I got a Lem jerky shooter for Christmas and just had to try it out today. First off, a good soapy cleaning. Ooops! The nut on the plunger fell off and into the disposal, not good. After fishing with a magnet for a few minutes, it dawned on me the nut is prolly non-magnetic stainless steel. So, out to the shop for a pair of long-handled needle nose pliers. Ever try wedging a flashlight and pliers into a 4" opening partially covered by a rubber splashguard? I eventually settled on using a table knife to scoot the offending nut to the center so it could be easily seen w/o the flash. Ahhh, after 1/2 hr finally success!
Now, on to the jerky! Used 2.3 # of ground sirloin (90% lean) and the appropriate amounts of High Mountain Hickory Blend, mixed the previous day and fridged overnight. After assembling the shooter with the flat nozzle, I squeezed out strips the full length of my Frogmats and dusted them with cracked black pepper. Ended up with 3 1/2 trays full for my MES 30, couldn't believe how many strips from just 2.3 # of meat. Since I only have 3 frogmats, the "1/2 tray" went on a disposable aluminum perforated cook tray. Into the smoker at 125° for an hour with no smoke, then set to 150° for 4 hours with full smoke from the cold-smoke box. Came out beautiful! Cut the strips into thirds after removing them from the mats, except for the 1/2 tray. Had to destroy the tray to get those off, but they still eat just fine. Ended up with a full QT ziplock that should last at least a week.
I like this better than muscle meat jerky! To be fair, I tried making ground beef jerky awhile back w/o the shooter using my own recipe and ended up tossing it. It tasted OK, but the "strips" looked like something from another planet and it was overly frustrating to try and mold this "meat paste" by hand.
Lem shooter = awesome! Make sure to either tighten or remove the nut before washing.
Frogmats = awesome! Expensive, yes. Well worth the money!
Cold-smoke attachment = awesome! Before getting it, my MES would not smoke below 200°.
High country mix = great! Each pkg does 15# of meat.
Ground beef > muscle meat for jerky. Much easier on the teeth, no fat/sinew trimming required.