The best pink curing salt for beef jerky

Best Pink Curing Salt for Beef Jerky

If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best pink salt for curing is, then we recommend Wishful Seasoning’s Pink Curing Salt #1. Those of you who want to learn more about pink salt and how it can elevate your cured meat products into the realm of the extraordinary, however, are in for a treat.

You may have seen large packages of pink curing salt on the shelves of your supermarket or local specialty store, without fully understanding what it was for. Fear not, because you’re about to gain the education that you never knew you needed.

In this article, we’re going to review the following food dehydrator products that are great for beef jerky:

  1. Wishful Seasoning Pink Curing Salt #1
  2. The Spice Lab Pink Curing Salt #1
  3. Anthony’s Pink Curing Salt #2
  4. Hoosier Hill Farm Premium #1 Prague Powder
  5. Boise Salt Co. Prague Powder #1 Curing Salt
  6. Bolners Fiesta Curing Salt

Benefits of Using Pink Curing Salt

Pink curing salt—also known as Prague powder—is a high-sodium product used to preserve smoked and dehydrated meats. It also tends to impart its rosy color to the meat itself, which is why ham and commercially prepared corned beef products have that pinkish hue.

Quick-curing pink salt, also known as Prague powder #1, is used to wet-cure meats that will be cooked and eaten within a short period. “Slow cure” pink salt is more commonly used for meats that require no cooking after the curing process, and will typically be aged for weeks or even months (prosciutto and pepperoni are two good examples). If you’ll be using your salt primarily for jerky, the quick cure version should be sufficient; however, for the sake of variety, we’ve also included a slow cure brand on our list.

A little bit of pink curing salt goes a long way—with most brands, just one level teaspoon is enough to preserve up to five pounds of meat. Therefore, for just a small initial investment, you can season hundreds of batches of high-quality beef jerky.

Pink Curing Salt Review Guide

This section is geared to help you select the product that’s most likely to suit your curing needs, at a price you can afford. To make your decision easier, we’ve included a handy list of pros and cons for each brand.

Wishful Curing Salt #1 [2.5 lbs bag] Pink Curing Salt, Prague Powder 1, 6.25% Sodium Nitrite 'Insta Cure' for Game, Bacon, Sausage, Ham, Jerky Cure, Corned Beef, Quick, Bulk, Made in USA
3,508 Reviews
Wishful Curing Salt #1 [2.5 lbs bag] Pink Curing Salt, Prague Powder 1, 6.25% Sodium Nitrite "Insta Cure" for Game, Bacon, Sausage, Ham, Jerky Cure, Corned Beef, Quick, Bulk, Made in USA
  • CURE MEAT AT HOME: Do right by your favorite meats with this 2.5 lb salt pouch of our Wishful Seasoning Pink Curing Salt. Also known as Prague Powder #1, tinted cure, quick cure salt, saltpeter for curing meat, or curing salt #1, our pink salt helps you tenderize and impart flavors to meat and pickles as you preserve them, too.
  • CURE MEAT AT HOME: Do right by your favorite meats with this 2.5 lb salt pouch of our Wishful Seasoning Pink Curing Salt. Also known as Prague Powder #1, tinted cure, quick cure salt, saltpeter for curing meat, or curing salt #1, our pink salt helps you tenderize and impart flavors to meat and pickles as you preserve them, too.
  • CURE IT ALL: Perfect for poultry, ham, corned beef, sausage, fish, salami, bacon salt, jerky, and more, our pink curing salt for meat preserves your favorites with the addition of helpful nitrites, which prevent the bad stuff from growing while adding flavor to your food!
  • HIGH-QUALITY CURING SALT: Regular salt is made from pure sodium chloride, while our pink Prague Powder 1 curing salt is made with 6.25% sodium nitrite, perfect for curing different meats. When it comes to our curing salt tender quick deliciousness is our specialty.
  • ENJOY FLAVORFUL, TENDER MEAT: Dry curing meat salt doesn’t just extend the shelf life of your favorite meats — it also tenderizes it and provides a rich, enhanced flavor! Combine the seasoning salt with your choice of sugar and spices for a mouthwatering culinary creation you can enjoy again and again.

Just one ounce of this curing salt is enough to seasons 25 pounds of meat, so if you plan to make your jerky and other smoked meats in large batches, this is a great bargain. The 2.5-pound Ziploc bag keeps out excess moisture—there’s no need to find another storage container to prevent clumping. Be aware, however, that this is a lot of curing salt—while it won’t spoil, it may be too much to keep on hand if you’re only a casual jerky fan.

If you also make sausages and bacon on a regular basis, you can bet that this salt will pay for itself many times over. Still not convinced? Wishful Seasonings products are made in Houston, Texas, where they certainly know their way around barbecued meats.

Pros:

  • Affordable price point
  • Generous amount

Cons:

  • Container may be too large if you only make jerky occasionally
The Spice Lab Curing Salt #1 (1 Lb Bag) Pink Curing Salt (Prague Powder 1) 6.25% Sodium Nitrite Curing Salt for Meat, Game, Bacon Cure, Brining Salt, Jerky Cure, Brisket & Corned Beef - Made in USA
3,973 Reviews
The Spice Lab Curing Salt #1 (1 Lb Bag) Pink Curing Salt (Prague Powder 1) 6.25% Sodium Nitrite Curing Salt for Meat, Game, Bacon Cure, Brining Salt, Jerky Cure, Brisket & Corned Beef - Made in USA
  • PRAGUE POWDER 1 CURING SALT: is also called Insta Cure #1, pink curing salt #1 or tinted cure. Pink curing salt prague powder #1 is one of the most common curing salts. Curing salt is table salt with added sodium nitrite for preserving meats. It gives meat their distinctive pink coloring as the pink powder binds and interacts with a certain protein in meat.
  • COMMON USES: This pink powder is recommended as a sodium nitrite curing salt for meat that requires short cures that will be cooked and eaten relatively quickly. Use pink curing salt for bacon, jerky, corned beef and more.
  • HEALTH BENEFITS: Pink curing salt has been known to remove germs from meat, steaks, roasts, poultry. Sodium nitrite salt also helps preventing reproduction that can spoil meat.
  • WORD OF CAUTION: Use sodium nitrate food grade curing salt with extreme care. Follow the proper food safety guidelines and use the right measurements of Prague Powder #1 when curing meats. Mix the instacure #1 with water and use sparingly. Only 1 tsp. is needed to cure 5 lbs. of meat. Consuming too much curing salt can make you sick.
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: Our pink curing salt is ideal for homemade jerky seasoning and cure, as well as game curing for hunters. Our products quality-assured and made in USA. We pride ourselves on not just providing the best value but providing the highest quality products you'll find on the market.

Testers have universally praised this product, which arrives in a convenient re-sealable bag that will keep the salt from becoming too dry or too moist while it’s in the cupboard. The one-pound option is also available in jar form, if you prefer. Those who don’t get around to making jerky often can opt for the 4-ounce container, but note that the price per ounce will be tripled at this size.

This is an excellent product that turns out perfectly seasoned batches of homemade bacon and corned beef. Insider tip: If you’d like your corned beef or jerky to turn out even redder, add a little extra dose of potassium nitrate during the curing process.

Pros:

  • Quality product
  • Decent amount
  • Available in multiple sizes

Cons:

  • Relatively high price point
Anthony's Pink Curing Salt No.2, 2 lb
6,739 Reviews
Anthony's Pink Curing Salt No.2, 2 lb
  • Pink Curing Salt #2 - Batch Tested and Verified Gluten Free
  • Use for long, slow cures of meat (weeks to months)
  • Ideal for dry-curing meats like salami, pepperoni, prosciutto and dry sausages
  • Contains 4% Sodium Nitrate and 6% Sodium Nitrite
  • Perfect for meats that do not require cooking/smoking/canning

This is a slow-curing salt, which makes it the ideal choice for meats that don’t need to be cooked after curing, such as salami and pepperoni. The blend is slightly different for this type of salt—4 percent sodium nitrate and 6 percent sodium nitrite. It also combines will with other pickling spice blends to create a full-flavored product.

With this purchase, you get 2 pounds of salt, which is a great bargain considering how many batches you’ll be able to crank out. The bag has a zip closure to prevent drying and clumping. Note that Anthony’s also offers fast-curing salt, so if you sample this product and think you’d like something similar for your wet-cured meat products, the company will have you covered.

Finally, be aware that the packaging and appearance of this product can be misleading—make sure that other family members understand that it isn’t like regular salt.

Pros:

  • Good price point
  • Yields high-quality slow cured meats
  • Combines well with other spices

Cons:

  • Not suitable for fast curing
Hoosier Hill Farm Prague Powder Curing Salt, Pink, 1 Pound (Packaging may vary)
7,945 Reviews
Hoosier Hill Farm Prague Powder Curing Salt, Pink, 1 Pound (Packaging may vary)
  • Prague Powder #1, also referred to as Tinted Cure or Pink Curing Salt, is an essential component in the preserving and curing of meat, sausage, fish, and jerky.
  • It serves to help maintain meat flavor and appearance.
  • Use for curing bacon, ham, corned beef, and a variety of fish. Each container holds enough to cure 100lbs of meat.
  • To cure meat or fish safely within food safety guidelines, it's important to use the proper amount of Prague Powder #1. 
  • Directions: Use 1 oz. (or 6 teaspoons, or 2 tablespoons) of cure for 25 lbs. of meat, or 1 level teaspoon of cure for 5 lbs. of meat. Mix cure with cold water.

Hoosier Hill offers a pink curing salt in a wide-mouthed container that makes storage and measurement easier for both home cooks and seasoned professionals. This product comes in a one-pound container (enough to cure 100 pounds of meat), but it’s also available in a 2.5-pound version that cuts the price per ounce nearly in half. If you like those visually appealing “smoke rings” on your beef brisket, this could be the right pick for you.

Be sure to read and follow all directions, as it can be all too easy to over-season your brining liquid when dealing with this product. Hoosier Hill guarantees that customers will be satisfied as long at the salt is used in the proper increments. As a bonus, the well-sealed container can easily be repurposed once it’s empty.

Pros:

  • User-friendly container
  • Salt leaves “smoke rings” on the brisket during smoking
  • Also available in a more budget-friendly size

Cons:

  • High price point on the single-pound container
Boise Salt Co. Prague Powder #1 Premium Pink Curing Salt - 2.5lb Resealable Pail…
2,364 Reviews
Boise Salt Co. Prague Powder #1 Premium Pink Curing Salt - 2.5lb Resealable Pail…
  • Gives cured meats a distinctive salty taste.
  • 1oz is enough for 25lbs of meat.
  • Characteristics: Light pink, fine-textured grain
  • Ingredients: Salt, Sodium Nitrite, FD&C Red #3.
  • Use per instruction and only in very small quantities Prague Power #1 is NOT appropriate for long-cured and dry-cured products.

This salt comes in a package that’s only four ounces of salt—not the best value on its face, but worth considering if you don’t make cured meats that often. The fine-grained Prague powder comes in a re-sealable stand-up pouch that will fit easily into your spice cabinet. It lends a lovely rosy hue to all smoked meats, turning out an especially impressive jerky.

This product earns high marks from consumers on a general level. Most of the complaints that arise aren’t related to the salt or its performance, but rather to shipping woes-evidently the name closely resembles that of several other companies. If you can find this product on your shelf and feel that the smaller size suits your needs, feel free to snap it up.

Pros:

  • Conveniently sized re-sealable stand-up pouch
  • Good choice for casual jerky fans
  • Imparts a nice color

Cons:

  • Relatively high price point
  • Some shipping issues reported
Bolners Fiesta Curing Salt for Jerky, Sausages or Smoking Meats. Can Cure Up To 100 Lbs of Meat per 4-Ounce Bottle
420 Reviews
Bolners Fiesta Curing Salt for Jerky, Sausages or Smoking Meats. Can Cure Up To 100 Lbs of Meat per 4-Ounce Bottle
  • Ideal for food preparation processes such as curing, drying and pickling meats. Preserve your favorite meats with the perfect blend of salt and sodium nitrate.
  • Comes in handy 4 oz. jar. Use 2 teaspoons for 10 lb. of meat. 1 jar cures up to 100 lb. of sausage or jerky.
  • Ingredients: Salt, Sodium Nitrite (6.25%), Propylene Glycol and Sodium Bicarbonate as Processing Aids and FD&C Red #3
  • Nutrition Facts: Amounts per Serving: Calories 0g; Total Fat 0g (0%DV*); Sodium: 383mg (16%DV); Total Carb 0g (0%DV), Protein0g. *Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 Calorie Diet.
  • Made in USA

This “extra-fancy” curing salt is an excellent choice for jerky and homemade pate, making this a solid fit if you turn out either recipe on a regular basis. This salt comes in a 4-ounce package. Fortunately, you might be able to snag a better deal if you order online, and bulk discounts are sometimes available.

Bolners arrives in a shaker-style can that isn’t the most convenient option for measuring the precise quantities you need. It’s particularly important not to confuse this one with regular salt, as it’s exceptionally powerful—testers report that a small amount is able to last far longer than they expected. As with all premium Prague powder offerings, take care to read the fine print to be sure you’re using the proper measurements.

Pros:

  • High quality product
  • Discounts available when purchased in bulk
  • A small amount goes a long way

Cons:

  • Relatively high price point
  • Shaker can makes measuring difficult
  • Easily confused with other salt products when on the shelf

Conclusion

When it comes to selecting a pink salt for curing, the differences are slight. When used properly, all of the products listed will cure your homemade beef jerky and give them the slightly pink color that you desire. While we feel that Wishful Seasoning’s Pink Curing Salt #1 delivers on more levels than the rest, it’s not necessary to rule out the others if your options are limited. As long as you read the instructions carefully and use the correct measurements, you’re well on your way to becoming a fast-curing expert.

 

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