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Combined Arms: How can I best use my smoker and dehydrator together when making jerky?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I recently got a dehydrator, and I have been a smoker guy for a long time too, so you can see where this is going... how can I combine the great flavor of smoked meat with the fire and forget convenience of a dehydrator? 

 

 

In my smoker (a BGE technically) I can maintain a temperature of about 200F at the lowest, and I bet that is too high for jerky. However, I can also rig a cold smoke box, where the temperature would be about 65-70F depending on the weather. What I can't do is smoke at the perfect dehydrating temperature of 160F, sadly. 

 

 

It seems like the process would be--

 

- Soak the meat in salt/sugar/spice marinade

- Cold smoke for an hour or three

- Move meat into the dehydrator

 

What about reverse-smoking, where you dehydrate and then move the stabilized meat into the cold smoke bath? 

 

I do have Cure #1 and #2 powders though I would prefer to avoid using them if it is safe to do so. 

 

Thanks in advance for any tips or links!

post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by horseflesh View Post
 

I recently got a dehydrator, and I have been a smoker guy for a long time too, so you can see where this is going... how can I combine the great flavor of smoked meat with the fire and forget convenience of a dehydrator? 

 

 

In my smoker (a BGE technically) I can maintain a temperature of about 200F at the lowest, and I bet that is too high for jerky. However, I can also rig a cold smoke box, where the temperature would be about 65-70F depending on the weather. What I can't do is smoke at the perfect dehydrating temperature of 160F, sadly. 

 

Can you use less coals for the fire and still keep it burning? You may need to add more after a couple hours, but this gives less potential for BTU output.

 

It seems like the process would be--

 

- Soak the meat in salt/sugar/spice marinade

- Cold smoke for an hour or three (this is where you'd want to cure)

- Move meat into the dehydrator (no reason why this won't work...cooler temps seem to take longer to get a good smoke reaction, but it does work...get your smoke then dry)

 

What about reverse-smoking, where you dehydrate and then move the stabilized meat into the cold smoke bath? 

Smoke adheres to cold, uncooked meat the best...cooked/dried meat takes on far less smoke.

 

I do have Cure #1 and #2 powders though I would prefer to avoid using them if it is safe to do so. 

Use your cure #1 per instructions...it's worth it to not have the risk of illness when cold smoking, especially considering you'll be handling the meat in two separate processes.

 

Thanks in advance for any tips or links!

 

I've never made jerky without cure, so I'm not entirely familiar with the methods (I've read about the recommendations, etc). I have only smoked/dried in propane or charcoal smokers, even though I now have a dehydrator...just never got around to drying jerky in it yet.

 

Cold smoke, then dry in dehydrator, if cured, is safe. Go For it!!!

 

 

Eric


Edited by forluvofsmoke - 6/7/14 at 1:01pm
post #3 of 3

Smoking the meat to 160°F gets you a safe product. After this point, lower temps can be used or the dehydrator. Cure #1 as said above is extra protection and recommended. Here is a bunch of info and links to sites with more details...JJ

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/120527/marinating-time-length

 

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/meat-preparation/jerky-and-food-safety/CT_Index

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