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Morton Tender Quick

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  • Skip
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 3606
    • Blue Earth, Minnesota
    • MAK Pellet Grill, Large BGE, Weber Kettle with SnS, Weber Gasser, Pit Barrel Cooker, Cast Iron Pans & Griddle, Grill Grates, Mostly Thermoworks Thermometers

    Morton Tender Quick

    I can remember my Parents making sausage occasionally when I was very young (55-60 years ago). One thing that I recall was a box of "Morton Tender Quick" in their cupboard. I've researched it and realize it's somewhat of a curing salt. My question is have any of you Pit Members ever used this or have any experience with it? In particular with a sausage recipe?
  • HouseHomey
    Club Member
    • May 2016
    • 5506
    • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
    • Equipment
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      Erik S.

    Nope. Never used it but I don’t see an issue for food realty to eat.

    (no science invoked here meaning it’s basically salt and a wee bit of nitrite)

    otherwise for “sausage making” I would follow a trusted standardized recipe. (Or almost standardized)

    Backroadmeats ??? Or one of y’all make boatloads of sausage.
    Last edited by HouseHomey; September 2, 2020, 09:26 AM.


    • tiewunon
      Club Member
      • May 2020
      • 522
      • Virginia Beach, Va

      Yes have used it but not with sausage. Used it for Canadian Bacon and had zero issues. Used to be able to get it at our local Kroger. They have not carried it in about 5 yrs. Last time I bought it I used the Web Restaurant Store.


      • Oak Smoke
        Club Member
        • Aug 2018
        • 426
        • Central Texas

        Sorry not in sausage. It was part of my dads ground venison jerky recipe. He would run venison, tender quick and his spice blend through the grinder then either extrude it into strips with a thing that looked like a large caulking gun or place it in a press that molded it it strips. It was very good.


        • tenphases
          Club Member
          • Nov 2016
          • 296
          • Jersey City NJ
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          People use to create a smoke ring


          • gcdmd
            Charter Member
            • Sep 2014
            • 1089
            • The Republic of Texas

            I've used it for years in a recipe I got from a book on preparing and cooking wild game meat. It appears to be similar to Meathead's. I've stuck with the one I already had simply because I've had good results. About the only change I've made is to cut the amount of pickling spices to 2 tablespoons.

            Corning Meat
            4 to 6 lb. brisket, flank, or shoulder roast, up to 1 inch thick
            1 gallon spring or distilled water
            1 cup canning and pickling salt
            1 cup tenderizing salt (e.g. Morton’s Tenderquick)
            6 Tbsp. sugar
            4 Tbsp. (1/4 cup) mixed pickling spice
            4 bay leaves
            16 whole black peppercorns
            2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

            Roll brisket or flank loosely and tie. Place in large glass or pottery mixing bowl or in large oven cooking bag.

            In glass or enamel sauce pan combine remaining ingredients. Heat just to boiling. Remove from heat and cool.

            Pour cooled brine over meat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, or, if using oven bag, squeeze to remove air, twist neck of bag, and seal. Refrigerate 4 to 5 days, turning meat occasionally. Drain. Rinse meat with cold water.

            To prepare corned meat, place in Dutch oven. Cover with cold water. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer until tender, 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours.


            • rickgregory
              Founding Member
              • Aug 2014
              • 1003
              • Seattle, WA

              the stuff you use for sausage and other meats you're curing/aging is different than Prague powder #1, too. I've not used it but this stuff is made for sausage. I just point this out to note here that the two things are not interchangeable. AS above, I'd find a trusted recipe vs winging it. Mmm... wings....


              • troymeister
                Charter Member
                • Aug 2014
                • 1517
                • Forest Park Il
                • Weber 26

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                  Smoke Thermometer, Igrill, Thermapen, Thermapop,Maverick 2 probe
                  I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I put it in my food.

                  One cannot have too many grills.

                I've made corned beef with it years ago. I remember the results being very good.


                • PaynTrain
                  Club Member
                  • Sep 2016
                  • 149
                  • Wadsworth, OH
                  • - Yoder Durango loaded
                    - Big Green Egg large
                    - Ducane Stainless 7 burner
                    - Weber kettle
                    - Aussie kettle
                    - GoBBQ Portable

                  I use it in my bacon cure recipe. Works great for me.


                  • Craigar
                    Craigar commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Me too.
                • johnec00
                  Charter Member
                  • Aug 2014
                  • 584
                  • Orlando, Florida
                  • Equipment:
                    '88 Vintage Fire Magic gasser with over 3000 cooks to its credit
                    18 Inch Weber Kettle (Rescued from neighbor's trash)
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                    Smokey Joe with mini WSM mod
                    Garcima paella burner
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                    2X Thermoworks cooking thermometer
                    DIY 4 channel bluetooth thermometer
                    LEM grinder, sausage stuffer and meat slicer (all gifts)

                    Favorite Beer:
                    Key West Wheat

                  I used Tender Quick for probably 20 years to make various sausages and whole muscle products like Canadian bacon, corned beef, etc. Results were always good following Morton's recipes.

                  More recently, I've switched to Cure #1 (AKA Prague powder) for 2 reasons:
                  1) I am trying to follow doctor's orders to limit salt intake, with Tender Quick the quantity of salt is fixed. I now make corned beef at 1% salt.
                  2) Tender Quick contains sodium nitrate (along with sodium nitrite) which is unnecessary for most of what I do

                  I still use it for quick brine cures of poultry, pork chops, etc., but when I use it up, that too will end.


                  • johnec00
                    johnec00 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Just a comment to add that 9CFR 424.23(b) prohibits use of sodium nitrate in bacon, so I'm not sure tender quick should be used for bacon.
                • Oakgrovebacon
                  Club Member
                  • Apr 2016
                  • 1981
                  • South central Illinois

                  I use it for curing bacon, whole pork bellies-1 tablespoon per lb of meat, lots of seasonings and spices added for flavor. Sealed in vac bag and refrigerated for 9-10 days. Rinse well and smoke.


                  • Craigar
                    Craigar commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Pretty much my recipe too.
                • Backroadmeats
                  Club Member
                  • Dec 2018
                  • 543
                  • Central mn

                  I have seen people use it but I don't. The problem with it is if you want to use more or less salt you adjust the amount of cure. I would say to just buy pink salt and regular salt then you can adjust salt levels and cure levels separately. I do use a similar product for dry brining pork butts and brisket .. puts a nice smoke ring on them in my electric smoker!!




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