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Sighted-in my Jerky Gun Today

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I though I'd pass this on, as I haven't seen an awful lot of threads on snack sticks lately.

I bought the Nesco/American Harvest Jerky Works kit on-line about 6 or 7 months ago and finally got around to digging it out and putting it to use.

I mixed up the cure and regular/original jerky seasoning per the instructions with 85/15 ground beef. I didn't shoot the meat onto a rack right away as the instructions read...it didn't make much sense to do that...not allow any time for it to cure...so I left it in a ceramic bowl with poly wrap tightly pressed onto the meat for 20 hours. I smelled the mix prior to covering, and noticed a slight smoke odor...what? Did they put a dehydrated liquid smoke into the seasoning blend? I don't know.

I prepped my Smoke Vault Jerky grate and shot all the meat out through the strip tip and it still smelled of a slight smoke odor...OK, I don't want jerky smoke flavor so strong that it won't be edible, so into the "O" we went on the lowest setting (170*) for intermitent periods along with a meat thermo under the grate so I could monitor the temp.

I tried to keep it under 150*, but saw it hit higher a few times, and opened the door several times even with the oven turned off.

After patting the grease of a third time it felt pretty leathery so I left it out on the stove top and continued the grease patting.

The texture is very good, with a slight chew, and the flavor is also very good, though the smoke flavor I thought I smelled did not come through after drying. Next batch will be hit with the thin blue for about 20 minutes @ 115-120* grate temps, then dried afterwards at 140-150*.

Edit: dry time was approx. 4-1/2 hours

Thanks all!

post #2 of 3
I just bought one of their dehydrators and it had 2 packs of jerky seasoning and 2 packs of the cure but I just tossed them aside not really thinking about anything more than drying veggies form the garden.
Came across the packs the other day and thought about mixing up with some beef and tossing on the smoker at a lower temp (sure has been cold enough at night) and see how well the jerky comes out but I would much rather just use it on a round roast or something as opposed to the ground beef because I figured that would be more like actually jerky but have no clue what is in the packs since they don't seem to list the ingredients.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
I remember going through the kit when I first got it, and somewhere I found ingredients (no volumes/measures, of course)...I might have gone on thier website and found it that way or something...I'm not sure now 'cause I might have slept since then, lol!

It did seem like the basic cure like TQ, and the seasonings had a couple odd things for keeping the stuff fresh, etc. but nothing way out in left field.

I only used the seasoning and cure because it came with it,enough for 5lbs of meat. I'll do my own when this runs out, I'm sure. The kit has an order form for more. It's $0.89/lb for the small refill kit of seasoning and cure + shipping, so I think I'll make due on my own with TQ and the spice cabinet.

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