Jerky smoked with persimmon

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
OTBS Member
Well, I'm finally going to try this persimmon wood. I decided to use it on some Jerky. I have 10 lbs. of super lean, homegrown black Angus beef just about ready to hit the smoker. I'm going to try laying on the racks, then laying another piece of expanded metal on top to keep it flat.
My camera is an older Sony Mavica and my floppy drive on my computer is on the fritz, so it will be a while before I can post pics.
I marinaded in a variation of teriyaki, sprinkled heavy with course black pepper.
I'm not a big fan of the persimmon fruit and I think the tree is ugly, so I am cutting all of them down that are on my land. I hope it tastes better than the fruit.
Well I'm 2 hours in.
Looking out my window, I see a big fat red squirrel that would taste good on my smoker.
I am using an oak base, and a split of hickory and a split of persimmon. It smells wonderful, if nothing else.
If anyone is interested, this is how the USDA recommends we do our jerky. I don't do mine this way, but I've considered it.

Beef Jerky
1. Pre-freeze meat to be made into jerky so it will be easier to slice.
2. Cut partially thawed meat into long slices no more than 1/2 inch thick. For tender jerky, cut at right angles to long muscles (across the grain). Remove as much visible fat as possible to help prevent off-flavors.
3. Prepare 2 to 3 cups of marinade of your choice in a large sauce pan.
4. Bring the marinade to a full rolling boil over medium heat. Add a few meat strips, making sure they are covered by the marinade. Reheat to full boil.
5. Remove pan from range. Using tongs, remove strips from hot marinade (work quickly to prevent overcooking) and place in single non-overlapping layers on drying racks. (Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all the meat has been pre-cooked.) Add more marinade if needed.
6. Dry at 140 to 150F in dehydrator, oven, or smoker. Test for doneness by letting a piece cool. When cool, it should crack but not break when bent. There should not be any moist or underdone spots.
7. Refrigerate the jerky overnight in plastic freezer bags, then check again for doneness. If necessary, dry further.
I don't know about Missouri, but in Louisiana a native persimmon tree is almost a guaranteed deer on deer season. They can't stay away. :D
There is absolutely no way I would go through all that to make jerky. I've made and ate enough jerky to float a battleship, that is just unnecessary.
I posted that mainly because of an earlier post about jerky safety. I believe the post was referring to venison, and I interjected with the fact that the USDA thinks all meat should be cooked to get rid of nasties, before it hits the smoker. Some seemed to think I was questioning their meat, and I was only saying what the USDA says. So I went ahead and posted it.
If you read the whole article, it mentions several hundred people in the western US that got sick from jerky, but it was all jerky cooked and held for many, many hours at low temps. Like 120 or lower.
I cooked my jerky today at about 190 give or take. I just came in from removing the last of it. It's perfect! I'm now waiting for it to cool, then I'll blot it dry and vacuum pack it.
The persimmon is a fantastic complement to the hickory. I ended up using more persimmon than hickory though, as I didn't want a strong hickory smoke flavor. I recommend persimmon, highly.
Next week it's elk and deer sticks. I'll probably smoke them with apple.
I wish I could get pics here. Not of the final product so much, but pics of the beautiful slab of Angus meat I used. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.