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170 lbs of Venison Jerky - starting today!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I have questions on smoking the Jerky - I have never smoked it before. I have an Excaliber Dehydrator an have always used that. I was thinking of smoking for a short time, then moving to the dehydrator to finish. One reason I want to move the meat to the dehydrater is because my type of smoker is a very moist smoker and I am not sure that I could finish the jerky in my smoker with out making it like shoe leather.

What are your thoughts? Smoke for how long? at what temp? to get the smoke flavor before moving to the dehydrator.

I have this deal with all my hunter friends, if they bring me the meat to make into Jerky, they get 50% back (by finished weight). So I have 170 lbs of Venison that has been in the vac sealed & freezer since December 1st, 2006. I always freeze wild game for at least 60 days before making into Jerky that I am giving out to friends (I make it for me from fresh meat - but no one else) - anywho, I got busy last year and never got a chance to get back to Jerky making.

Today I will defrost 35-40 pounds and run thru my meat slicer while still partly frozen, brine, and begin the smoking & dehydrating tomorrow.
post #2 of 20
I cold smoke mine for about 6 hours and let it hang in the smokehouse until it is dry enough. If it is humid, I place a little electric heater in the smokehouse to keep the moisture evaporated out.
post #3 of 20

for smoke flavor i would put into smoker at a low temp 120 or as low as your smoker will go and smoke it for 1-2 hours then move it to your dehydrator you can try doing a small batch in your smoker and see which is better how long in the smoker depends on what temp you smoke at the lower the temp the longer it takes
post #4 of 20
what salmon said........i do it ALL the time.........smoke it for couple hours.......then finish up in the dehydrator......hold on......let me find the link


post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys! I kinda figured a few hours in the smoker then move to dehydrator. I am just dethawing the meat now and will silce in the morning while it is still half froze, then brine, and try the smoker for a few hours.

What woods are the best for venison jerkey?
post #6 of 20
i like hickory
post #7 of 20
Made some beef jerky last week. have also done deer too. I do it all on the smoker at 150-170 and it comes out great. I always use a cure in the marinade just to be safe. you can tell when its done when its as dry as you like it. I like hickery as well. You have so much meat give it a try.

Here is a link to some pics and the marinade. Deer i would cut down the marinade time to no longer than 24 hours.

post #8 of 20
Hickory is good, but apple seems to me to really enhance the meat's natural flavor. Maybe a base of hickory and a finish in apple..Hmm I'm gonna try that next batch.
post #9 of 20
The apple sounds good, Im gonna give it a shot too.
post #10 of 20
Check out this guys site, He does a great job on making smoked jerky and lots of good pics too.

post #11 of 20
He's about on the button with costs too! I have figured about $15/Lb using a decent $2.25 or so a Lb. full tip roast.
post #12 of 20
Your right. I think the site is a little old. I use top round at about $2.99/lb.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well I just got done cutting up 1/2 of the meat - My back is killing me! I had to do a lot of hand slicing and could not use my meat slicer for much.
Mixed up my marinade and used 1 tsp of Progue powder per 5 lbs, as a cure, in the marinade. I think my costs are a bit higher on the spice/marinade end, as I use quite a bit of Jack Daniels in my mix.

I am going to try smoking some with Hickory, some with Apple, then Pecan. I'll let you know how it goes.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Sorry for not updating you guys for so long. I had to push this batch out quickly to give to a friend before he went to his hunting cabin, so I did not smoke any. But I still have about 85 lbs to process and will plan on smoking first.

See, I am so busy that I don't have time to hunt, so all my friends give me the meat and I process into jerky - then they get back 50% by weight and I get the other 50% for making it. This works well for my jerky habit and they get jerky for free. All my hunting friends give me what ever they have left in the freezer from last year - right after they get there first deer for the new season.
post #15 of 20
Please let us know how the smoked batch go's.
post #16 of 20
Just out of curiosity, is there a reason that you always freeze it first? I know with fish, people often freeze to kill parasites before making sushi. Is that the deal with deer since your cooking at lower temps?
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yes, freeze first to kill parasites. I will make jerky out of fresh venison for myself only. But when I make it for friends, they eat it, pass it on to other, the others pass it on, and so on. So the is quite a potential that I could get serveral people sick, and I would feel just aweful.
post #18 of 20
Dumb question of the day...

Isn't a dehydrator just a very low heat fan forced oven? Why can't you smoke for two hours and then turn the temp WAY down and let it rest in the smoker until done?

I have never made jerky, but I'm very interested in this thread because I want to do some. I have a dehydrator that I use for fruit and the like, and I'll use it if I need to, but I can turn the heat way down to less than 90F in my cook chamber.

Please advise.

PS- If this is a hijack, please tell me. I'll repost a new thread.
post #19 of 20
emtee........i have a thread on jerky in the jerky section......(DUH)......i smoked for couple hours and then finished up in my dehydrator turned down all the way.........good ol A.B. (alton brown), did a show on jerky.......he just used a box fan, and paper furnace filters.....no heat at all.........
post #20 of 20
Thanks, makes sense to me.
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