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Pepper-Steak Jerky from Bottom Round in SV24: Q-view - Page 2

post #21 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spicy-Meat View Post

Once you took the meat out of the baggies did you rinse them off with water or place them right in the smoker?



 Straight to the smoker, no rinse...it brings on a pretty intense flavor that way.

 

Eric

post #22 of 33

Thanks Eric.  I am going to make a batch in my smoker this weekend.  I forgot to ask....in your recipe you have *3/4 cup potable water.  Is the water per pound of sliced beef? 

 

-Brian

post #23 of 33
Thread Starter 

Hi again, Brian-

 

The whole original recipe is based on 3lbs of meat, so 1/4 cup water/lb...adjust any measures accordingly.

 

Eric

post #24 of 33

Great Write up!  i wanna try smoking jerky this way, do you have a write up of general guidlines for the process?

- temps?

- times?

- do's and dont's

- what to look for throughout the process

 

thanks

post #25 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougmays View Post

Great Write up!  i wanna try smoking jerky this way, do you have a write up of general guidlines for the process?

- temps?

- times?

- do's and dont's

- what to look for throughout the process

 

thanks



Thanks Doug,

 

I thought I had some general guidelines I follow written up in another of my Jerky Q-views from a while back, but can't seem to find the text in any of those threads.

 

When making Jerky with cured meat, I try to keep the temp of the smoker relatively low (<120*) during the smoking stage, which is about 15-20 minutes for thin pieces, and up to 30 minutes for thick slices. The jerky meat should reach high enough internal temps before the interior moisture content is greatly reduced, as the harmful bacteria may become heat resistant if their environment becomes too dry before they are killed from the heat. I try to bump my temps up (155-165*) after smoking just to get temps inside the meat higher before the moisture content gets too low.

 

Here's some additional info:

 

http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/fn580.pdf 

 

Although, in the above pages, they mention the recommendation of using a hot (160*) marinate, which actually cooks the meat before it's dried, I've never done that. I think the resulting product would be more like a dried out over-cooked steak, and not have that deep mohogany color and intense flavor throughout.

 

 

SOME CURING TIPS I FOLLOW:

 

I allow at least 24 hours for the marinade/curing process, and I have cured for up to 4 days depending on the conditions. With thicker cuts of meat or more dense (bulkier) packaging, I allow more time for curing. Also, I turn over the bag of meat and squish it around to redistribute the seasonings/cure through the meat just for added assurance that all the pieces of meat will fully cure before smoking/drying.

 

 

DRYING TIPS:

 

During the dry stage of jerky making, I try to keep an eye out for the deepening mohogany color and shrinkage of the meat. When I see a lot of both I start to check texture by squeezing a few sample pieces by hand or with tongs (sanitized first) and giving them a slight bend to feel for spring-back or resistance to bending. Also, most smokers will have hot/cold spots, so rotating the racks will help to ensure more evenly dried jerky batches (less variations in samples of product). Late in the drying, I may check a few samples by actually trying to fold them in half. If they crack, but don't fully break apart, they are ready to remove and lay out on towels for air drying while they cool down.

 

If they snap apart, being brittle, they are overdried. Overdrying isn't a safety issue, just texture. I always have a small percentage which will become overdried, even when I use a flat rack method instead of hanging which allows me to remove one rack at a time for inspection to remove any peices which are ready and return thre remainer back to the smoker to finish drying. Over-dried pieces can simply be left in open air at room temp before eating and they will take on some moisture from the air to soften back up a bit. Relative humidity, thickness of the jerky and will determine the amount of time.

 

Don't be intimidated by the process of making jerky, as it's really pretty simple and easy to do, and you will be very well rewarded for your efforts. It does require a great deal of time, from cure, to smoke, to drying, to packaged for storage, but you can be doing other projects while the jerky is drying. I like to stay close-by during smoking, and towards the end of drying...those are the critacal stages, IMO.

 

Eric

post #26 of 33

great thanks! 

 

is there any problem with them being "under done" except for long term storage issues? meaning if i happen to under-do them...are they still safe to eat?

post #27 of 33
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougmays View Post

great thanks! 

 

is there any problem with them being "under done" except for long term storage issues? meaning if i happen to under-do them...are they still safe to eat?



Hmm...if the meat was brought to safe temps, it is OK to eat, but product with more moisture content will have a reduced shelf life, varying from less than one day to several days depending on actual moisture content, I would think. Low moisture content is the key to a shelf-stable product...less moisture = longer life. My best finished jerky product has a loss of 48-52% by weight. If I get a shade less than half the weight of what I started with, I'm happy with it. I've had some with a loss of about 56% as I recall, and this was a very tough jerky...still great flavor, but more dry than it needed to be for my storage methods. If you have a food scale in the 4-5lb capacity, you can weigh your cured meat in the bag, then weigh it again after smoking and calculate the ratio of moisture loss. Actually, for the sake of proper curing, I would highly recommend using a food scale. After trimming the meat, you won't have any idea how much it weighs, and I have always gotten different weights than store labeling reads (always less than the label, of course). There is always some moisture lost in the packaging, and even more moisture loss after a frozen meat is thawed. So, scales are a must, IMO, being very inexpensive insurance and a tool which can tell you the overall outcome of your drying process as well.

 

When I make jerky, I usually have about 12-14lbs for my Smoke Vault 24. With 6-7lbs finished product, I put about 2/3 or more into the freezer after bagging it up, then pull a bag out to thaw at room temp for several hours before opening. Oh, that brings up another tip: keep frozen/chilled bags tightly closed until the entire contents have warmed to room temp. This helps to avoid condensation from forming on the jerky (very bad thing) due to room-air humidity. If condensation does form on the meat, you can pat it off with paper towels and let the surface dry off in a warm place (low temp oven, or warm stove top while cooking in the oven, if all else fails). The sooner the condensation is dried off, the better.

 

We tend to eat a 1lb bag in just a few days, so room temp storage over long term doesn't happen in my house. I would suggest that any jerky you won't eat in a week or less be chilled, and any which won't be eaten in less than 2 weeks be frozen. I've read somewhere that properly prepared jerky will last indefinitely at any temp, but that's a broad range of conditions with too many variables to take into consideration. I wouldn't advise long-term storage at room temp or in a refrigerator without the use of mold inhibitors and all the other chemical additives they use for commercially produced jerky products. But then, where would be the advantage in making our own at home? Yeah, makes no sense to me...if I can keep my additives restricted to only curing agents, I'm happy.

 

Oh, for whole muscle jerky meat, slice with the grain/muscle fibers for a very chewy product, and across the grain for a softer bite and chew.

 

Eric

post #28 of 33

Eric,

 

This looks sooooooo gooddrool.gifYou have have inspired me to leave the dehydrator in the closet the next time I make jerky. 

post #29 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toby Bryant View Post

Eric,

 

This looks sooooooo gooddrool.gifYou have have inspired me to leave the dehydrator in the closet the next time I make jerky. 

 

Ha-ha!!! That's the whole idea...no liquid smoke around my house...it's the real deal here. Hmm, come to think of it, I've never used liquid smoke for anything. I even smoke my bbq beans (from scratch).

 

This batch was a while ago, and I use a bit more refined methods than what I discussed here, mainly a wet pan during drying until right up to the point when it looks close to finished, then I dump the water. Other than that, the bulk of the process remains the same...not too complicated. Maybe I'll post up a new thread on it sometime after the 1st of the year...just a quick run-down. Been so darn busy at work this past several months that I can't see daylight anymore, but things are slowing down just a bit lately, so I may be able to get a batch going in a few more weeks. And, I have to get started on curing/smoking sausages, pastrami, etc, for our family reunion next summer. If only I didn't have to work...(sigh)...

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Eric

post #30 of 33
Even though this thread is over 2 years old it is still a great guide! Thanks for posting it
post #31 of 33
looks good. Going to try this for sure.
post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toby Bryant View Post
 

Eric,

 

This looks sooooooo gooddrool.gifYou have have inspired me to leave the dehydrator in the closet the next time I make jerky. 

I'm so glad these posts stay here forever!  I smoke all kinds of stuff ... but never have ventured past the dehydrator for my jerky.  But I have a fairly new smoker now and plan to give this a whirl this week.  

post #33 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuCasa View Post
 

I'm so glad these posts stay here forever!  I smoke all kinds of stuff ... but never have ventured past the dehydrator for my jerky.  But I have a fairly new smoker now and plan to give this a whirl this week.  

 

I'm just the opposite of most, I guess. I didn't own a dehydrator until a year or so ago. My main use for it has been to dry my own dry rub ingredients. I think you'll like the smoked jerky...you can really load them up with large batches if you want to, and that makes it easier to invest your time in the venture.

 

This may give you some ideas how to expand the capacity of your smoker...it allowed me the potential to double my jerky capacity:

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/82259/smoke-vault-24-double-capacity-jerky-racks-how-to-w-q-view

 

Let me know if you have any questions how to proceed...happy to help.

 

 

Eric

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