Cures for Sausage

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by hog warden, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    After reading the Sausage Book by Rytek Kutas, I've concluded it's a good idea to include some cure to my cold smoked stuffed breakfast sausage. I try to keep the temps in the smoker at 70 degrees or less, but that's for a few hours. He got my attention with that botulism thing. In the book, he details the formula for his Insta Cure product, which is salt and nitrite.

    Curious if anyone knows how much, if any, this product differs from Morton Tender Quick salt cure you can buy in any grocery store?

    I also have the two oz bag of this stuff, and will probably go with the 1 teaspoon per 5# of sausage level. I figure it's better than nothing.

    Armed with some information from the Rytek's book, I'm going to order some products he lists in his receipes, but in the meantime, I've got sausage to make!
  2. daboys

    daboys Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I like using the insta cure. Alot less salt then the tender quick. If you use the TQ cut way down on the reg. salt in the recipe. You have a great book there to go by.
  3. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    Yes, a great book. There used to be a sticky under the "Sausage" forum that you could download what looked like pdf copy of a sausage book, that had some good receipes in it, but I can now see why folks refer to Rytek's book as the Bible.

    I think he listed his TC cure formula as a cup of salt and 1 tsp of sodium nitrite. The amount of nitrite being so small that it would be hard to ever measure the small amount you would need for 5 to 10 pound batches of sausage, and I think there was a problem keeping them mixed right. TC solves those problems, but that is still a lot of salt too.

    I'm guessing that in an emergency, you could swap out the Tender Quick for an equal amount of salt in the formula and still wind up with a decent product. Like I say, I'm taking the same stuff that you would stuff and freeze without cure, and simply adding a couple hours of cold smoke to it. Better to be safe than sorry.
  4. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use lem cure which is a version of insta cure #1 an others. It is used at a rate of 1/4 tsp per pound a meat. Never use more then what the cure calls fer.
  5. The biggest difference is the amount needed to cure. Instacure#1, aka pink salt, cure #1 requires 1 teaspoon to cure 5 lbs of meat where Tender Quick requires 1 Tablespoon for every pound of meat.

    For me, when making sausage or jerky, the proper amount of TQ will make it too salty. If you do use it, do not add any more salt unless you have done a taste test prior to stuffing.
  6. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    All of the Morton recipes I've found show to use TQ at the rate of 1 1/2 teaspoons per pound of meat when incorporated into sausage (might be why you are too salty):

    When used as on the surface of the meat then usually 1 tablespoon per lb.

    I have always use Instacure, as that allows me more control over the salt and I think it is a little cheaper in the long run.
  7. Your right. I've never used Tender Quick for sausage, but made some jerky with it that was too salty. I also like cure #1 for the salt control.

    I would still not use extra salt if using Tender Quick until you taste it first.
  8. jerrykr

    jerrykr Meat Mopper

    This is good reading about sausage and cures.

    I like TenderQuick if I'm doing a dry cure or a brine, but I don't like to incorporate it into ground meat. To me it gets too salty.

    Insta-Cure has a lot less salt in the mix, and for me it works better in sausage.

    In any case, follow the manufacture's directions exactly, no matter what you read anywhere else.

  9. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    Finding some time to do a little more research, I did what I should have done in the first place......go to the Morton site.

    From them.....

    In addition to everything else, it has nitrate in it, which I understand to be a NO NO for meats that will be fried. More like IC #2. So......NO, I don't want to be adding this to a stuffed rope sausage. IC #1 is what I want.

    Thanks for the help!
  10. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You bring up a good point. Since we are on the topic of cures, Instacure #2 (Sodium Nitrate) is meant to be used in dry cure processes, such as hams. It does break down over the long curing periods used in these processes into sodium nitrite. It can produce nitrosamines in fried products particularly bacon.
  11. Pink curing salt = .04 oz by weight per lb of meat. It's the most accurate method of adding cure. Throw the measuring spoons away for cure.
  12. You know what they say, timing is everything. Like Hogwarden, I just picked up and read Rytek's "bible". I appreciate all of the input here as I had the same questions. Just ordered Instacure#1 from

    I hoping to make my first batch of italian sge this weekend. Q-view too.

    Thanks as always.
  13. phreak

    phreak Meat Mopper I shouldn't use TQ to make bacon???
  14. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I didn't say that. However, it does contain sodium nitrate. I quote from Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas;" A combination of sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate in cured bacon has been found to produce nitrosamines (cancer-producing cells) when fried at high temperature. This problem exists only with bacon and not with ham, sausage, luncheon meats or any other cured meats." (page 44, Revised Edition). So, draw your own conclusions from this or any other source you wish to look into. As with using any cure knowledge is your best tool, and proceed at your own risk.

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