How to Smoke Meat on a Paleo Diet Without Nitrates

How to smoke meat on a Paleo diet without nitrates

When it comes to smoking meat on a Paleo diet, using nitrates is the last thing you want to do. Although nitrates are naturally occurring in a number of foods, consuming them can have negative health consequences.

However, there are alternatives to using nitrates when you smoke meat on a Paleo diet. Learn more about them below!


There are many alternatives to using nitrates when smoking meat on a Paleo diet. For starters, you can choose to eat meat that is not preserved with nitrates, like wild game or poultry.

Grass-fed meat is also a great choice because it contains more omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fats that reduce inflammation and help prevent heart disease. Choosing wild seafood is another good option, but be sure to buy it sustainably.

Fruits and vegetables are a great way to add a variety of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants to your meal. Grapefruit is a common choice because it is low in sugar and has a high concentration of vitamin C.

Almonds are another popular choice because they contain a large amount of protein, which is important for weight loss and muscle growth on the Paleo diet. You can eat a whole handful of them to feel satisfied and keep your metabolism stoked all day long.

Health Risks

Cured meats such as bacon, ham, and salami are often recommended on Paleo diets because they are a low-fat alternative to processed meats. But this can also be a risky move because they are high in saturated fat and salt, and have been linked to bowel cancer.

The nitrates and nitrites found in cured meats are a type of carcinogen. These compounds are formed when meat is cured or smoked.

Processed meats are classed as a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The IARC also classifies tobacco smoking and asbestos as Group 1 carcinogens.

However, there is no proof that consuming nitrates or nitrites from cured meats causes cancer. In fact, nitrates and nitrites are mainly produced by our own bodies in the form of nitric oxide. Our salivary nitrite levels are higher than the total amount of nitrates or nitrites that we could possibly get from eating a lot of cured meats, and it is this nitric oxide that has been shown to have positive effects on blood pressure.

Dietary Recommendations

When it comes to smoking meat on a Paleo diet, you’ll need to choose a high-quality meat that is free from hormones and antibiotics. Additionally, you should avoid adding oils and sugar when cooking the meat.

While a Paleo diet may be criticized for being too restrictive, it can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. It also limits your intake of refined carbohydrates and processed foods.

You can still enjoy your favorite cured meats, like bacon, on your Paleo diet without the nitrates. Just make sure to add a small amount of sodium nitrate and smoked salt to the curing process.


If you’re interested in smoking meat on a Paleo diet, be sure to purchase natural brands that are nitrate-free and do not contain any fillers. Nitrates can make cured meats more flavorful but they also have a number of negative health effects.

Fortunately, there are some simple recipes you can use to smoke meat on a Paleo diet without nitrates. These include a delicious honey and apple basting glaze for smoked spiral cut ham and a simple dry rub for chicken breasts.

Smoking is a great way to add flavor and texture to your meals while limiting the amount of fat you consume. You can even cook a whole chicken on your grill.

Read more great BBQ articles at Bob's BBQ Tips