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

  1. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    If he has plenty of TQ it will take more than a few lbs of meat to use it up !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    I meant 25 pounds of solid whole meat.

    Sounds like you did right by your sausage.

    I think that cure #2 is for special types of curing, but I don't know much about it at all.

  3. shooterrick

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

    Bear that makes perfect sense.  I will reserve my TQ for most dry cure applications and use Cure 1 for most sausage recipes.  To date I brine very little.  It is mostly due to limited fridge space for now.  I have used TQ on simple hams and mixed a reserved portion of the cure wet and injected since these have a deeper muscle form.  I believe Morton also adresses this technique on there web sight. 

  4. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I just noticed a mistake in the above math...  I should have caught it earlier but didn't...

    Taking 12.5 X the amount of TQ does nothing to change the % of Nitrites and Nitrates in the cure, it only increases the volume of TQ.


    Take a 100 gallon tank containing 10 gallons of liquid would = 10% liquid, Multiple that by 10 and you would have a 1000 gallon tank containing 100 gallons of liquid it would still = 10% liquid

    Bear, I believe that is why you place it in a container and turn it every day and not drain off the liquid.  that way it coats all parts of the meat evenly... If you drain off any of the liquid which builds up you are removing the cure...  The accumulated liquid is its own brine for the distribution of the cure... Just my take.
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes Paul--You're absolutely right, that's why I turn my packages over every day (and never drain any off), when I have the right amount of TQ in each package.

    But with cure #1, the problem is not getting the right amount that is in each package on all sides of the piece of meat in that package.

    The problem with dry curing with Cure #1 is getting the right amount distributed on the pieces of meat before you put the pieces & the cure into the package.

    Try it sometime:

    Lay out 3 Pork loins, that are 8.3 pounds each. That would be 3 pieces of meat, about 15" long X 2 1/2" to 3" thick X about 5" wide.

    Now take one (1) tiny little ounce of cure, or anything else, and try to distribute it evenly over all 4 sides of those 3 pieces-----Impossible !

    That would be spreading it out over approximately 750 square inches----Over 5 square feet.

    Or you could cut each of those pieces in half, like I do with TQ, but that would mean, you're going to have to spread 1/6 ounce over about 130 square inches.

    And if you put sugar & salt in each package, with the 1/6 ounce of cure, will the brine created by the sugar & salt be able to transport that little bitty 1/6 ounce of cure to all 130 square inches, just by flipping it every day?

    With TQ, you have 12 1/2 times as much to spread over those pieces. Very easy to do.

    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  7. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You assume that someone is taking just Cure 2 and trying to disperse it over a piece of meat.

    When using Cure 1 or Cure 2 generally we are making our own mix.  The measure of the cure is to get the correct amount for the weight of meat to end up at 200 PPM.  The cure is mixed with sugar, salt, spices and other things and then dispersed.  So no one is taking cure 1 or2 and trying to disperse it, they are taking cure 1 or 2 and creating a dry rub with it and dispersing that over the meat.

    Cure one and two are created in the same way TQ is created.  That is the Nitrite and/or nitrate is bound to a salt carrier.  This is done to insure the specific gravity of the cure matches the mix being created for even dispersement.  I can go into the chemistry of equilibrium if you really want to know how it works.  But that gets into some pretty wild dilution and molecular movement formulas.  But it does equilize itself out during the curing time similar to the way the salt does when brining poultry.

    Also many are using it to create a pickle and wet cure.  Which also creates a larger volume to disperse the sodium nitrite and/or nitrate.  Again this is an osmosis type molecular equilibrium being achieved over time.

    So don't think of it as trying to disperse cure 1 or cure 2, think of it as cure 1 or 2 become a premix in the recipe which increases volume and then osmosis through equilibrium ensures the concentrations get dispersed throughout the product.

    This is the reason time is so important to most cure recipes.
  8. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Happy Birthday Sandy!  Glad you had some of them Martonies?  They must have been REAL good!  I really need to follow this thread better then I can while sitting in a hotel room but I did want to send the shout out to my friend.

    Happy birthday

    You're the only person I know that looks younger every year!

    Al and Liz
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good points Bob, 

    And that is why I said Cure #1 is great for the pickle/wet cure.

    But Morton's mixing "propylene glycol" to keep the mixture uniform.  This way it stays mixed, and gets distributed evenly over the meats you are curing.

    I don't think John Doe or Joe Smith, or very many people on this forum have access to propylene glycol, or the knowledge to use it properly like Morton's uses it.

    So without that stuff to keep your mix even, one piece of meat could get 1 % cure #1, and 99% other stuff, and another piece could get 20% cure #1, and 80% other stuff.

    I'm not a scientist like you, I could be wrong, but these are my thoughts on this subject. If I was going to "wet cure" I would use cure #1, but since I believe Morton's can mix their cure better than I can, I use TQ for Dry curing.

  10. shooterrick

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

    I respect both Bears and Bballlys opinions greatly.  I guess the bottom line for me is (are my practices safe?)

    I am using cure 1 when a wet cure like the marinade for Jerky is being used and since my spices and cure for sausage are always suspended in a cold liquid I am using cure 1 in sausage.

    When I am dry curing like Canadian Bacon I am using TQ.

    When I am making a ham type product with larger cuts of meat than Tenderloin I am using TQ for the dry rub/cure but reserving 25% of the rub/cure and suspending it in cold liquid and injecting that all around the meat like a pump or pickle.

    Are My Procedures Faulty assuming I am measuring correctly and allowing proper cure times? 
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    bbally knows a lot more about all of the ins & outs of curing & food safety than I ever will, but what you just said about how you do those various things, I would have to say could not get better than that.

  12. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I bought 3 books  when I decided I was going to start/learn to make sausage.

    Charcuterie... Ruhlman & Polcyn

    Great susage recipes and meat curing....4th..Kutas

    Meat smoking and smokehouse design...Marinski brothers

    I have learned a lot from all 3 books.

    Probably all of your questions would be answered with some reading time.

    I have also read and learned here: recipes.htm#DRY     and here :  

    and the site I listed previously.

     I am not being a smart**s. Just trying to help.
  13. shooterrick

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

    Thanks brother.  I have Kutas book and others.  These are questions which come up often on the forum and while I agree the answeres can be found elsewhere we often try and facilitate discussions as some just won't look elsewhere probably due to their excitement in starting this adventure.

    I have been curing bacon and sausage for some time.  My goal during this discussion is to try and boil a great deal of information down to simple and safe procedures.  The wealth of knowledge of our members can be overwhelming to many new to this. 

    No offense has been takin and I appreciate the referenced info.  Your contribution is of importance as it makes those thinking about getting into curing meats but may be afraid thinking it some how is magical or very difficult understand reliable info is available on the subject.
  14. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    bear, i see yer points (and concern) on proper distrubution of #1 over a large cut of meat for a dry cure. as someone wanting to get away from the High Mountain cure (i like it but want more salt/flavor control) i see using #1 in a homemade cure mix sorta like sowing fine (small) seed, a trick is to mix it with sand so you can more evenly distribute it over a larger area of ground. isn't this the same thing? also if TQ is .5%-.5% and #1 6.25% by volume, aren't you just adding more TQ to bring the amount of curing agent(s) up to the needed amount to properly cure. FYI, i have only used the High Mountain BBB cure and dispite others saying it is too salty or just not liking it i have used it with great results.......and i am not a fan of overly salted foods. i want to try other cures so i can control salt/sugar/flavor profiles and i am planing to venture into other areas of cured meats but like everyone else i want to do it safely. it is threads like this that are both informative and make us take a look at our own food handling practices......keep up this good discussion.
  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    From what I have read, a regular home meat smoker can not mix cure with other things properly. Morton's mixes Propylene Glycol with theirs to do that. You might think you mixed cure #1 & salt & other things properly, but you really can't, because of the specific gravity of the different ingredients. That is where the Propylene Glycol come in. You could get more cure #1 here, and less there, without the propylene glycol. Like I said, I'm not a scientist---this is what I have read.

    Many people say TQ has too much salt, but I go by the exact amounts that Morton's say, and I have never had anything taste too salty. My son even says my Beef Sticks aren't salty enough. I don't taste any salt in them, but I don't really want to. I have said this before, but I have never had to soak anything more that 1/2 hour to get rid of extra salt, except High Mt BBB cure----3 hours of soaking.

    I'm betting at least 20 guys on this forum have made my Unstuffed Beef Sticks, and I didn't hear anyone say it was salty. That recipe has the exact amount of TQ that Morton's says to use in their Pepperoni recipe.

    The only part I still haven't found out about is why the higher amount of Nitrates in that TQ, but like I said, I don't worry about it, because I figure Morton's knows a lot more than I do. As long as I follow their instructions exact, I figure I'm good.

    Right now I'm still digesting the Eagles///Giants game----Eagles down 24-3. Then they score 4 TDs in the last 7 minutes to win it in regulation time 38---31, including a Punt returned for TD with the clock running out. Yet another Miracle of the Meadow Lands.

    I was at a party, and got home just in time to see the last 5 minutes. That must have been my Christmas Present!

    OOOOPS, sorry, I got a little off track there!!!

  16. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I respectfully disagree with you Bear , I've been mixing #1 with salt, sugars and spices for 25 years and only once  have I had a gray spot in a large pork shoulder that didn't get the cure. and if Mortons  Propylene Glycol   is the secert to curing i count me out and do a wikipedia seach of it . it really can't be good for ya.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    You aren't disagreeing with me.

    I'm just repeating what I have read about mixing cure with other ingredients.

    I'll also read Wiki as soon as I have time, but Morton's hasn't been sued yet--to my knowledge---I'll still read all I can.

    I know I have often put different color ingredients in a container, and put the lid on & shook the living crap out of it, and when I opened it there was big areas of the same color ingredients. In other words if it was black & white ingredients, it would not have been gray after shaking more than one would think would be needed. Had one of those ingredients been cure, and they all were the same color, I would have never known it didn't mix well.

    Thanks Dan,

  18. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    PG is used in th drug industry as well as the food industry..........i'm sure it is safe at some level.
     my stillers didn't fare so well.......................
  19. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Chef rob said:>>>PG is used in th drug industry as well as the food industry..........i'm sure it is safe at some level.  

    Used by cigar smokers too. To maintain 70% humidity in humidors.
  20. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i used to use it in my humidors but i now use beads that not only put out humidity but absorb it as well..........

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