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Oct 14, 2009 08:22 AM

Curing Salt

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.

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  1. 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 (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

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

      1. re: grandgourmand

        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

          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

          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

            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. 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: Dr Butcher

            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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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

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

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