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Unread 06-19-2011, 01:33 PM   #1
Q-Dat
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Default Pink Curing Salt vs Morton Tenderquick for Bacon???

Ok I have never cured Bacon before. Last night I bought a 6.5 lb pork belly that will soon begin the transformation into what I hope is some righteous tasty smoked Bacon.

I have both products so I can use either one. Just wanted to see if anyone has a preference.

So how bout it Brethren? Which would you use and why?
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Unread 06-19-2011, 04:12 PM   #2
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Does it even matter?
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Unread 06-19-2011, 04:16 PM   #3
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From the MORTON site:

http://www.mortonsalt.com/faqs/meat_curing_faq.html
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Unread 06-19-2011, 04:41 PM   #4
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Pink Salt (aka. Prague powder no.1, TCM, etc) contains 6.25% nitrite. Mortons TQ contains 0.5% nitrite and 0.5% nitrate.

They serve similar functions, but nitrAtres don't actually do the curing. NitrIte breaks down pretty quickly as it cures. Nitrate slowly breaks down into nitrite over time, providing a constant supply of nitrite for long cures. Thus, only curing salts containing both are used for long-term dry curing, etc.

As you can see from the percentages above, they have VERY different levels of nitrite, so be careful to use the recommended amounts per lb of meat. That said, either will work. I made my first few slabs of bacon recently using this recipe from thirdeye's blog using Morton TQ. It turned out great! I'd recommend using that as a good place to start. From there you can play around with different seasonings as long as you keep the proper amount of cure per lb of meat constant.

Home made bacon is really good! Have fun!
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Unread 06-19-2011, 05:14 PM   #5
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I have not used Tenderquick, only because I've never seen it for sale here. No problems with Cure#1. Has been terrific. You could break that belly into 2 parts and do both in seperate Ziplock bags. Then you could let us know what you find!

Cheers!

Bill
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Unread 06-19-2011, 05:53 PM   #6
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Bill, out of curiosity, is the Cure #1 you get over there the same 6.25% nitrite?
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Unread 06-19-2011, 05:59 PM   #7
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You also can use plain old salt people been doing it for 100's of years
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Unread 06-19-2011, 05:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinAussie View Post
I have not used Tenderquick, only because I've never seen it for sale here. No problems with Cure#1. Has been terrific. You could break that belly into 2 parts and do both in seperate Ziplock bags. Then you could let us know what you find!

Cheers!

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That's a very good suggestion. I think I will do just that.
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Unread 06-19-2011, 06:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymo View Post
Bill, out of curiosity, is the Cure #1 you get over there the same 6.25% nitrite?
Yep, it is actually High Mountain Cure, from the USA.

Cheers!

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Unread 06-19-2011, 08:30 PM   #10
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I have used Ruhlman's Basic Cure (kosher salt, sugar, Prague 1); Hi Mountain; and Morton's Tender Quick. My experience has been that they all turn out a very good bacon. Going forward, I will be using Tender Quick or Ruhlman's simply for the $ savings over Hi Mountain.
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Unread 06-19-2011, 10:14 PM   #11
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Any suggestions on the best way to put a Jalapeno flavor into it?

I have Jalapeno powder, or I could use the liquid from a jar of pickled.
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Unread 06-19-2011, 10:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Any suggestions on the best way to put a Jalapeno flavor into it?

I have Jalapeno powder, or I could use the liquid from a jar of pickled.
I would not add the pickled jalapeno juice. If you are dry curing your bacon, jalapeno powder should work well or just try adding some diced fresh to the ziploc.
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Unread 06-19-2011, 10:36 PM   #13
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I would just add the jalapeno powder in with the other seasonings in the dry cure. The amount to use really depends on the heat level of the powder and your personal preference though. That's one of the great things about homemade bacon. You can do whatever flavors you want! I'm looking at trying to make curry bacon next.
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Unread 06-20-2011, 12:11 AM   #14
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Yeah I figured the powder would be the way to go. The vinegar would probably cause problems.
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Unread 06-21-2011, 02:17 PM   #15
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Ok as of last night the belly is in the fridge curing.

I just thought of something though. It's summer time in south Louisiana so that means it is breaking HOT!!!

I had planned on using the tin can/ soldering iron to smoke it, but will it be too hot outside to safely smoke this thing? Does the cure take care of any potential hazards?

Would I be better off hot smoking it to 150* internal?
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