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Help me with my BRINE!!!!!


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Sep 4, 2013
Here's the deal.  I've been using the local vendor's cure mix.  For hams, turkeys, etc, the recipe calls for 1 lb (2 cups) of mix to 1 gallon of water.  For bacon, it's concentrated with just 2 quarts of water.  

My problem is that the hams and bacon are coming out too salty.  I rinse them and change the water for a couple of hours, but they're still too salty.  The internal color looks nice and pink.  

I'm thinking I want to switch to Pop's brine recipe, but I've got all this pre-mix to use up from the local vendor.


1.  Can I add more water to the current mix I have left in order to cut back on the salty taste?  Say, 1.25 - 1.5 gallons?

2.  For Pop's brine recipe, is the pink salt the same as Morton Tender Quick?

Thanks in advance for the help, folks!!!!!  I'll send you bacon samples when I get this figured out.


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Mar 11, 2010
There will be some of the guru's that will pop in here but I can tell you from what I know is that TQ is not the same as Cure#1 and should not be used in place of.

Now I'm not 100% sure on this but I have read that sugar will help cancel out some of the salty taste so maybe adding some brown sugar (or white sugar) to the mix might help. Cutting back on the amount of mix will also cut back on the cure amount and you don't want to do that.

Hope that is some help.



Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Oct 4, 2012
Your local vendor is going to be the only one that can tell you what to do. Unless you can tell us the exact ingredients of the mix.

I use Pop's brine and really like it. It's easy to adjust the salt content to ones liking.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Jul 2, 2012
TQ normally tastes salty to me so I haven't been using it. You can soak your meat in cold water when your done brining and some of the salt will come out. You have to stick with the directions as to how much meat and how much TQ. The sodium is already mixed with the cure so when you add the proper amount for what you are curing the salt goes in as well. Big batch little batch doesn't matter.

Cure #1 is separate from the salt so after a few tries you can dial it right in as to how much salt you like and it will turn out perfect every time.
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Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Oct 31, 2012
It is critical to get the amount of cure right so I would be leery about changing any of the proportions recommended by the manufacturer. One way to go would be to make 1/2 gallon of brine with your commercial cure and 1/2 gallon of Pop's brine with little or no salt and mix the two together to make the brine. This would cut the salt by half but you would still be going with proven amounts of cure from accepted recipes in your cure.



Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Apr 22, 2011
Unless you have a huge investment in the local vendor's cure, I'd give or throw it away and just get some pink salt and go with either Pop's or another brine in which you can control the salt. Pink salt (Cure#1, Prague Powder, DQ etc...) is fairly inexpensive considering the amounts called for, so a 1lb. tub will last you a LOOOOONG time. You've already decided you're not happy with the pre-mix, so I can't see any reason to mess around with it any more. The thing about commercial mixes of any sort (Morton's TQ included) is that salt is cheap and it stretches things, so you end up with an incredibly high salt content that you can't change because the cure is already mixed in.
Joined Nov 12, 2013
I agree with bkleinsmin... I put half a cup of brown sugar in The mix and it clears out the salty taste!!
Joined Nov 12, 2013
I agree with bkleinsmin... I put half a cup of brown sugar in The mix and it clears out the salty taste!!
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