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Looking for Jerky Info.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I've made plenty of ground beef jerky using Nesco's seasonings and dehydrator but now what to try my hand using muscle meat (eye of round, london broil, etc.) and my MES. At what temp should I smoke and for how long? Should I apply smoke the entire time or for just the first hour or two? Also, any seasoning kits or marinades you'd recommend? Thanks.
post #2 of 7
I run just one tray of smoke in my GOSM type smoker on jerky as it seems to absorb the smoke flavor quickly. I use round roasts usually, but any lean roast that's on sale will do.

I typically only make jerky in the winter months, so I can get the unit as low as 180F and no higher than 200F. My preference is to do up to 3 hours and no more in the smoker, than into the oven at 170F (lowest setting on our oven) with the door open slightly for another 3ish hours. You're basically looking for however dry you like your jerky at this point. Some smaller pieces are consumed even before making it to the oven...

I've made my own marinade/brine/cure whatever you want to call it for jerky.

5 lb. beef, meat
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. wine vinegar
1/4 c. ketchup
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. olive oil
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tbsp. onion flakes
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 tsp. cumin

This goes into a large freezer bag in the fridge for 24 hours. Then it's set on racks to dry out a bit, then into the smoker.

The above is a spicy BBQ flavor and has a light kick with the cayenne pepper.

There are probably other methods out there and some that are better, but this is the routine that I've adopted and that works for me.
post #3 of 7
Oh... And I don't put any water in the water pan because the goal is to dry your meat and steam doesn't help too much. Sorry if I'm pointing out the obvious... tongue.gif
post #4 of 7
Only 2 times I made good jerky was while camping a couple of times over the last couple of years. I used top round cut 1/8" thick into sheets. Then used a terryaki style marinade (will see if I can find the recipe and post a bit later).

Marinaded 24 + hours then on a bullet smoker at around 130, really just dumping embers from the campfire (wood I knew what it was) in a couple at a time and smoked for 10-12 hours until it reached the desired "doneness".

turned out great. Of course I couldn't see straight by the end of the smoke being that I sat with the smoker on one side, the cooler on the other and the campire in front of me, but hey us cooks must sacrificePDT_Armataz_01_12.gif
post #5 of 7
i usually make my jerky out of deer or antelope; any meat will do, but the main thing is to have no fat in your jerky, so make sure it is well-trimmed. i've done strips and i've also done cubes. the cubes were easier than i thought they would be and also turned out better than i thought they would be - the red, chewy center was very good and reminded me of italian parma ham or south african biltong.

i find that with jerky seasonings, brines, marinades etc., the key is a good balance of salty, spicy and sweet. i usually cure my jerky meat with tender-quik and find that this is usually enough salt for the brine. for the spicy part, chrushed red pepper flakess are good, although there is nothing wrong with CBP. for the weet, molasses is good, sometimes apple juice, i even used a can of dr. pepper once with very good results.

jerky seasong can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be, but the balance mentioned above will provide a great end product; from there, you can push it in any direction you want, but it is not necessary. in fact, some of the best jerky i had was as simple as salt, crushed red pepper flakes and molasses, nothing else.

finally, make sure you DRY your jerky, not COOK it. temperatures should be low and air flow is the most important factor. if your nesco has a temp adjustment, it shouldn't be any higher than 140, 160 tops. i usually find that i get a little better flavor from an oven set at the lowest setting with the door propped open by a butter knife or wooden spoon. for the same of experimentation, you might try some finished in the nesco and some done in the oven. as for smoke, i use my little and big chief smokers for that, and 2 pans of chips is enough, never more. one pan might be fine, as well - it is easy to voer-do it since the meat dries and shrinks.
post #6 of 7
TasunkaWitko has excellent advice +1 to what he says.
post #7 of 7
Made Jerky this weekend. Check it out:
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