Jerky temp and time for smoker

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by farwest, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. farwest

    farwest Newbie

    New to the forum. I got my first smoker last week and now I'm going to try my first smoke. I went with a Green Mountain Daniel Boone electric pellet smoker. I got me some HI_mountain cure/seasoning for the first time. My plan is to slice the beef 1/4 thick and marinate for 24-28 hours, than smoke at 180 for 4-5 hours or till done which I'm not sure when that is. Questions are is the time and temp going to work? What should I look for to know its done, internal temp? texture? Smoker will go as low as 150 degrees. Thanks for any tips and info.
  2. sawinredneck

    sawinredneck Meat Mopper

    I did mine at 180 for the first 5-6hrs, then ramped it up to 220 for the last 3hrs as I was cooking a brisket and ribs as well.
    My seasoning/curing kit said to reach an internal temp of 165. I've heard to cook it until it's dry on the outside but will still stretch some, I don't know, the 165 IT worked well for me.
    My next round I plan to hold at 180-200 for 8-9hrs and see how that goes but I still plan on going for the 165 temp.
  3. twoalpha

    twoalpha Smoking Fanatic


    Lots of ways to do jerky for sure.

     The thickness of the slices is going to be part of the answer as to when it is done. The thicker the slice the long it takes along with the temperature of the smoke. When you can stand it no longer pull a piece let it cool and check the taste and texture. By this time you can now pull another piece and repeat till you reach the results you want. I also know that the temps on my MES are very close to actual and you should check yours out for accuracy.

    Here is a link to the beef jerky I recently posted for your inspection.

  4. farwest

    farwest Newbie

    Thanks for the help. I will have to check out the actual temp with my calibrated RTD.
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I use the same approach I take when smoking sausage. I start the smoker out as low as I can go which is 120°. I run the smoker at that temp for one hour no smoke. This helps dry the moisture off the meat. Then I add smoke and ramp the heat up to 130°. I continue the smoke for 6-8 hours. Every hour I ramp the temp up 10° until I get to a pit temp of 180°. That is where I stop it, any higher and risk rendering the fat out. I let it run until I get the texture I like. Depending on the meat and thickness this can take 8-16 hours. Keep in mind that with this method you need to use cure.

    Give this thread a read.
  6. farwest

    farwest Newbie

    Do you flip the jerky on the racks at all during the smoking process? Sorry for the dumb questions in advance.
  7. smokingohiobutcher

    smokingohiobutcher Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You can flip if you want to. Remember the key to jerky is to dry the jerky not cook it. As long as you are using cure. I start mine about 130* and smoke for about5-6 hours then finish at 150* for another 2-3 hours. 1/4 " slice.  

    Good luck.

  8. farwest

    farwest Newbie

    Yes I am using cure. The lowest my smoker goes is 150 and that where I have it now.
  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You're on track and it's looking good! I normally flip once early on as the moisture will rise to the top. Keep checking by bending the strips for texture. You will need to up the temp though as you need the meat to get above 156. If your out temp is lower that won't happen. Long process, but I see some good jerky there!
  10. farwest

    farwest Newbie

    I was planning on doing 150 for a few hours than switching to 160 than 170 to finish.
  11. farwest

    farwest Newbie

    So when I do checks on the jerky what am I looking for in the texture? I should bend it and see flaking or something else?
  12. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You only left one thing out, bite it, chew it swallow it. That's it!
  13. farwest

    farwest Newbie

    Well here it is 6 hours total first smoke ever, 150 for 4 than 160 for 1 than 170 for 1 hour. I may of overcook or smoked it, I made sure the internal was over 160, is that correct?

    wasover 16

  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Internal temp of 160 is good for ground meat... 145 is good for whole muscle meat..... Dave
  15. sawinredneck

    sawinredneck Meat Mopper

    Looks good! In fact, a lot better than the mess I made today. Against my better judgment I opted to smoke jerky today, 96deg with 50% humidity! I fought and fought to keep temps down, even used wet wood. Epic fail! 4 1/2hrs at 210, it tastes like....., well, not good!
    Next time I'll stay up all night, it's a LOT better at 180 or lower.
    We live, we learn.
  16. farwest

    farwest Newbie

    So 145 internal temp is safe?
  17. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes as long as it's not ground meat or poultry.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
  18. farwest

    farwest Newbie

    Thanks a lot!
  19. muralboy

    muralboy Smoking Fanatic

    Did my first jerky today as well - 160 deg for about 4 hrs. Wasn't sure what to expect but definitely yummy

  20. farwest

    farwest Newbie

    How thick it you cut those strips?

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