I smoked my first jerky today. I used my brinkman smoker/grill and had a blast. It is a charcoal smoker, and I used Hickory chips,and smoked venison. I just used curing salt and pepper on one of the bunches, a marinade I got the recipe for, but didn't have half of the ingredients, and some store bought marinade. My little girl and I prefer the salt and pepper, but the wife (who refuses to eat deer) liked the home made marinade better, the weber is way to peppery for any of us.
My question is, how long should I have smoked it? I started with the temp around 160-170, early jumping early to 200, but after an hour or so, I let it cool to around 140 to 150, and it stayed that way all day. I let it smoke for right at 6 hours, checking it at the end every half hour or so, but it got dark on me, so I was looking at the meat with a flashlight. I pulled it off and the 2 marinades were overcooked. Am I imagining this? or did the marinade speed up the process? they are just a the point where they are bendable to a point, but will break. The one with the salt and pepper are less done, but a little too done as well.
Thanks for any help, as this is my first attempt at jerky, using curing salt (I about never found this), making my own marinade, using venison, and only my third time firing up the smoker. This is my new favorite hobby!