Curing salt works to inhibit the growth of bacteria on cured meats and keeps them from spoiling.
It also gives a more traditional flavor to the meat. Curing salts usually contain sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate, or both.
However, sodium nitrates are known to cause health problems in humans.
Since then, only sodium nitrites have been used for curing meat.
But even this has come into question because of its carcinogenic properties.
For this reason, people are looking for substitutes for curing salt.
In this article, we will look at the five best substitutes for curing salt for making meat products.
What is Curing Salt?
Curing salt is used in all kinds of meats which include beef, poultry, and fish.
It is used in meats to generate a pinkish shade and extend its shelf life.
It is safe to use and is used for high-quality meat curing. Curing salt is a must-have ingredient in your kitchen.
It is made from sodium chloride, also known as table salt, and sodium nitrate.
Sometimes, it is also called pink salt, but many people get confused between pink salt and pink Himalayan salt.
It is mostly very easily available. But there might be times where you are not able to find curing salt near your place.
The American Meat Science Association says several factors to consider when finding a substitute for curing salt.
This includes the concentration of nitrite in the substitute, the safety and efficacy of each product, its cost-effectiveness, and whether or not it can be used in all applications.
5 Best Substitutes for Curing Salt
Now, if you do not have to cure salt at home but require it to make something, here are the substitutes you can use instead of it.
1 – Celery Powder
Celery powder is a great substitute for curing salt.
Many of you might be surprised at how celery powder can be used as a substitute for curing salt.
Celery powder is a nitrate-free ingredient. You can also use celery juice instead of celery powder.
Celery juice is also a nitrate-free ingredient. For both celery powder and celery juice, you can use the same quantity as curing salt.
You can also add celery powder to the liquid brine or cure you are making.
You will not be able to taste a difference in the final product, and it has no negative effect on curing.
2 – Salt Peter
Saltpeter is a good substitute for curing salt.
It is efficient in preserving meat, and it has been used for a very long time as an alternative to curing salt.
It is easily available in most places which is why people use it a lot.
A lot of people also use saltpeter to make the meat soft.
Saltpeter can also be a great thickening agent for a lot of foods.
You can use the same amount of saltpeter as the curing salt.
Saltpeter also helps in killing the moisture in the meat.
So you do not need to worry about the bacteria that grow on the food, and also, the food will last for a long time.
3 – Non-iodised Sea Salt
Non-iodized sea salt can be a great substitute for curing salt as it is very easy to find.
It can be used in all types of foods, and it will also extend the shelf life of the foods.
This salt does not change the taste of the food, but it can give a slightly different flavor to food.
So, if you want the same flavor as curing salt, using this will not be the best option for you.
Non-iodized sea salt is a good substitute, if not the best one.
So, it can be a substitute for curing salts in all types of food, and also the flavor will also remain the same.
You can use the same quantity of non- iodized sea salt as the curing salt.
4 – Himalayan Salt
Himalayan salt is extremely popular. It is available in almost any household and also very easily found in any supermarket.
However, by adding Himalayan salt, the shelf life of the food may not increase that much.
It can also be used to cure meat and give a good flavor to the food.
Himalayan salt is healthier as compared to other salts, and it is rich in minerals too.
You can use the same amount of Himalayan salt instead of curing salt while cooking food.
5 – Kosher Salt
Kosher salt is not a very common salt, and it is difficult to find in supermarkets.
But in case you find it, it can be a great substitute for curing salt.
It is non-iodized salt and can be used in all kinds of foods, from vegetables to meats.
It has a neutral salty taste, and it is nitrate-free. It is not as salty as other salts.
So for the quantity, you will have to use more than the curing salt.
However, it also depends on personal preference. Some people might prefer adding less salt.
So, next time when you find kosher salt in a supermarket, buy it undoubtedly as it can be used in all the foods.
Curing salt is one of the important ingredients that you need to be careful about while buying.
If you do not have to cure salt at home and your food requires it, too, then all the aforementioned substitutes can be a good substitute for curing salt.
It will give the same flavor and keep your food fresh as well.
So, next time you find yourself in a situation where you need to substitute curing salt, the substitutes mentioned above can be a good option.