that's how I do mine,,,,kind of on a 45 degree,,,better of both worlds. I have some in the smoker right now....
There's a personal preference involved here.
Some like they're jerky to be more tender and have little given when eaten while others like a chewier, tougher mouth-feel. Much has to do with how the meat is treated AND how it is sliced. If you cut with your knife parallel to the grain, you end up with long muscle fibers that are tough for your teeth to break through (i.e. chewier). Slicing thinly against the grain, however, delivers very short pieces of muscle fiber that are barely held together (i.e. tender).
Here's my dilemma— in our house, some like the tougher jerky, others like it more tender. So I wind up doing it both ways (with and across the grain). Me? I like it on the more tender side.
Found this image using steak slices, which really helps explain it better— WITH the grain & Cross the grain:
After almost two days of marinade, time to hang the meats pieces for the smoker. Using the tried & true wooden toothpick method, I managed to get all 10 pound onto a single rack. This was my preference (vs multi-rack) in order to get a consistent temp for the duration.
Hanging for the first hour or so with no smoke @ 150°F to dry off the excess moisture before applying smoke.
Using a maple/hickory blend of dust, I applied light smoke for the next 3-4 hours.
Here's a shot about 2 hours into the smoke application...
After nearly 5 hours @ 150°F I did a test-pull and the jerky looks & feels just about right...
Good color & texture. Tens pounds of beef yielded just a bit over 5 pounds of jerky. Here's samples side by side...
The teriyaki jerky has a touch of garlicky sweetness (almost a tang) & just the right amount of saltiness...
The black pepper jerky has a great 'basic' jerky flavor, with a bit of heat provided by the coarse-ground peppercorns...
Most importantly, all the boys seem to like both types, so I'm a happy jerky-maker!
Looks great! what smoker do you use?
Wille, this is actually my first batch made in this masterbuilt gas smoker. In the past, I've relied on my wife's multi-rack dehydrator and/or my old weber smokey mountain.
I wanted to apply smoke this go-round (hence, no dehydrator), but I didnt want the hassle of the high-maintenance temperature management inherent with using the weber—so the master built was chosen for the job. Worked pretty well too. Kept a fairly consistent temp range (150-160°F) for the 6 hour process.
With the Extra wide, I realized I could probably do 30+ pounds at one time—should the need arise.
I did both recipes just like you said for the first jerky I've ever smoked and the flavors are great!! Thank you so much for sharing.
I picked up ten pounds of lean top round recently. After chilling them well to near frozen, I sliced the lot into approximately 1/8-1/4" wide strips—depending on how distracted I was during the slicing.
I decided to make two flavors—a basic black pepper jerky (my son's favorite), and teriyaki.
Here are the recipes I followed. You can use regular soy sauce. We're a gluten-free household so the GF soy sauce ($$) is what I used.
Basic Black Pepper Jerky Marinade
for 5lbs meat
8 oz Gluten-free Soy Sauce
2 oz Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbl Fresh coarse-ground black pepper (Tellicherry preferred)
1 Tbl Garlic powder (or 3 fresh garlic cloves, finely chopped)
1 tsp Cayenne (optional)
1 tsp (levell) Cure#1
1 tsp Liquid Smoke (I didn't use this as I plan on smoking the beef)
Teriyaki Jerky Marinade
for 5lbs meat
10 oz Gluten-free Soy sauce
4 oz Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbl chopped garlic
2 tsp fresh black pepper
8 oz Dark Brown sugar
2 tsp fresh chopped Ginger
3 finely-chopped Scallions (white & green parts)
2 tsp -1 Tbl Sesame oil (potent, so use to taste)
1 tsp (level) Cure#1
I mixed in the meat in two bowls with the ingredients, and bagged them in zip-loc freezer bags. Squeezed out the excess air and these will both reside in my fridge for the next two days. Then it's off to the smoker with them on Monday.
More to come...
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