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Making My First Ground Beef Jerky--Any Tips?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Picked up a Cabela's 15" jerky gun the other day and plan on trying it out next week. I'll be hitting up my local butcher for some of his 95/5 ground beef tomorrow, and then probably using some flavor of High Mountain Cure.

When it's time to smoke, it'll go into my fridge conversion @ 160°, w/ half a AMNPS-full of pellets, until done. Depending on consistancy, I may use frogmats on the racks.

 

Anything else I should know or plan for?

post #2 of 19
If plan on using the mats regardless. A piece of bread a inch or two thick will help you get all the meat out of the gun. I like to make longer strips (full length of my rack) then cut smaller after smoked. Consistency wise I like using the round stick tip rather than the flat tip.
post #3 of 19
Mats are good i usually just roll mine out on a cookie sheet with parchment paper underneath then put some on top and throw it in the freezer. i used to use hi mountain all i use is jerky gold marinade now. Real nice hickory flavor. Those guys make good marinade
post #4 of 19

This may give you some tips on shooting ground meat strips...I've extruded strips and stix straight to meat grates...works fine:

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/82534/nesco-jerky-works-jerky-gun-tutorial-w-gun-view

 

 

Eric

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by forluvofsmoke View Post
 

This may give you some tips on shooting ground meat strips...I've extruded strips and stix straight to meat grates...works fine:

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/82534/nesco-jerky-works-jerky-gun-tutorial-w-gun-view

 

 

Eric

 

Thanks!

I'm taking out 5 lbs of 95/5 ground sirloin tonight to thaw in the fridge. I bought some High Mountain Cracked Pepper and Garlic seasoning for the first run. I'll keep my eye out for Jerky Gold. Plan to mix on Thursday and smoke on Saturday.

post #6 of 19

You're welcome. Hey, if you have, or can get, Morton's Tender Quick, you can whip-up some pretty simple and delicious jerky cure & seasoning recipes from scratch. I've done several myself...the most popular one around here (and at home) is the pepper-steak jerky (in my sig-line). The hot version does pack a whallop, so if you don't like heat that creaps up on you, then it would be best to steer clear of that one, although it's good for warming you up in the outdoors (from the inside out) on a cold and dreary day...LOL!!! Even the original version may seem pretty spicy to many, so you could cut back on the seasoning by 40-50% and it would still have plenty of additional flavor (keeping the cure amount the same).

 

Have a great jerky smoke!!!

 

 

Eric

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

I do have Tender Quick. Don't use it much, as I usually do my own cures with pink salt, so I wouldn't mind seeing your recipes to use it up.

post #8 of 19

I am watching.      

 

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post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mneeley490 View Post
 

I do have Tender Quick. Don't use it much, as I usually do my own cures with pink salt, so I wouldn't mind seeing your recipes to use it up.

 

Here was one of my best creations from 3/8" thick hand-sliced bottom round : http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forum/thread/99298/pepper-steak-jerky-from-bottom-round-in-sv24-q-view

 

Sliced thick, cross-grain...man, there's no jerky with a chew like that...very firm as jerky should be, yet tender compared to typical jerky. It's a long drying time, yes, but it is definitely worth the wait.

 

The recipe link is posted in the above thread, but this takes you straight to it: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forum/thread/82503/pepper-jerky-hot-pepper-jerky-seasoning-recipes#post_364990

 

Let us know how your first GB jerky run goes...grab a couple pics for drool-view, too...LOL!!!

 

 

Eric

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

Got started a day late due to a huge stormfront that blew thru yesterday. Power was out for part of the day.

But they're in the smoker now. Prep time took longer that I though; about 2-1/2 hrs. I guess extruding 5 lbs of ground beef takes a lot longer than threading 5 lbs of muscle meat onto skewers, AND takes up a lot more room.

Here's the 5 lb ball after about 36 hours in the fridge, curing.

 

One of Todd's Q-Mats. Can't say enough about how handy these are.

 

Laying out in 1" strips about 2' long.

 

After filling 3 racks, I was running out of space and Q-Mats. I needed to use up the rest of the meat in a hurry, so I switched the nozzle over to make a few caseless snack sticks.

 

In the smoker with 1 row of Pitmaster's Choice in the AMNPS. More to come later.

post #11 of 19
What recipe did you use?

Smoker temp?
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

I used High Mountain cure, Pepper and Garlic flavor, and I am sticking to a steady 160° in the smoker.

post #13 of 19
Where do you buy the High Mountain stuff at?
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

Cabela's sells it, and I've seen it on ebay, but I got it at the butcher shop where I bought my 95/5 ground beef.

post #15 of 19
Thanks. I am going to try this
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

Just checked them at the 3 hour mark, and rotated the racks. I think the jerky could use about another 30 minutes, and the snack sticks maybe another hour.

post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 

And done!

 

 

As you can see, even with 95/5 beef, there is some shrinkage.

 

Jerky filled 3 quart sized bags. Sticks are just coming out now. Probably another full bag.

post #18 of 19
Very nice. Great thread
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm going to include time & temp here, as that was one thing I didn't see a whole lot of in previous postings.

All told,the jerky took about 3-1/2 hours at 160°. The snack sticks I left in longer, about 6-1/2 hours, to get past the squishy feel.

 

I think next time I will go with the sticks exclusively, even though my wife said she preferred the flat jerky. I just liked the texture better, and the fact that I can crank them out so much faster.

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