Mortons TQ in Pops brine?

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Original poster
Feb 6, 2014
Long time follower of the forum, finally had a question that I could not find an answer for in the archives so thought I would join up as well and get it answered, hopefully.

First off, thanks for everyone sharing their information, this is an amazing reference place for recipes and detailed processes etc.  Much appreciated.

Now, for my question.  I've used Pops brine on a  LOT of meats and poultry, generally using #1 cure.  I typically don't take out any salt and use the 1C in the generic recipe I've seen posted.  However, I have about 4-5 pounds of Mortons TQ that has been sitting on the shelf for quite some time now (8-10 months) and I was wondering if it could be substituted in place of the 1 Cup of salt and #1 Cure in Pops brine recipe?  I read a lot about (and have experienced myself with a dry cure) how salty things are with TQ as you cant control the salt because of the need for the proper proportion of cure.  But, in a brine, and if I'm already using a cup of salt, will it work as a substitute, just to be able to get this stuff off of my shelf?

If the answer is yes (and I cant think of any reasons why not) and others have done it, I was wondering about your experience in the saltiness of the end product after the brine.  Does it benefit from a clear water soak to eliminate some of the TQ saltiness?

Any advice and experiences are welcome.

Thanks for the posted links, much appreciated.  I guess I should have been a bit more clear with my intentions.  For a long time I've used a standard/generic cure of:

1C Kosher Salt

1C Sugar

1C Brown Sugar

1TBSP Onion Powder

1TBSP Garlic Powder

1/4C Molasses or Steens

1 Gallon Water

1TBSP Cure #1

I've used it for curing Bacons, Buckboard and Canadian, briskets, but my favorite is chickens and turkeys (2-3 day cure depending on size).  I love the texture and flavor the cure adds to the turkeys and chickens.  It also allows me to put the smoker (small Traeger) on the "smoke" setting, generally gives me about 90-110 degrees and nice light smoke, and smoke the poultry without worrying about the nastiness that can come in with poultry at these temps for an extended period of time (3-4 hours of smoke).  When they get enough smoke I start raising the temp of the cooker slowly until they are around 165ish and they are done.  Whole process takes around 6-8 hours depending on the size of the birds which is why I use the cure.

I guess my real question should now be if anyone has had any experience using the Mortons TQ pickle cure proportions on the back of the package?  I just RE-read their directions last night and, honestly, when I read them the FIRST time I read 1C TQ for 4 QUARTS of water, or at least that's what I ASSUMED I read, thus generating the question in my original post.  I thought it would be a 1 cup salt to 1 cup TQ replacement.  When I went back and read them again it was 4 CUPS of water, not 4 quarts like I thought it read.  WOW, thats going to be a SALTY CURE!!!

So, I may have answered my own question, sorry for the confusion.  I cant imagine adding enough TQ to make a gallon of cure/pickle and have the product come out like anything I would really want to eat?  The salt proportions are just WAY off with that method.

Thanks for the follow ups and sorry for the confusions.  I guess I need to read packages a bit more carefully.

I don't have any experience with an equilibrium brine.  Care to share a recipe or process?  I'm just trying to find a way to use the MTQ rather than it just sitting on the shelf.  Who knows, it may lead to a new way of doing things.  Thanks Martin.

The more I read about MTQ, the more I've learned.  Never really read that much about it until I was handed the bag that I'm trying to find a way to use.  Thanks for the advice on NOT using it in your brine recipe, I can see where it would be very salty.  I would have realized that very early on had I read the package correctly the first time.  I've enjoyed using your basic brine with #1 for quite awhile and with great results, thanks for sharing. 
TQ has a place on my shelf.

Without a dedicated fridge, some things are dry cured as less fridge space is occupied.

For a wet cure or sausage making, the Cure #1 sits on the shelf right next to the TQ.

Good luck and good smoking. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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