Skip to Content

The 5 Best Substitutes For Prague Powder

Prague powder is an essential ingredient in curing meats.

It helps to preserve the color, flavor, and texture of the meat while also preventing the growth of dangerous bacteria.

However, it can be difficult to find in some areas or expensive when you do find it.

Fortunately, there are several alternatives that will work just as well as Prague powder for curing your meat.

In this article, I’ll share with you 5 of the best substitutes for Prague powder so that you can make delicious cured meats without breaking the bank!

What is Prague Powder?

Prague Powder

Prague Powder, also known as curing salt or pink salt, is a combination of sodium chloride and sodium nitrite.

It is used in the production of cured meats like bacon and ham to help preserve the meat while providing flavor.

The pink color comes from the addition of a small amount of red dye (typically #1 or carmine) that makes it easier to differentiate Prague Powder from regular table salt.

The exact ratio of ingredients in Prague powder can vary depending on the desired result; for example, higher ratios are used for hams and lower ones for sausages.

Prague Powder has several uses beyond just curing meats—it can be added to other foods like fish, eggs, cheese, vegetables, and even jerky to improve their flavor and texture.

It also helps prevent food spoilage by inhibiting bacteria growth and limiting oxidation processes that cause food deterioration.

Additionally, it adds an attractive rosy hue to cured meats which further enhances their visual appeal.

The 5 Best Substitutes For Prague Powder

If you don’t have Prague powder on hand, here are five great substitutes that can be used for curing meats:

1 – Saltpeter


Saltpeter, also known as potassium nitrate, is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used for centuries in the production of gunpowder and other explosives.

It’s also a key ingredient in curing meats like bacon and ham.

When used as a food preservative, saltpeter helps to inhibit the growth of bacteria and keep meat from spoiling quickly.

It also gives cured meats their signature pink color.

For those who are out of Prague powder (which is a combination of saltpeter and sodium nitrite), they can use saltpeter alone as an effective substitute.

The amount needed will depend on the type of meat being cured, but generally 1 teaspoon per pound is recommended.

Saltpeter should be added to the cure mixture before it is applied to the meat so that it can begin working its preserving magic right away.

2 – Celery Powder

Celery Powder

Celery powder is a seasoning made from dehydrated celery that has been ground into a fine powder.

It has a strong, earthy flavor and aroma with hints of sweetness and saltiness.

Celery powder can be used as an alternative to Prague Powder in recipes where curing meat is required.

It contains sodium nitrite, which helps prevent the growth of bacteria while adding flavor to the food.

The main difference between celery powder and Prague Powder is that celery powder also contains other spices such as garlic, onion, black pepper, and paprika for added flavor complexity.

This makes it ideal for use in dry rubs or marinades for meats like beef or pork.

In addition to its culinary uses, celery powder can also be used as a natural preservative in some foods due to its high concentration of nitrates.

As such, it can help extend the shelf life of certain products without compromising on taste or texture.

3 – Morton Tender Quick Mix

Morton Tender Quick Mix

Morton Tender Quick is a fast-cure mix made from salt, sugar, sodium nitrite, and other ingredients.

It is designed to be used in the curing process of meats in order to add flavor and preserve them for longer periods of time.

When used as a replacement for prague powder, Morton Tender Quick can help speed up the curing process while also providing an additional layer of flavor.

This mix has been formulated specifically for use with pork products like bacon, ham, and sausage.

Morton Tender Quick works by introducing sodium nitrite into the meat which helps to prevent bacteria growth and spoilage while also adding color and flavor.

The sugar content helps to balance out the saltiness of the mixture while also providing sweetness when cooked.

The key difference between Morton Tender Quick and prague powder is that Morton Tender Quick does not contain any live cultures or probiotics which are important for fermentation processes like making sausages or salami.

However, it does provide an easy way to quickly cure meats without the need for any additional ingredients.

Morton Tender Quick is an ideal solution for those who want to speed up the curing process without sacrificing flavor.

It is also an excellent choice for those who want to cure meats without having to use cultures or probiotics.

4 – Non-iodized Sea Salt

Non-iodized Sea Salt

Non-iodized sea salt is a great alternative to prague powder, which is used in curing meat.

This type of salt has been harvested from the ocean or evaporated from seawater and does not contain any additives or preservatives.

It is ideal for use in food preservation because it contains essential minerals like magnesium and calcium, which help keep meats moist and flavorful during the curing process.

The texture of non-iodized sea salt is coarser than table salt, so it should be ground to a finer consistency before being added to recipes.

Its flavor profile also differs slightly from table salt – it has a milder taste with subtle notes of sweetness that can enhance the flavor of cured meats without overpowering them.

For those looking for an all-natural option for preserving their favorite dishes, non-iodized sea salt is definitely worth considering as an alternative to prague powder.

5 – Himalayan Salt

Himalayan Salt

Himalayan salt is a type of rock salt mined from the foothills of the Himalayas in Pakistan.

It has a unique pinkish-orange hue, which comes from its high mineral content.

The flavor of Himalayan salt is slightly different than regular table salt, as it has a more earthy and mineral taste.

Himalayan salt can be used to replace prague powder in recipes that call for curing meats or fish.

The coarse texture makes it ideal for rubbing on food before cooking, as it will help draw out moisture while adding flavor.

It also works well when mixed with other herbs and spices to create flavorful rubs and marinades.

Himalayan salt can also be used to season vegetables or popcorn, or sprinkled over salads and desserts for an extra touch of flavor.


In conclusion, Prague powder is an essential ingredient for curing meats.

However, it can be difficult to find in some areas or expensive when you do find it.

Fortunately, there are several alternatives that will work just as well as Prague powder for curing your meat.

The five best substitutes for Prague powder are saltpeter, celery powder, Morton Tender Quick Mix, non-iodized sea salt, and Himalayan salt.

Each of these substitutes can be used to add flavor and prevent bacteria growth in cured meats, ensuring a safe and delicious end product.

Prague Powder

The 5 Best Substitutes For Prague Powder

What if you're out of Prague Powder but still want to make something delicious? Don't worry – I've got you covered. In this article, I'll discuss the five best substitutes for Prague Powder so you can keep cooking. I'll explain what each substitute is and how to use it, so you can create a delicious dish without having to worry about running out of ingredients. With these substitutes, you can make a tasty meal without having to worry about finding Prague Powder.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Substitutes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 56 kcal


  • Saltpeter
  • Celery Powder
  • Morton Tender Quick Mix
  • Non-iodized Sea Salt
  • Himalayan Salt


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.