Tenderquick for dry curing bacon - question

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by atomicsmoke, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I see many members using TQ to make bacon, back bacon and BB bacon.

    Can someone explain why TQ and not cure#1?

    As far as I know TQ has nitrates in it. Nitrate is meant for long dry curing. Is there enough time for the nitrate to be converted to nitrite especially at fridge temps (where bacterial activity is very slow) in a 2-3 weeks curing stage?
  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Check out bearcarvers step by step, he uses it all the time.

  3. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you for your post. I saw Bear's process- his products look great. But I am looking for the logic behind the use if nitrate in a "short" curing procedure.
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    This question has come up before. Yes Cure #1 has become the preferred cure by many for any quick cure and cook meats. The consensus on TQ has been that the Morton company has been making TQ for a very long time and the original formula contained a small amount of Nitrate to be an all purpose cure...JJ

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  5. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Good morning atomicsmoke,  Two reasons why I use it is the availability of TQ and the finished products flavor and texture.

  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You are correct to assume the fridge temps are too low for bacterial growth, and knowing nitrate needs certain bacteria to convert, the nitrate does not convert to nitrite....  


     Another good reason for using nitrite is that it is effective at low temperatures 36-40° F, (2-4° C), where Nitrate likes temperatures a bit higher 46-50° F, (8-10° C).
  7. chewmeister

    chewmeister Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    So what happens to the nitrate if the temp is too low to convert? Does it convert to nitrite during the smoking process? Consumption of nitrates is not a good thing supposedly.
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nitrate needs bacteria to convert to nitrite.....    There is hundreds of times more nitrate in garden vegetable than you get in TQ in bacon...

    Nitrates in Vegetables

    The following information about Nitrates in vegetables was published by MAFF, Department of Health and the Scottish Executive before April 1st 2000 when the Food Standards Agency was established. Number 158, September 1998. MAFF UK - NITRATE IN VEGETABLES: Vegetables contain higher concentrations of Nitrate than other foods and make a major contribution to dietary intake. A survey of vegetables for sale in supermarkets was carried out in 1997 and 1998 to provide up-to-date information on Nitrate concentrations, to assess the health implications for UK consumers and also to inform negotiations on a review of the European Commission Regulation (EC) No. 194/97 (which sets maximum levels for Nitrate in lettuce and spinach).

    A study on the effects of cooking on Nitrate concentrations in vegetables was also carried out to provide further refinements for estimating dietary exposure. The vegetables were tested and the mean Nitrate concentrations found were as listed in the table on the right. For comparison the permissible amount of Nitrate in comminuted meat products (sausages) is 1718 mg/kg. If one ate 1/4 lb smoked sausage, the ingoing Nitrate would be 430 ppm. That would probably account for less Nitrates than a dinner served with potatoes and spinach.

    In the 1920’s, the government allowed the addition of 10 lbs. of Nitrate to 100 gallons of water (7 lbs. allowed today). The problem was that only about one quarter of the meat plants adhered to those limits and many plants added much more, even between 70 and 90 pounds. There was no control and as a result the customer was eating a lot of Nitrates.

    .....mg/kg is Ppm.....

    VegatableNitrate in mg/kg
    cabbages  338
    potatoes  155
    swedes  118
    carrots   97
    califlowers   86
    brussel sprouts   59
    onions   48
    tomatoes   17

    Cooking by boiling reduced Nitrate concentrations in most of the vegetables tested by up to 75 percent. Frying and baking did not affectNitrate concentrations in potatoes but frying caused increases in levels in onions. Dietary intakes of mean and upper range (97.5 percentile) consumers of these vegetables are 104 mg/day and 151 mg/day, respectively. These are below the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for nitrate of 219 mg/day for a 60 kg adult set by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee for Food (SCF). There are therefore no health concerns for consumers. Ten years later in 2008 another British study concluded: “Our research suggests that drinking beetroot juice, or consuming other Nitrate-rich vegetables, might be a simple way to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, and might also be an additional approach that one could take in the modern-day battle against rising blood pressure,” says Amrita Ahluwalia, PhD, one of the study’s researchers. Ahluwalia is a professor at the William Harvey Research Institute at Barts and The London School of Medicine.
  9. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    In an effort to help Dave answer your question.

    It will be fine.  In order to keep the nitrates/ nitrites from becoming harmful, keep the cooking temps below 350°.  Temps higher than 350°will begin to change the compounds chemically.

  10. chewmeister

    chewmeister Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Alrighty then. No worries.
  11. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nitrosamines can also form in our stomach due to nitrosating agents in the stomach acid.

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