Pops can you help me? Or anyone else... Morton's ?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by teeznuts, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. teeznuts

    teeznuts Master of the Pit

    I'm looking to brine a whole turkey but the recipes I see on here use pink cure. I have Morton's Sugar Cure(plain not smoke flavored) which according to Morton's is interchangeable with Tender Quick. I like the sound of the turkey brine Pops uses but does anyone have info on a brine recipe using the Morton's products?  I haven't come across any solid recipes using Morton's and I know that Morton's and the other cure brands are NOT interchangeable.

    Anybody got any input?
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  3. From the Morton "Home Meat Curing Guide":

    Cured Turkey

    10 - 12 pound turkey (not basted or pre-stuffed type)

    1/4 cup Morton "Tender Quick" mix or Morton"Sugar Cure" (Plain) mix

    2 cups cold water

    Melted butter or margarine

    If frozen, thaw turkey completely in refrigerator. Remove neck and giblets; reserve for another use. Wash turkey.

    In medium sized bowl, dissolve Morton" Tender Quick" mix or Morton" Sugar Cure" (Plain) mix in cold water. Using a marinade injector, inject brine uniformly into large muscles - leg, thigh and breast. Place turkey in large plastic food bag and tie open end. Refrigerate and allow to cure for 24 hours.

    Remove turkey from bag and rinse under cold running water.   Place turkey in clean plastic food bag and refrigerate for 24 hours.

    Rinse turkey and pat dry.  Place breast side up on rack in shallow roasting pan. Brush with melted butter or margarine. Insert meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone. Roast at 325°F until meat thermometer registers 180°F, about 3 – 4 hours.
  4. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There's a good answer!  (I clipped it into Evernote!)
  5. teeznuts

    teeznuts Master of the Pit

    I found this recipe in my Morton's curing book but I was hoping to soak in a brine rather than inject. I inject alot of the meat I smoke and notice that sometimes the injected fluid will begin to leak out of other injection holes or through the bottom of whatever I'm injecting. I'm worried about that happening when cure is involved.

    Do you think I could use the same recipe to soak instead of injecting?
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Teez, since you are doing this for flavor and don't plan on Cold Smoking, I assume, 3-4 days in the brine/cure should get 'er done, unless you are gettin' one of them MONSTER 26 Pounders I have used in Restaurants...then go 5 days!...JJ
  7. teeznuts

    teeznuts Master of the Pit

    You think I could take the same recipe for the injected brine and double/triple so there's enough to soak a turkey and use as a soaking brine instead? The turkey is right at 15lbs and it'll be a hot smoke. Likie you said I just want the flavor/color from the brine/cure.
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Teez, for color and a lightly cured flavor...1Tbs TQ for each Gallon of Brine, with your Salt, I use 1/2C Morton Kosher, Brn Sugar, same and Seasoning. Brine three days, dry and rest a day in the fridge...For full on HAM flavor the recommendation, this I have not tried yet, is 1Cup TQ, 1Cup Brn Sugar and your fav Seasoning for each gallon with a three day soak, but I recommend you Refresh in cold water for 2 days with changes every 12 hours, thats a lot of Salt in my opinion, then rest a day in the fridge before hitting the Smoker...JJ
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    I have the same book you guys have, and that same recipe.

    Since they are roasting it to 180˚ IT in 3 or 4 hours (at 325˚), I would say they are just flavoring it, and not curing it.

    If I was going to brine cure, I would probably use cure #1, like Pops does, but if I was dead set on using Morton's TQ or Plain Sugar Cure, I would go more in the line of the two options ChefJJ said in post # 8. I would then use a high enough smoker temp to get it to 135˚ in 4 hours, and then take it to your finished temp target.

    My 2¢

  10. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Before injecting any meat, season then wrap in multiple layers or plastic wrap. Make sure you have a lot of wrap. Then inject thru the plastic wrap.

    This way any injection that leaks out stays on the surface of the meat .
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Teez, I looked at this again...If you took the Injection recipe and bumped it up to 1 Gallon, for a Brine...you would be using a whopping 2 Cups TQ per Gallon!!!! And I thought 1C/Gal was a lot!...JJ
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
  12. newbie cook

    newbie cook Newbie

    i had an old recipe that used Morton's Sugar Cure, the plain, and some other spices mixed in water.  I submerge the frozen turkey for 3 days, after washing etc., and then smoke it.  It gives a real good, not stong taste,  Only problem is i lost the recipe and don't know what else was in it.  i'm going to try yours and see how close it is.
  13. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have used the tender quick for turkeys. Here is the brine I used

    Poultry Brine

    1 1/2 Gallon Apple Juice
    5/8 Cup Kosher Salt (5 oz)
    3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar (6 oz)

    1/2 Cup Morton’s Tender Quick (4.5 oz) or 2 Tbsp DQ cure #1 (1.5 oz)
    1 Tbsp Garlic Powder ( .3 oz)
    1 Tbsp Onion Powder ( .3 oz)
    1 Tbsp Cajun Spice ( .5 oz) (Louisiana Cajun Seasoning)
    1 Tbsp Celery Seed ( .3 oz)
    1 Tbsp Pickling Spice ( .4 oz)

    1 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves ( .2 oz)
  14. hambone6998

    hambone6998 Newbie

    Here is what I have always done;  I thaw 2--10-12lb turkeys in the fridge until completely thawed.  Then mix 1 entire pkg of tenderquick with 2.5 gallons of water and place in fridge for 12 hrs or so to ensure it is cold. Then remove the neck and everything else except the actual bird itself, rinse the turkeys thoroughly, and place them both in the 5 gallon bucket or water and TQ ensuring that I have gotten all of the air out of the birds cavity.  I usually have to put a large, heavy, non corrosive plate on top of the birds to hold them down.  Then I place the bucket of turkeys and brine in the fridge for 3-4 days.  After that, I remove the turkeys, rinse them thoroughly, and smoke them for roughly 6 hrs @ 235 degrees. This can vary depending on a variety of things but just ensure that the turkey is done with a good thermometer.  The breast meat from this right off of the smoker is crazy moist and crazy good so it doesn't last long.  I usually save the dark meat for later for sandwiches or reheated since it seems to take the smoke flavor a little better.  I have tried other ways of wet brining it but this is as good as any other I have tried, and in all actuality it is better in my (and many other peoples) opinion.  I have also added a cup of brown sugar to the brine but really didn't notice a difference.  And I don't inject this into the meat. 
  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    When you say 1 entire pkg of Tenderquick with 2.5 gallons of water, How much TQ is that?

    Around here it only comes in 2 pound bags.


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