9 Best Substitutes for Saltpeter


If you are looking for saltpeter substitutes in our cooking, this exhaustive list of alternatives can help you out. 

I have compiled this list after a couple of recipe experiments and going through the notes of chefs and home cooks from around the world. 

So, let’s dive right into it. 

9 Best Substitutes for Saltpeter

1. Celery Powder 

Celery powder is a healthier alternative to saltpeter and gives the desired results for curing meat and even pickling.

You could even make your celery powder, which makes it a more accessible option if you find it hard to get your hands on saltpeter. 

How to Substitute? 

You can use a 1:1 ratio substitution of celery powder for saltpeter in your recipes and it should turn out just as fine.

Here is how you can make celery powder from scratch at home so that you can use it in any recipe you like – 

2. Celery Juice 

Just like celery powder, celery juice is another easily accessible option to replace saltpeter in your recipes.

But keep in mind that the liquid form will mean your recipe needs adjustment, and there may be flavor differences.

How to Substitute? 

You will need about a cup of celery juice to get the same results as using a tablespoon of saltpeter. 

3. Sea Salt 

Sea salt might be an easier find at stores near you, but it is a more intense flavored alternative to replace saltpeter.

When used in smaller measures, it can work just as well in curing meat or fish.

Also, keep in mind that the minerals in sea salt can alter the flavors and color of the recipe.

How to Substitute? 

You can start with a smaller measure of sea salt and add more as you see fit to avoid the dish being too salty. 

Here is a simple lemon preserve recipe with sea salt that you can easily give a shot – 

4. Non-Iodized Salt 

Non-iodized salt will work more or less like saltpeter in any recipe you can think of. It works well for pickling and curing meat.

There might be flavor differences depending on the brand and intensity of non-iodized salt you use. 

How to Substitute? 

Although you can use the same measure of non-iodized salt to replace the saltpeter in your recipe, it is best to play around with the measure to find the flavor balance you prefer.

5. Pink Salt 

If you can get your hands on pink salt, it is also a great substitute for saltpeter.

It is less intense in terms of saltiness and is perfect for curing meat and even to use instead of salt in your meat dishes, as it brings us great flavors.

It is not to be confused with Himalayan salt. 

How to Substitute? 

You can use the same measure of pink salt to replace saltpeter in your recipes, and it should work just fine. 

For a ham recipe made with pink curing salt, check out this YouTube tutorial – 

6. Beet Juice 

Beet juice can be used as a natural nitrate source to cure meat, and it is also a healthier option.

It is easy to get beetroots at grocery stores, and you can easily make beet juice to cure meat or make other fermented pickles.

But keep in mind that it is in liquid form, and the recipe will need adjustment.

How to Substitute? 

Like with celery juice, you will need large measures of beetroot juice to replace saltpeter in your recipes.

For a fancy beet cured salmon recipe by Gordon Ramsey, check out this YouTube video – 

7. Prague Salt 

Prague salt is a curing mixture that is most commonly used for meat recipes like sausages, hot dogs, corned beef, or even fish.

It has sodium nitrate in it, which makes it a great alternative to saltpeter and it also gives a pinkish shade to your dishes.

How to Substitute? 

You can use more or less the same measure of Prague salt to replace saltpeter in your recipes, although there may be slight variations in flavor. 

Here is a corned beef recipe with Prague salt that you can try making at home – 

8. Raw Sugar 

Raw sugar is a commonly used ingredient for fermenting process.

Although it does not have nitrate content like saltpeter and might not work for all recipes, there are certain recipes with meat where you can use raw sugar to replace saltpeter for the curing process.

How to Substitute? 

You might want to experiment with the ratio of raw sugar to get the results you are looking for and refer to specific recipes for the exact measures. 

9. Seasonings with Saltpeter

This is an option if you have access to fish or beef seasoning in stores near you.

These readymade mixes have saltpeter in them and can work as good quick-fix solutions to saltpeter in your recipes.

They may have spices that won’t go with all recipes but should work fine with most meat and veggie dishes.

How to Substitute? 

It is best to play around with the measure and refer to the box for finding the balance of flavor you like. 

For a simple meat seasoning recipe that you can make in stock with any salt that you like, check out this video – 

Bottom Line 

I hope this article has given you a better option to replace saltpeter in your cooking and pickling recipes.

If you have any queries or want to share some recipes and substitutes of your own, it would be great to hear from you. 

Share this article with your friends and family who might find it helpful.

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About Linda Walker

Linda loves anything creative, whether it be arts and crafts or cooking for her friends and family. She loves nothing more than a good netflix binge, especially thriller ones. She's a bit of a night owl, and is usually up until the early hours of the morning working on her craft projects. She lives with six pets who are all her furry children.

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