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kosher curing salts

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I've made corned beef and pastrami (kind of) at home with just kosher salt, but I'm getting more adventurous and I'm looking for a source for kosher curing salt (i.e. salt with sodium nitrite). I know Morton's makes a curing salt, but that has sugar and other things added and I would be following a recipe so I need just the straight curing salt. Any info?

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  1. Morton's Tender Quick does not have added sugar.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ferret

      Well, I'm staring at a bag of it, and it says Contents: Salt, Sugar, 0.5% Sodium Nitrite (preservative), 0.5% Sodium Nitrate (preservative), Propylene Glycol. Kinda implying that you're incorrect, Ferret. I think what he's looking for is Prague #1. I believe any Prague #1 is kosher, sinc it's strictly a nitrite source. I use Tender Quick myself, which is why I have 4 bags of it. However, I'll probably switch to Pragues 1 & 2 at some point in time. The recipe I use for Corned Beef (from which I make Pastrami) is a good one that calls for Tender Quick. I use a dry curing method, in which the cure is dry rubbed, and applied twice, in about a 2 week cure (although 1 week is often sufficient if you're in a hurry). The advantage of Tender Quick (and Prague #2) is the addition of Sodium Nitrate, which means it can be used in uncooked salami, but since pastrami is cooked (during smoking), the nitrate is meaningless, as it's the nitrite that provides the antimicrobial properties. The disadvantage to Tender Quick is the high salt content- by the tme one adds enough nitrite for the microbial inhibition, the cure is extremely salty. Prague is much less salty.

      1. re: ganeden

        You are correct. Prague #1 and #2 (aka DQ #1 & #2) do not require a Hechsher. I confirmed this with the Star-K.