Author Topic: Curing a whole turkey with Morton's Tender Quick?  (Read 12560 times)

Offline 4given

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Curing a whole turkey with Morton's Tender Quick?
« on: December 04, 2013, 08:03:57 pm »
Anybody have a recipe for wet brine curing a whole turkey and smoking it? I would like to use Morton's Tender Quick since I have a couple of packages of it but I don't know how much to use and how long to keep it in the brine. How long should I smoke it and what temp should I set the smoker. What kind of internal temp would I be shooting for?

Any help would be appreciated!
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Offline Z7extreme

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Re: Curing a whole turkey with Morton's Tender Quick?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2013, 04:18:22 am »
    Howdy, One thing you have to watch for with mortons tenderquick is how much salt is in it. I quit using the mortons because the salt level was often to high for my mix. I use Cure #1 it has much less salt in it and is a good cure for brining.

    I used Smokehouse Robs brine. I added cure#1 to the brine and brined my turkeys. I also injected some brine into the turkeys then left them sit completely submerged in the cooled brine for 36 hrs. Rinse the turkey well and air dry for a little. I then injected melted butter mixed with apple juice. I smoked the turkeys for 4.5 hrs at 205 deg. After the smoke they need up to 7 more hours of heating until an internal temp of 165 deg in the thickest parts of the thighs. My turkeys were awesome and my family loved it. The cure and smoke gave the turkey a ham flavor and the dark meet was pink like ham.

Offline 4given

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Re: Curing a whole turkey with Morton's Tender Quick?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2013, 07:03:32 am »
    Howdy, One thing you have to watch for with mortons tenderquick is how much salt is in it. I quit using the mortons because the salt level was often to high for my mix. I use Cure #1 it has much less salt in it and is a good cure for brining.

    I used Smokehouse Robs brine. I added cure#1 to the brine and brined my turkeys. I also injected some brine into the turkeys then left them sit completely submerged in the cooled brine for 36 hrs. Rinse the turkey well and air dry for a little. I then injected melted butter mixed with apple juice. I smoked the turkeys for 4.5 hrs at 205 deg. After the smoke they need up to 7 more hours of heating until an internal temp of 165 deg in the thickest parts of the thighs. My turkeys were awesome and my family loved it. The cure and smoke gave the turkey a ham flavor and the dark meet was pink like ham.

Thanks for your reply. The results you got are what I am after but I don't have any cure #1. I would have to order it as I can't find any locally. Got plenty of Morton's ........
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Offline Saber 4

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Re: Curing a whole turkey with Morton's Tender Quick?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 10:30:52 am »
I did my turkey with smokehouse robs brine and cure 1 also and had great results without injecting and such. It has a pretty low salt content so you could probably reduce the salt in the recipe and use the appropriate amount of TQ and be ok, but this is just a guess from what other's have advised me before. I haven't actually done a turkey with TQ, I did a whole chicken with it and it was way to salty for our taste but I had also brined it for to long. The cure and brine experts should be along shortly to help out with exact measurements.

Offline NorthShoreMN

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Re: Curing a whole turkey with Morton's Tender Quick?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2013, 11:32:12 am »
The last time I used tenderquick in a brine I followed directions on the bag of 1cup
Tenderquick to every 4 cups water.  You can then add whatever spices you desire.  I would not add salt in addition to the tenderquick. Morton salt website should have suggestions also.
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Offline 4given

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Re: Curing a whole turkey with Morton's Tender Quick?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2013, 07:36:59 pm »
I found some cure #1 down at the sportsman's warehouse today but was only able to get 4 oz. What is the cure to water ratio?
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Offline Saber 4

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Re: Curing a whole turkey with Morton's Tender Quick?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2013, 07:59:34 pm »
I used 3 oz. of cure #1 with a gallon of apple juice when I did the smokehouse rob brined turkey and it worked fine, I brined for 1 hour per pound for a 13 hour bird and didn't inject or anything else. I think on the next one I'm going to give it an extra 2 hours for a little more color.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Curing a whole turkey with Morton's Tender Quick?
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2013, 02:13:08 am »
I found some cure #1 down at the sportsman's warehouse today but was only able to get 4 oz. What is the cure to water ratio?

See my other post:
http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=33839.msg394160#msg394160

Saber 4;
Thought the amount color depends on the amount of cure you use, it is also dependent on how much myoglobin is in the meat. It is this protein when it bounds with sodium nitrite creates the chemical reaction that produces the red color. White meat in turkey has very little myoglobin. Though you will see some color, it will not get as dark as you will see in the dark meat. Longer brine times may or may not be useful.


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Offline Saber 4

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Re: Curing a whole turkey with Morton's Tender Quick?
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2013, 10:34:49 am »

Saber 4;
Thought the amount color depends on the amount of cure you use, it is also dependent on how much myoglobin is in the meat. It is this protein when it bounds with sodium nitrite creates the chemical reaction that produces the red color. White meat in turkey has very little myoglobin. Though you will see some color, it will not get as dark as you will see in the dark meat. Longer brine times may or may not be useful.

Thanks Habs, I remembered you saying that before and should have been more specific above. I was thinking about adding a couple of extra hours brine to get a little more color in the thigh's, the legs were good but the thighs seemed a little lighter colored. I also was doing it just to experiment with brine times knowing I couldn't screw it up and make it to salty with this brine.