Tenderquick Substitute

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by erodinamik, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. erodinamik

    erodinamik Smoke Blower

    I've tried and tried to find tenderquick, and I just used the locator and there is nothing within 50 miles of me.  I was wondering if there was a substitute for tenderquick?  I'm thinking about making some jerky and snack sticks and the like but I don't want to poison myself or my family/friends :)  If anybody has any ideas/suggestions I would really appreciate it.
  2. pops6927

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

  3. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't know of a substitute for TQ

    Don't know if I would use TQ for jerky....To Much Salt!

    Pink Salt will work, but not in the same amounts.

    Jerky seasonings usually come with a packet of pink curing salt

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  4. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    There is NO substitute for Tender Quick there are other curing products but as was stated they would not be used at the same rate. If your recipe calls for Tender Quick and you decided to use Instacure #1 it would have to be a different amount. They will both cure the meat but you have to calculate how much you would need depending on the weight of the meat and the amount per pound of whichever product you are using. I have Tender Quick and Instacure #1 and find myself using the Instacure #1 most of the time. Also be aware there is Instacure #1 and Instacure #2 and they are NOT interchangeable either for snack sticks and such you'd want Instacure #1
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  6. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Pm sent. 
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Exactly as stated above.

    There are recipes for Jerky, using TQ, and recipes for Jerky using other cures. Do not mix the two.

  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Should note that if you use this mix, make sure you mix it really well, so the 2 ounces of cure is evenly distributed. Then if you have some left, and you use that at a later date, make sure you mix that really well again, because the different ingredients could separate. Morton's TQ doesn't have that problem because of an additive & a process they use to avoid stratification.


  9. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Tender Quick:  what it is and how it is used in barbecue


    KANSAS CITY, Missouri -- Many barbecue cooks have heard of Tender Quick but do not understand what it is and how it it used.  Its purpose is to cure and tenderize meat quickly ("Tender Quick")..
    What it is

    Tender Quick is a blend of salt, sugar, sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite, and propylene glycol.  The amount of sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite are 0.5%.
    Why it is used

    For centuries, nitrates and nitrites have been used to cure meat.  They reduce the risk of botulism poisoning while the meat cures, and they change the meat's color into the typical pink of ham and cured sausage.
    What the ingredients do

    The salt aids the flavor and preservation of the meat.  The sugar mellows the salt.  The nitrate turns into nitrite, which turns into a gas, and this is what cures the meat.  The propylene glycol is a preservative.
    Why it was developed

    To be effective in curing meat, there must be the correct amount of nitrates and nitrites evenly distributed throughout the curing mixture.  Too much or too little nitrates or nitrites is ineffective and possibly dangerous.  However, it is very difficult for a home cook to create the proper curing mixture, because the ingredients of salt, sugar and nitrates cannot be mixed effectively.  The proper amount of nitrate and nitrite are less than 1%.  Simply combining the ingredients is ineffective, because "stratification" occurs, so that the nitrates and nitrites will not be distributed evenly throughout the mixture.

    Many years ago, the Morton Salt people developed Tender Quick, so that the home cook could safely cure meat.  The ingredients in Tender Quick are bonded.  Basically, bonding means that the ingredients are mixed with water to achieve a solution and then dried.  This guarantees that the ingredients are distributed evenly in the proper ratio, even in the smallest amounts.  
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  12. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Or just rest your brain a little and order some TQ and some Instacure #1 and keep some of both on hand so you can use whichever the recipe calls for [​IMG]
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  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Very good post !

    Thanks Ahron. This is what I was referring to, but I couldn't find it.

    That bonding is what makes it OK to dip into a 2 pound bag of Tender Quick, 15 times over 6 months, without re-mixing it, and always come out with the same mix.

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  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Fear is not involved.

    Using cures properly is the objective.

    Nothing wrong with a homemade mix, if done correctly.

    Your percentages look fine to me.

    What I stated in my posts explains my feelings on keeping things mixed properly.

    It is important to mix any type of mixture, but not as important as when cure is involved.

    The End

    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
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  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Perhaps someone should tell Morton's that stratification will not occur, and they wasted their time bonding Tender Quick to avoid it.

    This has been discussed many times on this site. I will take the word of a very successful American company and their scientists.


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