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Pink Salt aka Saltpeter needed

Hi - I am looking to make my own pancetta, and I need some sodium nitrite aka pink salt aka saltpeter. Where is the best place to go for this?

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  1. Potassium nitrate is now a restricted substance under the Explosives act:



    1. You could try asking your butcher, or any butcher who cures meats. You want Prague Powder - sodium nitrite pre-mixed with salt. Specifically, you want Prague Powder #1; Prague Powder #2 additionally contains sodium nitrate, useful for long-term dry cures.
      I haven't found a local source for this but you can buy it from Stuffers.com - located in B.C.

      2 Replies
      1. re: wapiti

        I've had luck getting some at Charcuterie Hongroise on Saint-Laurent Blvd.

        By the way, any Italian will tell you you don't need it to make pancetta. Salt it with sea salt, put on an inclined board for a couple of days in a cool basement to let the moisture drain away, rub it with pepper or red pepper flakes, hang it in a cool basement for three weeks, wiping away any mold as it appears with some wine. Best pancetta ever.

        1. re: alexthecook

          Thanks - I scored some Prague powder #1 from a friend, and I mixed in a couple of teaspoons just to kill anything nasty in the pig. This was a farm raised porker from Kingston, and weirdly enough, farm-raised pigs tend to have higher levels of bacteria. I know that most Italians will tell you that you don't need the nitrites...alas. Fortunately, I don't think the taste of the pancetta will suffer. I have it curing in my fridge as I type.

          Thanks for the advice about wiping the mold off with wine, I'll think about that after I hang it up.

      2. Just bumping this thread because I'm also on the lookout for Prague Powder and was hoping someone that knows a local source would stumble here with advice :)

        2 Replies
        1. re: afoodyear

          Saltpeter (Potassium Nitrate) is almost never used anymore this side of the Atlantic, has been replaced with Sodium Nitrate, which has the same beneficial qualities food-wise. Little cousin is Sodium Nitrite.

          Nitr(I)te provides the pink color associated with hams, smoke-meat and other goodies. Usually available already mixed with salt under the names Prague Powder #1/InstaCure #1.

          Nitr(A)te is used for long-term curing (e.g. Salamis) since it decomposes with time in Nitr(I)te. Usually available already mixed with salt under the names Prague Powder #2/InstaCure #2.

          Seems Anatol on St-Laurent near JTM could have it (at least that's what he told me, but he was out when I was looking for it, so I cant verify if/what he has available, but I suspect it would be #1 since he mentionned smoked meat at some point).
          Otherwise, you can try at Charcuterie Hongroise, owner was willing to part with some (they have something, but despite talking for a good 10 minutes, couldn't figure out if it was #1 or #2, so I passed).
          I got something that I'm still not sure about at a butcher shop on the northern side of JTM, that could be straight nitrite (that's what I was led to believe, no way to check any labels), that I then mixed with salt to cure my bacon. Since the Bacon was not really pink, I'm having my doubts as to whether it was straight nitrite or already diluted InstaCure #1 or equivalent.
          For next try, I will check out Anatol or order online at stuffers.com to be sure of what im using.

          1. re: sir_jiffy

            Thank you for your detailed response. With the confusion you seemed to have encountered, I think I'll just go through an online source!

        2. Saltpeter is available at pharmacies - I just bought some at Pharmaprix recently when I made Corned Beef for St. Patrick's day (I used Alton Brown's recipe). I'm not sure how this compares to Prague Powder, but given the thread's title, I thought I'd emntionit.

          2 Replies
          1. re: MikeyMadness

            Thought I'd give a heads up. You can find pink salt at Marche Hawaii in St-Laurent.

            They're on Marcel Laurin just past Bombardier.

            Took some hunting but I found them on the end of the soy sauce aisle bottom shelf in a big white tub.

            Called Tusino Curing Powder


            Sugar, Maltodextrin, Salt, MSG, palm oil, potassium phosphate, garlic powder, citric acid, SODIUM NITRITE, caramel color, fd & c 3

            Had to post this up because I have been looking for this stuff for literally 3 years without success. Hope this is a rough equivalent to prague powder #1, will find out as soon as I get some new pork bellies.

            1. re: Zalbar

              Just a reminder that prague powder #1 is now generally known as "instacure#1" or even more broadly as "pink salt". Its a mixture of sodium nitrite (6.25%) and salt (93.75%).
              The Tusino Curing Powder MAY do the job (equivalent to instacure#1), but its not the same.

              I purchased instacure from an Italian market once, but it was very expensive. I'd suggest the on-line route, where you can buy an inexpensive 1lb or 5lb tub that will last quite awhile...

              And yeah, you can use saltpeter (potassium nitrate), or if you get your hands on it, sodium nitrite, to cure meats. Just a suggestion, though, know what you're doing...
              saltpeter isn't used anymore for reasons...
              pink salt is preferred over straight sodium nitrite for other reasons...

              Again, just my 2c

          2. Finally found what seems to be an appropriate cure.
            Called Cure 64 (Saumurage 64), contains 6.5% nitrite, mixed with salt and sodium bicarbonate and vegetable oil ( last two are specified as conditioning agents, whatever this may means, probably just used in the mixing process to combine the salt and nitrite crystals effectively). Instacure #1, formely known as Prague Powder #1, contains 6.25% of nitrite, so I think the future looks rosy.

            I will update pending the next Bacon slab.

            Use 3g/kg of meat for cooked sausage
            Use 30g + 150g salt/L for injection at 10-12%
            Use 6g + 100g salt/L for drenching (immersion in french so I guess brining???)

            3.95$ for a 1 kilo pouch, which should be enough for a couple hundred pounds of bacon...

            There was also a nitrate mix for dried sausages available and some sausage specific equipment.

            6005 Blvd Couture, between Lacordaire and Langelier, entrance on the side.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sir_jiffy

              I may be mistaken, but sodium bicarbonate can be used as an anti-caking agent.

              $4/kg, I think thats pretty cheap - sausagemaker.com sells pink salt at $10US/pound! I'll have to check this place out, thanks.

            2. We split some replies about cooking with Cure 64 over to our Home Cooking board. They're off topic here, but we didn't want to lose the conversation. If you want to continue that discussion, please reply here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/744432

              1. I am looking for 'Pink Salt' which from this post seems to be called something else. I am a novice at Charcuterie but there is a challenge going on from M. Ruhlman and I want to enter it and try curing at home for the first time ever....so can anybody tell me with certainty where they have bought Pink Salt?

                4 Replies
                1. re: blondee_47

                  Finding Cure #1 or Pink Salt is really hard to find in Quebec & rest of Canada.No problem in the US. I'm also trying to find some in Montreal.

                  I think is it possible to buy some on the internet on different saussage making supply sites,but the shipping fees are really high!

                  Let me know if you find something!


                  1. re: Kinyo

                    I found a place online in Canada but only for 22KG and the compound is - Cure Prague Powder 5-200 25Kg Bag (55Lbs) @ $32.00 ea plus I could not even get a shipping quote but I could imagine the freight cost on 55lbs....

                    1. re: Kinyo

                      I was given this link by Stuffers for what they call Prague Powder #1...


                      I don't know a thing about Curing and am starting Ruhlman's book on Charcuterie so does this compound sound correct to you with the addition of sodium bicarbonate and glycerine?

                      1. re: blondee_47

                        I've been curing meats for about 5 years or so and I had a very difficult time finding instacure in Montreal. I remember Stuffers out of BC used to offer it online, but looking through their site today, doesn't seem to offer it anymore.
                        The Sausage Maker out of Buffalo NY is one American outfit that does offer it and I order from them. They specify shipment to Canada, but I can't vouch for it as I have it sent to my US address and pick it up across the border. You can see their cures (instacure#1, #2) here
                        I first bought the 1lb bags, but soon ran out and needed more. I asked the butchers at FruttaSi in Lasalle and they sold me some. I asked if it was "instacure", but the guy didn't know what I was talking about. "Is it a mixture of salt and sodium nitrite?" I asked, again, he didn't catch it, but said "it has all the stuff to cure"....
                        I bought it, it did the job, but was waaayyyyyy too expensive.
                        I now buy the 5lb pails from the sausage maker and make sure I don't run dry.
                        Theres much confusion out there about curing and curing compounds. What with terms like Prague Powder (1&2), Instacure (1&2), sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite, saltpeter, etc. Just a suggestion, become knowleagable on these compounds, get to know their benefits, uses, and dangers, and have a healthy respect for them.
                        That and have fun!

                  2. I get it at Dicks Sporting Goods or Gander Mountain Sports In the Champlain Center in Plattsburgh NY.
                    Sold under the name of Backwoods - Lem Cure by Lem Products.

                    Step 1:
                    Read a lot about curing before you begin.
                    Step 2:
                    Go back and read some more about curing before you begin.

                    Pinksalt, Insta-Cure, Mortons Tender Quick, Prague Powder or Lem Cure only does a little of the job.
                    The art of curing is intricate and can be very time consuming for the home-maker.
                    Merely rubbing sodium nitrite on a piece of meat is not enough.

                    Proceed slowly and read and understand the directions for the cure you buy.
                    Never use more then the recommend amount.
                    Good Luck :)

                    36 Replies
                    1. re: hanklin

                      I see LEM Cure is the equivalent of instacure#1. Does LEM have an equivalent to Instacure#2?

                      1. re: porker

                        Thank you all sooo much for your experienced input. Even Michael Ruhlman has helped weigh in on this 'Pink Salt'...This is definitely out of my comfort zone but I think I can pull it off at least with a Duck procuitto and limited areas in the house where I could hang it....altho I still need to read up on temperatures etc.....

                        Yesterday I was thinking it was an exciting challenge that a few bloggers are taking on... until this morning when I got an answer to my email on the question of this link and what it contains http://www.wwf5.com/stuffers.com/wecs......
                        I was told Prague Powder 1 should only have two ingredients....as a novice who has no idea what she is doing; the difficulty in finding this one important ingredient is making me think three times about whether I am entering into a challenge already going wrong.

                        I hear you all and read your warnings. However if I do find the exact required ingredient I will definitely post it here:

                        1. re: blondee_47

                          Don't be put off!
                          Maybe you can't start this very minute, but don't give up.
                          Sure curing can seem daunting, especially when people say "botulism will kill you" or "sodium nitrite is dangerous".
                          I feel that if you follow a few guidelines, you should have a wide margin of safety. Plus, dry curing is a small part of charcuterie in general.
                          Take wet curing a ham, for example. Make a brine (including instacure#1 or Prague Powder #1 (two names for the same thing)) and submerge a fresh pork leg (injecting it with cure also helps, but I digress). A month later, you have a beautiful, home-cured ham.
                          Making bacon from pork belly...EASY (OK, the novice might have trouble with smoking, but still not rocket science).
                          Then theres a world of sausage and pates.
                          Pretty soon, you'll be spending your summer days counting down to the cool of autumn to hang your sausage, cappicolli, guancile, and lonza in the basement...
                          PM me if you really need anything :-)

                          1. re: blondee_47

                            well today i had quite the education on home curing...it seems that it borders on the illegal for pink salt/prague powder #1 to be sold for home curing....a butcher told me, aside from all the obvious health issues...he could lose his liscense if it were ever linked back that he sells it to the public for home curing....

                            suffer.com sells it; but when I asked a maven via email and who lives in the United States; he said it should be clearly marked 6.25% nitrate and the rest salt. So no other additives like sodium bicarbonate or glycerin like the Stuffers.com is selling under their own brand.

                            So is it really illegal via the Food and Agriculture Canada?

                            1. re: blondee_47

                              I don't know (or worry) about the legalities in this case - its like big brother deciding on whats good for me or not...
                              I do know that pure nitrites and nitrates (like "salt peter") are more controlled as they are key ingredients in specific types of explosives.

                              1. re: porker

                                I am trying two places in the States who say they ship to Canada to find out if they will actually ship the Pink Salt/Prague Powder which has the properly marked components - for me, I need it to be clearly labeled. At this point I don't even care about the shipping costs; (not true) I just want to 'know' if I can get it...keep y'all posted...

                                1. re: blondee_47

                                  Lem Products ship to Canada and Quebec specifically, with UPS residential service.
                                  Keep in mind the small quantity which you are ordering is only enough for curing.

                                  4 ounces of cure contains 7 grams of sodium nitrite.
                                  Not enough to do anything but cure meat.

                                  Also keep in mind that piles of this stuff are bought and sold in Quebec everyday to charcuterie makers all over the province.

                                  There are no laws specifically prohibiting you from curing your own meat.
                                  However there are laws specifiaclly proihibiting you from selling the home cured meat you made.

                                  1. re: hanklin

                                    thank you. I am not selling and in fact all I want to do is one duck breast.

                                    1. re: blondee_47

                                      You want to do this duck breast how?
                                      Air dried? Wet cure? Hot smoked? Cold smoked?
                                      Makes a difference.

                                    2. re: hanklin

                                      I went to Lem and as I found with Stuffers.com they label it under their own brand name and say it is 6.25% nitrate but don't give any other ingredients...Being so new to this and reading so many cautions: I want a product clearly named and called wither Pink Salt or Prague Powder #1 and want to know its ingredients.

                                      Reading Lem's description is scaring the bejeezes out of me to even begin....I am sensing this is a project truly out of my league....it is too difficult to come by easily and I am thinking there is plenty of reason for that....

                                      1. re: blondee_47

                                        If you click on the LEM site and look for the cure,
                                        they describe it as
                                        "LEM Cure is a mixture of salt and sodium nitrite (6.25%), ..."

                                        Also if you click on an enlarged photo of the LEM cure, you can read the ingredient list,
                                        "INGREDIENTS"salt, sodium nitrate (6.25%), FD&C red (0.0009%), and less than 2% sodium silica aluminate added to prevent caking"

                                        This LEM cure is the equivalent to Instacure#1 and is equivalent to Prague Pdwder#1

                                        This got my curiosity going, so I checked my supply of Instacure#1 that I purchased here
                                        Heres the ingredient list: Sodium Chloride (chemical name for salt...), sodium nitrite 6.25%, FD&C Red N0.40 0.0040%, with no more than 1% sodium carbonate to retain stability.

                                        Basically all the same thing.

                                        Is there reason its difficult to come by? The authorities, being much smarter than us, decided that we cannot properly handle such a product for ourselves.
                                        True, it can be potentially hazardous, but so can cooking indoors with charcoal. However, if properly used, the product is deemed very safe.

                                        Know what scares the bejesus out of me? Old school types who say they air-dry or dry-cure all sorts of stuff, but do it "naturally" without nitrites. Sure, you can get curing properties from plain salt. But to truly do it safely and consistently, there is no other proven method than using nitrites and nitrates.
                                        Next time you're in a supermarket, take a look at the ingredient list of any cold-cut, any sausage, any ham, any bacon, etc etc. Contains nitrites.
                                        (BTW theres hardly a wine in the world that doesn't use sulfates...kinda along the same lines).

                                        So yeah, there are potential hazards. But being aware of the hazards and using the product as directed is accepted as very safe.

                                        1. re: porker

                                          so I finally did order from Stuffers.com which is out of BC, there is another site that sells it too...http://www.canadacompound.com out of Toronto.

                                          The two added ingredients of sodium bicarbonate and glycerine are okay I have been told by many bloggers who do their own charcuterie both for sale and home use.

                                          In fact I have been told just Kosher salt would be okay for what i am doing which is duck breast proscuitto

                                          Anyone who might be interested there is an internet project taking on a lot of momentum beginning with two bloggers who decided to do a year of Charcuterie from Michael Ruhlman's book and blog instructions, pictures and results. It is going viral and this is what I am joining in on at least for the first project.

                                          You dont have to be a blogger you can do it via emails to the members


                                          1. re: blondee_47

                                            Hi Blondee,

                                            I think you are ordering Prague powder #1 to air dry meat.
                                            Please correct me if I am wrong.

                                            Air drying meat or curing meat that will not be cooked requires Prague powder #2
                                            It's composition acts over a longer period of time and is specifically formulated for this purpose.

                                            Yes you can do it with salt only, but only if you have an old Italian uncle who knows what he's doing and is willing to teach you how.

                                            If you are planning on air drying/curing at a temperature of more then 40 degrees Fahrenheit and below 140 degree Fahrenheit, and you are not going to use Prague powder #2, do be very aware of the potential risk to your health.

                                            Please keep us up to date on your progress.

                                            1. re: hanklin

                                              Michael Ruhlman's Charcuterie recipe is the one I am following. As well I am getting help every step of the way from the bloggers who are proficient and reading the mistakes of those that are not.

                                              You are not the only one to caution me: every where I have been turning here, in Montreal, I have encountered those like yourself very concerned with what I am going to try.

                                              The recipe calls for refrigeration for 24 hours covered in the cure; then dry hanging in aprox 50F until aprox 30% of the moisture weight is gone...Duck Breast Proscuitto.

                                              What is your thoughts on this?

                                              1. re: blondee_47

                                                Hanklin, obviously what you say is important as is everyone's help which is wonderful. I took what you said and emailed a friend who actually cures for a living and he said to me that Duck Breast is a whole muscle and therefore prague powder #1 is what to use. #2 is for salami and the likes and that using it could be dangerous. Thank you for wanting to know my progress and I will make sure to let you people aware.

                                                I don't know if I can post my blog link here or not but I will about what so far has been going on


                                                1. re: blondee_47

                                                  Here is an excerpt from:

                                                  The National Center for Home Food Preservation University of Georgia.

                                                  6.2.3. Curing Compounds

                                                  Purchase commercially prepared cure mixes and follow instructions carefully (PHS/FDA 2001) or blend cure mixes carefully at home using an accurate scale.

                                                  Nitrate. Use cure mixtures that contain nitrate (e.g., Prague Powder 2, Insta-Cure 2) for dry-cured products that are not to be cooked, smoked, or refrigerated (PHS/FDA 2001). Dry cure using 3.5 oz. nitrate per 100 lbs. meat maximum or wet cure at a maximum of 700 ppm nitrates (9 CFR Cpt 3. 318.7(c)(4), 381.147(d)(4)).

                                                  Nitrite. Use cure mixtures that contain nitrite (e.g., Prague Powder 1, Insta-Cure 1) for all meats that require cooking, smoking, or canning (PHS/FDA 2001). Dry cure using 1 oz. nitrite per 100 lbs. meat maximum. For sausages use ¼ oz. per 100 lbs. (Reynolds and Schuler 1982). A 120 ppm concentration is usually sufficient and is the maximum allowed in bacon (PHS/FDA 2001).

                                                  Nitrites are toxic if used in quantities higher than recommended; therefore caution should be used in their storage and use (PHS/FDA 2001). About 1 g or 14mg/kg body weight sodium nitrite is a lethal dose to an adult human (USDA FSIS 1997b). Mistakenly using sodium nitrite instead of NaCl in typical curing recipes can lead to a lethal dose of nitrite in the incorrectly cured product (Borchert and Cassens 1998). For this reason it is safer to purchase and use curing mixtures rather than pure nitrites (saltpeter).

                                                  The the entire document can be found here and is authoritative:

                                                  The thrill of home cured duck meat pales in comparison to the risk of botulism.

                                                  When you read the above excerpt carefully distinguish between the words Nitrate and Nitrite.

                                                  I wish you good luck and encourage you to be very, very careful.


                                                  1. re: hanklin

                                                    Hanklin I hear you...and I am concerned at what you are saying. I heed your warnings loud and clear - let us say I am not running to do this that quickly; You are not the only one I have encountered both at butchershops and not that have caution in their voices when I say 'home cure'.

                                                    Yet, the Americans do it all the time; don't underestimate how confused on this subject I am. With everything I read I am not taking this project lightly. I would be lying if I said I am not building up some concern.

                                                    1. re: hanklin

                                                      I know you are trying to be helpful, but if you read through this thread, you'll see that blondee is on the verge of being terrified on the use of curing agents. This alone, I think, should show that this person will be very careful.
                                                      Note also the various warnings she has also received.

                                                      I feel that your comments are vague at best and perhaps even misleading. Sadly, I find this very common in the area of cures.
                                                      There are many factors involved when choosing Instacure#1 and/or Instacure#2, that blanket statements are simply not accurate enough to the point of being misleading.

                                                      you are clearly following a methodology (Ruhlman), are clearly aware of possible dangers of curing compounds, and have a healthy respect for them.

                                                      Maybe its like driving a car - the wife is so worried about all the things that can go wrong when driving, she refuses to learn. The majority of us may look down on this, why? Because we understand that although driving can be hazardous, following certain rules and methodologies makes it quite safe. If you are wreckless, or operate outside these rules and guidelines, you are asking for trouble.

                                                      1. re: porker

                                                        Folks, can we ask that you take general discussion of curing over to the Home Cooking board, and keep this thread focused on where in Quebec curing agents can be found? We think the general discussion will be of a broad interest to hounds from a variety of places, and starting a new thread there will help keep this local board focused on local sources. Thanks.

                                                        1. re: porker


                                                          There is nothing vague or misleading about my comments.
                                                          In my last post I even make sure to distinguish between the words Nitrate and Nitrite.
                                                          Nothing remotely vague about that.
                                                          You're resorting to an argumentum ad hominem.
                                                          I get the feeling you have not actually read my comments.

                                                          As well to purposely give my comments more clarity I have provided an authoritative reference:

                                                          I suggest you read it as well.

                                                          In reference to the mods suggestion about keeping this thread to where Quebec curing agents can be found; I will tell you that there is no reliable place in Montreal to purchase a small, over the counter supply of pink salt, #1 or #2.

                                                          Gotta be a reason for that too.

                                                          Michael Ruhlman and Mrs.Wheelbarrow and their "challenge" just might wind up making a lot of people very ill.
                                                          This is one of the challenge's rules:
                                                          "Buy a copy of ‘Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing’ by Michael Ruhlman."
                                                          Something smells worse then rotten, air dried duck breast.


                                                          1. re: hanklin

                                                            I have to disagree with your statement that there is no reliable place to purchase pink salt in Montreal, see my previous post in the beginning of the thread.

                                                            Yes, I stumbled on it while looking for sausage casings (and even then, I stumbled on the store selling sausage casings in bulk), but it is available in Montreal. I paid 4$ for 1 kg, and can vouch to the tasty bacon it produced.

                                                            Advice in "Charcuterie" is solid and prudent throughout. You seem to be taking a little too much word for word the challenge organizers' request for buying the book. They just seem to indicate that the recipes they will follow will be taken from that book, which is the only "relatively" main stream book published on the subject. Following your logic, I would have to buy the book again to participate, even if I already own it, because the rules states that I have to buy the book.

                                                            Libraries are a wonderful resource if you want to try your hand at something without buying the book. Charcuterie is available at the Bibliotheque Nationale for those interested.

                                                            1. re: sir_jiffy


                                                              You wrote in your post
                                                              "Finally found what seems to be an appropriate cure"
                                                              Your use of the words "seems" did not denote high reliability.

                                                              I completely disagree with your statement:
                                                              "Charcuterie (the book)... is the only "relatively" main stream book published on the subject"

                                                              Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Chapters-Indigo currently list more then 50 "real" main stream books on the subject of curing by well respected authors.
                                                              Check it out.

                                                              As well, I am not taking anything too much word for word, I am merely repeating what is stated on the web site of the organizers as one of the rules.
                                                              I used quotation marks to indicate I was quoting them.

                                                              The idea of the whole challenge being tied to the purchase of some guys book strikes me as being fishy.

                                                              When I find people trying to discredit me, it is usually because I am disturbing the promotion or sale of one thing or another.
                                                              In this case I imagine my warnings about home curing and botulism would really put a damper on sales of Michael Ruhlman's book.

                                                              For most home cooks, especially those feeding young children and other potentially vulnerable people, it's a warning well worth heeding.


                                                2. re: blondee_47

                                                  Blondee, how much did you pay to get pink salt from Stuffers?

                                                  I also need some to start smoking my bacon!



                                                  1. re: Kinyo

                                                    5.95 for 454gr and 11.37 to ship from BC.

                                                    Kinyo would you weigh in on this subject?

                                                    1. re: blondee_47

                                                      What do you mean weigh in? Sorry but sometime my english is not that good!!! :)

                                                      Do you want my opinion on cure #1 and #2 ?

                                                      1. re: blondee_47

                                                        Also, what exact product you bought on stuffers.com, I've looked but I dont see any cure #1.

                                                        I'm probably not looking at the right place!

                                                    2. re: blondee_47

                                                      blondee - Would you be into selling me a little of your pink salt? I feeling -paloozaey myself!

                                                      1. re: perfectofood

                                                        Here is my invoice less my address and btw the shipping was 6.00 in the end. I don't want to sell any of the prague Powder #1 but if you go to stuffer.com and email them like I did they will get back to you.

                                                        BTW My breast, uh, duck breast is hanging and I actually needed only Kosher salt for that project. Please I don't want to hear any more cautions: I know them all and appreciated all the concern and discussion truly. I hope it continues in a good way

                                                        Part # Description Qty Price Total

                                                        RCUPRAGUE1 Stuffers Prague 1 5.95 5.95
                                                        Powder NO.1 454g
                                                        Subtotal: 5.95
                                                        Tax: 0.00
                                                        Shipping: 11.37
                                                        Total: 17.32

                                                          1. re: quicot

                                                            actually no it was not good...I posted about it: I could not control the humidity correctly and after all I had gone through with discussions etc on the prague powder 1 etc...I was too afraid to actually eat it...altho I tasted it.

                                                            My next foray and last was the March challenge of pickling my own beef tongue; I love tongue plain or pickled. Unfortunately in this instance the tongue did not get completely pickled and when cooked was very dark inside the center.

                                                            I was afraid of that too. Chucked 40 bucks into the garbage and have decided to let Charcuterie be done by the pros who are actually good at it.

                                                            1. re: blondee_47

                                                              Hmmmmmmmmm...it's true, those of us without an uncle who knows what he's doing start at a distinct disadvantage.


                                                              1. re: blondee_47

                                                                It seems that you were anxious from the start, so I applaud the fact that you gave it a go, bravo!
                                                                BTW, sometimes the "pros" dont get it right...

                                                                1. re: porker

                                                                  I happened to be at Boucherie Tranzo one day a couple of weeks ago and it seems this is the time that a lot of Italian who cure their own ham legs begin the process now. Tranzo had a few huge legs they were preparing for customers (3) and I stood and watched and none of them use nitrates to cure their stuff.

                                                                  However, I am sure these men have been doing this a lifetime and then some. It is an art and a passion lost on me or I would be doing the pickles like my mother used to when I was a little girl.

                                                                  I helped her; knew how to do; never wrote it down because the recipe was in her head and now when I have the time and the passion it is a lost art for me as the beauty is in using not just a recipe BuT the family recipe.

                                                                  1. re: blondee_47

                                                                    I don't know if I mentioned it in this thread (too lazy to re-read my posts above), but it was indeed an older Italian who showed me how to make sausage (I'm not Italian).
                                                                    He'd tell me how as a kid in 1940s Italy, they'd make a lot of stuff at home. He continued the practice when he came to Canada with various relatives, but it slowed as the family started to disperse and he got older. He still made his own wine, dried sausage, and canned tomatoes until he passed away a few years ago (I miss my friend).
                                                                    He scoffed at the mention of sulfites in wine or nitrites in sausage or nitrates in proscuitto, so yeah, some people still do it the old fashioned way.
                                                                    Me? I use his techniques and even recipes, but I tweak them both to my liking (I still tell the story how he thought I was nuts when putting thyme/mint/bay leaf in my sausage mix as a type of merguez: to him, there was simply ONE way to make fresh sausage, anything else was crazy. Haha).
                                                                    When it comes to certain kinds of charcuerie, I use nitrites and nitrates with conviction, in fact, I would fear NOT using them. Of course if used improperly, they create other problems.

                                                                    You're absolutely right, "the beauty is in using not just a recipe but the family recipe" (I like that).
                                                                    Maybe you'll have to start your own pickle tradition blondee.

                                                                    1. re: porker

                                                                      Porker, my head did not go there but that is indeed a good idea: my own tradition. (but our mother's and father's were always better because they inherently knew they had to carry on tradition and either wrote down those recipes and/or repeated them consistantly and constantly) My own mother stopped pickling after we all left the house and she got too tired which is when I continued and then, with the onset of my own kids and work and and and....well, the rest brings me back to the above....Food became a passion later in life when I tried to revive her recipes and failed at some and succeeded at others. It's the ones I failed at like pickling, that I miss the most.

                                                                      1. re: porker

                                                                        It was me:

                                                                        "Yes you can do it with salt only, but only if you have an old Italian uncle who knows what he's doing and is willing to teach you how."

                                                                        Also, blondee_47, I am sorry to hear your duck breast did not turn out.

                                      2. Hi, I just bought 1 kg of curing salt #2 for $3.75 tx incl. The company calls it "Saumurage Saucisse seches & demi seche`or `Dry & Semi Dry Sausage Cure`.This is for making dry salami,proscuito... at a company called BSA located at 6005 blvd Couture between Lacordaire & langelier. Someone else in this discussion already mentioned buying their curing salt #1 from them.
                                        The ingredients are salt,sodium nitrite,sodium nitrate,sodium bicarbonate(mfg aid),vegetable oil(mfg aid). It looks like the last two ingredients are for their manufacturing process.
                                        This does look like the same product as Cure#2 or Prague Powder #2

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: TedTheNewbie

                                          It is the same. The other ingredients are anti-caking agents so it doesn't clump. Instacure #1 would be their Cure 64.

                                          Alternatively you can now get Morton's tenderquick, salt cure and sugar cure


                                          Shipping to Canada.

                                          1. re: Zalbar

                                            Hi Zalbar, I also went to marche Hawaii on Marcel Laurin & asked the staff if they had curing salt, even after explaining, they didn't know what I was talking about. I checked the soya sauce aisle but didn't see it. I guess they stopped selling it.

                                            1. re: TedTheNewbie

                                              They still have it, but it's not called curing salt. Tusino Curing Powder. They pretty much use it as you would a seasoning ( http://isohungry.blogspot.ca/2009/10/...


                                              My main problem with it was in not being able to find the exact percentage of sodium nitrite included in it, though I am assuming it is lower than 6.25% from the results I got.

                                              Yes, it made bacon, and it tasted somewhat bacony instead of porky but not as much as regular bacon, and why I ended up going to BSA to get actual cure with the correct proportions of salt and nitrite in it. First batch should be done by next week. I know it's a hassle to get out to the BSA for most people as they are only open Mon-Fri till 6pm but it's a once in a few years trip for most people curing at home. 1kg of cure will go a long, long, LOOOOOOOONG way.

                                              1. re: Zalbar

                                                Fairmount butcher (I think, might be Slovenia instead, the one with the old guys and the barrels of sauerkraut) sells if you ask for it, I've bought some a couple years ago, it's not packaged he just uses it for curing and will sell small quantity (~1lb) to those who ask.

                                                1. re: AlexCV

                                                  There is some Saumurage 64 at Marché Transatlantique in Ahuntsic on Waverly. Business hours are not convenient Mon-Fri from 9-5 but at least it's not deep in St-Leonard almost Montreal Nord...


                                        2. Little late, but Williams Sonoma at Dix 30 and Carrefour have it in a little jar near the spices.