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Celery Powder Nitrate? Get the butter!

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 15:48
by Butterbean
I was just watching Diners Drive-ins and Dives last night and saw where a fella was making bacon and he said they didn't use nitrates because they were bad for you and were the cause of many of today's health problems. Instead he injected the pork with copius amounts of celery juice. He explained that celery juice will react with the meat and naturally turn into nitrates once its inside the meat and will cure the meat naturally without any risk of health problems like conventionally cured meats.

All I can say is butter my ass and call me a bisquit.

Oh, for those of you who are health conscious and interested in purchasing some naturally cured safe meat I've included the link. I thought $8.50/lb for bratwurst is a fair price given that its made all natural like with none of that poisonous nitrates. ... icle&id=53

CW, do you think if I soaked an ingot of lead in celery juice for a week it would turn into a bar of gold?

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 23:13
by sawhorseray
If your lead ingot turns to gold you'll be able to order some Spanish ham from these guys!

Interesting article precludes that, a bit long but informative. I'd thought a place in northern Italy had laid claim to the best and most expensive ham. I guess my opinion of "it's just a dammed pig" wouldn't get much respect. RAY ... ted=1&_r=1

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 23:37
by NorCal Kid
I may never look at a biscuit the same again...... :shock:

Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 03:30
by Butterbean
$845 for a ham! Um, not a bad price really. I have two aging at this very minute and just out of competition I guess I could part with them for ..... um ...... $840 ..... yeah, that sounds about right. Pretty sure though they are worth $900 if someone would pay me that for them. :mrgreen:

NorCal, maybe if you'd just think highly organic. :lol:

Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 08:36
by Chuckwagon
CW, do you think if I soaked an ingot of lead in celery juice for a week it would turn into a bar of gold?
Hmmmm.... Bean0, if you soaked an ingot of lead in celery juice for a week, I might come down to south Georgia just to take your temperature and hold your hand while you recovered. :roll:
Isn't it amazing how many people will spout off about something they know nothing about? The sad thing is that this guy could very possibly injure or kill someone with his "expert advice". Where do these people come from? :shock:

Best Wishes,

Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:38
by Big Guy
Chuckwagon old Buddy I think they come from the Obama school of meat processing !

Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 20:53
by el Ducko
Guys, here's our recent thread on celery juice/powder/offal mention of lead or gold or, strangely, Bloody Marys.
Good Canadian information though, eh?

Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 23:42
by Butterbean
It just baffles me how people can just ignore the chemistry of things. I'm no chemist, only had a few courses in it - wasn't the star student either - but it either has nitrates in it or it doesn't and IMO saying it doesn't is a lie.

Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 01:13
by Big Guy
Well I am a chemist, and a nitrate is a nitrate no matter the origin

Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:40
by Chuckwagon
Big Guy for president! :lol:
Unfortunately, there are many inexperienced and unqualified people who have introduced all kinds of supposedly "nitrate-free" products to meet the resulting consumer demand for what the misinformed public sees as a health threat. What the public may not know is that not only are their fears over nitrates completely overblown, but these "nitrate-free" products can actually contain many times more nitrates than conventional products. For instance, a truly nitrate-free hot dog would be much more likely to make a person sick than a conventional one. How is this possible?

First of all, there is no such thing as "synthetic nitrate". Big Guy said it... "a nitrate is a nitrate"! Sodium nitrate is simply a naturally occurring mineral... a type of salt that happens to be a particularly effective food preservative. Sodium nitrate is present in all kinds of vegetables (root veggies like carrots as well as leafy greens like celery and spinach) along with all sorts of fruits and grains. Basically, anything that grows from the ground draws sodium nitrate out of the soil. If this seems strange, remember that the word nitrate refers to a compound made of nitrogen, which is the single largest component of our atmosphere. Every time you take a breath, you're breathing 78 percent nitrogen. The soil itself is loaded with it! As you know, one of the things that happens when sodium nitrate is used as a curing agent is that the sodium nitrate is converted to sodium nitrite. It is sodium nitrite that actually possesses the antimicrobial properties that make it an effective preservative. It's particularly effective on clostridium botulinum as well as salmonella.

So what about all those supposedly "nitrate-free" hot dogs, bacon and other so-called "uncured" products? Since completely uncured hot dogs are not palatable to consumers, it's very rare indeed to find a product that is totally nitrate-free. Instead, manufacturers make claims such as "no nitrates added." The reality is that companies that make nitrate-free hot dogs have to use something to substitute for the sodium nitrate. Celery juice is a popular choice. And guess what celery juice contains lots of? Sodium nitrate. And guess what that sodium nitrate turns into when you eat it? Sodium nitrite! You see, the sodium nitrate that we consume through fruits, vegetables and grains is also converted to sodium nitrite by our digestive process. When we eat fruits, vegetables or grains, our bodies produce sodium nitrite.

Sure, celery is a natural source of sodium nitrate. (Notice that no one is currently claiming that celery causes cancer or that people should reduce their intake of celery.) But by adding celery juice to their hot dogs, manufacturers can make products loaded with sodium nitrate while legally being able to claim "no added nitrates." Because all the nitrates are in the celery juice. As a matter of fact, these supposedly "natural" or "organic" products sometimes contain twice as much sodium nitrate, even up to a whopping ten times as much sodium nitrate, as conventional products.

Best Wishes,

Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:34
by Gulyás
Yes sir Mr. Chuckwagon, thank You, and that's the way it is.

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 14:45
by Butterbean
I think we all agree this stuff is just a trendy sales pitch toward the nieve and the important thing is that we use this natural substance to keep the baddies at bay and as a side benefit we get some beautiful color.

Like CW mentioned, the non nitrite stuff can have more 'ites in it than the safe way. This leads to to several thoughts I'd like to pick your brains on.

First of all, it would seem to me that if nitrates are the true danger some would have us to believe they are then the USDA and the FDA would be up in arms with this nitrate free stuff hitting the shelves with 'ite levels exceding their maximum allowable amounts. So this would lead me to believe they are stretching the danger a bit. (I'm not saying curing salts cannot be dangerous when used incorrectly)

The other thing that I wonder about is since most salts are derived from natural deposits and from evaporated sea water, I wonder is all salts have nitrates in them to some extent. I've even seen some Italian sea salts that actually had the percentages of the nitrates on the label.

I guess what I'm getting at is which salts might have the highest amount nitrates in them. I would think that canning salt would have the least, kosher in the middle and pure sea salt having the most - of course I'm sure the source would be the main deteriming factor. But with this in mind, and assuming someone really wanted to keep their nitrite level down, could you not excede the limits in the end product by using your cure in conjunction with a high nitrate salt like sea salt?

I know I'm splitting hairs here but I always use canning salt cause its cheap and in the back of my mind this might keep me from double dosing the cure amount even though I think the amount of cure I could safely use more than recommended.

I am not advocating anything here just wanted to pose these thoughts to you and get your ideas. Myself, I would prefer to use the purest salt possible and add whatever nitrates/ites I see fit - this way I feel I will truly be in control of the whole process rather than leaving it to nature's chance - if you know what I mean.

CW, what if I wrapped the lead ingot in spinach leaves? Organically grown of course. :mrgreen:

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 14:16
by Chuckwagon
Bean0 wrote:
CW, what if I wrapped the lead ingot in spinach leaves? Organically grown of course.
Forget the spinach and start snorting crushed parsley! Hey pal, did you know that it only takes 1/3 of a teaspoon of nitrite to cancel your clock? Yup, it's a little more powerful than nitrate which takes a full teaspoon to send you to that big grinder in the sky! Hmmmmm. That's why they color it pink. Can you imagine someone trying to choke down a teaspoon of pink salt all at once? Yeecchh! :roll:

Best Wishes,

Can celery seed be used to cure home made hotdogs?

Posted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 14:29
by sweepsa
I make poultry franks in small quantities, a pound or two at a time.

Commercially prepared celery juice powders are not available (as far as I know) for such small quantities.

I have discovered that a very small amount of commercial celery juice powder is required to cure a pound of meat -- less than a teaspoon.

I began to wonder if retail celery seed might be used in combination with table salt, or sea salt to cure small quantities of meat.

BTW, I generally water cook my links in non-permeable plastic casings.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Posted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 18:46
by Butterbean
Celery juice is just residual nitrite from the nitrate fertilizer albeit you don't know the amount so typically you end up using more nitrite than you would otherwise use so it buggers me to understand why anyone would want to use more nitrite than necessary when curing meat. What kills me is stuff like this can be labelled nitrite free even though it typically has more nitrite in the product than the law allows you to use in meat using traditional curing products. But since you didn't add "nitrite" its nitrite free. :roll: