Tender Quick – The Ultimate Smoke Ring Hack

It can’t be true? A cure all for smoke rings? Yes it is true and quite literally a “cure” all. Tender Quick is by Morton and it is suited for at-home meat curing. It’s that curing process that provides that precious smoke ring look. I have had trouble getting a smoke ring due to having an electric smoker. It just doesn’t quite get it done.

Lucky for all of us in the Electric Smoker crew, we can do this with a simple cure by using Tender Quick. Let’s do this!

Buy the new version of my Smoker on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3qHNxCx

Masterbuilt MB20073519 Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker with Broiler

  • Bluetooth Smart technology allows you to control temperature, lighting, monitor meat temperature, and power your smoker on or off
  • Four chrome-coated smoking racks
  • Patented side wood chip loading system to add wood chips without opening smoker door and losing heat
  • Built-in meat probe thermometer for perfect results every time
  • Thermostat temperature control for even, consistent smoking

The Meat
3.25lbs Beef Chuck Roast

The Cure
Tender Quick: https://amzn.to/390UZlu (if you can get it locally it’s about $5 per 1lb bag The Rub

1/2 TBSP White Pepper

1/2 TBSP Black Pepper

1/2 TBSP Chili Powder

1/2 TBSP Paprika

1/2 TBSP Garlic Powder

Binder (and later to coat the beef when cubed): G Hughes Sugar Free BBQ Sauce (https://amzn.to/35d8FYd)

Get Started

First the meat gets a gentle rub down with the Tender Quick so follow the directions as the product contains nitrates. I used 2 TBSP which was a little over half the recommended amount. I applied all over the meat and then let it sit uncovered in the frig. This did turn the meat a slight light brownish color. I rinsed off the Tender Quick after about 30 minutes which was enough time to get my smoker up to temp.

The Smoke (250 then 275 degrees)

I use a mix of Pecan and Hickory for this for a deep smoke flavor. I basically just poor the bags into a larger bag and then mix. My goal was to hit a temp of 275 since the Masterbuilt loses heat quick when I open the door. I hit the meat with G Hughes sugar free BBQ sauce for the binder. Then, got the meat rubbed down with the blend from above and it hit 250 so I tossed it in the smoker. Time never seems to be on my side.

I let it get up to around 160 before wrapping the meat which I was going to just let ride to 190-195 or so (but again time). This took about 4 hours to get to temp. I wrapped in two layers of foil and let it hit 190 which was another hour. I was going to let rest overnight but decided some poor man’s burnt ends would be delightful. I cubed the beef and then coated with the G Hughes BBQ Sauce. I then put it back in the smoker for another 30 minutes.

It was amazing to say the least. Outside of that, we did hit that beautiful smoke ring goal!

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About Brandon Hahn

Brandon has a Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Science and has been in the health & fitness industry since 2006. In over 10 years he's done it all from managing a gym, training clients, owning an exercise equipment dealership, and managing a supplement company.
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