There is so much information on the site that it gets very confusing as when to use a cure and what cure to use. Are there basic rules out there when to use any of the cures in brine or cured meats. My question is from a safety stand point only not other benefits derived from a cure. I realize cooking time, method and temperature are important. Pops6927 has an excellent post and recipe for a brine. His cure is good from 2-20 days for a variety of meats. Alton Brown, from the food Network, has a brine that uses NO cure and the meat is brine for 3 days then cold smoked for several hours. Morton's Quick Tender has both cure#1 and #2 among other ingredients and is often used in many recipes short to long term. DiggingDogFarm has an alternative recipe which uses only #1 cure. If one did NOT want to use any nitrites or nitrates what would be the longest time one could brine or cure a meat before problems would occur? Could an alternative recipe, with cure#1, replace Morton's Quick Tender in a recipe, length of cure time pending? Thanks: Any input would be interesting.