Curing question-need help!!

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by dmess8541, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. dmess8541

    dmess8541 Newbie

    I am BRAND NEW to smoking- I have a serious question that I could not find a direct answer to by searching and reading threads for the past hour. 

    I used a homemade recipe for snack sticks, mixed all ingredients into 10 pounds of ground meat and did NOT add any type of cure.  The recipe called for cure #1 but I didn't realize I couldn't buy it at the store. 

    I have the meat in the fridge right now...what do I do to SAFELY make these?  Can I use Tender quick (which I think the grocery store carries) ?

    If not, I read that a butcher shop will have cure.  What type am I after and how much for ten pounds?

    I really appreciate help on this as I do not want to poison my kids!!


  2. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You will need cure #1. AKA as pink salt, prague powder #1 or insta cure. Use this at 1 level tsp per every 5 lbs of meat.

    MTQ....AKA  Mortens Tender Quick is used at 7.5 tsp per every 5 lbs of meat.

    Mix the Cure or MTQ with 1/2 cup of water to better mix into the meat you have seasoned. Some butchers if they do not do any curing will not have cure.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
  3. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member


    Just working on my post count.......[​IMG]

  4. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you added salt to the original spice mix and then add TQ you'll end up with a product that might be to salty to eat.

    Find a butcher that cures meat and see if he'll sell ya some. be sure to ask him the proper dosage for your 10 pounds of meat
  5. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you have trouble finding Cure 1 either keep the sausage cold until you can or consider just making a fresh sausage out of it and then trying the snack sticks next time.  Just don't process it as snack sticks.

    You can stuff the casings and then bring to proper Internal Temperture within 4 hours or make patties and pan fry.   You may want to give the pan fry a test and see if it will work for you.  Remember cures add a bit of flavor and color but most importantly they keep the meat safe for extended smoke times.

    Might want to see what everyone says about freezing it until you get your cure but I would think you should go ahead and cook it.

    The guys are giving you good information but remember that if you use Morton's TQ your sausage will probably way to salty if the original recipe called for Cure 1
  6. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    This gives you reference to the mix you need; 1 oz of cure is about 4 teaspoons ( or 1 heaping tablespoon; 1 level tablespoon is .78 of an ounce).  In dry ingredient seasoning mix, you want 4 oz. per 100 lbs. of meat or 1 oz per 25 lbs. of meat, which is 4 teaspoons per 25 lbs, or 1 teaspoon per 6.25 lbs. of meat. This is maximum curing ratio.  

    If you can't find cure locally I'd freeze your meat until you can get some; make sure you unthaw it in the refrigerator to reduce bacteria buildup.  
  7. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Gander Mountain, Cabelas and Bass Pro should carry Cure #1 and some supplies, for jerky and snack sticks.

    Our local Farm Stores also carry curing and sausage making supplies.

    Mortons TQ is probably available in the grocery store, but Dam is correct, that your salt content may be high.

  8. dmess8541

    dmess8541 Newbie

    Thank you guys-I am just paranoid about getting my family sick after reading all of the posts regarding curing.  I almost made them without it!


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