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Has anyone tried Alton Brown's method of making Jerky?

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by hannibal, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. hannibal

    hannibal Smoke Blower

    Just curious if anyone has tried the fan and furnace-filter method in the following videos.  If so, how did it turn out?

    Any thoughts on this process?

    Part I

    Part II

  2. hannibal

    hannibal Smoke Blower

    Shameless bump, cause I can.
  3. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I have serious doubts that any of the more experienced members would use anything Alton Brown does as some of his methods are very questionable.

    I would suggest getting a copy of "Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas" and use his recipes and methods.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
  4. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Not near as experianced as BBQ, But i definatly agree w/ not useing Altons techniques..

      He is fun to watch and he does some crazy stuff.
    hannibal likes this.
  5. hannibal

    hannibal Smoke Blower

    Thanks for your input eman.
  6. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Don't know if you ever used Tender Quick cure, but my son & I used this recipe from Morton Salt, and it was GREAT!

    Cured Jerky

    1 pound lean meat

    1 tablespoon commercial curing salt (IE. Morton Tender Quick Mix)

    1 teaspoon brown sugar 

    1/2 teaspoon black pepper

    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

    This method will produce the typical reddish color associated with commercial jerky.

    Trim fat from meat.

    Cut into 1/4 thick slices, about 1 - 1 1/2 inches wide.

    Mix together curing salt, and seasoning.

    Rub all surfaces of meat strips with salt mix.

    Place in plastic bag and refrigerate for 1 hour (any cure & seasoning that falls off, throw into the bag too).

    Rinse cured meat under running water.

    Pat dry with paper towels.

    Smoke at 150 degrees.

    Leave it in the bag for 2 hours, if you cut the pieces a little thicker.

  7. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now I like Alton Brown's show and I even watch it from time to time. I really don't think that I would put raw meat in an A/C filter and then in a open window. Something about that just hits me wrong. So try if you want to but I think that I will keep using my dehydrator for jerky making. 
  8. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    He's a funny guy to watch but I'll stick to the methods I've learned on SMF.
  9. shtrdave

    shtrdave Smoking Fanatic

    I don't see anything wrong with the way he is doing it, it has salt in it so it would be cured to a point and if completely dry it won't have moisture for mold to grow on.

    I use a dehydrator but would have no problem doing it the way he did his, the only problem I see is that if you live in a humid area it wold take longer to dry so you may be better off making this recipe in the winter months.
  10. herkysprings

    herkysprings Smoking Fanatic

    This technique and recipe work quite well. If you just want to make some jerky for a first time try and make it taste good, this all works just fine.

    I've made 3 batches of this and never had an issue. You just make need to remove thinner pieces and re-stock the dryer with the remaining thicker peices. Also trim the fat very well.

    The filters can maybe be used twice, but after that I wouldnt. The fan can be used for as long as the fan lasts!
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  11. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    Instead of using Alton Brown's method and recipe use the one Bearcarver posted and you'll be much safer and more than likey get a better product.

    Paul you can mark me as one who will likely not ever follow any of Alton Brown's methods
  12. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    You can add me to the list of folks who will not gamble using his methods -

    There is another book that I recently bought in addition to the Rytek Kutas book. I bought the Chartcuterie book and it too has some great recipes in it that are safe  
  13. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    There are several issues to consider when using Alton's method. 

    What is most important is that proper temperatures are maintained. Given my experience, this method can work but only if it is used when temperatures are cold, typically late fall to early spring. 

    Also, the provenance of the meat should be known, i.e. you know where the meat came from and how it was raised. If it was raised organically without additives, and was free ranging, and slaughtered in controlled conditions, then I would be OK with using the methods presented. If on the other hand I bought the meat at a store and had no idea where it came from and how it was raised, I would use proper USDA approved methods. Anything else has the risk, whether large or small, of making you ill.
  14. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have made biltong with the only heat source being a 40 watt bulb.

    Heres my post on it Post

    If I make jerky I always make sure to use TQ and some red wine vinegar


  15. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Nice job SQWIB,

    TQ or other cures take care of a lot of safety factors.

    Those who use it, instead of Mr. Brown's recipes, don't have to get the steer to give it's name, rank, and serial number at time of execution. Nor do we have to know what county of what state he came from, or what cows he hung out with during his grazing days as a calf.

    "Curing" is the name of the game, whenever we talk about low heat & long smoking.

    We could do low heat & long smoking without cure (especially Jerky, because it's so thin) many times, without getting sick or dying, but one of those times it could come back & bite us in the you know what.

    That's why so many of us try to explain "salt is not a cure".

    Thanks for showing,

  16. hannibal

    hannibal Smoke Blower

    Thanks for all of the input guys.
  17. canadianjerky

    canadianjerky Newbie

    I havent tried his method, but I use his recipe almost exclusively. I find it's a simple, easy, and super tasty recipe.

  18. upsman

    upsman Meat Mopper

    Hannibal found this where the jerky method was used. think it really would work myself but the main issue to me in doing the jerky this way is the fat content of the meat would have to be almost none.check this link out.

  19. BandCollector

    BandCollector Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    This process that Alton Brown showed is not the only way he makes jerky.  I have tried other methods and recipes he has demonstrated with great results.  Go onto the Food Channel websight and do some searching under his name and you'll find other methods which don't look so perilous.

    Good luck,  John
  20. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    That's one of the big problems with people who have initials like A.B.

    They have so many recipes out there that are perfectly safe, so they get many people thinking everything they do is great & safe.

    Then people point out a few of their recipes could be dangerous and/or deadly.

    Then all of the people who think AB's shots don't stink start defending him, and the big fight starts.

    The people who know what isn't safe, when they see it, argue with the people who think AB is some kind of Genius Cooking GOD.

    So instead of saying everything this person or that person does is correct or incorrect, lets look at the individual recipe, like BandCollector says, and in my opinion, the recipe that started this thread is not a recipe that should be used by anyone who watches the amount of bacteria consumed, instead of or along with calories & carbs.