so i want to make Jerky in my smoker.
I did a first test run this weekend and it didn't come out great. I had made an overnight marinade of soy sauce, cider vinegar, salt, garlic, franks red hot, pepper etc and then put it in the smoker at around 150. after about 2/3 hours like that i added some other things to the smoker and brought the temp up to a bit over 200. i'm pretty sure this was my mistake.
the Jerky came out much more crunchy then i would have liked.
seems like if you are going to smoke jerky you are only smoking jerky and you need to keep them temp down????
ok so my real question is, what is the deal with Cure? after my little experiment i did alot more reading then i did before. and there seems to be some USDA rules about Jerky. I'm generally not a fan of using nitrates for anything, so i'd like to avoid that and keep things more natural - that said i dont want to get myself or anyone else sick. would love a primer of cures in general and some thoughts on if you have to use it in Jerky or not.
also any general tips about making jerky would be great!!