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Spur of the week jerky try (WQV)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Picked up a 3# sirloin roast @ 2.99 lb, sliced it up 1/8-1/4" thick throughout. Soaked it in a bowl of Uncle Bucks Hot and Spicy Jerky Cure for 48 hours and tossed it in the smoker tonight around 8PM EST. Since I know the MES has a hard time generating smoke at a low temp, I took an unorthodox approach to this attempt.

Fire the smoker up to 250 and let it reach temp.
Had my meat laid out on the racks in the kitchen over paper towels waiting to go.
Dumped a large handful of hickory chips in the chip dumper.
Once they got to wisping out the top of the MES, I grabbed my racks and tossed them in but held the door open for a 30 seconds or so to keep the burner going and let the heat drop a bit.
Shut the door, and reduced the to 160 and set the timer for 3 hours.

This pic was taken about 1AM EST and it shows the issue with the MES putting out high temps on the right side of the box. I rotated the meat after this pic to even it out.

Super large image available here:
post #2 of 9
Looks Great...
post #3 of 9
That is alot of temp differential judging by the meat color. You may need to steer clear of those areas in the future, and crowd it more towards the left.

You might try using a dry drip pan/water pan to baffle the heat and help even it out.

Does the MES run any cooler than 160*? I try to cold smoke with cured meat (115-120*), then, raise it to 150* to get the drying going in a gasser.

I'll need to do something similar on my Smoke Vault in a couple days when I do some snack sticks. It's hot in the upper left/rear and lower right/front...I know, weird...I'll probably just stay away from the ends of the racks altogether, than I'll have lees worry of temp issues.

The rest is lookin' pretty tasty, and big man-size slabs!

Keep us informed on how it turns out.

post #4 of 9
Looks like your well on your way to some great jerky. Enjoy
post #5 of 9
Gonna be some good jerky
post #6 of 9

Nice QVW. I need to try me some jerky.

My advice for you is you need to use your water pan. It does the following things for you:
  1. It catches grease drippings. Without it, grease dripping on the heating element (or the cover over it) could ignite. The Electric Smoker topic has several threads where people have had this happen.
  2. Filling the pan nearly full with boiling water will help get the smoker up to temp faster.
  3. It will help the temps recover faster when you open the door.
  4. It will help regulate the temps throughout the smoker by acting as a baffle between the heat source and your meat.
  5. It prevents the heat from traveling straight up the right side from the burner to the vent. I believe this has a lot to do with the level of uneven cooking that you are seeing. It will still be hotter on the right with the water pan, but not near as much.
See the Electric Smoker thread, some people have been experimenting with modifying their MES by adding an extra baffle/heat shield on the right side to try to even the temps out more. I've been waiting to hear some more definitive results, but I think its a good idea and will eventually try adding something to mine too.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Whoops, I didn't even think about #1 and the possibility of fire. Duly noted and I added a note to my smoker prep to make sure the pan is in place at all times now. This was the first time I smoked without it though, I always have it in place for other stuff I smoke.

I've been watching the baffle thread in that forum to see what the results are.
post #8 of 9
Looking good........
post #9 of 9
I saw where someone else filled their drip pan with lava rocks when making jerky (I assume this was to cut down on the moisture factor so the jerky would dry better). I also think I read once where somebody filled it with sand.
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