If you are planning to make your own corned beef at home, you must have read about saltpeter in an online recipe.
So what is saltpeter and what does it work in the corned beef recipe?
In this article, you will learn more about this ingredient as well as figure out where to buy saltpeter to make your corned beef look and taste like the store-bought counterpart, or even better.
What is saltpeter for corned beef?
Saltpeter, or also known as potassium nitrate, is a food preservative that is used in the curing process for corned beef.
It helps protect against spoilage and also gives a pink color to the meat.
Saltpeter has been used since ancient times to prevent bacteria from growing on the surface of the meat by inhibiting their growth and reproduction.
Saltpeter should be used in a moderate amount to make sure it will be no harm to our health.
However, it is recommended to not frequently use meat products that contain saltpeter because it might pose some health risks in the long term, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or stroke.
More people are trying to avoid this preservative in their food by making their own corned beef without using saltpeter.
The resulting dish will be grey, which is also known as New England corned beef.
But you can try adding saltpeter to your corned beef recipe sometimes to see the difference in the attractive pinkish in color.
How many calories are in saltpeter for corned beef?
So the calories from your corned beef dish are mainly from the beef.
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The saltpeter doesn’t have any or very few calories which are totally not significant.
Therefore, the amount of saltpeter you use for curing the beef will not affect the total number of calories that this dish will provide you with.
However, it will directly affect the sodium and potassium content, which should be kept as low as possible.
How to choose the best saltpeter for corned beef?
Using saltpeter has its pros and cons, therefore, you should consider whether to use this preservative or not and if you do add it to your corned beef recipe, keep your eye on the proper amount.
In case you want to buy some for curing the best brisket cut, here are some tips for you:
1. Buy saltpeter from a reputable store
There are many brands of saltpeter on the market and you should opt for a reputable brand as well as a reliable store to buy.
Since you don’t use it much, avoid buying saltpeter or potassium nitrate in bulk from an unknown brand that is packaged poorly.
2. Check the condition of the package before making the purchase
Saltpeter is usually contained in a plastic package or bottle, which needs to be inspected beforehand.
The container should be tightly sealed without any denting or bulging sign.
The saltpeter that is exposed to air will not perform best like when it is properly stored.
3. Use an adequate amount of saltpeter in your corned beef recipe
When you get a package of saltpeter on hand, it’s time to use it in your corned beef recipe.
Saltpeter does help lengthen the shelf life of your corned beef and give it a pink color, however, it is still a chemical preservative that should not be consumed in our body, especially at a high level.
Therefore, remember to use just a little saltpeter in your homemade version of corned beef though the resulting meat might not look as pink as the store-bought counterpart.
Where to buy saltpeter for corned beef?
Potassium nitrate is not only used in culinary but also in many other fields.
Therefore, it is not hard to find it on the market.
Below are some typical places where you can find saltpeter:
1. Grocery stores or supermarkets
In most grocery stores or supermarkets throughout the United States, you can find some packages or bottles of saltpeter on their shelves.
It can be found in different names like pink curing salt, sodium nitrate, or potassium nitrate which work the same way.
2. Online retailers
Saltpeter can also be easily ordered from a variety of online platforms like Amazon or eBay.
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Some local stores or supermarkets have their own websites to allow customers to order any of their products online without leaving home.
In conclusion, saltpeter is not a necessary ingredient in your corned beef dish.
However, it will help extend the shelf life of corned beef as well as provide beautiful pink color to the dish.
This chemical is typically sold in powdered form and can be found at most grocery stores or online retailers.
If you are looking to buy saltpeter for your own recipe, this article should help you decide on where to purchase it from so that you won’t have any problems finding it.
Good luck with your choice!
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