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Curing Salt

k
Kooper Oct 14, 2009 08:22 AM

I want to start curing my own meat and one thing that all recipes call for is curing salt or Cure#2. Does anyone know where in Toronto I can find that ingredient? I want to try the pancetta recipe this weekend. http://www.chow.com/recipes/10699

  1. grandgourmand Oct 14, 2009 08:27 AM

    I haven't been able to find a local source. Some others may be able to point you in the right direction.

    However, ordering it online from stuffers.com (they are in B.C.) worked for me. Make sure you get some cure #1 as well, which is used for making bacon, ham, corned beef, etc. Cure #2 is for making air dried meats and sausages.

    4 Replies
    1. re: grandgourmand
      grandgourmand Oct 14, 2009 10:04 AM

      Oh, and Cure #1 and #2 are also known as Prague Powder. I believee that's how Stuffers describes them.

      1. re: grandgourmand
        k
        Kooper Oct 14, 2009 10:45 AM

        Thanks for the help. I have a follow up question. Where do you get your meat. I tried to get the pork belly from my local butcher and they only sell them in 12lb pieces. That will make a lot of pancetta and my fridge is not that big.

        1. re: Kooper
          j
          jamieoddellows Oct 14, 2009 10:58 AM

          If you don't mind a trip to Markham, try

          The Yes Group Inc.
          201 Don Park Rd unit 1
          Markham, ON L3R 1C2
          (905) 470-1135
          http://www.yesgroup.ca/main_site/

          You'll have to buy a kilo, sometimes it's dyed, sometimes not, but I use it for sausage and bacon at home and work. They brand it as supercure. They deliver, but you probably won't meet the minimum order.

          The Healthy Butcher will sell smaller weights of belly, but it is The Healthy Butcher.

          If you're worried about space for pancetta, you can always cure it flat a la bacon. Very similar flavor, different, but better suited for tighter spaces.

          1. re: Kooper
            grandgourmand Oct 14, 2009 10:59 AM

            Where are you located? If there's an asian supermarket nearby, you can have your pick of various sizes. T&T, for example, carries them all the time. It usually comes skin-on which you would remove for pancetta. It also might have some of the side ribs attached, which you'll have to remove. Other than that, it's cheap and easily available. Oh, and for smaller size bellies, you won't be able to roll it and tie it and hang it, at least I haven't been able to. Doesn't matter, you can hang it as a slab. I wrap it in cheesecloth after it's cured.

            By the way, if you're making pancetta, cure #1 is the one you're looking for. Reminds me, I don't have any pancetta curing right now. Need to change that.

            EDIT: If you like what your butcher is selling, 12lbs might not be a bad thing. You can always cut it into 2-4 pieces and freeze the rest. Or cook some of it. If you do that, the butcher might even remove the skin for you, which is a pain in the ass.

      2. e
        embee Oct 14, 2009 11:13 AM

        stuffers.com is definitely the easiest place from which to order. They have Prague Powder #1, Prague Powder #2, and several varieties of Tender Quick.

        (You can often get type #1 at Highland Farms. You may need to ask a butcher at the meat counter.)

        I don't make pancetta myself, but I'm not completely comfortable with the recipe you cite. You do, indeed, need the type 2 cure. However, you need to learn about the subtleties of curing, especially when you will be hanging something and possibly using it raw.

        Too little curing agent and the meat won't cure properly. At best, you won't get pancetta; at worst, it can make you very sick. Too much cure, at best, will taste vile. At worst, curing salt itself is toxic. In short, you must use the appropriate amount of any specific curing agent for your piece of meat.

        Be careful of terminology. "Pink salt" is not pink in Canada. Prague Powder is NOT saltpeter, and curing with saltpeter requires a recipe formulated for saltpeter. Diamond Crystal salt is only half as salty per unit volume as table salt, and every brand of kosher/coarse salt has a different level of saltiness. You can use any pure, coarse salt, but different brands will give very different results. With Tender Quick, you typically don't need any extra salt.

        Good luck with your adventure, but I suspect you won't have type 2 cure by this weekend.

        2 Replies
        1. re: embee
          Dr Butcher Oct 14, 2009 03:45 PM

          Here's a small list of mail order/online places you can get curing salts:

          http://www.sausagemaker.com/
          http://www.halfordhide.com/
          http://www.canadacompound.com/
          http://www.malabarsuperspice.com/
          http://www.stuffers.com/

          All but the sausage maker are Canadian.

          1. re: Dr Butcher
            e
            embee Oct 14, 2009 04:16 PM

            I should add, for the OP, that Canada Compound is local, in the 905 area. I don't know whether they sell anything in retail quantities, but you can certainly call and ask.

        2. c
          Cup cake Oct 14, 2009 07:51 PM

          We ordered curing salts from the sausage maker in Buffalo. They ship to Canada no problem. Received it quickly. Lots of great supplies for curing your own meat.
          http://www.sausagemaker.com/

          1. c
            Carruthers Oct 15, 2009 08:11 AM

            Highland Farms carries Canada Compound's Readycure in 1 kg bags in their salt section. Apparently Readycure is only 1% sodium nitrite so you'll have to do some recipe conversion.

            I'm pretty sure that Highland Farms also carries pork belly. I have also found it at the No Frills at Yonge and Steeles.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Carruthers
              grandgourmand Oct 15, 2009 08:21 AM

              Yes. Highland Farms has it for $3/b. It's good quality.

            2. c
              Cup cake Feb 27, 2010 07:36 PM

              We've ordered from the sausagemaker.com It is out of Buffalo and was no problem. Arrived quickly. They had lots of really cool stuff.

              1. tbonetak Feb 28, 2010 06:44 AM

                Strangely, last week I saw a bag of curing salt for sale, along with some sausage casing, in the cooler directly beside the deli counter at the Loblaws on Dundas West, just south of Bloor. No idea of the quality (or if it's even still there, to be honest) but I thought it was worth a mention.

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