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MES smoker and Hi Mountain jerky seasoning

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by strecker25, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. strecker25

    strecker25 Fire Starter

    I will be using the hi mountain seasoning packs this weekend to try and smoke (and only smoke) a batch of jerky.  In reading everything I've been able to find it looks like the consensus is to smoke at 150*-160*.  I do have the amaze-n-smoker on the way, since I can get the smoke flavor using that should I try and keep the heat lower, say 130-140?  My concern is getting the meat into the safe zone and not risking bacteria.  (not sure if the hi mountain cure takes care of that).

    Thanks guys
  2. werdwolf

    werdwolf Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I don't know, but will be watching this with great interest since it is on my list this fall.  Don't forget the Q View.
  3. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Legendary Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I would just follow the instructions on the package for your first run.
  4. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    If there's cure in it, you shouldn't have to worry about the danger zone timing, as long as you follow all of their other directions exactly (right amount of meat, right amount of time in fridge, right temp in fridge), but for you first run, I agree with bmudd.

    Maybe it'll be smokey enough for you at the temps they tell you to use. Then you would do it like that next time too.

  5. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Hi-Mountain jerkey kits contain the cure so I wouldnt worry about taking it to the safe zone. Keeping the temps around 150* is fine. There should be two packs in the kit, one is seasoning the other cure.
  6. strecker25

    strecker25 Fire Starter

    Great, thanks guys.  The kits wont be in until next week but ill be sure to let you know how it goes.  I bought both variety packs with all the flavors so well see which is best
  7. strecker25

    strecker25 Fire Starter

    Meat is being smoked tonight. im going to try and do it at the recommended temps per the instructions (200 deg) and see how it is.

     I read the wrong chart initially and started mixing for ground beef instead of whole muscle meat so had to separate the cure from the spices and start over.  I went slightly less on cure after the separation assuming some got mixed in, so I want to be careful with temps just in case cure was a little low.
  8. ryanhoelzer

    ryanhoelzer Smoking Fanatic

    I've done a bunch of the hi mountain in the MES but I only do it at 120 and it still seems pretty warm sometimes.  I'll be curious about how it turns out at that higher temp.  You may have noticed by now that you want to circulate it around the smoker some, it has hotspots.  I pull top rack to bottom, flip the right to left, etc and you'll end up with some done before others.  Towards the end I check it every hour or 2 and pull pieces as they're done.  How thick did you cut it?  I've done 1/4" to 1/8" and in between.
  9. strecker25

    strecker25 Fire Starter

    ill post pictures later.  I did 200 for an hour and a half with cherry smoke...then about 3 hours at 170.  It actually got overdone, I've never made jerky before so I underestimated the amount of drying it would do overnight sitting in the fridge.  the pieces were cut by hand so some are a lot thinner than others.  I'd say 1/8" to 1/4".  Meat slicer will be coming in soon so I'll get more consistent cuts.  You are absolutely right about hot spots, the second rack up from the bottom on the right side is WAY hotter than the top rack.
  10. marty catka

    marty catka Meat Mopper

    I recently made jerky using the High Mountain cure in my MES and A MAZEN SMOKER.  I did not use the 200 degree temp suggested as I only want to dry the meat, not cook it.  8 hours at 160 degrees gave me great jerky.  I let it sit out on cooling racks for about 2 hours after pulling from smoker before bagging it. 
  11. strecker25

    strecker25 Fire Starter

    I was thinking about going lower -- even like 140 next time.  Im confident the cure takes care of the bacteria issue so the heat shouldnt be such a concern. What flavor seasoning and how much smoke did you give it?  I did the garlic and pepper with about 1.5 hours of cherry smoke.  Pretty good, but some are a little too smoky 
  12. ryanhoelzer

    ryanhoelzer Smoking Fanatic

    120 for 10 hrs + and I'm still alive...
  13. strecker25

    strecker25 Fire Starter

    thats what I was thinking, the beauty of having a timed electric.  Does it stay ply-able after 10 hours?  Some of mine are so dry they crack after only 6 hours
  14. ryanhoelzer

    ryanhoelzer Smoking Fanatic

    Depends on the thickness of course.  1/4" can still be moist after 12 hrs or so.  1/8" probably only takes 8 hrs or so to be done.  I could be wrong but the heat may cause more crisp too.  I pull it when it's still a little pliable.  I generally prefer completely dried out jerky but the thicker/moister is growing on me.  I have some relatives that have a slaughterhouse/processing plant and they make what they call a smoked beef slab that's a good 1/2".  I need to get some details on their process for that.
  15. strecker25

    strecker25 Fire Starter

    So i would post some pictures, except it is all gone already.  After a day mellowing in the fridge the taste was 10 times better.  I actually preferred the thicker pieces to the thin ones.  The cure got in nicely and with the smoke left them pretty tender.  Ill be trying to mandarin taryaki next