I would LOVE to know how to make my own bacon safely, with quantities and time periods. It is very hard for me to find bacon without nitrites here, and they make me itch. I am not confident to try it myself!!!
Actually, "No Nitrites Added" appears to be a marketing hoax.
Most bacon marketed that way substitutes celery powder or celery juice for the nitrite.
Celery is naturally high in nitrites, but the laws here (USA) allows it to be marketed as "Nitrites Not Added".
The same quantity is added - just in a different form - with a different name.
(And usually a higher price because everybody 'knows' "It's better for you".)
Most vegetables contain nitrate (which converts to nitrites in our bodies).
If you are eating vegetables, you are getting nitrates/nitrites already.
Nitrites are added to curing meats to give it a pink/redish appearance.
Without it, most cured meats look pathetically pale and anemic.
I share the same dislike of commercial cured bacon. When I cured my own, I did purchase some 'pink salt' from a local butcher, which is sodium nitrate, and used it in the curing. But I used a much lower amount than a commercial operation would, with great results. The meat still turned a nice deep red color, and was preserved well. But it didnt make me feel icky from all the 'preservatives' like commercial bacon. I cant remember the ratios I used now, but you can definitely use half or less the amount of sodium nitrate that recipies call for, and get an even better end products.
Yeah, it's really not bacon (to me--I expect the color and flavor that come from nitrites) without some nitrites, and I'd rather know exactly how much is in my bacon because I made it myself. I've been told that the "no nitrite added" celery powder bacon usually has MORE nitrites, because they have to be sure to have enough and the quantities are variable in a natural source like celery. I would guess chard also has a lot of nitrites in it--anybody know about that?
I followed the recipe in "Charcuterie" which is a book I recommend for anyone buying whole animals for home processing.