Hi from Minnesota. Just got my Masterbuilt smoker @ Cabela's. Just wondering if someone would be so kind as to share a recipe for beef jerky using the smoker. What type of wood, how much, brine, temp, etc. Thanks in advance.
New at making jerky
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I've been making jerky, using the following recipe, for fifteen years. Until I got my MES a few months ago, I didn't smoke it. However, I recently adapted the recipe for smoking, and the results are a lot tastier.
First, here is the ingredient list.
For ten pounds of 1/4" sliced beef.
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup Tabasco (I use Franks, much better IMHO)
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper, ground to taste
1 tablespoon garam masala (optional – I don’t use)
2 teaspoons InstaCure (optional – I don’t use)
½ cup Jack Daniels (optional)
I don't use the last three items, and in fact just added the Jack Daniels as a whim -- I haven't yet tried it. So, use everything except the last three.
Here is one-quarter the same recipe.
For 1½-2 pounds of beef
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1T cup Tabasco (I use Franks, much better IMHO)
2¼ t tablespoons kosher salt
¾ t tablespoon onion powder
¾ t tablespoon garlic powder
¾ t tablespoon black pepper, ground to taste
¾ t tablespoon garam masala (optional – I don’t use)
¼ t teaspoons InstaCure (optional – I don’t use)
2T cup Jack Daniels (optional)
I use London broil or top round. You want the leanest beef you can get. I have also used flank steak. Cut the meat into reasonably thin slices (¼ inch or thinner). If you have a slicer, resist the temptation to get the slices too thin because they will fall apart during marinating. Put the marinade and sliced beef into a Ziploc bag and marinade for 12-24 hours. Don't obsess about marinating for ridiculously long times. Even twelve hours is way more than you probably need, especially since you are marinading beef that is already sliced. I haven't experimented, but I'll bet the recipe would come out just fine even if you only marinaded for only a few hours. And, as you probably know, if you put the beef and marinade in a vacuum jar and remove the air with your Foodsaver (or similar vacuum machine), the marinade will penetrate more quickly and you only have to marinade for an hour or two.
Lay the strips out onto your racks. Smoke for two hours at 140 - 160 degrees. Then remove and finish in your dehydrator set to 120 degrees. I don't have a dehyrdrator, so I use my convection oven set to its lowest setting, which is 140 degrees. The convection oven blows air over the food which somewhat simulates what happens in a dehydrator. For dehydrating, you want to use the lowest setting you can get. I think most dehydrators operate at temperatures around 130 degrees. Since my convection oven doesn't change out the air the way a true dehydrator would, I open the oven door every 45-60 minutes to let out accumulated moisture. You only need to open it for 2-3 seconds.
As for what wood to use for the smoke, this is beef, so feel free to use whatever wood you have on hand. I've had good luck with the traditional hickory, but pretty much anything that works with beef will be OK.
Finally, a word about food safety. You want to get the beef above 140 degrees for at least half an hour. With the beef sliced thin, you will easily get to that temperature in your smoker during the two hour smoke. The other issue is moisture of the final product. For the beef to be stable at room temperature, you want to remove most of the moisture. However, if you dry it too much, it will become brittle and will just snap apart. I don't have any magic way of telling you when its done. You will need to cool it to room temperature before you can really judge how dry it is. It should be chewy, but not brittle.
Edited by johnmeyer - 2/5/16 at 6:03pm