Discussion in 'Sausage' started by normht, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    TQ can be used like the other #1 cures, but you have to use the right amount of whichever one you are using.

    Whole meat----1 ounce of TQ per 2 pounds of meat

    ground meat---1/2 ounce of TQ per 2 pounds of meat

    The length of time curing would be the same----The variance in time would be between dry curing and pickle (wet) curing.

    This is what I go by. If I'm wrong somebody tell me.

  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This is why I figure TQ is the same as Cure #1:

    According to my figures----That makes TQ the same thing as Instacure #1in the Nitrites amount---See my figures below:

    That would be 0.5% of the TQ by volume*
    As opposed to 6.25% of the Instacure by volume.

    Since we use 1 ounce of TQ for 2 pounds of meat*

    And we use 1 ounce of Instacure for 25 pounds of meat.

    That would mean we use 12 1/2 times as much TQ as we use of Instacure per pound of meat.

    12.5  X (times) .5 = 6.25, which makes the dosage per pound of meat exactly the same as Instacure #1 as TQ----6.25%.

    That's the way I figure it.

    These figures have nothing to do with Cure #2.

  3. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Dalton said:

    "  but then again with instacure #1 which is 6.25%(from above post) sodium nitrite you use 1 tsp per pound of meat and with TQ you use 1.5 teaspoon per pound of meat."   

    Sorry sir, that is not correct! The correct amount is 1tsp per 5 pounds of meat.
  4. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    You are very careful of the amounts of cure that go into foods having had that conversation with me in the Bacon forum.  The only concern I have with using Tenderquick to substitute for Cure 1 is that you are ignoring the Nitrates in the Tenderquick. Adjusting the amount of tenderquick to get the proper amount of Nitrite does nothing to remove the Nitrate in the tenderquick. 
  5. shooterrick

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

    Bear thank you.  I somehow new you would put it in plain langquage for us. 

    I am certain your info is correct and appreciate the knowlege.

  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good eye HB,
    I know that. I'm still trying to figure that one out.

    However I'm not worried about it, because I go by what Mortons says in their recipes.

    When I figure that one out, you'll be first to know---I promise.

    This thread was for whether we can use TQ instead of Cure #1.

    I say yes, but in much different amounts, and I do.


  7. shooterrick

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

    Somewhere I believe I have read that the nitrate is converted during the cooking process but I am not sure.  This may be a starting place to look Bear.  Let us know. 

  8. dalton

    dalton Smoke Blower

    it that is wrong I apoligize but as I said in my quote I took that from the above post.  so far my only hands on experience is with TQ.  I am quite sure that it is 1/2 tablespoon per pound of ground meat.  if I am wrong in that please let me know!!

  9. dalton

    dalton Smoke Blower


    thanks for doing the math for me.  i was planning on looking up the exact amounts for the cure # 1 when I got home and doing exactly that equation to find out if they were the same amount of sodium nitrate and sodium nitrate when used in the proper quanites. 

    sorry if I posted the wrong amount for cure #1 in my earlier post.  thanks for pointing that out.

  10. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Bear your conversion would actually work out like this wouldn't it?.


    Sodium Nitrite:  12.5  X (times) .5 = 6.25, which makes the dosage per pound of meat exactly the same as Instacure #1 as TQ----6.25%.

    Sodium Nitrate: 12.5  X (times) .5 = 6.25, which is more than in Instacure #2 which is 4%

    Prague Powder #2, (also known as Instacure No 2) contains 6.25% sodium nitrite, 4% sodium nitrate, 89.75 salt and anti caking agents.
  11. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    TQ is not a substitute for Prague 1 or cure 1 or instacure 1 or any commercial cure with 6.25 percent sodium nitrite.  It cannot be substituted.

    TQ will cure meat when using it the way it is recommended by the manufacturer.

    Up to you if you want to continue to play with TQ.  Might want to read up on Nitrate, because cure 1 does not have nitrate... you will need to go to complete conversion temperatures.  You will also want to become familiar with the nitrosamine formation that takes place when nitrate break to nitrite in association with protein.  This compound forms when taking nitrate to complete conversion temperatures in the proper protein environment.

    This compound does cause cancer in the endocrine system of the human body.  I doubt the advice to use TQ  as a substitute comes from people who understand this and can develop recipes for making safe products.  The problem with the TQ is the Nitrate level, it raises Nitrate to a calculated level above GRAS listed Cure 2.... in a recipe that is calling for Cure 1.

    Sausage curing safely is not as easy as it may appear, partial knowledge, and guessing can be doing things to you and your family you never thought would happen.  Study the conversion of Nitrite to NH3 in the body and you begin to realize how fast you can kill a young person when their hemoglobin is suddenly unable to take on O2 for life support.

    You are free to do what you want with guessing and TQ substituting for Cure 1.  It is NOT, and NEVER will be a substitute for cure 1 and it is not and never will be a substitute for cure 2.  But please don't send a new person to curing and smoking down the road of potentially killing someone because you are determined to prove something is what it is not and never will be.

    It is a product to help home people cure some meat with success.  It is not for use as a substitute for the cure called for in commercial recipes.  EVER!

    please read this in a discussion tone, sometimes when I bullet point facts and ask people to think beyond what they understand at this point in their education they take it wrong.  I am not bitchin at people or arguing with people, I just want people to understand how complex what we do is, sometimes with the premix sausage packages and such people tend to forget this is real chemistry and real science so they think cause they made a pepperoni they understand curing on some advance level.  When you start changing recipes or substituting recipe ingredients you are messing with chemistry you need to know what reactions you may be causing.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What bbally says is correct about the difference between TQ & other cures.

    What Beer-B-Q and AlBlancher say about the amount of nitrates in TQ is correct.

    I am still looking into why there is that much nitrates in TQ.

    Maybe my whole problem is what all of you mean by the word "substitution".

    My curing recipes are either directly from Morton's, or adjusted from a Morton's recipe.

    They were not substituted from a recipe that had cure #1 or cure #2 in it !

    I don't recommend for anyone to take a recipe that uses any of the cure #1s, or cure #2s, and convert that to a recipe with TQ.

    Like I said, I am still looking into the nitrate amount in TQ. If it is as dangerous as it is being suggested in this thread, I would think they should not be able to sell it, or list it in the recipes I have used.

    Continuing to research,

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  13. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The nitrate is added to protect the meat when it is thicker.  It goes through two break downs... Nitrate to Nitrite to O3 and NO3

    This lengthens the effective protection period the cure can provide.  It it the reason Cure 2 exists as well,  just at the normal commercial concentration.

    The problem with Nitrate is when we adjusted the amount of nitrate allowed in food back in 1920s... this led to the greatest period of Gastro Cancer decline in the USA.

    Other things are being done that many new to curing may not know about yet in their curing careers.  Absorbic acid inhibits the formation of nitrosamines this allows concentrations higher then normal and still protect the end consumer.

    We have other things we do when curing as well.  Accelerators, and he biggest one yet to be used by the home cure market is the products we use commercially to stop Fat Oxidation.  These two products will improve the quality of your home made products by an order of magnitude.

    Again, please read this as a conversation not a bitchin session.  I am only putting out information for consideration and to prompt investigation by those interested in home curing as a hobby.  I want people to be safe and to learn more and more about their hobby.  I am not bitchin at anyone.  So no need to email me that I think I know it all yadda yadda yadda... I already know from the questions being asked where the holes are in the knowledge and I post my replies to help people discover where they have holes in what they understand about curing so they learn more.   I do  not post to ridicule anyone.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  14. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks BBally for such an informative post.

    A brief internet search on the conversion of Nitrates to Nitrites indicates that nitrates are relatively innocuous to the human body,  The problem is that high heat, saliva and bacteria in the digestive system reduces the nitrate to nitrite, toxic in higher concentrations.  Seems that nitrites bind with hemoglobin in human blood reducing its Oxygen carrying capacity (as pointed out by BBally).   This condition is extremely dangerous to "infants" and in high enough concentrations dangerous to adults.

    Nitrite is in Tenderquick at a lower concentration than in Cure 1

    Nitrates are in Tenderquick but not in Cure 1

    Heat converts Nitrite to Nitrate

    Is Morton considering that putting Tenderquick in cooked sausages converts the Nitrate to Nitrite getting to acceptable Nitrite levels in the final product?

  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    I agree with what you say, except the nitrites in TQ seem to be exactly the same amount (per pound of meat in recipes) as in the other cure #1s.

    Notice to all:

    bbally is the guy who knows this stuff best---"Trusted Authority" noted beside his name is not a joke.

    Thanks Al,

  16. shooterrick

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

    Great thread and I must reread this a few times to digest all the info.  As far as TQ in sausage it seems the bottom line is that cure 1 avoids any potential concerns with nitrates and their convertion during cooking.  Is this correct?  If so would you say TQ is best left to whole cuts of meats such as Canadian Bacon and such?   Since I keep both on hand If you have cure 1 is there really any good reason to continue to stock TQ?  It is early and I am going back to bed.  To many martunies last night for Sandys birthday for me to really digest all this right now.  LOL
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would say that TQ is best used for Dry curing, and the cure #1s are best used for wet curing, because of the difficulty of spreading a mere 1 ounce over 25 pounds of meat.

    I would also say they are both currently good for sausages. When They make Morton's remove their recipes from their book & their web site, I will definitely change my mind on that. Until then I will continue to research.

    This is a recipe taken directly from Morton's web site & from their Home curing book:
    1 pound lean ground beef
    1-1/2 level teaspoons Morton®  Tender Quick®  mix  or Morton®  Sugar Cure®  (plain)
    1 teaspoon liquid smoke
    3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
    1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, slightly crushed
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    1/4 teaspoon anise seed
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

    Link to that page on their site:

    Compare that to my "Beef Stick" recipe.

    Basically all I did was change it to 80/20, remove the liquid smoke, adjust the seasonings a bit, and smoke it.

    I use their recommended amount of TQ.

  18. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great posts bbally. Now I understand why you can't substitute TQ for cure #1 even in the correct amounts.
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    You could use my reason:

    If you want to dry cure 25 pounds of Pork Loin for Canadian Bacon/smoked pork chops, that would call for 1 ounce of cure #1.

    How can you evenly distribute 1 ounce of anything over all four sides of 25 pounds of meat?

    If you want to wet/brine cure everything, I would guess you could do without TQ.

  20. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I make my bacon  by your recipe. Works great.

    When I made the andouille sausage it called for #1. I thought about using the TQ. Did some reading and the recipe called for less salt than the TQ would provide.

    I followed the recipe by combining all the spices and the chopped garlic.

    Added the tsp of #1 and 1/4 cup ice water and mixed it with the cubed meat. Tossed it for a few minutes.

    It was spread out nice. Bagged and into the fridge for 2 days.

    The sausage turned out great.

    I am looking at some other sausage recipes that call for #2, but I can't see why as the recipes look like the ones that call for #1.

    This a great thread and thanks for all the info folks. This is a wonderplace.

Share This Page