how much mortons tenderquick per pound of meat?

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by chola, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. chola

    chola Fire Starter

    I can't seem to locate an exact answer, so I thought I would ask the pros here.
    I made a 5 pound batch of garlic sausage with the TQ, it called for 1/4 cup,which I believe is equal to 3 tablespoons.
    I've done some searching and have had various answers from 1 1/2 teaspoons per pound to 1 tablespoon per pound......

    Now if I haven't enuff tenderquick in my recipe,at what temperature should I cook this mixture at to be safe, or am I better off to start over again and just toss this stuff out?
    I will be doing it in the oven as my smoker is not here yet

    The recipe says to mix all in ingredients and the refrigerate for 3 days,mixing the meat for 10 minutes every 24 hours,then on the 4th day, roll into logs and then place in the oven at 150 for 8 hours.

    Is Prague #1 better than the TQ stuff when making sausages in terms of less saltiness and better for your health?
  2. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  3. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As Ron mentioned, don't throw this away. Maybe make a hot smoked/cooked sausage if all else fails and it will still be good eating, just not what the recipe experiment of sorts. Don't fret.

    I may be way off on a few issues here...I'm relying on info I've read over the past several years.

    150* for 8 hours seems like a normal smoking temp, though I'm not familiar with any garlic sausage recipes...this is a widely used smoke temp for other recipes. I do wonder about the finishing cooking it higher, slowly being raised in stages to about 180*? This sausage would not reach a safe internal temp at 150* cooking temp. Probably 155* would be the minimum safe I/T, unless this is a cold smoked sausage recipe, which would be fryed, brased or grilled to fully cook it prior to serving.

    I just grabbed a bag of TQ and checked the label. It states to use 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) per pound of meat. Let me check my if my calculations are correct: you have 1/4 cup (2 ounces) in 5 lbs, which is a ratio of 4/5 (80%) recommended concentration. Here's the math: 0.5 (dose in oz) x 5 (lbs meat) = 2.5 oz (recommended).

    That's not the recommended strength according to Morton. However, if this recipe is from a trusted source and it is a proven recipe, you should follow the recipe. Another thought on the curing time is that it seems longer than normal, which may accomodate for the reduction in the curing agent by allowing more time for the lower concentrations to fully cure the meat.

    My personal opinion on this would be to continue with the process, as it isn't that far off of Morton's instructions. If it were only 50-60% recommended strength, yeah, I'd be worried.

    Here is another source for info on curing agents:

    I won't say one way or the other what you should do here, as I don't know alot of the specifics in your situation. I feel that knowing and trusting the source of the recipe and knowing if it's a proven recipe is a big key to this. If you have doubts, just play it safe and fully cook the meat right away, but do so at a higher cooking temp of about 225* for less time, until the I/T measures 170*...this is not a poultry based meat, right? Go 180* or so if it is. Keep the 40-140*/4hr rule of thumb in mind if in doubt about the cure.

    Sorry I can't give you a definative answer on's just the nature of the beast in this case.

    Sorry about being so long winded...just trying to cover all the bases as best I can here.

    Good luck

  4. hoser

    hoser Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I've always used the insta-cure personally, just 1 tsp for every 5 pounds of meat. Never had a saltiness problem...just stuff the casings, let them dry, then pop them right into the smoker.
  5. ol' smokey

    ol' smokey Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Ditto what hoser said. I mix the proper amount of insta-cure #1, 1 tsp per 5 lbs of sausage, in with the dry sausage seasonings and mix well.
  6. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    This is the type of question that Rytek's book has the answers for.

    From the Morton site:

    Tender quick is heavy on salt and also includes sodium nitrate, which breaks down to sodium nitrite over time. This is what you want for dry cured meats, which cure for days.

    Sodium nitrite is used to prevent botulism poisoning when smoking and cooking sausage at low temps. That is your prague powder #1, which is the same thing as Insta Cure #1. Both include a very small amount of sodium nitrite bonded to a salt carrier to make it possible and simple to mix (1 tsp per 5# of sausage). That amount of salt doesn't affect most mixes. Put that in 1 cup of ice water and it makes is possible to mix into the meat easier and more complete. You can see the color of the meat turn from red to a gray color within a few minutes.

    I would think that a lot of recipes like the ones you list use TC as it is available in a lot of grocery stores (all of ours carry it). Insta Cure would be another thing.

    BTW, isn't it 4 Tablespoons per 1/4 cup? And 3 teaspoons per 1 tablespoon? (I'm not that smart.....the old scales I use have all these constants printed on the back). If a recipe called for a "Hogshead", better reconsider. That would be pretty salty!
  7. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    3 tsp per tbsp; 3 tbsp per quarter cup.
  8. Just Googled it---1/4 cup equals 4 Tablespoons
  9. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    whoops - i stand corrected - and i learned something today; thanks!
  10. chola

    chola Fire Starter

    Thanks very much for all the help.
    I will bake the rolls at higher temps to be safe..say around 300 until IT is up at 165-170
    The mix is all fresh ground from a whitetail deer from last week...
    I had made it previously from ground beef and pork mix at a 80-20 ratio.

    The venison looks different to me. Everytime I remove it to knead it for the required 10 minutes, I notice pockets where the cure hasn't gotten into the mix just made me think and do some research on the amount of TQ I was using.

    The mixture turns a dark brown when the curing is in, versus the nice dark red color of fresh ground..the meat was a combo of both/colors when I kneaded it yesterday, which in turn was entirely different in colour than my previous batch.

    I had also baked my previous batch at 275 for 4 hours until the IT was 165

    Time to order some Instacure...way less hassle and saltiness...
  11. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  12. chola

    chola Fire Starter

    Thanks very much..gonna order up a batch[​IMG]
  13. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    Did you mix any other meat and or fat into the venison? maybe thats the color difference. If the venison was from the freezer and had little blood it will be dark.

    Im lucky enough to have a butcher shop that is willing to sell me supplies, you just might try to find a local one who is willing to work with you.

    Its one of those things, I buy some pork trimming from him and he gives me casings.
  14. chola

    chola Fire Starter

    I ran the whole batch through the grinder again with the fine fat mixed in,just what ever fat was on the deer trimmings.
    The venison was freshly trimmed, ground up and then seasoned all within an hour and then into the fridge

    No butcher supplies here either,everything has to be ordered online.

    The local butcher shop here does not like any competition whatsoever, so they don't offer much advice or direction on where to get anything

    I just ordered 2 pounds of Prague#1.

    I'll cook my current batch at 325 just to be safe...I get too paranoid about recipes if they are a bit off in their quantities, don't want to poison anyone
  15. chola

    chola Fire Starter

    Baked at 325 until internal temp reached 170...what do ya to consume. All is nicely coloured and even throughout
    I just wanted to try one out and see what it turned out like..
  16. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    EAT IT FAST!! Looks great man. Get some cheese and crackers, oh, don't forget the cold beer.
  17. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That looks just perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Coloring is very similar to the beef salami I did last week, and you did get a uniform cure as well.

    Chow down, man!!

  18. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Winner winner chicken dinner.

    TQ is a great product, but IS salt heavy. I use it almost exclusivly, and reduce the amount used in a brine by 25% typically, and increase cure time. It is way too salty for it's recommended brine concentration of 1 cup/Qt liquid.

    Cure #1 is a good alternative for sodium concerned folks (ALL of us, really) but TQ is also pretty fail safe. For ground meat and jerky use 1.5 TEASPOONS per/Lb. That helps... for a dry cure on bacon/ham... then use the 1 TABLESPOON/Lb.

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