Newbie questions (MTQ and sausage texture)

ssorllih
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Post by ssorllih » Sat Aug 04, 2012 00:29

The percentages add up for the salt and sodiun nitrite to 100 % That doesn't leave room for anything else.
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Post by JerBear » Sat Aug 04, 2012 00:48

Is this from your packaging that you inspected or from the website? If you're looking at the website then I'd say that the numbers aren't accurate as the cure is clearly pink and the listing on the website doesn't say anything about Red dye so we know at least one ingredient isn't listed.

LEM only lists the sodium nitrite but is also pink. I'd venture that because of the importance of getting the nitrite percentage correct and thoroughly mixed in with the dye there's probably only one or two "manufacturers" of curing salt and places like Butcher & Packer, The Sausage Maker, Allied Kenco and LEM all get it from the same one or two "manufacturers" (possibly also Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops and the like).

The propylene glycol is used to keep the mixture uniform so that you're actually getting the prescribed percentage of sodium nitrite by measure and you don't want that percentage to be off. I'd rather the devil I know (propylene glycol) than the one I don't (poisonous meat because the mixture didn't stay uniform).
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Post by ssorllih » Sat Aug 04, 2012 02:12

Just checked my 5# package, contains : salt, 6.25% sodiun nitrite less than 1% propylene glycol and red dye. 2 Ounces will treat 50 # of meat. Less than one percent propylene glycol is less than .02 ounces in fifty pounds of meat. That comes out to 25 PPM.
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Post by laripu » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:54

OK, so the original answer by ChuckWagon, in effect something like 'don't use MTQ because it contains propylene glycol and that's bad ' may not make sense since it looks like all cures contain it and the quantities are ao small anyway.

So what we're left with is the relative quantities of salt, nitrite, and nitrate. From what people have written, you can't substitute MTQ for #1. Quoting Nepas from CW's post:
Cure #2 is comprised of the following ratio of ingredients:
Salt /Nitrite /Nitrate 89.75% /6.25% /4%
Cure #1 is comprised of the following ratio of ingredients: 
Salt /Nitrite 93.75% /6.25% 
MTQ is comprised of the following ingredients: 
Salt /Nitrite /Nitrate 99% /.5% /.5% 
Even #2 has a different ratio of nitrite to nitrate, so MTQ's not a perfect substitute.

But I've got a bag of MTQ to use up, and simple parsimony prevents me from just chucking it out. Is there anything that can be done with it (brine e.g.) that makes sense? I can run the numbers like Nepas...what problems might I encounter that I don't yet know about in my ignorance of these things?
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Post by Butterbean » Thu Aug 09, 2012 13:16

You can simply use the MTQ as is directed on the container and then deduct its volume from any and all salt recomennded in the recipe you are using. In many cases this will simply mean using no salt as called for in the recipe as the MTQ will be the salt and the cure all in one application. Its also great for making brines.

They tried to make a do all but this conflicts with existing recipes.
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Post by ssorllih » Thu Aug 09, 2012 20:47

If you use MTQ for all of your salt you will be on the high side of the nitrates/nitrites.
A one kilogram recipe that calls for 20 grams total salt including 2.5 grams of cure#1 will have 156 ppm nitrite per kg meat. But if MTQ is used entirely you will have .2 grams of nitrate/nitrite for a concentration of 200ppm nitrite/nitrate per kg meat.
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Post by Baconologist » Thu Aug 09, 2012 21:26

ssorllih wrote:If you use MTQ for all of your salt you will be on the high side of the nitrates/nitrites.
A one kilogram recipe that calls for 20 grams total salt including 2.5 grams of cure#1 will have 156 ppm nitrite per kg meat. But if MTQ is used entirely you will have .2 grams of nitrate/nitrite for a concentration of 200ppm nitrite/nitrate per kg meat.
When Morton's Tender Quick is applied dry and used at the rate recommended by Morton, it provides 156.25ppm each of nitrate and nitrite when 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz.) per pound is used for whole cuts and 78.125ppm each of nitrate and nitrite when 1/2 tablespoon (1/4 oz.) per pound is used for ground meats.

Morton's Tender Quick is ~97% salt.

It's definitely best to use Cure#1 or Cure#2 (when appropriate) for better control of the salt content, that's what I do.

HTH
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Post by laripu » Mon Dec 31, 2012 03:03

I've only made four 5-lb batches of different sausage. They taste great, but there's one big difference to commercial sausage: commercial sausage seems to be moister, and in mine the meat seems more hamburger-like. What am I doing wrong? Or is that normal? (The recipes came from here, lightly modified.)
When I wrote that question, I had only made four 5-lb batches of sausage. Well, now I've made six.

In my last two, the texture came out fine, and I assume it's because I followed Chuckwagon's advice. Thanks, Chuck!

In particular, my cuurent chicken-and apple was a hit with my stepson, his wife, and my wife. My step-daughter-in-law also really liked my merguez from last time.

Unfortunately, the grand-monsters didn't like the little beef franks I'd made...they don't like garlic. Oh well. No accounting for preschoolers. :)

Thanks for the advice, everyone.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:16

I'm glad it is smoothing out for you Laripu. It's funny how quickly you can "learn by doing" when you get your hands into this hobby. Hey that Merquez takes a little.... uhhh... "gettin' used to" eh? :lol: It was a popular sausage in the county I grew up in. Some of those "old timers" made a great merquez sausage. Lots of them would bottle a little "red" to go with it.
Keep up the good work pal!

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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