Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >
Sep 3, 2010 09:57 AM

Bacon - sugar AND nitrate/nitrite free

Looking for bacon which is both of these, both sugar and nitrate/nitrite free. Tried Trader Joes and they say no - any ideas?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Is that even possible? I know there is such a thing as nitrate free, and it's not very good from what I hear, but sugar is a major component in the curing process, I don't see how you can not have it.

    1. would you be interested in smoking it yourself? if not, here is one in the area:

      1. Wegmans has their brand---applewood smoked/nitrate/nitrite free but it still contains brown sugar as a (curing) ingredient.

        1. Not sure about the sugar, but Hendrick's is a good try. Blooming Glen Pork also has nitrate/ite free in their freezer case, but again, don't know about sugar. I think 94Bravo's onto something about the curing process.
          Remember, "nitrate-free" products that use celery juice just get the nitrates from the celery. Actually, I think that celery has more nitrates than bacon does, if memory serves me. The reason they're using nitrates/ites in the first place is to keep pathogens from growing.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JohnnyKBar

            Right. The commercial brands of "uncured" meat products do indeed use celery juice (which provides the dreaded nitrates...which along with the salt --which also has naturally occurring nitrates--cures the meat. LOL.

            Quite frankly, without the curing action and at least some sugar as part of the equation, you'd have some mightly lame tasting bacon; at the very least, you certainly wouldn't have anything tasting like American style bacon, if that's what you're seeking.

            Unless you're eating it 3 times a day five days a week, I frankly wouldn't sweat the additives. Unless you have some kind of major reaction to these particular ingredients, don't let the scaremongering that follows these basic ingredients around get to you. You're probably even getting nitrates in your drinking water and don't realize it...
            Just my opinion...your mileage may vary.
            I make my own bacon, and for safety's sake wouldn't think of leaving out the curing agents.