Hoosier Hill Prague Powder #1 vs Morton Tender Quick Meat Cure?

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by mummel, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    I checked Amazon for a #1 cure.  I found these two main products.  Are they the same stuff?

  2. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit


    Morton's Tender Quick is used for curing meat, poultry or fish in dry or wet-cures. It is a mixture of salt, 0.5% sodium nitrate, 0.5% sodium nitrite and sugar. It also includes propylene glycol to keep the mixture stable. Sodium nitrate (NaNO3) is a curing agent. Sodium nitrite (NaNO2) is a preserving agent.

    Prague powder #1 contains 6.25% sodium nitrite and 93.75% sodium chloride

    I assume these two cures have totally different applications right?
  3. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    They are not the same but they do have similar applications. You have to ensure that you are following the recipe as one can't be substituted for the other.

    Also, some people don't use TQ as they don't want the nitrate. 

    I bought a 1 lb tub of cure #1 and that is all I use. Since you use a small amount at a time 1 lb will last a while. 
  4. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Just to clearly answer your question, NO THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING!!!!
    They do the same, but in very different amounts. As a general rule, use 1tablespoon of Morton's Tenderquick per pound of meat.
    And the amount of Cure #1 is one teaspoon per five pounds of meat.
    And as always, make sure you are following a reliable recipe and procedure from a trusted source before you mess around with curing meat. It's not quite juggling dynamite, but there are risks involved.
    And for the record, Internet forums (even this one) are neither reliable nor trustworthy for information on things like curing. Too many folks post things as Gospel truth when they may not have the right information. Take any advice on curing with a grain of salt and make sure you back it up with info from a known expert.
  5. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    So just get the Hoosier hill one?
  6. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Get whichever one works for you. I have both, and usually use the Prague #1 as I like to have a say in how much salt I'm adding. I use TQ mainly for things like quick cured pork chops where they'll be braised so the salt content isn't as important.
    I should clarify, in my earlier post I didn't mean to bash the wonderful info on this site. I didn't choose my wording very well. All I meant was to be sure you have the right info before curing meat.
  7. smokin218r

    smokin218r Smoking Fanatic

    TQ would be easier to use on multiple applications.

    I wouldn't want to try to spread 1 Tsp over 5lbs of pork loin.

    My $.02
  8. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    HAHA no I think people understood your point.  NEVER BASH SMF!!

  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The nitrate is used to cure meats that are not intended to be cooked... It needs to be applied and the meat needs to be above 48 degrees F so bacteria can grow and convert the nitrate to nitrite...

    Prague Powder #1 vs Prague Powder #2

    By: SmokinHusker

    Posted 1/2/13 • Last updated 1/2/13 • 11,884 views • 3 comments

    Rick (NEPAS) posted this recently in another thread here.

    CURES - Cures are used in sausage products for color and flavor development as well as retarding the development of bacteria in
    the low temperature environment of smoked meats.
    Salt and sugar both cure meat by osmosis. In addition to drawing the water from the food, they dehydrate and kill the bacteria that make food spoil. In general, though, use of the word "cure" refers to processing the meat with either sodium nitrite or sodium nitrate.
    The primary and most important reason to use cures is to prevent BOTULISM POISONING (Food poisoning). It is very important that any kind of meat or sausage that will be cooked and smoked at low temperature be cured. To trigger botulism poisoning, the requirements are quite simple - lack of oxygen, the presence of moisture, and temperatures in range of 40-140° F. When smoking meats, the heat and smoke eliminates the oxygen. The meats have moisture and are traditionally smoked and cooked in the low ranges of 90 to 185° F. As you can see, these are ideal conditions for food poisoning if you don't use cures. There are two types of commercially used cures.

    Prague Powder #1
    Also called Insta-Cure and Modern Cure. Cures are used to prevent meats from spoiling when being cooked or smoked at low temperatures (under 200 degrees F). This cure is 1 part sodium nitrite (6.25%) and 16 parts salt (93.75%) and are combined and crystallized to assure even distribution. As the meat temperate rises during processing, the sodium nitrite changes to nitric oxide and starts to ‘gas out’ at about 130 degrees F. After the smoking /cooking process is complete only about 10-20% of the original nitrite remains. As the product is stored and later reheated for consumption, the decline of nitrite continues. 4 ounces of Prague powder #1 is required to cure 100 lbs of meat. A more typical measurement for home use is 1 level tsp per 5 lbs of meat. Mix with cold water, then mix into meat like you would mix seasonings into meat.

    Prague Powder #2
    Used to dry-cure products. Prague powder #2 is a mixture of 1 part sodium nitrite, .64 parts sodium nitrate and 16 parts salt.

    (1 oz. of sodium nitrite with .64 oz. of sodium nitrate to each lb. of salt.)

    It is primarily used in dry-curing Use with products that do not require cooking, smoking, or refrigeration. This cure, which is sodium nitrate, acts like a time release, slowly breaking down into sodium nitrite, then into nitric oxide. This allows you to dry cure products that take much longer to cure. A cure with sodium nitrite would dissipate too quickly.
    Use 1 oz. of cure for 25 lbs. of meat or 1 level teaspoon of cure for 5 lbs. of meat when mixing with meat.
    When using a cure in a brine solution, follow a recipe.

  10. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    1 tbs tender quick per lb for whole meat

    1 1/2 tsp tender quick per lb for ground meat

    I dont know why they dont add that into the instructions on the bag!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If you add 1 tbs tender quick to 1 lb of ground meat it will be too salty. A lot of meat has been thrown away due to this missing information, then the user either throws it away or it sits on the shelf all alone

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  11. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Dave this is a great explanation.  So if I wanted to do biltong or jerky or salami, I should use cure #2 for dry hanging meat?
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yep.... air cured meats are cured with cure #2.... Follow a proven method... maybe something from Marianski or nepas.... As in all dried meat curing, temp, humidity and % weight loss (Aw) are the important things.....
  13. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Dave there were some guys in the biltong thread that disagreed.  Biltong hangs for 4-7 days so they recommended using cure #1 instead.

  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just looked up Marianski's Biltong recipe.... YEP, he calls for cure #1..... about 130 Ppm.... and 2.3% salt..... and soaking in vinegar for 2 hours and then patting dry.... Between the vinegar, salt and cure, there won't be any "stuff" that's bad for you....

    That's probably the safest method I've seen for making beef jerky.... the acidification step is cool..... I guess the African people knew how to dry cure meat.... the acid will tenderize the meat also......

    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  15. rexster314

    rexster314 Meat Mopper

    Prague #1 is used in conjunction with salt and sugar. Not by itself
  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Below is an explanation I keep reading when looking up stuff ..... BUT can never find it when I'm looking for it.....

    Soooo, for those of you who want to store this factoid for later recall, have at it..... Dave

    Meats were traditionally cured with Nitrate. Before Nitrate can release nitrite (the real curing agent) it has to react with bacteria that have to be present in the meat. Putting Nitrate into a refrigerator kept solution (below 40° F) will inhibit the development of bacteria and they may not be able to react with Nitrate. On the other hand sodium nitrite works well at refrigerator temperatures. When used with Nitrates/nitrites, salt is an incredibly effective preserving combination. There has not been even one documented incident of food poisoning of a meat cured with salt and Nitrates.

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