I see most of the government and universities recommend boiling or steaming jerky for 5 minutes or so, to 165* IT before drying. This seems just WRONG to me. Also, I read on askthemeatman site (I think it was) that only the "surface" has to reach 165* at some point in time. "We recommend smoking/drying your Beef or Deer Jerky until the surface temperature reads 165 degrees." The surface temp make more sense to me. Otherwise, how could we have steak, or a long roasting time for beef roast, done rare at 120* - 130* IT? I'm talking about using whole muscle meat sliced. Not ground meat. If you took it to 165* in a dry heat for 5 minutes or so, in smoker or oven, and then quickly lowered temps to finish smoking/drying, would that satisfy the food police (be safe)? Or could I just smoke and dry it at 140*-150* and just raise temp at end? BIG QUESTIONS! 1. Short of buying an infrared surface thermometer..., what temp and how long would I have to have jerky in dry heat to reach 165* surface temp, and how long? a) While still wet in beginning? b) At the end of drying? I made jerky off and on for years in oven with no thermometers, no cure, and just went by texture and bend. I even made it with just the pilot light (remember those? LOL) over a long period of time to dry. But I am all for safety. And if I can insure my family and friends won't get sick from something I have done wrong, then I'm willing to change things. I now use cure #1, because I like the safety edge it gives me for longer drying time at low temps. I sure hope I've explained things okay, and asked the right questions, so as not to confuse people, as well as myself. I hate typing talk. So much easier talking in person. LOL Thanks for your input.