Need Some Help On Dry Curing Sausage

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by clarkr, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. clarkr

    clarkr Newbie

    Hi all,

    I am new to this process of curing meat. Here is what I am doing...

    I have a recipe from my late father-in-law for making landjager (He used to make and sell this awsome sausage). I never was involved helping him with the grind, spices and cure, only the stuffing and smoking part so I don't know for positive what was done in that stage.

    The recipe calls for 30 lbs of beef. There is written in his recipe two methods for curing the meat. In both instances the recipe calls for Morton Tender Quick.

    1. The Brine Method: Add 1 1/2 lbs of Tender Quick to 1 gallon of water. Brine beef chunks for 1 - 1 1/2 weeks. Drain the meat and dry for 24 hours then grind coarse and season. Let sit for 2 days then grind medium, stuff and cold smoke.

    2. The Dry Method: Grind meat coarse (no brine). Add 3/4 lbs. of Tender Quick and spices to meat. Here it is a bit sketchy... I assume he let it cure after the grind and cure/spices were added for 2 days like the brine method and then let it cure for a week (in refrigerator) after the second grind at a medium grind. Then stuff and cold smoke?

    After the cold smoke he hung it for a week in a refrigerator. After that time it can air dry with no needed refrigeration or cooking.

    My concern after doing some reading is using the Tender Quick rather than a #2 Prauge type cure. I realize there is not as much of the Nitrate cure in the Tender Quick as the #2. Does the time of cure, one week, compensate for this? I have contacted Morton but have not heard from them as of yet.

    I certainly don't want to poison myself or family or waste 15 lbs. of beef (I am making a half recipe).

    Any thoughts from those who would know whether this method is a safe one or not?

    EDIT 9-25: I have decided to cut the trial run to 5 lbs. rather than the 15 lbs. half recipe.

    I also have talked with the Morton people and of course they could NOT guarantee, as I knew they wouldn't or even should, the complete safety of using this process with Tender Quick.

    They did not think the amount of nitrites or nitrates involved in this recipe were beyond a health risk as a related amount of the nitrite/nitrates for consumption. So that answered one of my concerns.

    They were not sure if the amount of time (1-1 1/2 weeks curing in the refrigerator post adding Tendrer Quick) as a long enough process for the nitrite/nitrates to cure the sausage. Something for me to think about.

    I also want to thank everyone here in advance for all the help they have given now and in the future. THANK YOU.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Help is on the way as soon as nepas logs in...PM was sent...he knows Landjager like nobody else I know of around here.

  3. Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  4. webowabo

    webowabo Master of the Pit

    Im in for some pro answers as well.. cause Landjager is great. Would love to make some one of these daya!
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
  5. idasmoker

    idasmoker Newbie

    Post deleted.  Take care.  See you on another sausage forum that cares about one's health.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
  6. beeflover

    beeflover Smoke Blower

    Where u get this info? My family used tendrquick for years & no1 got sick or antifreeze poisoned
  7. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The PG used in Tenderquick is FOOD-GRADE, and is not that same as what's in the out-dated version of automotive is also the same thing that is used as a suspension for medicines during treatments of respiratory problems with inhalers, as well as electronic cigarettes. PG is used in TQ to maintain a well-blended product. Keep in mind that Tenderquick is not intended for certain recipes, and Landjager is probably one of's more of a beginner's cure mix for simple, shorter-term meat and sausage cures, but when cure #2 is in order, there is no substitute.

    IDaSmoker, offsite links are not allowed here anymore...suggest you delete that or the mods may likely it for you.

    BTW, don't use google for anything here...I like my privacy.

    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
  8. clarkr,
    I strongly recommend that you read the book The Art of Making Fermented Sausages
    by Stanley and Adam Marianski before proceeding to familiarize yourself with the safety issues involved.
    It'll also give you the information needed to convert your recipes to Cure #2 rather than MTQ.

  9. [​IMG]    Hmmm... I'm guessing I must have missed something...  [​IMG]
  10. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    To each his own...view it however you like, but we here at SMF do take one's health seriously, and food safety is considered top priority when giving advice on recipes/methods...we also don't like to see things getting blown out of proportion with misinformation or scare-tactics.

  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  12. Martin (or any of the other gurus here)

    Excuse the newbie question, but I'm the type that prefers to understand a process rather than just follow a recipe.  I quickly perused the summary of the book you mentioned, and noticed an inconsistency with the Morton Home Meat Curing Guide, which I just picked up and read through.

    The summary of the book you mention says "Both nitrates and nitrites are permitted to be used in curing meat and poultry with the exception of bacon, where nitrate use is prohibited". However, in the Morton guide it specifically calls for Morton Smoke Flavor Sugar Cure, which contains only nitrate, for large cuts of meat like hams or bacon.

    It's information inconsistencies like this that make learning a process difficult for beginners.  Which of these is correct?


    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    WaywardSwede, morning.....  My opinion on your question.....

    When the government made the change to chemicals appropriate for curing bacon, that was for health safety, it was instituted into commercial bacon making operations.....    Home bacon makers do not have to follow guidelines that commercial operations use.....    Since Morton's had been a "household name" for years, they were given an exemption....  

    Also, bacon used to be made differently..... Salted, cure #2 added, moisture removed in a salt box.... rinsed, dried smoked for up to 30 days...  and hung in a cool house for months.....   All this time in moderately cool temperatures gave the nitrate cure time to convert to nitrite....   That conversion takes place in the presence of bacteria....  Refrigeration temps do not allow bacteria to grow....  Nitrate cure becomes ineffective...

    Sooooooooooo, new modern curing techniques, using refrigeration, must be cured with nitrite cure #1....

    In my opinion, the gov. gave Morton's an exemption, as to not put it out of business, in the home curing crowd....  folks started curing in the refer and continued to use Morton's....   

    This is a difficult question for me to accurately answer...  I think the government screwed up with the exemption... Folks should have been told to cure your bacon at 48 deg when using Morton's nitrate cures for bacon, and store for months so the nitrate can be converted to nitrite... 

    I know Martin will have a simpler, more understandable explanation that I just gave you...   Dave
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  14. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey Y'all

    Im on the road right now and my internet is really screwy. When i get back to GA i can answer better.

    Martin has given you a great book to read

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