Originally Posted by ajb2320
If I remember, the first time I made jerky in the mes someone told me to set it 200 and go from there. That was when I was getting the moisture prblem almost like I was baking the meat, I think i even at 180 I was getting the same thing. I went down to 155 and it seemed like it was taking for ever12-18 hrs. Which I thought was extremely long time but I guess it really wasn't by what you guys are saying. Then I got to thinking, when I make it in the dehydrator it only takes about 7-8hrs. That is why I thought of the fan idea, I had themtemperture in the smoker tue samemthe only thing different was no fan. I can do my jerky now with no moisture at 160 and it be done in about 8-10hrs. But whoever said anoint the heating element is right it is always calling for heat. If I was to not use the fan what would you guys Recommend for me to do. The way it sounds is, if I drop the temperature and be more patient I could do away with the fan and get the same solution at the end?
I'm not sure of exactly what you're asking, so I'll just put my take on it.
If the jerky was "cured" in the marinade, you don't have to worry how long you slow-smoke it. Then I personally would dry it real good before smoking it. Squeeze as much juice out as you can, before smoking. Then I would put it in the smoker for an hour at 160˚ without any smoke (hanging or laying on the racks, but not touching each other). Then after that hour, I would put the smoke on it for a long time (keeping it at 160˚) to get them good and smokey.
The longer you do that, the smokier they'll get. I wouldn't worry about the moisture, as long as I have my exhaust vent wide open. Eventually that moisture will subside. Then I would get the heat up to 190˚ until you get the jerky the way you want it, and hopefully up to between 155˚ & 160˚ internal temp (I know it's hard to measure jerky internally).
I would not run a fan from outside into the smoker. The only way the moisture is going to leave is through the exhaust vent. I wouldn't pull my chip dumper out either, but it wouldn't be as bad as running a fan through it.
This is all just my opinion---Not some kind of rule, and I'm not trying to tell you this is the way you should do it. It is just how I would do it.
If you don't put cure in your marinade, that would be a different story, and my way might not be a good way.
I know many don't cure their jerky, and that seems to be OK, but I wouldn't do it.
I don't make a lot of jerky, so that's about all I can say---The part of my brain that knows about jerky has now been drained on this post.