The worse the cut of meat is pre-jerky, the better the jerky.
Thanks to marinading, you can get by with lower priced ingredients (spices, etc.)
A little tenderquick goes a long way.
Liquid smoke tastes foul by itself!
I was at the local Grant's super market and they had beef shoulder roasts on sale for 2.30/lb. It's a little sinewy for a roast (jerky's supposed to be chewy anyway), but not much fat. A little marbling, but that makes it taste better IMO.
Found a recipe online and heavily modified it to my tastes:
For 3 lbs, sliced around 1/4", some thicker that I will cut into strips before smoking. I didn't pound or tenderize, just upped the marinade time and added tenderizer.
3/4 cup worchestershire
3/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup red wine (on sale at 75% off)
1 tbsp frank's original
1 1/2 tbsp minced onion
5 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1/4 tbsp cayenne
1/4 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp Tony Chachere's creole seasoning (amazing on eggs)
1 tbsp meat tenderizer
Enough water to cover meat (I used 1 1/2 cups)
At the 24 hr mark
Will marinade for close to 48 hrs, stirring every 8 hrs. Starting smoke tomorrow morning in the Little Chief with Jack Daniels Old No. 7 (oak) whiskey barrel chips.
Little Chief wrapped with Reflectix. I also put a vented cardboard box over top
Smell amazing even in the bag