Edit: Now with an image, because I made some bacon today 馃檪

So here’s my standard recipe for curing meat that I mostly use. It can be adjusted to personal needs in terms of herbs and spices, but I strongly recommend to stick to the directions concerning the curing salt.

Recipe (per kg of meat):

30 – 40 g curing salt, which equals 3 – 4% by weight (and not “pink salt” etc., see below)
10 g brown sugar
1 tsp. freshly and coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried rosemary

I do vacuum curing: Rub the meat with the curing mixture thoroughly and seal in a vacuum pouch. I let it cure in the fridge for 1 day per centimeter of thickness plus 1-2 days safety. No need to turn it over.

 

Just my 10 cents on curing salt (please read!):

First things first: What I call “curing salt” or “P枚kelsalz” in german in my recipes is the (only) version legally available in germany. It consists of ordinary table salt, mixed with 0.4 – 0.5 % sodium nitrite (de|en) or sodium nitrate (de|en), since this proportion is regarded as food-safe and of non-toxic by health authorities worldwide.

 

So this is not to be confused with the many other curing salt mixtures from all over the world (“prague powder”, “pink salt”, etc., you name it). These can be much higher concentrated and always have to be thinned down to a safe level!

 

Nitrate/Nitrite in doses above the recommended is toxic to the human body and must thus be treated with utter caution and diligence. So, to be safe, do always check the nitrate concentration of your specific product and adjust accordingly, and if you do so, do use a scale, grams and percentages, NOT teaspoons and cups, which is waaaay too unprecise.

Curing salt is used in order to create an environment that (first) keeps a nice red color in your meats and (secondly and much more importantly), to kill off harmful botulism bacteria (do read this shit: german | english). These little fu**ers can cause a disease called Botulism (do read this shit too: german | english), a real killer that, believe me, you don’t want to attack yourself or your family.

I know this is a controversally discussed topic but after much reading and pondering, I personally tend to always using a safe amount of curing salt for one simple reason. “In former times people only used plain salt without any chemical additions. People did this for ages and it worked fine!” Correct.

But there’s one clue: In former times plain salt was not pure, it contained a certain percentage of nitrate (and many other substances) by default from the production process, so, what we add to the salt today was already in there a hundred years ago (and sometimes in heavy doses…). Also, the normal content of sodium nitrate of 0.5% max. is considered not harmful by most public health organisations worldwide.