Ok, just made my first batch. Had to use bottom round as believe it or not I could not find center round at any local market. LOL And I also learned that I should do the slicing myself. My butcher did a good job of slicing for me but failed to trim it as well as I would have for making jerky so having to trim all the small slices was a bit of a chore. I'll just have to break out the meat slicer and do it myself next time.
Got to say that the bottom round worked well but I think a leaner cut for the next round should work better. IMO. My family is also eager for me to try ground beef. Will have to see about that after I get this right. One thing at a time I say.
CM, thank you for the recipe, it is very good. After trying it my family all chimed in on what we liked and did not like. Since the 6 lbs of meat used I figure we got about 2 lbs of jerky and between the 4 of us it lasted all of about 12 hours so it was more like than dislike. LOL
For us I think we are going to cut back on the pepper a little. I have a couple of real spice wimps to contend with and this was just slightly too much pepper for them. I think next time I'll try 3/4 T of each the black and white. We left out the Red. I used ~2 tsp of molasses and that seemed just right. And I think we will try adding a little more of the worsch sauce.
Now I used my Masterbuilt 30" for this and I dont know if it is because of the fat content, high humidity, or what but it took nearly 11 hours to get done. I started at 130 degrees and increased 10 degrees each hour until I hit 160. At 6 hours it was more like a well done steak. In fact my brother actually prefered that to the jerky saying it was more like the steak strips they he likes from 7-11. At 8 hours it was getting better and I probably should have pulled it out at 10 hours. I didnt realize that the jerky was softer when warm than after it cools. I should have known that but it never dawned on me so I thought it still needed more drying. Now I rather like crunchy jerky but everyone else would have preferred I pulled it out about an hour earlier. But hey, thats what doing something for the first time is for, right? Learn what to do to make it better for the next time. LOL
One question tho. What kind of wood smoke do most of you use. I find Mesquite to be too strong but I do like the flavor. I used cherry this time and the mild flavor was much better but something just felt slightly off. I'm thinking of trying apple next time. Does anyone else use anything else with a more mild flavor instead of the strong Mesquite or Hickory? Or do you simply use a little liquid smoke and just use the smoker as a dehydrator? That was the suggestion of my family. Use a little liquid smoke for flavor and leave the chips out next time.
I just wanted to send out a heart felt thanks to this entire board for all the great info that made the first dive into jerky making a successful one.