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Unread 07-14-2010, 03:15 PM   #1
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Default Tender Quick????

So I have been wondering, are there many brethren that use tender quick on a regular basis, and if so in what types of applications? I have read that it aids in the formation of the smoke ring, but does it actually enhance the flavor or moisture in anyway? Thanks for any input.
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Unread 07-14-2010, 03:44 PM   #2
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Unless your trying to visually impress you or someone else I would leave the TQ to curing.
The ring is created from the nitrites and nitrates in the TQ.
I would also be wary of the salt content of your rub with the use of TQ, if not rinsed properly you may end up with a very salty finished product.

Some more reading on the subject.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=65412
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Unread 07-14-2010, 03:55 PM   #3
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i use tq as the first step in turning a brisket into a pastrami.
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Unread 07-14-2010, 03:57 PM   #4
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I mainly cook for myself and friends/family, and no real reason to try to impress with visual enhancements, I've just read a few threads that made reference to it. I usually brine my bone-in/skin-on chicken, and was told by a guy that he always uses tender quick in brines. Am i missing something?
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Unread 07-14-2010, 03:58 PM   #5
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TQ does not tenderize meat in any way. I think it even says so on the packaging. It cures it, which is what gives the "smoke ring" and will also make it taste a bit saltier like ham. Great for cured sausages, bacon, corned beef, pastrami, etc. If you use it to give yourself a smoke ring, be sure to wash it off as too much nitrite is a bad thing.

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Unread 07-14-2010, 04:23 PM   #6
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Thanks for the clarifications. I am very happy with the smoke ring and flavor of my bbq, and have no intentions of using it. I just saw a recipe where the guy was using it like salt, and like you guys have pointed out I always thought of it as curing agent. So basically is this guy off his rocker using tq like salt?
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Unread 07-14-2010, 04:30 PM   #7
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I use it when making smoked canadian bacon. It can give a hammy taste where you might not want one, and it has a less salty taste than salt. Unless you're curing or wanting an enhanced smoke ring, there's really no need for it.

Where did you see the recipe? What was it a recipe for?
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Unread 07-14-2010, 04:52 PM   #8
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Works great for curing. I've done belly and loin bacon with it.
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Unread 07-14-2010, 04:56 PM   #9
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I'll use it in sausage, or making pastrami as RichardF mentioned. Beyond that I wouldn't add it to a brisket for home consumption, just to create a pretty pink ring.

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Unread 07-14-2010, 06:24 PM   #10
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I have heard that many comp cooks that use charcoal cookers such as backwoods and the like, apply it for 3-4 minutes then rinse it off. Charcoal it seems, does not produce a satisfactory smoke ring. I do not use charcoal so I don't know first hand. I have been told that many of those that use TQ will deny using it at comps because of the stigma attached to it. Same as those that use liquid smoke when cooking with charcoal. Oh what a tangled web be told when we cook with old charcoal. Just sayin....
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Unread 07-14-2010, 06:42 PM   #11
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I've only used it for salt curing salmon fillets. And only then because I used a Paul Kirk recipe for smoked salmon. Other than that, my bag sits in the cupboard.

Honestly seems a whole lot like salt to me. Don't really know the difference.
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Unread 07-14-2010, 07:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JONESY View Post
So I have been wondering, are there many brethren that use tender quick on a regular basis, and if so in what types of applications? I have read that it aids in the formation of the smoke ring, but does it actually enhance the flavor or moisture in anyway? Thanks for any input.
TQ does several things. As a curing agent it will improve texture, color and help with moisture retention. It is used for curing things like corned beef, pastrami, buckboard bacon. It can also be used in brines (and dry cures) for preparing meats like fish, jerky sausages, poultry or chops for smoking.

Often times folks use it for safety reasons, like when cold smoking sausage or fish, and other times it is used for visual appeal, like in sausages or when you want to make a smoke ring pop out.

This is a beef/pork sausage with TQ added. It was grilled to 170° but still remains pink and juicy.



These Texas hot links have TQ added, again not for food safety as they are hot smoked, but just for color, moisture and a tighter texture.




Here is a TQ'd brisket.



This is meat from smoked turkey legs which were brined in a liquid that had some TQ in it. Once again, these were hot smoked, so the TQ just added the color and changed the texture to something like ham. I use this meat as a low fat substitute for pulled pork.





Doing a TQ cure on regular chops, then hot smoking them gives you the same smoked chops the meat markets charge big bucks for.



TQ was developed specifically for home use and has only 1% total of nitrates and nitrites, so it's relatively safe to use. The commercial "pink salt" used for curing is 6.25% nitrites.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JONESY View Post
Thanks for the clarifications. I am very happy with the smoke ring and flavor of my bbq, and have no intentions of using it. I just saw a recipe where the guy was using it like salt, and like you guys have pointed out I always thought of it as curing agent. So basically is this guy off his rocker using tq like salt?
Not really off his rocker.... think of TQ as nitrates/nitrites in a salt carrier. In this case the salt is around 98% of TQ, the nitrites/nitrates are 1% and some other chemicals make up the other 1%. The big problem is that TQ is really fine, so if you used one teaspoon of it in place of 1 teaspoon of other salts, you would actually be using much more (by weight) so things might taste salty. And of course if you substituted it for salt you would also get the benefit on the nitrate/nitrites in it, which you might not want in all cases.
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Unread 07-14-2010, 08:34 PM   #13
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How Long do you leave the TQ on, lets say chicken,ribs,and a brisket?
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Unread 07-14-2010, 08:52 PM   #14
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I've tried it on brisket - 15 min and then rinse well and rub/cook as usual, didn't notice a huge difference...

TQ on pork IS what makes sausage taste like sausage, ham like ham, bacon like bacon... etc.

TQ cured chicken or turkey legs gives them a slightly hammy flavor and texture as 3rd eye mentioned.

Read the labels on packaged meats and you'll be surprised to see that TONS (read most) of stuff has sodium nitrate/nitrite listed.

IMO - it's best left used for curing BBB, hams, jerky, sausage & pepperoni sticks
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Unread 07-14-2010, 11:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnucklHed BBQ View Post
I've tried it on brisket - 15 min and then rinse well and rub/cook as usual, didn't notice a huge difference...

TQ on pork IS what makes sausage taste like sausage, ham like ham, bacon like bacon... etc.

TQ cured chicken or turkey legs gives them a slightly hammy flavor and texture as 3rd eye mentioned.

Read the labels on packaged meats and you'll be surprised to see that TONS (read most) of stuff has sodium nitrate/nitrite listed.

IMO - it's best left used for curing BBB, hams, jerky, sausage & pepperoni sticks
After doctoring a brisket with TQ, and following the rinse..... put it back in the fridge for an hour or so. Then season and smoke as usual. The nitrates need some time to work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jetmech View Post
How Long do you leave the TQ on, lets say chicken,ribs,and a brisket?
The concentration of a dry or liquid cure will be different for each application. That's why folks into brining, curing and smoking, follow proven or established techniques and recipes. For example....you can do a lite cure on pork chops for a couple of hours for color and moisture...or up to a couple of days if you want them to be like a ham steak. I really have never used a cure on ribs. And there are a couple of ways to use cure on a brisket. One is quick and will make the smoke ring pop out, the other is long and will give you a meal for St. Patricks Day.

It's easy to tangled up on terms. One of the most confusing are the words "smoke", "smoked", and "smoking". When a guy says he is smoking some salmon tonight, he might mean that he is planning on putting some fresh raw fish in his smoker and flavoring it with wood chips for 30 minutes or until it's done, and having it for dinner. Or.... it might mean he used a curing rub or a brine cure for 8 or 10 hours, then rested it overnight, then put the cured fish in his smoker and used wood chips in the coals for several hours until it was done. Then chilled it overnight and served it the next day as an appetizer. The original product is the same but the end results are totally different.

The same holds true if the guy mentions smoking a brisket... usually it means he is taking a fresh raw brisket and putting it in his cooker for 8, 10, 12 hours or longer until it's cooked itself tender. But.... let's say he cured the brisket in a corning brine for a week or so (transforming it into corned beef brisket) and then smoked that piece of raw meat. If he seasons it right, he will actually make pastrami. The same piece of meat to start with, but the end results are totally different. Oh yeah, let's say he braises or boils it after curing instead of smoking it..... Now he would have a corned beef dinner.
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