Cure interchangability?

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by farmerchad, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. farmerchad

    farmerchad Smoke Blower

    Searched thru several pages, and I can't seem to find the answer too 2 questions.

    1. In a recipe, is cure interchangable? Let me give an example. I picked up LEM cure from Gander Mtn. I want to use it in a recipe thats calls for Morton TQ. Other then the salt issue, I should just follow the package directions right? Im doing a test batch tommorrow, I added 1/4 tsp for a pound of beef.

    2. Assuming the sausage has been cured/smoked to 155 - 160 then it has been cooked? As long as its stored in the fridge it is safe to eat cold? I like to eat kielbasa (storebought) cold sometimes, ya know, as a snack. Im thinking this sounds right... any input would be appreciated. I have made plenty of sausage in the past, but this will be th first time smoking/curing it.

  2. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    1. I Always follow the cure ratio listed on product.TQ is 1 Tablespoon per pound trimmed meat...The cure allows you to smoke at temp and time in what is called the DANGER ZONE-Non-cured meat needs to be above 140 internal within 4 hours..

    2. A example would be making canadian bacon.Some folks smoke till 140, but then you must re-heat in skillet till 160 degree.I smoke mine to 160 .That ways I can make a sandwich straight from fridge....COLD
  3. ol' smokey

    ol' smokey Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    TQ and Lem cure (Prague powder #1) are not interchangeable.

    TQ is meant to be used as a dry cure or if mixed with water a brine.

    Lem cure has a higher percentage of nitrite and nitrate and is used in much smaller amounts.

    When making smoked Kielbasa I would mix the Lem cure with the other seasonings then mix that with the ground meat and stuff into casings.

    Hope this helps out
  4. hoser

    hoser Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    When I make my kielbasa, I use insta-cure #1, which is the4 same as prague powder #1. Like noted above, it is MUCH more concentrated than The morton's stuff. You wouldn't want to use more than 2 teaspoons of insta-cure for ten pounds of meat. Too much nitrite can be very dangerous.
  5. daboys

    daboys Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use which ever cure I have on hand at the time. If you use the TQ, cut back on the regular salt you add. TQ is 1 TBS/lb. Insta Cure is 1Tsp/5lbs. I prefer the insta cure better. That way I can control my salt I put in the sausage better.
  6. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    Tough to know sometimes what's in stuff. From the Morton web site on Tender Quick:

    Go to the Sausage Maker web site and you will find Insta Cure #1, which has Sodium Nitrite, and Insta Cure #2, which has both sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate. So Tender Quick and Insta Cure #2 are the more compatible products.

    You add sodium nitrate when you are doing dry cure products (salami, hams, etc), as sodium nitrite breaks down pretty quickly. Sodium Nitrate breaks down too, forming sodium nitrite. It gives you and extended period of time for protection from botulism (not protection from spoilage). Insta Cure #2 has the extra Nitrate in it, similar to TQ.

    If you are just making smoked sausage, Insta Cure #1, Prague Pink Powder, etc. that just have the nitrite in it (and not all the other stuff) is what you want.

    Tender Quick is found in almost every grocery store, so is convenient to find and use. Most likely the guy who wrote the recipe didn't know this, or did know it and opted for local and easy to find over what was really needed?

    Bottom line is you could use Tender Quick so long as you know the amounts of sodium nitrite in it, so you get the level of nitrite up to what you need. Then back off on the extra salt you add to avoid making it too salty. Perhaps the guy who wrote the recipe has already done this? The extra stuff in the TQ is just along for the ride (for smoked sausage).
  7. farmerchad

    farmerchad Smoke Blower

    Funny thing, I dont know how many stores I called, not one had tender quick. I found The LEM brand cure at Gander Mtn. Just to be clear, that store is about 40 miles from where I live! While I was there I picked up some casings and snack mix kits... why not right?

    I took the recipe, removed the tenderquick element and added the appropriate amount of LEM cure based on the weight of the meat. I tested a patty and had to add a good bit of salt. I feel confident I should be safe. So... its finishing in the hot box as we speak! Looking mighty good I might add.
  8. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Do not exchange cure 1 for cure 2 (prague #1 an #2), they are for different preperations alltagether. Now you can use cure 1 in place a Morton's Tender Quick, but as has been said ya gonna have ta add some salt in. Now ifin yer replacin cure 1 with TQ, cut back on yer salt a fair bit.

    You can take alota the old sausage recipes an revive em by substitutin in the right cure, either cure 1 fer cooked sausages er cure 2 fer the dry ones, by replacin the old salt peter cure.

    Morton's tender quick is alright, but it's mostly salt.

    Lem cure is a cure #1, as is cure #1, Prague powder #1 an any others that I've dealt with which were somthin #1. As long as it list's sodium nitrite as the cure it's a cure #1 fer smoked meats.

    Just follow the manufacturers guidline fer curing, whatever they say per pound a meat is what ya wanna follow.

    Good luck.
  9. shooterrick

    shooterrick Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I used TQ in my first Kielbasa run. After talking to some old timers at sausage making they often use TQ also but at a rate of 1.5 TEASPOONS per LB of GROUND meat. To give ya an idea these folks had parents and grand parents making sausage when the only thing available to em was TQ or homemade cures.

    I am assuming that since penatration would be facilitated by grinding the meat the 1TBS per lb of meat for say CB is not needed. Bottem line is it works fine for Kielbasa as long as you remove the salt from the recipe if called for.
  10. farmerchad

    farmerchad Smoke Blower

    To be honest, it is your recipe im using! [​IMG] I simply add what i feel is an appropriate amount of salt, then add in the correct amount of cure. I did a test run yesterday with a 1 lb link... im still alive! Thanks for all the help everybody.

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