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First smoke in the Little Chief...1st attempt at Jerky

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My first attempt at making jerky in a Little Chief smoker went over pretty well.  I made a few mistakes but I will learn from them and hopefully get better. I was inspired by this thread http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/138397/beef-jerky-ten-pounds-two-types-with-pics and attempted to make the pepper recipe.


I got out the slicer and sliced up the bottom round into what I thought would be good sized jerky pieces.  About a quarter inch thick. The meat was cold but not to the almost frozen stage.  I should have left it in the freezer longer but it was getting late and I had to get it done.




It turned out to be 4 and 1/4 pounds of meat.  I mixed up the spices and cure #1 and then made my first and biggest mistake.



I miss read the advice and was under the impression to use a 1:1 ratio of meat to liquid.  I re-read later and found the advice to be a max of 1:1 ratio.  Oh well live and learn.



The meat is all packaged up and ready for a good marinating in the fridge.  It was in the bag for about 2 1/2 days.



Time to lay it all out. However, 4 pounds of meat is way to much for the 4 racks in a Little Chief.




So, I skewered some and hung them from the top shelf.



I let them dry a little for about 45 minutes then added the hickory chips to start the smoke.




The second mistake I made was the pieces that were hanging were way too close together and when the bottom pieces on the rack were done I had to take the hanging pieces and lay them on the racks to finish up.  I had some friends over this day and never took any more pictures.  But, the next day this was all that was left of 4 pounds of Jerky.



So, third mistake was letting my friends eat it all :biggrin:

The consistency was good and so was the smoke flavor but the extra water left the jerky tasting bland. So, next time less water and maybe not give it all a way the first night.


Next, I am going to try to smoke some cheese.

post #2 of 6

A bad day of making jerky is still better than going to work.....cheers.gif


After I soak my jerky, and lay the meat out on racks, I will dust them with some dry jerky rub......and sometimes a bit of CBP. That will help with the extra spices.

Next thing I do is tell all my buddies I'm gone for the weekend so I have time to make the jerky and when finished I can hide it. It is amazing how many "new best friends" one will get when jerky is coming out of the smoker.......



post #3 of 6
Your third mistake was your worst!!!
The jerky looks Great!!!!
post #4 of 6

Yes I agree, the third was the worst mistake anybody could make, but live and learn I guess.  If there is still too much moisture in the meat, through them in a dehydrator or oven, low temp, door open to further dry them out.  I have not made Jerky for over 12 years now, I never used a smoker because at time, I did not have one.  I did make it using the recipe found in my dehydrator manual, everyone who tried it said it was better than anything found in bag at the store.  My neighbour has said, and been saying for over 5 months now, He wants me to make him Jerky.  We have worked out deal, where he buys the meat and marinade components, I marinate and slice and smoke/dehydrate the meat, he sells it where he works and I get 10 to 15% of the take.  I am still waiting though!


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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the kind words.

I agree the third mistake was my worst of all. Next time I will only put a little out at a time 2thumbs.gif.

I will also add some dry seasoning to the meat before I put it in the smoker.  I think that will help as I like it on the peppery/spicy side.


All in all I think this was a success and relatively easy.  In the future I think I will buy some of the Q-matz.  The jerky tends to stick to the grates even when sprayed with PAM.  Also some of the pieces will fall through the grates. But what Bkleinsmid said is correct.  "A bad day of making jerky is still better than going to work.....cheers.gif "

post #6 of 6

For a first jerky smoke. The meat looks great. I have learned myself how fast it can go.

 I also use scewers. Picked up 20ft of stainless .25in rolled. Cut  to fit smoker. Seems I get more meat and a better consistancy while smoking.

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