5 Curing Salt Substitutes for Your Recipes

Curing salt, named after the ancient practice of curing meat, removes moisture from the meat so that it may be kept for a long period.

Curing salt, sugar, and spices like as white pepper or fresh herbs are common ingredients in a basic curing recipe.

But what if you don’t have curing salt? Can you use saltpeter, kosher salt, or Himalayan pink sea salt to preserve food? Yes, you can, and the list continues.

The best curing salt substitutes:

  • Himalayan Pink Salt
  • Saltpeter
  • Kosher Salt
  • Celery Powder
  • Celtic Sea Salt

1. Himalayan Pink Sea Salt

This kind of salt is frequently accessible in supermarkets. It is not as efficient as curing salt and cannot keep food for as long, but it is healthier since it includes more minerals.

Himalayan sea salt is mined from deep underground sources that date back about 250 million years. It is formed by the evaporation of shallow seawater and the application of severe geological pressure. It is claimed to be one of the purest salts available.

This one-of-a-kind crystallized salt is a good source of minerals. Its crystals are clear, pink, or pure white. Deeper hues often indicate increased iron and mineral concentrations.

2. Saltpeter

Potassium nitrate, sometimes known as saltpeter, is an old substance used in meat curing. It not only provides the cured meat a beautiful red hue, but it also protects it against the harmful Clostridium botulinum toxins.

Potassium nitrate is used in herbicides and explosives and, if taken in significant amounts, may be detrimental to your health. Saltpeter is advised for curing at 3.5oz per 100lb of meat for a dry cure and 7lb per 100gal for a liquid cure.

Curing salt may provide faster and more accurate outcomes than potassium nitrate. Nonetheless, saltpeter is still used in several nations for salami, dry-cured ham, and corned beef brine.

3. Kosher Salt

Kosher salt is distinguished by coarse, flaky sodium chloride crystals. Kosher is the English and Yiddish translation of the Hebrew word kasher, which means “correct, appropriate, or fit” in the context of food.

These large flaky salts are used to kosher meat, reducing the amount of blood left in the cut.

It absorbs moisture more than other salts due to its thicker crystals. Because it is less salty than others, the natural taste of the meat is not dominated. If you like a saltier flavor, use extra kosher salt to get the desired results.

What if you can’t locate kosher salt but want something similar? See our page on kosher salt substitutes.

4. Celery Juice Powder

Vegetable powders, such as celery juice, have grown in favor as more organic methods of curing meat have become available.

Because celery powder has a high naturally occurring level of nitrates and nitrites, it is an obvious candidate for organically curing meat. It imbues the meat with a unique vegetal taste. The larger the dose, the stronger the vegetable taste.

It is also hygroscopic, which means it absorbs moisture from the air naturally, so you must dissolve it in water before applying it on your meal. Celery powder is meant for a brief curing period.

It has a four-week cycle, thus it should not be used on items that need a longer curing period.

5. Celtic Sea Salt

Sel gris, which translates to gray salt, is another name for Celtic sea salt. It is derived from the coastal regions of Brittany, France.

Celtic sea salt crystallizes and absorbs minerals from the sandy clay in salt pans, which are areas of salty water where evaporation causes sea salt to crystalize. It absorbs water naturally, making it a perfect option for curing salt.

It is gathered by hand using old Celtic techniques such as gathering salt with wooden rakes and sun-drying it in clay pots. Celtic sea salt is a good choice since it includes enzymes and minerals.

A Beginners Guide to Homemade Meat Curing

If you like meat, DIY curing may be a fun and tasty way to experiment. It’s lot easier than you think; all you have to do is trust the process.

Let’s start with the meat. You may begin with pig belly since it is inexpensive and has a high fat ratio, which increases the taste after curing. Choose a smaller portion that will fit in the refrigerator without interfering with other goods.

The first step is to remove any unwanted or inedible pork belly bits. Make a cross-hatch pattern on the fat area using paper towels to eliminate any moisture. The tastes will be able to enter the flesh as a result.

Combine curing salt, dried chile, green and black peppercorns, garam masala, and a combination of herbs such as thyme, parsley, sage, and rosemary in a large mixing bowl. Massage the mixture into the meat well.

After that, place the meat in a plastic bag with the leftover spice and refrigerate it for two weeks. Every now and again, rotate the sealed cut.

Roast for two hours at 93°C.Rinse the pork belly and pat it dry with paper towels after two weeks. The cured bacon should be cooked next. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

After the bacon has finished roasting, reseal it and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a month or the freezer for up to a year. When the pork belly is ready to eat, chop it into thick slices and fried them over medium heat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Vinegar as a Curing Salt Substitute?

Although vinegar is not strong enough for long-term meat curing, it may be used to produce pickled sausages.The method is known as vinegar pickling. It was most likely initially employed for food preservation by the Babylonians about 5000 B.C.

Apart from sausages, it is also used to pickle vegetables because of the crisp quality it imparts to the dish. Marinades also include vinegar, particularly apple cider vinegar. The acidity softens the meat and shortens the cooking time.

Can You Use Raw Sugar as a Curing Salt Substitute?

Raw sugar may be used to preserve meat; however, it must be combined with a salty curing option. Sugar softens the harshness of the salt and increases the sweetness of the result when mixed.

Turbinado sugar is the name given to this variety of sugar. The molasses is extracted by evaporating sugar cane juice and centrifuging it. Curing may also be done using honey or simple syrup.

It may be used to preserve fruits, particularly for homemade jams, jellies, and juices. It is not necessary to blend fruits with salt while preserving them.


Curing salt is the greatest component for curing. However, the alternatives may do well in a pinch.

Salami and ham, for example, may be cured using saltpeter. If you want to remain with an organic product with a unique vegetal fragrance, celery powder is an excellent option.

Kosher salt is less salty than other salts, but it has a distinct texture and thicker crystals, so it absorbs more moisture from the food.

Celtic and Himalayan pink sea salt are two non-ionized salts that are abundant in minerals and are ideal for short-term curing, making them healthier alternatives to curing salt.


How do you make your own curing salt?

1 pound of table salt and 1 ounce of food-grade sodium nitrite are required to produce your own curing salt. Simply combine the ingredients and store the final curing salt in an airtight container. Sodium nitrite may be tough to come by, but you might be able to buy it through supplement shops, chemical suppliers, or even Amazon.

Can I use Himalayan salt instead of curing salt?

Himalayan pink salt may be used for meat curing, however it contains more trace minerals than sea salt. This might have an effect on meat curing outcomes. There is a significant distinction between Himalayan Pink Salt and Pink Curing Salt.

Is Himalayan pink salt a curing salt?

As a result, it is not a curing salt, but rather a regular salt for cooking and flavoring.There is no sodium nitrate in Himalayan pink salt.

What is a substitute for sodium nitrite in food?

Substitutes for Sodium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrite

To cure meats that will be cooked before serving, such as bacon, you may use saltpeter or potassium nitrate. Saltpeter, like curing salt, sucks water out of cells, making them unfriendly to germs.

What is an alternative to curing salt?

In commercially produced nitrate-free cured meats, either celery juice or powdered celery juice is utilized.

What else can you use for curing salt?

Himalayan Pink Salt is the greatest curing salt replacement.
Kosher salt is kosher salt.
Powdered celery.
Celtic Sea Salt is a kind of sea salt.

Can you cure without curing salt?

1 teaspoon celery powder

Celery powder has no nitrates. You may also substitute celery juice for the celery powder. Celery juice is also devoid of nitrates. You may use the same amount of celery powder and celery juice as curing salt.

Is kosher salt the same as curing salt?

Kosher salt is widely used for curing salt, however it lacks the nitrates and nitrites required for curing. If you’re using kosher salt, you’ll need to add components to both preserve the meat and provide the desired color. Meat cured without nitrite will be grey rather than the desired rosy pink and crimson hue.

What is the safest curing salt?

Pink curing salt, also known as Prague powder, is a popular curing salt for a variety of meats, including beef, poultry, and fish. Pink curing salt, in fact, is increasingly becoming the go-to salt for safe and high-quality meat curing.

What salt turns meat red?

Pink curing salt differs from conventional salt in that it includes nitrites, which may inhibit bacterial development. Pink curing salt is most typically used to cure ham, bacon, and other pork products because it gives the meat a pink hue and a unique taste. It may, however, be used to cure fish and poultry.

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