First try at Jerky

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by sodak, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. sodak

    sodak Newbie

    Tried to make some jerky in the MES40 when I got home from work.  Turned out a little more done than it probably should have been.  I set the MES40 at 170* and installed my new ET732 while it was going.  The ET732 was registering between 185* and 205*.    I only used half of what I had meat wise and will try again in the morning before I try baby back ribs for the first time.  I'm thinking maybe set the temp at 155-160* and check it at the same 4 hours timeframe and check if there done.  I also will probably only smoke for the first hour instead of 2 hrs.  Sorry forgot to take pics of the before but did get a couple of the afters.

    I was reading another topic about somebody who used to much Morton Tender quick.  The recipe I used was one I found on this site from a couple of years ago.  It said to use 1.5 tsp per pound of meat if marinating for 24 hours.  I used 6 tsp's for a little over 4# of meat.  Does that seem right?  I just want to make sure everything is safe going forward.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
  2. Can't help with the Morton's TQ...but your temps were too high.

    Here's a couple threads of elk jerky that I have made, I followed NEPAS temps from the start of my jerky making adventures and it always comes out spot on. Never a bad batch to date. I've now made many pounds of all kinds of jerky.
    This is one of the first times I made jerky.

    I'm smoking in an MES40 and it generally takes me 7 hours to smoke it. I "thread" it on non stick skewers and then hang those horizontal on each end with small S hooks from the first and third racks from the top of the smoker.
    I start at 110*-120* with no smoke to dry the jerky for about an 1-1.5 hrs, bump temp to 130*-140* for 2.5-3 hrs with smoke, bump temp to 150*-160* (I also continue with smoke until it runs out) to finish it off (usually another 2-3 hrs), but no higher than 170*. I start checking it using the bend test (you should be able to bend it without breaking and have white fibers showing) after about 5 hrs on the smaller/thinner pieces and periodically check the remainder until it's done.

    Hope this helps you out! and good luck on the next batch.
  3. sodak

    sodak Newbie

    Thanks for the reply smokinhusker.  The ones I did today you can't taste anything but the smoke flavor so I think I will scale back on the smoke time, but I have a little bit more than half my meat still in the marinade and will try friday or saturday.  Don't think I can do it tomorrow with having to get the ribs on around noon to eat at 5ish.
  4. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    I don't think it is smoke you are tasting, I think it is probably burnt meat. If you smoked it at 185* for 4 hours that thin sliced meat was probably burnt and that's what it looks like in your picture.

    With jerky you are wanting to dry it and not cook it. Any temp above 170* and you are cooking it.

    Like Alesia said, start very low, 100*-120* for an hour or so to dry the surface then apply the smoke and slowly raised temps about 10*/hour and never exceed 170*, I never exceed 150*, takes a little longer but dries better. Most dehydrators only go to 140*.

    The finished jerky should have a nice red color and be very translucent when held to a light:

  5. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have not tried a completely smoked jerky in forever because mine always got crunchie, I liked crunchie. Then I got store bought teeth... crunchie just doesn't make it (I so miss nuts and cracklins). My sister goes mountain climbing in Ga. every year, don't ask me why. But Pop always made her Jerky for the trip, it was a big deal to both of them. Pop now has Alzheimer's, was diagnosed 4 years ago. So she asked me last year to make her jerky. I am rambling again.

    What I did was, I marinaded over night, I smoked for about 2 hours low and slow, then I finished on the dehydrator. It might have been the best jerky I have ever made. I didn't even know about cures back then, I assume now that the marinade was kind of a cure, Also the jerky wasn't crunchie.

    I used eye of round for the meat, tuff with little fat or sinew.

    Pop did everything the old way, never saw him use a cure. Me, now I know the rules of the road so I am guessing some cure will be used come this October. But it will most likely be a dual system operation again. Because it did come out really well.

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