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Jerky has a vinegar taste

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I have tried making jerky twice and both times there is a distinct vinegar flavor. I used a standard marinade that included soy sauce, Worcester sauce, liquid smoke and spices.


Any idea what may be going on?



post #2 of 11
A bit more info is needed. What cut of meat, what spices, any cure?

What's your process? Soaking the meat for a hour, 3 days, a month?

Are you smoking it? Cooking it in an oven? Smoking it in a smoker? What's your process?

Liquid smoke? Hmmmm, what's that?
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the reply.


2.5 LB London broil.


1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbsp Liquid Smoke
½ Cup Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Bourbon
1/2 Cup Ketchup
1 Tsp Brown Mustard
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
2 Tsp Chili Powder
2 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes


Marinated for 6 hours.


Cooked in oven at 170 for 3 hours with the oven door ajar.


No cure.

post #4 of 11
Looks like a solid recipe for the method you are using. How did the meat smell prior to marinating it?
post #5 of 11

My guess, seems like quite a bit of liquid smoke for just 2.5 lbs. cut in half, also, did you use the same bourbon each time?

post #6 of 11

BB, most recipes I have seen call for 1-2 teaspoons of liquid smoke in a marinade for 5 pounds of meat. Your recipe seems a bit heavy on the liquid smoke ?

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the replies.


I didn’t realize that I had bought a low quality liquid smoke that actually has vinegar as an ingredient. The best liquid smokes have just smoke and water. So, this may be the cause.


The meat smelled fine and I believe it was fresh.


Yes, I used the same amount of bulleit bourbon each time.


I will try again with the correct amount of a high quality liquid smoke.

post #8 of 11

Liquid smoke has a little bit of Acetic Acid but your primary source is Worcestershire Sauce, see Below. Cut back on both...JJ



Worcestershire sauce (Listeni/ˈwʊstərʃər/),[1] sometimes shortened to Worcester sauce (/ˈwʊstər/), is a fermented liquid condiment of complex mixture, of British origin from Worcester, and popularised by Lea & Perrins. The essential ingredients are barley malt vinegarspirit vinegar,molassessugarsaltanchoviestamarind extract, onions, and garlic; particular brands add other spices as well to taste. It is often an ingredient in Welsh rarebitCaesar saladOysters Kirkpatrick, and sometimes added to chili con carnebeef stewhamburgers, and other beef dishes. Worcestershire sauce is also used to flavour cocktails such as a Bloody Mary or Caesar.[2] Known as salsa inglesa (English sauce) in Spanish, it is also an ingredient in michelada, the Mexican beer cocktail.



post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the advice.


I just started a new batch with no liquid smoke (smoked paprika instead) and less Worcestershire sauce. So, we will see how it turns out!

post #10 of 11
If you want to try a really simple, really good jerky recipe take a look at this. It is our go to jerky marinade now. I do add other dry spices, but not until I am forming the pellicle. This is my most requested jerky now. Those that have made it and tried it can't believe how tasty it is and how simple it is.

post #11 of 11

BB, have to agree on liquid smoke.  I use 1 tsp per 5 lbs of meat.  Once I used 2 tsp and it was very smoky.  At 2 tbsp's, it's around 8x's what is necessary.

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