Mortons Tender Quick cure question

Discussion in 'Beef' started by bnew17, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. bnew17

    bnew17 Smoke Blower

    I have a bag of the Mortons Tender Quick cure but the back where the application directions are worn out and un readable. Im planning on making my first pastrami from brisket and i was hoping to get it in the brine tonight but im unsure on how much of the Mortons to put per pound of meat? Can someone help me asap. Thanks
  2. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just read the back of my bag Morton's TQ

    "For brine curing, dissolve 1 cup TENDER QUICK cure in 4 cups water. Place meat in brine, refrigerate and allow to cure24 hours. For pumping pickle, follow proportions for brine curing."

    The amount of liquid determines the amount of cure when bring using TQ. If you are going to dry cure, then you would use 1 tablespoon per pound and distribute evenly, allow to  cure in refrigerator, rinse / soak to remove salt, then smoke or whatever. I like your idea of brining the brisket for pastrami due to it's thicker cross section. Good luck!
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  3. dwolson

    dwolson Fire Starter

    For brine, I believe it is ONE cup of TQ for FOUR cups of water. 
  4. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  5. bnew17

    bnew17 Smoke Blower

    so if my brine calls for 1 gallon of water i will need 4 cups of tender quick?
  6. teeznuts

    teeznuts Master of the Pit

    Another member sent me this when I had a question

  7. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, to keep it proportional. I hope your recipe doesn't call for any additional salt. I imagine you could add more white or brown sugar or even molasses if you wanted but I think TQ has enough salt let alone nitrite and nitrate..
  8. bnew17

    bnew17 Smoke Blower

    Thanks everybody for the information so far. Im learning alot. Here is the recipe i plan on using. So im guessing i will leave out the Kosher salt in the recipe since i will be using  Tender Quick.   

    4 quarts water
    2 cup brown sugar
    1 cup kosher salt
    12 cloves garlic, crushed
    2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
    3 tablespoons pickling spices
    4 teaspoons thyme
    8 bay leaves
    1 teaspoon saltpeter (optional)
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  9. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Post up the recipe you'll be using before you go to far. I personally use TQ for dry curing and not brining. It is only 1.0% sodium nitrite/nitrate so the other 99.0% is salt and sugar and I'm not too sure off the top of my head of the amount of each.

    Just for jee whiz here's a corned beef I did with only 1/3 cup of salt and 8 tspns of cure #1. It came out really good and was not salty at all..

    I'm surprised more of the "embalmers" on here haven't chimed up yet.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  10. I would let it cure in the brine for about 10 days. Not the 24 hours it says on the bag.
  11. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Absolutely x2!!
  12. bnew17

    bnew17 Smoke Blower

    Is brining the Brisket for 6 days going to be enough time? The brisket only weighs 4.8 pounds...
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  13. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    At 5 lb I'm assuming it's just a flat..? If so then I think 6 days will be ok.

    Definately leave out the kosher salt from the recipe. The saltpeter's job (potassium nitrate) will be done by the sodium nitrite in the TQ and the salt carrierin the TQ will take the place of the kosher salt. The mix may be a little sweet but it shouldn't ruin the meat like too much salt can.
  14. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Just caught this thread, and I have a couple questions to get a better picture in my mind:

    At 4.8lbs, is this a "center-cut" (trimmed flat cut)?

    Will you be placing the brine/cure and brisket in a bucket or a large sealable plastic bag?

    Assuming full recommended strength TQ solution is used for the brine/cure, 6 days should be sufficient for a full cure on a trimmed flat cut of brisket (not to be confused with the point cut). If this is the trimmed center cut, 4.8lbs is from a fairly heavy packer (whole brisket), and mine have run into a week-long cure at 50% strength.

    I don't consider a brine/cure to be finish until the texture and color stops changing, then I give it another day or two to be sure. haven't had one not get fully cured using this method. It's a touchy feeyl kinda thing, and I use bags, but a gallon ziploc isn't big enough for the average cut of flat or point, I've found, so I cut some off as needed and cure it in another bag as needed.

    Generally speaking, in terms of time for a brine/cure such as pastrami, it's irrelevent, but used as a gauge for estimates. The cure isn't done until it feels firm for a few days and the color of the brine and meat stops changing. Also, I tend the meat/brine twice daily for optimal results. Probably not what you wanted to hear/read, but some variables can impact the actual time needed, so identifying what a fully cured flat cut of brisket feels and looks like is a more reliable way.

    I hesitate to say with 100% certainty that a 4 to 1 ratio of TQ would, beyond any doubt, cure the meat in 6 days. I've never used full strength, but opted for a bit longer cure time with 50% or less (8 to 1 ratio), and in the earlier days of my pastrami quests, 25% strength (16 to 1), but I wouldn't advise anyone to go that low on concentration...that's pushing things a bit there.

    Let me know if there's something in specific that you may not fully understand. Just remember, curing larger pieces of meat takes's a slow process and cannot be rushed.

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  15. bnew17

    bnew17 Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the replies. yall are really helping me out. The brisket is just the flat. I plan on using a sealable plastic tub for the brine.
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I wouldn't go by the 24 hour brine cures that Morton's talks about.

    They aren't really concerned about wet brine curing completely, because most of their recipes end with cooking at 325˚ or 375˚ until the meat hits their internal temp.

    I don't think I ever saw any "low & slow" cooks from Morton's, in their book or on their web site.

    I haven't done any "Brine curing" with TQ, but I would go by what a number of experienced guys on this forum, who have brine cured with TQ, if that is what you want to use.


  17. doctord1955

    doctord1955 Smoking Fanatic

    With using TQ u r going to change the flavor of ur recipe.  TQ has sugar and salt and flavorings in it!  Your original recipe calls for what 1 tablspoon of saltpeter?
  18. shooterrick

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

    Remove all salt from your recipe when using TQ.  I have only used TQ to dry cure canadian bacon and so cannot advise about the brine cure time.  I will say you cannot overcure but you can undercure so error on the side of overcuring and you should be fine.  In other words if you figure 6 days to cure add 2 and go 8 days to insure total cure.  You can always soak to remove salt if you like and some raw qaurtered taters in the soak will remove salt quickly.   
  19. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I haven't carefully done the math, but I think Shooter is on top of this one.

    Also, I am not big on mixing and matching curing methods in recipes.

    Your Tenderquick is over 90% salt, so you probably have even more salt in there than you need.

    I would leave the brown surgar as it is or even increase it a bit?

    A little additional curing time will be no problem and 24 hours seems way short from my experience.  If it is too salty from a fry test, you have been told how to soak that.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  20. bnew17

    bnew17 Smoke Blower

    Put the brisket in the brine last night. I put a pinch of Kosher salt in there and cut the Brown Sugar in half to 1 cup. Will see how it turns out. Gonna smoke it sunday

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