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Old 03-25-2007, 11:22 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by ncage1974
Course you don't know if the morton tender quick is to achieve the red color or just used for the brine.
It does both. Once more quoting the USDA National Center for Home Food Preservation page on Nitrates and Nitrites:

These curing ingredients are required to achieve the characteristic flavor, color and stability of cured meat. Nitrate and nitrite are converted to nitric oxide by microorganisms and combine with the meat pigment myoglobin to give the cured meat color. However, more importantly, nitrite provides protection against the growth of botulism-producing organisms, acts to retard rancidity and stabilizes the flavor of the cured meat.

and ...

Extreme Cautions must be exercised in adding nitrate or nitrite to meat, since too much of either of these ingredients can be toxic to humans. In using these materials never use more than called for in the recipe. A little is enough. Federal regulations permit a maximum addition of 2.75 ounces of sodium or potassium nitrate per 100 pounds of chopped meat, and 0.25 ounce sodium or potassium nitrite per 100 pounds of chopped meat. Potassium nitrate (saltpeter) was the salt historically used for curing. However, sodium nitrite alone, or in combination with nitrate, has largely replaced the straight nitrate cure.

The reason the USDA suggests using the "premixes" like Tender Quick is bacause they contain the correct balance of nitrates and nitrites to salt, so that all you need to do is relpace the salt in the cure/brine recipe with the premix and you will have the correct balance of salt/nitrate/nitrite.

In AB's recipe - just replace the 1 Cup Kosher Salt with 1 Cup Tender Quick and skip the saltpeter.

It takes a little Googling to find potassium nitrate, you have to look at varients of the spelling of saltpeter, salt peter, saltpetre, salt petre, etc... but here is one site that sells it under the name: salt petre (potassium nitrate) if you really want to follow AB's recipe to the letter - and hope the weight per volume ratio is the same as what he was using so you don't overdose. Read the warning about the use of potassium nitrate at the above linked site.

Yep - Walgreens doesn't carry it (potassium nitrate), neither does CVS, or WalMart or any of the other 6 pharmacies I called, didn't I mention that before? Other sources of potassium nitrate are things like stump remover and fertalizers ... but they are mixed with other things I'm not sure I would want to eat.

If Tender Quick works on a brisket, when cured for a few days, like it does on chicken and turkey when just brined overnight ... the meat should be nice and pink/red.

Stores around here that carry Tender Quick year round include Albertsons, Tom Thumb and Kroger. WalMart usually has it - but they move it around depending on the season. And, when I lived in Colorado in a little town of 14,000 - our Safeway carried it year round.

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 03-25-2007, 11:39 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Katie E
Well, Michael, force of habit. Since Buck and I live in a VERY rural area, many things are not available so I've become the queen of Internet grocery shopping.

Thanks for bringing me back to the "real" world...at least for most folks.
Katie - you crack me up!

My experience has been that the more rural an area is the more likely you are to be able to find such things as Tender Quick - country folk know what it's for and what to do with it, the city folks ... well ... thank goodness they have country folks to ask.

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 03-25-2007, 11:50 AM   #33
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We were thinking of curing our own bacon at one point but found it difficult to buy salpetre and found an article suggesting that it was now banned for use on foodstuffs here in the UK.
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Old 03-25-2007, 01:34 PM   #34
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there is an issue over nitrosamines as a possible carcinogen, but personly I think it`s all (or at least largely) due to the fact that weapons can be made from it, and post 9/11 and 7/7 a good many things have been "Removed".

in the UK, if you have a local butcher and know the guy well, he Will be able to get some pre-mixed stuff for you though :)

also as Micheal said, KNO3 is available as agricultural grade material ( I get through at least a kilo a year feeding my Chilis and Tomatoes with it), but I wouldn`t appreciate it on/in my food :)
So long and Thanks for all the Fish ;)

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Old 03-25-2007, 09:45 PM   #35
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As some of you all know, I work in the restaurant industry. If you want to cure meats, like Corned Beef, homemade bacon, etc., I highly recommend that you buy Micheal Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn's book Charcuterie: The Art of Curing and Preserving Meats. Chef Polcyn owns and runs a restaurant in Michigan, and from what I read of his book, really knows his stuff.

Peace, Love, and Vegetable Rights!
Eat Meat and Save the Plants!
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