Lo-salt Cured and Smoked Turkey

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by pops6927, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Maybe I missed it, but I can't find how long it stayed in that brine of yours.

    Also, I would assume that both brines would call for the same length of time for that size Turkey (12 pounds)?


  2. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I read that Bear, but it doesn't say that the DQ is the same as prague #1. You know you have to spell it out for me. I clicked the link and it shows it as a pink salt, so I am to assume it is the same thing. I did miss the net bag thing though. Too much caffeine this morning. I have to go gather the last of my nuts today so I need a little extra energy.
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You can wait for Pops on that, but I took it as all pink tinted, and I thought they were all pink, except TQ. I however am just going by what I read--I haven't had either yet, except TQ.

    Pops will give you a more positive answer.

    I saw Cabela's has those bags too. Probably more expensive, but I have one 30 miles from here--no shipping.

  4. smokingnd

    smokingnd Smoke Blower

    I clicked his link and that DQ looks a lot like my instacure #1, I have seen other recipes for doing this and they called for instaure #1.  I'm curious find out the answer.   Martin
  5. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    It is the same thing as Instacure #1.
  6. smokingnd

    smokingnd Smoke Blower

    So instacure #1 could be used for curing a turkey?  I saw someone else mention maybe using #2 for curing a turkey.  Similar stuff just that #2 is released slowly over time.
  7. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    All pink tinted cures have the same sodium nitrite concentration, which is 6.25%. Prague Powder # 1, Insta-Cure, Modern Cure are all the same. The pink color is not what gives the meat a reddish hue - that is done by the curing process.

    That includes DQ #1
  8. thebarbequeen

    thebarbequeen Smoking Fanatic

    Can there be a Wiki or added categary for health-specific recipes?  This is great information, Thanks Pops and so glad you're doing well.
  9. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    Yes. I am not certain why bbally mentioned cure #2 in the other thread over cure #1. I used Pops' recipe above (the original version) about two weeks ago and it came out great.

  10. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

     Instacure 1 is fine if you are going to use normal smoking temperatures and cure for less then five days.   And take the bird over the 140 mark and hold it for at least 10 minutes.

    In the quote below you can see several problems with using cure #1:

    5 to six days of cure time in the pickle, this is a concern because we must assume a frozen turkey is being thawed and cured.  Even if this was a fresh killed bird the day six is becoming a problem on any haccp plan.

    The comment that make cure number 2 mandatory is the comment that we will slow smoke with an AMS for 8-10 hours "then cook the buzzard" which indicates a low temp smoke for way to long for cure one to be affective.  This kind of modification is taking the bird from a cure 1 recipe and subjecting it to cure 2 needs due to time temp considerations.

    I am all for experimenting with recipes, I am not comfortable letting someone move into the danger zone for 8 to 10 hours without additional protection from food pathogens.  So to smoke a turkey for 8 to 10 hours them temperature will be very low or you will end up with a cinder for a product.  Cure two is a must or the smoke time must move from 8-10 hours to 4 to 6 hours with a minimum temp of 200 F while smoking.  Otherwise go cure to or meet your medical deductible.

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  11. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper

    This thing is all new to me, and I'm totally confused. If one cures the turkey using #2, does that curing process result in turkey that is edible, or is the cold smoke necessarily followed by cooking? If so, then why cold smoke?

    I'm planning to cure half a turkey for Bird-day. Can I use TQ for this? I know it's not low-salt, but I don't know how it fits in with this #1 vs #2 discussion. Looking at the Morton's curing guide, I believe they had a recipe for Turkey using TQ that cured for 24 hours (with injection).

  12. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

     One can use cure 1 or cure 2 or TQ for doing a turkey.  But each is used for specific smoking conditions.

    Cure 1 for normal smoking temperatures 140 F to as high as you want to dare.

    Cure 2 for long cure times, curing times of 4 to 6 days on turkeys that were frozen and thawed to then cure.  Or for cold smoking a turkey for cold service.

    TenderQuick is not a cure, but a salt that gives meat cure properties.  Using tenderquick requires you to use all food safety time temp rules.  With the exception of doing fish.

    Show the recipe of what you are thinking, there are plenty of people that can help you (myself included) make sure you are safe and understand the whys.

    Problems with cure 1 and 2 confusion are based mostly on opinions from people who do not understand the real reasons for cure 2's use.  And that leads to lots of food poisoning problems every single year.

    Making stuff with TQ is not curing.. it is following a recipe.  Making stuff that is hot finished with cure 1 is curing with a complete nitrite conversion gauranteed by temperature finish.

    Making stuff with cure 2 is a high level curing method, you need to totally understand why and when it is called for if you are going to venture on your own.

    As the temperature duration shows in the quote in my post above.... it is really easy to cross the line and think you are safe when you are not if you don't understand the principles of why and when.
  13. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper

    Thanks, but forgive my denseness (density?). Per Mortons web site, TQ is:

    "This mix is a fast cure product that has been developed as a cure for meat, poultry, game, salmon, shad, and sablefish. It is a combination of high grade salt and other quality curing ingredients that can be used for both dry and sweet pickle curing. Morton® Tender Quick® mix contains salt, the main preserving agent; sugar, both sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite, curing agents that also contribute to development of color and flavor; and propylene glycol to keep the mixture uniform."

    I thought that by having sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite it is a true cure, and by dilluting the trites and trates with salt that they are making the quantities to be used for smallish batches of meat more easily measured by those of us who are all thumbs. They also limit our ability to use less salt than what they call for.

    Anyway, I was planning to cure half a bird with TQ mixed with brown sugar as per Morton's curing guide (I don't have it with me at work, so I can't get exact here). I recall them having a recipe that called for injection and cured in 24 hours. The other half a bird I was going to apply a rub to (all over and under the skin) and let sit over night. (The bird is an 18# Shadybrook Farms "natural" which they've already "enhanced", which I interpret as meaning that it's been injected, so no brining is advisable.) Then I was planning to smoke both at 250* until I got an IT of 165*.

    My questions about cold vs hot and whether the cured bird is edible were really for knowledge rather than for near term use!
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  14. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    Ah. I was looking at it from the filter of Pops' recipe. Glad you picked up on those details and thanks for the additional education. [​IMG]
  15. smokingnd

    smokingnd Smoke Blower

    Thanks bbally, i understand the difference between the two cures, I guess i was just wondering if the DQ that was mentioned could be replaced with #1 or #2, i see the need for #2 now, I had just never heard of a cured turkey so I was wondering about the use of DQ versus instacure.  Looking forward to qview I am ver intersted to see how it turns out.  Thanks again
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This is going to be a rare occassion. I have never disagreed with bbally. Bbally, you are my hero, when it comes to safety, but I don't understand why you say TQ is not a cure. I use it to cure Belly Bacon, Buckboard Bacon, Canadian Bacon, Turkey Bacon, Venison Bacon, Dried Beef, etc, etc.

    Maybe you mean because it is not a cure without the added curing nitrites & nitrates that are added to it, but it isn't called Tender Quick until those things are added.

    I don't know why you do not consider it a cure. 

    And when I use TQ, I do not use the 40 to 140 in 4 hours rule, or any of that type of rule. I low & slow Bacon, Dried Beef & the rest, just like I do fish, because TQ has in fact cured those meats. The only rule I can think of offhand that I have to follow is cooking the foods to 152˚ for some, and 160˚ for others before I eat it, but I would have to do that with the cure #1 types also, so I am still confused as to why you say TQ is not a cure.

    If I'm wrong, please explain before I continue. I have 10 pounds of Pork loin on their 4th day in "TQ cure", and I will be low & slow smoking it for about 8 hours on Thanksgiving.


  17. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Alright I'm starting to understand the difference between sodium nitrite aka pink salt and sodium nitrate for longer curing aka genoa or hard salami or any hard cured meat "no jokes please" . I'm glad I bought the Rytek Kutas book. Finally had a chance to read some last couple of nights. I'm sticking with Pops recipe here, its got qview. Somehow my post got transfered here, sorry POPS for the intrusion. HAPPY HOLIDAYS ALL! [​IMG]  May you all be turkey coma induced.
  18. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    OK..now I am a little confused. I am fairly new to this smoking thing.

    My confusion lies with the different views on cures.

    Having bought and read the Kutas book and Charcuterie it seems like Bear is correct.

    I have used both TQ and pink salt several times.

    So.. I got the packages they came in out.

    The pink salt is very clear about what it and how to use it as is the TQ.

    The TQ is very clear in the instructions and on the front of the package it is a meat cure.

    I do see that TQ says ..rub cure into meat and into the fridge for 4-8 hours to cure.

    If that's the case why am I keeping the bellies in there for 9 days?

    I would love to see a meeting of the minds on the cure confusion. I have seen that I am not the only confused person.

    To agree and solve this would make a great WIKI.

     Have a great day!

  19. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I think Mod's should lock this post, intrusion on a members experience.
  20. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Bob, according to The Morton Site they are a Cure...

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