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Jerky Temps

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have been making some jerky lately in my oven and about 180-200 deg. Now that the weather is starting to brake (i hope), i will be pulling the smoker out to try some cold smoked salmon. i would like to try some smoked jerky. I have been using himountain cures. my smoker is charcoal driven so, cold temps are very weather related. for the salmon, i will not even use charcoal, just saw dust and a soldering iron.

any thoughts? can i just cold smoke with lots of air flow to dehydrate? I am trying for a different texture than the "cooked" jerky.

post #2 of 4
As for cold smoking jerky, that's the way to go. I try to start my jerky smokes @ 120*F while I smoke. I stop the smoke after about 15-20 minutes (or the smoke gets too heavy). The small thin pieces don't take very long to smoke.

After removing the smoke wood, I like to slowly (spread out over about 1 hr) bump the chamber temp to about 150* for cured meat. Make sure you have a good amount of draft (air flow) to carry the humidity out of the cook chamber.

Also note that the more jerky you load into the smoker, the longer the drying time will be. I can put 14lbs into my Smoke Vault 24 (10 grates) and it will take about 12-14 hours with about 40% relative humidity. If I cut back to about 8lbs, the drying time will be around 8 hours.

Remember the humidity has a lot to do with drying time...you may need a bit higher temps to overcome high relative humidity.

I know what you mean about cooked jerky...not that great to eat...the cured/smoked/dried jerky is over the top. Check your texture after several hours (bend test, squeeze test), and more often as it feels like it's close to what you're looking for. For a lot of chew, take it all the way to a leathery feel. I like to finish the drying in an open baking pan/cookie sheet lined with paper towels, if I find some pieces that were not quite where I wanted them.

Man, I gotta do another batch again soon, myself...running pretty low.

Have fun!

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank you Eric,

I have a ceramic cooker and to hold low temps will be difficult. I am glad you mentioned the smoke time. I think I might try smokeing with my fan on, stop the smoke and add a couple of 100 watt light bulbs to control the temp and leave the blower during that time also.

post #4 of 4
I also dry my jerky with temps around 100-110 and smoke for a couple 3 hrs.total time in the smoker is about 10 hrs.but I cut mine 3/8's thick X1" wide.also I use a $10 hot plate for my low temps.
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