1. Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Getting ready to try making jerky in the smoker and need some clearfication

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by gmebey, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. gmebey

    gmebey Smoke Blower

    Reading through the many post on making jerky I have managed to confuse myself.

    Is marinate the same as cure? I see reference to TQ and other off the shelf mixes like Hi Mountain, and some marinates.

    In one post had the following listed:

    1-1.5 lbs meat
    1.5 cups of water
    2 tablespoons canning salt
    2 table spoons soy
    1 table spoon worstichire
    1 table spoon garlic

    marinate 4-12 hours and smoke in the chief until done.

    So what is the correct?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. shtrdave

    shtrdave Smoking Fanatic

    for the most part the marinade that you have posted would be a form of curing.

    The kits will usually have pink curing salts in them and yo will mix it and seasonings and usually some water to put over the meat or mix with the ground meat. When I use kits, usually Cabelas, I will weigh my meat to the specs on the kit package and then put it in a large plastic tub mix the seasonings and curing salts with some beef broth, and pour over the meat, then mix to coat the pieces, stash in the bottom of the fridge for 4 or 5 days mixing at least once a day. Then into the smoker or dehydrator until done.

    TQ is a curing salt,  use by directions on package with your seasonings.
  3. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    This recipe doesn't have any cure in it.

  4. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'd be very careful about any jerky recipe that does not contain a cure, either a home-made mix with TQ, or a store bought kit with it's own cure packets.

    If not cured, the jerky has to actually be cooked by boiling in the marinade or with a hot smoke before it is dried in order to be considered safe to eat.

  5. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    To answer your question.... no... marinade is not the same as a cure. Your marinade can include cure but if you don't add cure to your marinade it isn't a cure.
  6. shtrdave

    shtrdave Smoking Fanatic

    I think with the amount of meat and the amount of salt, in the OP recipe there is enough for it to be considered a cure and would see no problem with making and using this recipe, besides the salt you also have soy and ws sauce,
  7. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Canning salt is not curing salt The recipe that is posted is not a safe cure it is just what it says a marinade. This is fine for jerky that you will store in the freezer or consume fairly quick. If a recipe does not contain a true cure it is not considered cured.
  8. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Also TQ is not a curing salt .it is a sodium nitrate cure that is mixed w/ salt .
  9. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Got me confused on this one. TQ contains sodium nitrate as well as sodium nitrite.... along with salt as a bonding agent. Wouldn't this make TQ a curing salt? Salt itself only preserves... it doesn't cure. Salt itself in a marinade will only make the jerky salty... it will do nothing to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria during the drying process.

    GMEBEY....  You really should research the method of making jerky. My suggestion would be to start off with one of the kits which include instructions and the right amount of cure and seasoning to start off with. The reason for cure is not for the purpose of preserving but because the method of drying the meat puts it in the danger zone too long and creates an environment that bacteria multiply rapidly. Lots of opinions on this topic and many make jerky without using a cure. Your choice. I've used cure in mine ever since researching why a cure is used in the first place.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  10. gmebey

    gmebey Smoke Blower

    Thanks for clearing up the my question about the marinate and cure.

    From my research a cure requires nitrate and/or nitrite.

    I decided to use the Hi Mountain kit for my first run. The plan is to smoke it at 145 to 155 for 2-3 hours for flavor, then finish off in the dehydrator.

    Thanks for help and advice.
  11. ryanhoelzer

    ryanhoelzer Smoking Fanatic

    I've used the Hi Mountain stuff alot.  I haven't tried it at a higher temp but I always dry it around 120.  Time will vary depending on the thickness.

    What are you smoking it in?  I have an electric element I put in the firebox of my offset or do it in the MES.  I use the AMNS either way.  Both work great.  Both have hot spots and some areas are done quicker.  I rotate the meat or at least check it every couple hours to pull what's in the hot spots.
  12. I use TQ in all my jerky,2 tsp per 5 lb of meat,I use my home made electric smoker that can hold up to 24 lbs of raw meat at a time,What I have found is that it takes approx 3 hours of smoking at 160-200 F then shut it off and let the smoker coast without opening the door till the 4th hour is up.

     gmebey, try adding a cup of brown sugar,1/2 cup honey and substitute beer for that cup and a half of water,and a tsp of red pepper for just a little kick.

    I use those bamboo skewers for hanging the meat,I can get around 8 lbs per rack,Use your imagination what you think would taste good but always use TQ.

    Merry X-mas
  13. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Not bust your chops, but 2 tsp TQ per 5lbs is about 10% of the recommended amount. Diude, you're scarin' me here!