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I want to try brining a turkey using Morton's Tender Quick, but I am concerned the Tender Quick to water ratio suggested on the package is too high. I am thinking perhaps one Cup Tender Quick per Gallon of water rather than per Quart. I plan on brining for at least 24 hours. Should the amount of time in the brine have an effect on the ratio used? Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Tender Quick being a curing agent I would follow the dirrection. The question is if you need to use it? If the cook is going to be done at pit temps on the low range and the time needed to get the poultry over 140� is going to be prolonged then TQ is needed.

A lot of us find that poultry does very well at higher pit temps 275 to 350� which allows you to skip the use of TQ.

Decide if cooking at the higher temps is an option, if not, I'd follow the direction with the curing agent.
Was it Tenderquick or Pickling Salts you have? Typical recipes I know use no more than a tablespoon or so of TQ in a Gallon of Water.

My box of TQ indicates a dry rub recipe but no brine recipe. But a CUP of TQ to a Gallon? yuck!

Now, a cup of Salt to a Gallon, that's different.

There are a lot of "old" recipes (hey, old on the Internet...and old on the internet is last year) that have TQ in them.

As I stated in Brining 101, Bacteria loves the temps between 40 to 140 (as Jim states) so you need to determine how long you'll be in the danger zone.

Go for a recipe that adds flavor (more than just salt) and look out for that danger zone. You don't have to add TQ, if you're aware of the issues.

Just Smokin'
The reason for the Tender Quick is simply because I just want to experiment. I am actually trying to achieve a "Turkey Ham" sort of result. The directions on my bag of Morton's Tender Quick say "For brine curing, dissolve 1 cup TENDER QUICK cure in 4 cups water. Place meat in brine, refrigerate and allow to cure 24 hours."

FYI I am brining in the refrigerator, below the "danger zone", and will be smoking at 250 in my Cookshack.
A Turkey Ham, Lucky! What a great idea! I hope you don't mind, but I'm gonna use your idea on a Turkey breast.

Me? I will use my usual corning solution, and go for a week or more. Mine uses no Tenderquick, but it does use saltpeter.

Man! What a killer idea! Please keep me informed of your experiment? Razzer
Well, my Turkey ham experiment turned out pretty good. Since I was only using the tender quick for effect I went with my instincts and only used 1 cup tender quick per gallon of water and brined for about 36 hours.

I rubbed a mixture of brown sugar, a little cookshack rib rub, and melted butter under the skin and smoked at 250 over 2oz of apple wood.

The turkey came out with a nice pink color, was very tender and juicy. It was salty, but not nearly as much as your typical ham.
I had the bird in the smoker for about 6 hours. I didn't follow the directions on the Tender Quick package, so I am not sure about the keeping quailites, but there isn't enough meat leftover to worry about. Razzer

The meat was pink all the way thru, so I have a feeling it was cured properly and has some keeping qualities.

btw I forgot to mention I stuffed the body cavity and breast pouch with onion and apple chunks. Eeker
If I remember correctly, the 1 c/qt TQ recipe is for pumping into ham, etc. along with dry-curing the outside, although I think they do mention doing bacon in brine for a day or so. And I don't think regular TenderQuick has that much sugar - there's another product, Morton Sugar Cure, that probably does.

Did the white breast meat on your turkey actually turn pink? I tried basically the same thing with a whole turkey breast last weekend, curing with a couple tbsp TQ in enough water to cover. Tasted good and not too salty, but breast meat was white with pink wing, back, rib meat. I kind of guessed there wasn't enough hemoglobin in the white meat to turn pink - maybe that's not correct...
Joey Z
The amount of Tender Quick you use is based the what your trying to accomplish.
If your are smoking a turkey and it is going to be in the danger zone for more than 4 hours, use the amount of tender quick that the recipe calls for.
If you are preserving meat for long periods, weeks to months, then the amount you would use is increased to do that job.
Try a google search of tender quick and you will find a lot of good info.

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