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FOOD Can pool salt be used for curing meat?
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  1. #1
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    Can pool salt be used for curing meat?

    I see this stuff at Lowes for $3 a bag.
    It appears to be plain old sodium chloride, even has Morton's on the label.

    In a survival situation, I'm thinking it could be used to cure meat if there is no longer refigeration.

    Build a big box and salt down cuts of meat, just like my ancestors used to do.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this?

  2. #2
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    You cure meat with both sodium chlorida and sodium nitrite. I don't think you can correctly cure meat with NaCl alone.
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    "Isnít it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?Ē - Kelvin R. Throop III

  3. #3

    Check with Morton...

    I've never seen "pool" salt.

    Are you sure that isn't water softener salt? Plain old NaCl salt-salt if that's all it has on the label. Check for purity and additives, and if OK, many people use it for pickling, or after grinding for . . . . salt.

    I presume you "could" cure meat with that salt, but I'd read the Morton's meat curing FAQ first:

    http://www.mortonsalt.com/faqs/meat-curing-faqs

    ~Sportsman
    Last edited by Sportsman; 07-07-2012 at 01:06 AM. Reason: My computer can't speal

  4. #4
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    It's cheap because it's not food-grade. Just because it's (mainly) NaCl, doesn't mean that's *all* that's in there. "Pool salt" probably allows for lots of other, less desirable minerals to be present, since they're not going in your body, like fluoride, potassium, chromium, etc.
    Strike me down, and I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine


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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies and the Morton link.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sportsman View Post
    I've never seen "pool" salt.

    ~Sportsman
    Yeah, if you have a "salt" pool. It is a kind of pool that uses a "generator" of metal plates to turn sodium chloride into chlorine for your pool. Some people are hyper sensitive to plain chlorine pools - I developed the sensitivity after a couple of years at our old house - and the chlorine in salt pools is different and doesn't cause allergic reactions.
    Find my free fiction stories here.

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  7. #7
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    Our fore fathers did not use nitrates to salt meat with and they all survived.

    We quit using nitrated meats about 10 years ago when we figured out that nitrates were one of the things causing dh to get the gout. He has sensitivities to a lot of things and nitrates were right up on the top of the list. Hence we eat no bacon, hot dogs, hams, etc.

    We have provisions to can meats in jars instead of salting stuff. I use a tiny bit of sea salt to can with now. I never use regular salt anymore.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy in FL View Post
    You cure meat with both sodium chlorida and sodium nitrite. I don't think you can correctly cure meat with NaCl alone.
    I don't know if you can. I've done it with just plain salt with no nitrate. The trick is to get all the water out.
    "The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance." - Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC)

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy in FL View Post
    Yeah, if you have a "salt" pool. It is a kind of pool that uses a "generator" of metal plates to turn sodium chloride into chlorine for your pool. Some people are hyper sensitive to plain chlorine pools - I developed the sensitivity after a couple of years at our old house - and the chlorine in salt pools is different and doesn't cause allergic reactions.
    Thanks Kathy. Now that you mention it, I do remember seeing a "chlorine generator" system a few years ago. I also didn't think about those "salt-water pools" that I've heard about in some resorts.

    ~Sportsman
    Last edited by Sportsman; 07-07-2012 at 01:16 PM. Reason: dumb compoter still can't speal

  10. #10
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    Y'all got me thinking and that sent me looking on my lunch break (hubby brought me a Broccato's Cuban sandwich and crab roll and if you are from Tampa area you know just how gosh darn delicious that is)

    Can cured meats be produced without sodium nitrite?

    Cured meats by their definition must include sodium nitrite. Sodium nitrite is the ingredient that gives a product like ham its color and taste. Without sodium nitrite, these products’ shelf life would be shortened substantially.

    Some uncured products available today use vegetable-based ingredients like celery juice, which may contain nitrate naturally, to deliver a color and flavor similar to traditionally cured meats. When the sodium nitrate in celery, or other sodium nitrate-containing vegetables, is exposed to certain types of bacteria in the product, the nitrate is converted to sodium nitrite, which results in product characteristics similar to traditionally cured meat products. The amount of sodium nitrite consumed from these types of products versus traditionally cured meat products is virtually the same.

    Source:

    http://www.meatsafety.org/ht/d/sp/i/45243/pid/45243
    Salt Curing

    Salting meat without nitrite is seldom performed today. In some undeveloped countries the fish is still heavily salted for preservation. Back fat or any fatty trimmings do not contain myoglobin and can not react with nitrite. For this reason they may be salted only.

    San Daniele and Parma Italian dry hams are made without nitrate. In all, a very few products are made or preserved by salting alone.

    When salt is added to meat it provides us with the following benefits:
    •Adds flavor (feels pleasant when applied between 2-3%).
    •Prevents microbial growth.
    •Increases water retention, and meat and fat binding.

    Salt does not kill bacteria, it simply prevents or slows down their development. To be effective the salt concentration has to be 10% or higher. Salt concentration of 6% prevents Clostridium botulinum spores from becoming toxins though they may become active when smoking at low temperatures. Adding sodium nitrite (Cure #1) eliminates that danger. The two physical reactions that take place during salting are diffusion and water binding, and no chemical reactions are present. Salting is the fastest method of curing as it rapidly removes water from inside of the meat. The salt migrates inside of the meat and the water travels to the outside surface of the meat and simply leaks out. This gives us a double benefit:
    •Less water in meat
    •More salt in meat

    Both factors create less favorable conditions for the development of bacteria. Today the products that will be salted only are pork back fat and some hams that will be air-dried for a long time.
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