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
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.