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Looking for saltpeter (to cure bacon)

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I'm taking a stab at home-cured bacon, but can't find this optional yet desired ingredient. I've tried many a drug and health food store, they're all very confused.

Does anyone know where I can get my hands on this stuff? I only need a teaspoon. I found another thread that recommended something in Woodbridge but that's way too far (looking for something TTC accessible).

Anyone? Alternate names: potassium nitrate, sodium nitrate.

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  1. I found sme in a small drugstore (Pickering) so you could look in smaller stores; the large chains don't bother with it anymore.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jayt90

      To be exact, I found saltpetre (KNO3) in a Rexall pharmacy, after visiting several large drugstores. It was $5.69 for 125ml, and the order took two days to come in.
      This cure is widely used in Europe, but in North America has fallen into disuse as sodium nitrite and the hard-to-get pink salt gained favour.

    2. Any drugstore should be able to order it from one of their regular suppliers if they don't have it in stock. There are other things you can use, especially nitrite, erythorbate (related to vitamin C, but vitamin C itself doesn't work well), and Morton's Tender Quick. Unfortunately, I can't provide quantity conversions among them. These chemicals will last, essentially, forever.

      1. Have you investigated Prague Powder #1 instead?


        As a matter of interest, how will you be smoking your slab?

        1. Here's a good source for meat cures. Their Insta-cure #1 and #2 is the same as Prague
          http://www.sausagemaker.com/index.asp... and #2

          1. I buy mine at Lone Tai supermarket at Lawrence east and Kennedy when I want to make Tocino ( Filipino cured pork). You have to go to the aisle with all the plastic packaged dry goods and should be marked saltpeter (potassium nitrate). I have a feeling you can probably buy this at any of the large oriental supermarkets. Hope this helps.

            2 Replies
            1. re: squingy

              i went there and i couldnt find saltpeter in that aisle but i did find something called 'nitrite powder'. is this the saltpeter you are talking about? i also looked at all the other aisles and there was nothing, could you please help me.

              1. re: l3g3nds539

                as per the post below by rld below, yes, that is what you are looking for.

            2. Have you tried Thuna's Wholistic Centre? I don't know if this is a good option or not but the place is out of the 1930s and worth the visit alone. It's on the north side of the Danforth, between Broadview and Chester subway stations. They have all sorts of bizarre stuff there so you never know. It's worth calling, anyway:

              Thuna's Wholistic Centre
              298A Danforth Ave.,
              Toronto, Ontario M4K 1N6
              Tel: (416) 461-8191

              1. I use sodium nitrite (not sodium nitrate!) to cure bacon, pancetta and brisket. It's usually mixed with regular salt and sold as Prague powder #1, Insta Cure #1 or DQ cure #1. I bought mine online from a company in BC, www.stuffers.com , for about $6 a pound. It'll make a lot of bacon. I weigh it out on a digital scale that has 0.1 gram accuracy (overkill in this application).

                I've never used saltpeter for curing as most recipes call for sodium nitrite these days.

                2 Replies
                1. There is without a doubt a 'ton' of it here in Jamaica...it is sold in small packages by "Island Spice" (It is widely used here on the Island for curing various cuts of Pork). I would try calling a few if the West Indian stores to see if anyone in Toronto has it.....also try (as someone suggsted, a couple of the 'non-chain' drugstores ie; usually listed in the phonebook as 'chemists'... Good Luck.

                  1. They sell it in small packages at some of the chinese grocery stores in chinatown on spadina. Labeled as Nitre powder or something.

                    1. Canada Compound (Toronto) has all and more that you need.
                      1866-787-0002. And they ship to the public.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Klutz

                        I just started my cure for bacon..........one wet, one dry and one wet with maple sugar. If this works I'll be famous when I go back to Australia. The bacon down under doesn't ever get crisp.

                      2. Contact any high school cafeteria.