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Marinade Didn't Take

BaldEagleOne

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I tried making jerky on my new 36" Woodwind using the jerky racks. I thought 6 pounds of eye-of-round would fill the surfaces. It didn't. I could have smoked over 12 pounds. However, I had a problem, not with the Woodwind that performed perfectly, but with seasoning the jerky.

We (my wife and I) made both Jeff's bourbon and a teriyaki marinade. The slices , split between the two marinades, were about 3/8" thick, and were in marinade for about 36 hours. After smoking the meat, (took about 8 hours) the flavor on both batches was bland. We tasted the marinades before hand, and they had the intended distinctive tastes. What went wrong?

Thanks.
 

thirdeye

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It sounds like these two recipes are new to you? A good tip with any new jerky recipe is to sample by slowly frying or baking a couple of slices on low BEFORE you move the main batch to the dehydrator or smoker. On marinated jerky (or dry cured) you can easily increase pepper or spice using dry seasonings, give them a couple of hours to blend in and you are good to go. If it's too salty, about the only fix I've found is to add some sugar or mist with sugar water or Coca-Cola during the cooking cycle. I prefer dry cured jerky, because many marinade recipes call for a soy sauce or teriyaki base flavor.... but that in an individual preference.

For example.... One of my favorite jerky flavors is garlic peppercorn and I use a dry cure with a garlic pepper seasoning, BUT right before going on the smoker I add an additional sprinkle of garlic powder which bumps the garlic flavor, and it's visibly obvious which is the XX Garlic recipe and which is the regular.
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smokerjim

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Thirdeye gave some good advice, Did you use the right amount of marinade for the pounds of meat.
 

BaldEagleOne

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Thirdeye gave some good advice, Did you use the right amount of marinade for the pounds of meat.
I appreciate Third Eye's advice and can see that dry marinating has the advantage of applying spices, etc directly onto the meat. But I still wonder why the the marinades, which I tasted, didn't impart the same flavor to the meat?

Yes, I made enough marinade for the 6 pounds, in fact I made double the amount required. I massaged them 6 times over the 36 hours they marinated.

Additionally, I kept the smoker temperature at 165 - 175 F, and took the jerky off the smoker when it had reached 150F because I didn't want it to become brittle. I had Smoke set to 9 which is high, and I added a Wedgee for additional smoke.
 

thirdeye

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I appreciate Third Eye's advice and can see that dry marinating has the advantage of applying spices, etc directly onto the meat. But I still wonder why the the marinades, which I tasted, didn't impart the same flavor to the meat?

Yes, I made enough marinade for the 6 pounds, in fact I made double the amount required. I massaged them 6 times over the 36 hours they marinated.

Additionally, I kept the smoker temperature at 165 - 175 F, and took the jerky off the smoker when it had reached 150F because I didn't want it to become brittle. I had Smoke set to 9 which is high, and I added a Wedgee for additional smoke.
Use other marinades as an example.... most are very strong and robust and they don't actually transfer the full flavor to meat. Maybe the recipe was designed to be mild, or to have a mild + smokey flavor. One other thought, did you blot the pieces before you put them in the smoker?
 

BaldEagleOne

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Use other marinades as an example.... most are very strong and robust and they don't actually transfer the full flavor to meat. Maybe the recipe was designed to be mild, or to have a mild + smokey flavor. One other thought, did you blot the pieces before you put them in the smoker?
Yes. I blotted them dry before smoking. I wonder how commercial jerky makers season their jerky.>The different flavors are noticeable.
 

thirdeye

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Yes. I blotted them dry before smoking. I wonder how commercial jerky makers season their jerky.>The different flavors are noticeable.
Maybe that could be the answer? I think home jerky makers would be shocked to see the commercial side of something that's so rewarding to make at home.
 

Lonzinomaker

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I used to blot my jerky when laying flat on grill. But since I went to hanging on skewers, I just let it drip dry. I do get better flavor hanging and drip drying.
 

BaldEagleOne

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Maybe that could be the answer? I think home jerky makers would be shocked to see the commercial side of something that's so rewarding to make at home.
Just thinking about it, could too much smoke kill the flavor?
 

thirdeye

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Just thinking about it, could too much smoke kill the flavor?
That's a thought.

And I was wondering if starting off too high with your smoker temp could impact the flavor? Maybe cooking the marinade too fast? You're not actually cooking jerky, you are drying it. In my electric box I can block open the lid to keep the temp lower and in my dehydrator I'll start at 145° and ramp up as it dries.
 

daveomak

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If you vacuum packed the meat, while in the marinade, you squeezed the meat so it could not absorb the marinade...
Same goes for curing etc.....
Same goes for wrapping whole muscle meats, if you use netting....
Let the meat relax while doing anything to it.....
 

BaldEagleOne

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If you vacuum packed the meat, while in the marinade, you squeezed the meat so it could not absorb the marinade...
Same goes for curing etc.....
Same goes for wrapping whole muscle meats, if you use netting....
Let the meat relax while doing anything to it.....
Was in a big bowl. No vacuum.
 

BaldEagleOne

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That's a thought.

And I was wondering if starting off too high with your smoker temp could impact the flavor? Maybe cooking the marinade too fast? You're not actually cooking jerky, you are drying it. In my electric box I can block open the lid to keep the temp lower and in my dehydrator I'll start at 145° and ramp up as it dries.
I was at 165, but had a lot of smoke, both from the Woodwind and a Wedgee. Next time I'll keep smoke to a minimum.
 

Steve H

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When I do thicker cuts. I put it in a gallon mason jar. And vacuum seal it. I'll roll the jar around a few times as well.
 
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