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I thought I would pass this along to everyone. Last year I decided to clean out my HUGE chest freezer, and make as much of it into jerky.

Here is what I had : Buffalo, Elk, Deer, Duck, Goose

Quite the selection. I got my slicer setup and got everything sorted, and thawed out. I sliced it all approx. 1/8" - 3/16" thick. I started with my base jerky brine, which is a 15* salometer of fast cure. My base jerky recipe has cayenne pepper, garlic powder, black pepper, and brown sugar. (If I use a maple cure, then I don't add the brown sugar) I don't usually measure much of this, I just eyeball it, with the exception of the brown sugar. I generally end up with about 4 gallons of brine and add about 1 pound of brown sugar. I transfer the brine into a meat lugger, and just sprinkle the other stuff over the surface of the base brine.

Here is where you can make any adjustments you want.k I made a couple batches with 2 cups worcestershire sauce. A couple others I used 2 cups of teriyaki sauce. Needless to say, I think I had somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 pounds of meat, to make into jerky.

I kept all the different species separate from one another, just so I knew what was what. That way too, when I was done, I vacuumed it up and gave some out to friends and family, for the holidays.

As far as the smoking process, I started them out at 180*, and had to rotate them in the house, as I was still having airflow issues (fan crapped out). I left them in the house until they started to dry off a bit, but were still a little tacky to the touch. I then gave each batch one nice big smoke cycle, using either my hardwood mixture, or just straight hickory sawdust.

Jerky is one of those items you just have to keep cooking it, until it get to the right consistency. Not too moist, not too dry. I was smoking jerky for 18 hours on a Saturday, and about 12 hours on that Sunday, and about 6 more hours on Monday night. icon_cry.gif

When I was done, I had a whole bunch of jerky. The Elk and Buffalo turned out the best. As they were actually cut from steaks and roasts. The goose breast was really good too.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif I really had a lot of that in the freezer. The surprising stuff was the duck jerky. Some was really good, and you couldn't even tell it was duck. But then there was a few pieces that I could tell were from the diver ducks. Still a bit gamey, but eatable anyway. The rest was just plain old good jerky.

I thought I would pass this along, just in case some of you have stuff in the freezer that you need to get rid of. Don't be afraid to make jerky out of anything (within reason of course).PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif