How bad is Morton Tender Quick Home Meat Cure for drying meat?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 11, 2011 at 6:47 PM

I shoot quite a bit of wild game, and one of my favorite things to do is just soak it in a brine of water and tenderquick. With a smoker, it makes pheasants taste like ham. Makes deer taste like I would imagine Jerky tasted like in the wild west. How bad is it and what could I use as a substitution if it is something I should worry about?

Ingredients: Salt, sugar, .5% Sodium Nitrate (preservative), Propylene Glyco

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on January 17, 2012
at 09:17 PM

I was worried at first, since "meat tenderizer" tends to be just MSG. It looks like your ingredient list is accurate.

Salt is going to be the main preservative there. The nitrates job is mainly to preserve the color of meat (it's why hotdogs aren't gray).

I make a lot of jerky, both red meat and seafood. I tend to use little to no salt (or soy sauce, sodium, etc). I also tend to eat what I make within 2-3 weeks. If you are preserving meat for a long duration (i.e. indefinitely, or over the winter), you would probably want to use "a lot" of salt.

Consider getting a dehydrator, or a book on traditional charcuterie, to complement your smoker. I bet you can get away w/o using the Morton's blend.

P.S. I envy your access to fresh, wild game!

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