About six weeks ago I put a fresh pork belly in the fridge per M. Ruhlman's Charcuterie recipe including pink salt. Is it still good?



petitbleu May 9, 2012
When you say "pink salt," do you mean sodium nitrate (Instacure) or simply something labeled "pink salt?" If it's the former, it may very well be just fine, if a little salty. Of course, you can tell if it's spoiled by how firm it is, if it's slimy or not, and if it smells "off." If you used the latter type of salt, I would be wary. Pink salt is variable--there is no set standard for its exact formulation, and so while some pink salts might do fine after 6 weeks, some might not. This is where I disagree with Ruhlman's recipe (which I have used several times, always with Instacure No. 1). To ensure food safety, he should call for Instacure.
I would trust my instincts on this one. Six weeks is a long time. I believe the recipe actually instructs you to leave it one week in the fridge. If the meat feels firm, is not slimy, and does not smell off, it's probably fine.
My guess would be yes. If anything, it might just be more firm to the touch than the usual 8-10 days he calls for, but you should be ready to rock. Just make sure to cook your belly to eliminate the risks brought by eating raw pink salt.
Recommended by Food52