is PINK
#2 curing salt is WHITE

http://www.butcher-packer.com/index....x&cPath=237_12
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Unread 05-27-2012, 09:59 AM   #15
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Well, I hear you on your concerns, DMSinTexas. I've made mistakes in the past and will in the future, but hopefully nothing lethal. The cost of shipping here precludes me doing pre-formulated cures. The cure is such a small portion and salt is both abundant and cheap but shipping across the ocean is not, whether I use the cheaper container ship or more expensive air freight choice.

I will read the instructions and I do have both measuring equipment and scales. I'm adding the Morton TQ because I have some specific recipes that I want to try exactly the way they are written, without substitutions. I want to do half a dozen different styles of pork belly bacon, both to see what my family likes best and just to get familiar with it. Doing it yourself is a very common phenomena for expats abroad. Otherwise they get grumpy and go home.

EatonHoggBBQ - sorry you posted while I was composing my reply to DMSinTexas. Interesting! But not completely always true, I fear, since I see a number of vendors that sell a pink version labeled Prague Powder #2 or Insta-cure #2. So apparently it is available in both white and pink versions. Which is good to know and I thank you for sharing that!
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