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Cold smoking some jerky

Magic Meat

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Got another batch of jerky in the cold smoker.
Been dialing in my cold smoke time, today running 50/50 applewood and hickory chunks on a thin bed of BGE lump. Today it's raining and humid 76deg. Trying to run the smoker a little hot at about 87deg. To combat the humidity, It's tough to get this thing 10deg. Higher then ambient temp, it's a cold smoker after all.

Working on my recipe, this is roughly what I have going on per lb :
1/4tsp #1 pink
1 1/2tsp fine sea salt
1/2tsp fresh ground black pepper
1tsp garlic powder
1/2tsp dried onion flakes
1tbsp hoisen sauce
2tsp brown sugar
1tsp pure maple syrup
1tsp sriracha
2/3 cup warm water to whisk together

Been working on perfecting this one for years lol.
It's really good
I like to run 3/8" slices of extra lean top round
I vaccuum marinated for 26hrs, put it in the dehydrator for about 3 hours till it got tacky and loaded it up for a 2hr smoke then back into the dehydrator to finish.
I am just about finished the cold smoker build, got a indoor outdoor thermometer mounted up, put the wheels on it and added 2 adjustable height racks inside.
This thing is gonna see some serious meat, fish and cheese in the next few months, I will be posting.
Here is some pix.
 

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thirdeye

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Nice set-up. What is the physical size of the smoke generator, it's kind of deceiving in the pictures.

So the marinade is kind of a thick slurry? Or does the water thin it out more? And how did you arrive at the amount of Cure #1? I use a dry cure for my jerky and buy cure in bulk, but it's weaker than Tender Quick and really in there for color and texture more than safety as my processing takes 4 to 6 hours max.
 

Magic Meat

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Nice set-up. What is the physical size of the smoke generator, it's kind of deceiving in the pictures.

So the marinade is kind of a thick slurry? Or does the water thin it out more? And how did you arrive at the amount of Cure #1? I use a dry cure for my jerky and buy cure in bulk, but it's weaker than Tender Quick and really in there for color and texture more than safety as my processing takes 4 to 6 hours max.
Hi, so the smoke generator is built from one of those kids helium balloon filling tanks from Wally World that I cut a door into and cut a 4" hole in the top for the duct, it's probably 4 gallon or so, it works perfect, it will run for a hour or two at a time without checking it. The smoke goes through 18 feet of aluminum flex duct so it cools off the smoke to just about ambient temp by time it reaches the box. The smoke box is 24x24x48 so it's pretty good size, I can cram a lot into it.
The prague amount I use is a touch high to offset the volume of water and liquids i use in the marinade, It starts off pretty watery and thin at first but thickens considerably by time 24hrs passes. the ppm ends up in the high end of the suggested amount. The typical amount is 1 level tsp per 5 lbs. So I am running 1 level tsp per 4 lbs. So per lb a 1/4 tsp + 2/3 cup of water and the hoisen sauce and maple syrup is around another 12oz so it's really like 10-12% high..
You could certainly go a little lighter and still be safe though.
I personally would rather run my prague a touch high since I am cold smoking it and mishandling it in the danger zone with the meat well above 70% moisture content willy nilly for upwards of 6-8 hours so I would rather make sure I am definitely not under, plus what it does for the texture, tenderness and color is phenomenal.
 

xray

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You jerky recipe looks good! Thanks for sharing.
 

Magic Meat

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You jerky recipe looks good! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, I take pride in my jerky ! Another thing I do with all my jerky for the past 5 years and 100% swear by it no matter the style, peppered, teriyaki, etc.. I glaze it after the smoke about 1/2 to 3/4 the way through the drying, I use pure dark maple syrup cut like 30%-40% with water, I give them about a 30 second dredge in it and shake off the drips and put it back in the dehydrator. It gives it that little addicting sweetness on the front but does not affect the intended flavor at all. It dries hard and shiney on the exterior surface, it rounds out the sharpness of the smoke and evens it out the overall smoke flavor, it also seems to even out the drying between the varying thicknesses of my cuts, and it stabilizes the moisture content.
Pure (real) maple syrup has a quite a bit of calcium and potassium in it which I believe helps stabilize the exterior of the jerky helping it stay fresher and cleaner tasting longer, also keeps it from getting any of that strange gamey off taste from fat that can give jerky that old taloe suet taste if you've ever experienced that.
Try it, you won't be disappointed !
 

cmayna

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Any finished product pics of your jerky? Recipe looks great.
 

Magic Meat

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Any finished product pics of your jerky? Recipe looks great.
Actually funny you mention it, I just pulled it out of the dehydrator 10 mins ago and letting it cool down before I jar it. It's totally dry but notice the glazed wet look and color !
I do totally random cuts with random grain just chop it up, I never was a fan of uniform jerky, that way if you want a chewy one grab a long grain, if you want a tender one grab a cross cut. Small pieces big pieces etc.
 

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thirdeye

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...The prague amount I use is a touch high to offset the volume of water and liquids i use in the marinade, It starts off pretty watery and thin at first but thickens considerably by time 24hrs passes. the ppm ends up in the high end of the suggested amount. The typical amount is 1 level tsp per 5 lbs. So I am running 1 level tsp per 4 lbs. So per lb a 1/4 tsp + 2/3 cup of water and the hoisen sauce and maple syrup is around another 12oz so it's really like 10-12% high..
You could certainly go a little lighter and still be safe though.
I personally would rather run my prague a touch high since I am cold smoking it and mishandling it in the danger zone with the meat well above 70% moisture content willy nilly for upwards of 6-8 hours so I would rather make sure I am definitely not under, plus what it does for the texture, tenderness and color is phenomenal.
You might not be as high on the nitrite as you think. In a wet cure you take the amount of meat plus the weight of water and other ingredients, then calculate the weight of Cure #1 needed. So your estimate of 1.75 pounds total (meat and liquid) would need ~1/3 teaspoon (~2 grams) of Cure #1 , and would come in around 125 to 150 ppm. Of course a more accurate weight of the water + syrup + hoisen would be needed to really dial in the numbers.
 
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Magic Meat

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You might not be as high on the nitrite as you think. In a wet cure you take the amount of meat plus the weight of water and other ingredients, then calculate the weight of Cure #1 needed. So your estimate of 1.75 pounds total (meat and liquid) would need ~1/3 teaspoon (~2 grams) of Cure #1 , and would come in around 125 to 150 ppm. Of course a more accurate weight of the water + syrup + hoisen would be needed to really dial in the numbers.
Ya, I never really took the time to break it down to the exact ppm, I know if I am not high I definitely am right around whereI should be, I usually always round up a touch, like if my meat weight is say 4lbs 14oz I just call it 5 ya know, I never round the other way though, my kitchen scale is a little frisky.. After cooking for so many years you kind of get a feel for it that is almost automatic. Like measuring out a level tsp that you know should be a little light I stick my finger in it and push a little out the sides to make it a light tsp. Next batch for scientific purposes I will weigh out the 2/3 cup of water with the hoisen and syrup.. I believe 2/3 cup of water is like 5.3 oz then the Hoisen, and maple syrup probably is another 1 oz or so. I think am really like .3 lb of liquid per lb. So your right, a 1/4tsp per 1.3 lbs would be 1tsp per 5.2 lbs..
So maybe a touch light I suppose but still well within the realm of safety.
Thanks for making me think about it lol
 

thirdeye

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Ya, I never really took the time to break it down to the exact ppm, I know if I am not high I definitely am right around whereI should be, I usually always round up a touch, like if my meat weight is say 4lbs 14oz I just call it 5 ya know, I never round the other way though, my kitchen scale is a little frisky.. After cooking for so many years you kind of get a feel for it that is almost automatic. Like measuring out a level tsp that you know should be a little light I stick my finger in it and push a little out the sides to make it a light tsp. Next batch for scientific purposes I will weigh out the 2/3 cup of water with the hoisen and syrup.. I believe 2/3 cup of water is like 5.3 oz then the Hoisen, and maple syrup probably is another 1 oz or so. I think am really like .3 lb of liquid per lb. So your right, a 1/4tsp per 1.3 lbs would be 1tsp per 5.2 lbs..
So maybe a touch light I suppose but still well within the realm of safety.
Thanks for making me think about it lol
"Frisky" meaning you don't think it's accurate? A nickle weighs exactly 5 grams, so they make a cheap verification standard for scales. I'm more precise when measuring Cure #1 or Tender Quick, because a 1/4 gram of sugar or canning salt one direction or the other probably won't be noticed. For fun, and if you have more than one set of measuring spoons....teaspoons, 1/2t, 1/4t, etc. Grab your scale and some sugar, then fill each one and weigh it. Kitchen measuring tools are notoriously inaccurate, some by as much as 20%. What's really funny is that newer measuring spoons will have grams or millilitres printed on them making you think they were manufactured to some sort of tolerance.
 

Magic Meat

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Joined Jun 25, 2020
"Frisky" meaning you don't think it's accurate? A nickle weighs exactly 5 grams, so they make a cheap verification standard for scales. I'm more precise when measuring Cure #1 or Tender Quick, because a 1/4 gram of sugar or canning salt one direction or the other probably won't be noticed. For fun, and if you have more than one set of measuring spoons....teaspoons, 1/2t, 1/4t, etc. Grab your scale and some sugar, then fill each one and weigh it. Kitchen measuring tools are notoriously inaccurate, some by as much as 20%. What's really funny is that newer measuring spoons will have grams or millilitres printed on them making you think they were manufactured to some sort of tolerance.
Lol... I was referring to my heavy scale is frisky for weighing meat from 1 lb to 30lb, it is typically right on or right off 2 oz +-depending on how it feels that day. So I always round the + 2oz for meat weight haha.. weighing meat and being off 2 oz one way or another was never a big deal, for myself anyway. I do however use a very precision jeweler's scale used for where it counts. I just always knew I was right in the neighborhood of where it needed to be safety wise, i just never took it to the ppm level so to speak.
 

Magic Meat

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Joined Jun 25, 2020
"Frisky" meaning you don't think it's accurate? A nickle weighs exactly 5 grams, so they make a cheap verification standard for scales. I'm more precise when measuring Cure #1 or Tender Quick, because a 1/4 gram of sugar or canning salt one direction or the other probably won't be noticed. For fun, and if you have more than one set of measuring spoons....teaspoons, 1/2t, 1/4t, etc. Grab your scale and some sugar, then fill each one and weigh it. Kitchen measuring tools are notoriously inaccurate, some by as much as 20%. What's really funny is that newer measuring spoons will have grams or millilitres printed on them making you think they were manufactured to some sort of tolerance.
I frequently make a 200year old dry cure aged bacon recipe using lab grade potassium nitrate.. that is when I bust out the jeweler's scale and get to buisness, you don't want to be off using pure KNO2, that is really where it counts.
The 6.25% pink salt is nothing as long as your not confusing tsp with tbsp lol.
 

thirdeye

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I frequently make a 200year old dry cure aged bacon recipe using lab grade potassium nitrate.. that is when I bust out the jeweler's scale and get to buisness, you don't want to be off using pure KNO2, that is really where it counts.
The 6.25% pink salt is nothing as long as your not confusing tsp with tbsp lol.
Potassium nitrate is KNO3, potassium nitrite is KN02.

Potassium nitrate (saltpetre) was very common at one time, but it's been mostly discontinued in the food industry in favor of using sodium nitrite in a pre-mixed form. Modern cures have a unique process for blending and holding nitrites in suspension in the salt (or salt/sugar) carrier. This makes application more efficient, and reduces hot spots.

Commercially, nitrate is no longer allowed for use in curing of smoked and cooked meats, non-smoked and cooked meats, or sausages, and the FDA as well as The National Center for Home Food Preservation discourage it's use for home curing. However Tender Quick still contains both nitrate and nitrite, but it has always been marketed for home curing.
 

Magic Meat

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Joined Jun 25, 2020
Potassium nitrate is KNO3, potassium nitrite is KN02.

Potassium nitrate (saltpetre) was very common at one time, but it's been mostly discontinued in the food industry in favor of using sodium nitrite in a pre-mixed form. Modern cures have a unique process for blending and holding nitrites in suspension in the salt (or salt/sugar) carrier. This makes application more efficient, and reduces hot spots.

Commercially, nitrate is no longer allowed for use in curing of smoked and cooked meats, non-smoked and cooked meats, or sausages, and the FDA as well as The National Center for Home Food Preservation discourage it's use for home curing. However Tender Quick still contains both nitrate and nitrite, but it has always been marketed for home curing.
Ya I have done a bunch of reading on it off and on over the last few years, the history of bacon is intriguing to me so I set out in search of the true roots of bacon, quite a lot of history in the methods and practices of making pork belly shelf stable and edible at room temp. I have used all the cures in multiple ways and I have to say there is something different and special about kno2 and bacon, it does something to the flavor and texture along with the slow #2 conversion process and aging at room temp for a month or two... it is unparalleled and can not be replicated by any other means. I am hooked lol.
Something about soaking it for a half hour first and patting it dry, how the fat turns crystal clear like which I have never seen when it hits the pan. It has to be slow fried at low temp and the color and texture along with flavor is unexplainable unless you have tried it yourself..
I try to stay away from talking too much about it online because it almost seems taboo lol..
But I will continue the 200 year old recipe until the bacon police come and arrest me ! Haha
 

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Magic Meat

Fire Starter
57
32
Joined Jun 25, 2020
Potassium nitrate is KNO3, potassium nitrite is KN02.

Potassium nitrate (saltpetre) was very common at one time, but it's been mostly discontinued in the food industry in favor of using sodium nitrite in a pre-mixed form. Modern cures have a unique process for blending and holding nitrites in suspension in the salt (or salt/sugar) carrier. This makes application more efficient, and reduces hot spots.

Commercially, nitrate is no longer allowed for use in curing of smoked and cooked meats, non-smoked and cooked meats, or sausages, and the FDA as well as The National Center for Home Food Preservation discourage it's use for home curing. However Tender Quick still contains both nitrate and nitrite, but it has always been marketed for home curing.
Sorry my bad I meant kno3
 
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