First off I want to thank everyone for all their posts on here. I have been lurking for about 3 months on here now trying to learn all I can. This was my first attempt at jerky in my MES. I wanted to document it and ask for ideas/suggestions on how to improve as well as share what I learned.
I started with a piece of bottom round just shy of 8 lbs.
After trimming off the fat I ended up with with a piece about 6.5 lbs.
I had inherited a 1950's vintage deli slicer from my dad. It is a Globe Model 150. I thought it would make an awesome jerky slicing piece of equipment. So I threw my piece of round into the freezer for about 3 hours to firm it up. I cleaned up the slicer and got it ready. Grabbed my roast, flicked the on switch and nothing......... I did some quick checks for power and everything looked good but she decided it wasn't going to be.
So I resorted to hand slicing the piece of meat. My first observation is that it is very difficult to maintain a consistent 1/4" slice by hand slicing. I did the best I could.
For the recipe I used one that my family has used for a while now. I am not a huge fan of soy or Worcestershire taste in my jerky so this doesn't use any.
For 6.5 lbs of meat I used
1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
3 Tbs peppercorns
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 Tbs garlic powder
3 Tbs brown sugar
3 Tbs pickling salt
1 1/2 tsp cure #1
1 1/2 cups cold water
3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
First you need to lightly toast the coriander and peppercorns to bring out the flavors. I do this over medium heat in a small pan on the stove top. It takes about 5 min. You need to stir them to prevent them from burning. When you really start smelling the aroma you know they are ready.
Then put them into a spice grinder or food processor and grind them.
Add all the other ingredients except the red pepper flakes and water. I don't like the red peppers ground. I prefer them whole on the jerky.
Then I poured the spices into a bowl and added the water and pepper flakes.
Then added it to my meat and mixed well and into the fridge for 24 hours mixing a few times to make sure everything was good and coated. I missed a picture of this step sorry.
The next morning I got the MES heated up to 140 degrees while I loaded up the racks. One note here is that the racks on the MES don't lend themselves to a lot of meat or smaller pieces of meat. I had some LEM racks that I picked up at Sportsman's Warehouse but I still had to steel one the the cookie racks and make my own little hangers for it.
I let it go for an hour at 140 and filled up the AMNPS with some of their hickory.
After an hour at 140 I lit the pellets and raised the temp to 150 and 10 degrees every hour until I hit 180. I had to re light the AMNPS three times before it finally really got going but once it did it was a nice TBS. At about 6 hours some of the smaller pieces were done and by about 7 1/2 hours all were done.. I ended up having to move racks up and down more than I thought I would have to. Th bottom ones got very shriveled before they looked done. The top ones looked like a grey piece of meat. So bottom to the top and top to the bottom. I thought the MES may be a bit more uniform in heat distribution but I guess not. Also with the AMNPS on the lower left there was some moisture that dripped onto it and the pellets swelled up. They still burned ok but I may look at building a heat shield to help distribute the heat better and protect the AMNPS from drippings.
They turned out pretty good for the first time. Nice pepper flavor. Nice salt but not overpowering. Lots of smoke flavor, maybe too much. I might try something other than hickory next time or a smaller length of time of actual smoking. The bag I brought into work was gone in about 30 min so I think it was a hit here too. Just need to fine tune it a bit.
Thanks for looking and like I said any thought on what I can do to make it better is always welcomed.