Turkey cure question ??

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by bobdog46, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. I am about to Brine and Cure a 10 lb turkey and have a question about the cure. Most of hints I have found on this site call for a tablespoon of pink salt in a gallon of brine. The only cure i have on hand is a cream colored cure that came with a HI Mtn summer sausage kit. Would this cure be okay to use in a turkey brine ?  I have been making lots of different sausages with great results and this is my first attempt at a smoked turkey.  
  2. Not sure but I think the cure ratio in the Hi-Mountain may be different than using straight #1. It has other stuff mixed in it besides cure. I'm sure someone with much more knowledge on the subject will happen by soon enough.
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    bobdog46, Morning.

    I would say "it is NOT OK to use the cure for summer sausage"  to brine a turkey.

    Products that manufacturers assemble should only be used for the product intended. Mix and match in cures is not recommended because cures are intended for specific purposes.

    Below are 3 locations for your inspection. There are many more to choose from.

    Curing and preserving foods is a process that has been going on for centuries.

    It is not always safe and we have learned a great deal from "our" past mistakes. The USDA has assembled "guidelines" that a "novice" (including me) should follow. There are some dangers associated with preserving food that one of the outcomes is not desirable. Please read and understand Manufacturers directions when using their products. When you decide to experiment with your own recipes, please fully understand the proper use of each cure.

    I am not trying to "scare" you. Curing is a serious business and there are steps that need to be taken to insure a product that is safe to consume.



  4. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If all your are going to do is smoke the turkey...why not just brine it????

  5. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Why are you trying to cure a smoked turkey.  Do you intend to smoke is at a very low temp or to just put it in your 220 - 225 smoker for a couple of hours.  If you are smoking in the 225 range I wouldn't cure it, just brine, give it a good rub an put on your smoker.  On the smoker your surface temp will be high enough to keep it safe.   If you are concerned run the smoker a bit higher at first and then let it settle down to the 225 range.  
  6. I was planning a slow smoke, but since I don't have any pink salt I will cook at 225 or so. It's a small turkey (9.5 lbs) and I guess it will be out of the danger zone in time.    Thanks
  7. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have pink salt if you need it and don't mind driving to Slidell.  There is a butcher supply in Opelousas that caries it and other cures on the shelf  Most small town butchers that make sausage will have it also.  I'm sure a couple of Tablespoons would be pretty cheap. 

    If the cure mix you have lists the amount of NaNO2 in the mix you can use it but you need to know the percent by weight in the mix before you decide how much to add to your water/brine.

    Good luck, what kind of slow smoker do you have.  Your welcome to use my smoke house when you want to do quantity
  8. I am in Houma this week and will check Rouse's butcher to see if they have any curing salt. If not, I will just smoke at a higher temp. I have a Master Forge double door gas smoker that I have been real happy with.     I am hoping to make the SELA event in October.

  9. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Check with some of the smaller guys that make the good eaten garlic sausage and boudin down there.  I'm sure they'll have it.  It shouldn't be hard to find cure and casings in the country.  Look forward to seeing you in October

  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    I suspect you are looking for that hammy taste in your Turkey meat, which is why you want to cure it & smoke it.

    Below is a link to the best one I've seen (from "Pops"). Maybe you can do that next time. Check it out & get what you need. Then be very careful.

    Link to cured smoked Turkey:


    Hope that's what you were looking for,

  11. melleram

    melleram Smoke Blower

     You are MISSING OUT if you've never brine cured a turkey.  Have you ever had one of those smoked turkey legs at the fair, or racetrack?

    Here is a My go-to brine for curing and smoking poultry, and it dosnt require pink cure, just tenderquick

    1 gallon water

    1 cup Mortons Tenderquick

    1 cup brown sugar

    1 tablespoon minced garlic

    1 tablespoon red pepper flake

    Inject the bird with this brine then submerge it in the brine in the refrigerator for 36-48 hours.

    Take it out of the brine, and rinse well. 

    Then soak it in clean water for 1 hour changing the water once at 30 min

    DO NOT RUB.  The bird has absorbed plenty of salt and flavor. 

    Smoke at 250 until internal of 180 in the thigh.  Dont use a whole lot of smoke just a couple hours
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Meller !!!

    I never saw a cured & smoked Turkey using TQ (my favorite cure).

    That is sooooo much better than just plain smoked Turkey.

    The smokehouses get really Big Bucks for them !!!!

    This is going in my how-tos!!!

  13. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  14. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Guess this is one more for the ToDo list.
  15.  Yeah !! I found some cure (pink salt) .   In a gallon of water I mixed  1 cup of granulated sugar - 1 cup of brown sugar - 1 cup salt - 1 tbls cure.

    The turkey is submerged in this concoction.    Will 2 days be long enough in this solution before smoking ? The turkey is small (9.5 lbs)


  16. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  17. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I think it takes a week or so. This is a question for Pops, since that is his brine/cure recipe.

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