Black Pepper Jerky

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by ryan y, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. ryan y

    ryan y Fire Starter

    I used to make jerky in a dehydrator when I was a kid. I learned some simple lessons:
    The worse the cut of meat is pre-jerky, the better the jerky.
    Thanks to marinading, you can get by with lower priced ingredients (spices, etc.)
    A little tenderquick goes a long way.
    Liquid smoke tastes foul by itself!

    I was at the local Grant's super market and they had beef shoulder roasts on sale for 2.30/lb. It's a little sinewy for a roast (jerky's supposed to be chewy anyway), but not much fat. A little marbling, but that makes it taste better IMO.

    Found a recipe online and heavily modified it to my tastes:
    For 3 lbs, sliced around 1/4", some thicker that I will cut into strips before smoking. I didn't pound or tenderize, just upped the marinade time and added tenderizer.
    3/4 cup worchestershire
    3/4 cup soy sauce
    3/4 cup red wine (on sale at 75% off)
    1 tbsp frank's original
    1 1/2 tbsp minced onion
    5 tbsp dark brown sugar
    1 tbsp garlic powder
    1 tbsp ground black pepper
    1/4 tbsp cayenne
    1/4 tbsp ground cumin
    1 tbsp Tony Chachere's creole seasoning (amazing on eggs)
    1 tbsp meat tenderizer
    Enough water to cover meat (I used 1 1/2 cups)


    At the 24 hr mark

    Will marinade for close to 48 hrs, stirring every 8 hrs. Starting smoke tomorrow morning in the Little Chief with Jack Daniels Old No. 7 (oak) whiskey barrel chips.
    Little Chief wrapped with Reflectix. I also put a vented cardboard box over top

    Smell amazing even in the bag
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
    redheelerdog, disco and crazymoon like this.
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Looks like a great start!

  3. tjmitche

    tjmitche Smoke Blower

    Can't wait for the final Q's
  4. ryan y

    ryan y Fire Starter

    It's 4am and time to get the jerky started. Decided to start a couple hrs early simce I have to be at work in 15 hrs. Better safe than sorrry. Temp is 21*F and should be in the mid-30s by this afternoon. Light snowfall turns this into a perfect jerky-smoking day!

    Pre-pepper. 38 hrs total marinade time. Next time I'll make sure to slice into strips before marinating. Firmy pressed between paper towels to dry

    Post pepper. Only sneezed about a dozen times!

    All racked up and ready to go. And another small gripe about the chief-the racks are slightly smaller on one side, so I couldn't alternate the direction the layers were oriented. May not make a difference, who knows. But the top-loading racks will make a nice stand-alone pellicle stand! Started the little chief about 40 mins ago so another 20 and it should be puffing away.

    54 pieces total. Just under 2.75 lbs trimmed. So for anyone wondering, 3lbs of jerky is the limit for the chief, more if you use skewers (which I may try next time, if I don't pepper). Glad I did a half-batch. No way 5 lbs would have fit!

    Still dark out and outside lighting isn't great so pics of loaded smoker once daylight gets here.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
  5. ryan y

    ryan y Fire Starter

    5 1/2 hrs in the smoker, three heaping pans of chips (two just JD barrel, last one JD barrel and hickory mix), and 2 1/2 hrs in the oven at 170.

    A little heavier on the smoke than I would like, so I think next time just three normal size pans of hickory. Also plan on simplifying recipe to soy, worschty, cayenne, black pepper, and a nice dark beer. Oven time was a bit too long, lowest I could go was 170 so it rendered more fat than I would have liked. Will do for less time and prop door open further.

    All things considered not a bad first batch. Taking some to work for second opinions.
    tropics, dukeburger and gary s like this.
  6. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks good to me,,,Second opinion?? Ya send me some!!

    A full smoker is a happy smoker 

  7. Mighty fine looking Jerky   [​IMG]

  8. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great looking jerky, good to see that new Little Chief up and running!

    Congrats on making the carousel also!

  9. pignut hickory

    pignut hickory Fire Starter

    Well it looks good 

    I have tried my hand at jerky one time it did not come out good..well anyway this kid that went to school with my youngest son 35 years ago made the best jerky I ever have eaten..I talked to him years later to get his recipe..and he said he used salt black pepper and garlic on sirloin ..for smoke he used hickory and whole hickory nuts with out hulls ..has anyone heard of using hickory nuts for smoking ???
  10. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I could even gum some of that looks great.


  11. ryan y

    ryan y Fire Starter

    Thanks everyone for looking. The bag I took to work didn't last long, everyone enjoyed it. Went to the store and picked up another 12 lbs of the roast. I have 4 lbs marinating in a different recipe now, will probably do up another thread on it once the "snowpocalypse" is over.

    Don't think I'll be using the JD chips anymore for jerky, the flavor is just too strong for such small pieces. Would be interesting to try on something more substantial though.

    Pignut: I've heard of people using pistachio and pecan hulls, but never nuts. I'd think the hickory nuts would have to be really dry to prevent a creosote taste though.
  12. Looks great, I made some venison jerky today too! We use the same basic ingredients.... Only I substitute water for apple juice. Your JD chips are probably fine just shorten the length of time you are making smoke.
  13. redheelerdog

    redheelerdog Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Looks great, I like the marinating jerky recipes. The Little Chief is a great smoker isn't it? I've smoked a ton in mine.

  14. We pick up the leftover hickory nuts in the fall, remove the hulls and bust em up. Whenever they are needed, soak em in water an hour or so and toss em on the fire like regular chips...
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
  15. ryan y

    ryan y Fire Starter

    Now I know. How does the flavor compare to hickory chips? Loads of hickory trees around here, may give it a try.
  16. To me its a lighter smoke flavor, soaked they seem to smoke abit longer....just make sure to weed out the bad hulls.
  17. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This jerky recipe sounds great. Thanks so much for posting the recipe, Ryan.

    Points for another thing to try.

  18. ryan y

    ryan y Fire Starter

    I'll have to try them out sometime, should be fun!

    Thanks Disco, I liked my second try more but all my friends that don't snjoy the spicier things in life liked this batch.
  19. pignut hickory

    pignut hickory Fire Starter

    The neighbor kid that used hickory nuts ..did not crack them but used them whole..and they do take a long time to burn whole..
  20. Good job man. I sell my jerky online and locally along with other BBQ and do some catering. A one man show but it's taken off like wildfire. I'm in NJ and have orders coming in from North Pole and Kodiak Alaska. I use eye of round personally and I sell anywhere from 25-35 dollars a lb depending on the flavor, items needed for the brine and custom orders. I've seen people on here who say it's impossible to smoke jerky. That's not true. I've had nothing but 5 star reviews and people say it's the best they've ever had. I cut with the grain to give it a nice chew. My most recent brine recipe is a honey bourbon and had someone order 5 lbs. I'm a one man operation with 3 smokers and I stay busy. It's almost 3 am and I'm babysitting 2 smokers at once. From a combat injury I can't work, but I can be self employed. I truly love everything about it. It's very satisfying to butcher a 15 lb slab of beef and turn it into something that people love and repeatedly order. Great job and keep it up!
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
    cajuncpo likes this.

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