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Need Beef Jerky Recipe Advise

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by spicy-meat, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. I just can't seem to nail down my recipe.  I have made so many alterations and the flavor profile is so close but not quite there.  I seem to have this slight pungent aftertaste.  Can anyone offer any advise as to what I am missing or doing wrong. 

    Here is my recipe for 3 lbs of Top Round sliced at 1/4 thick and between 5-6" long:

    8 oz La Choy Soy Sauce - Regular

    1/4 cup Lee Perrins Worcestershire Sauce

    1 Bottle Miller Lite Beer

    2 TBSP Tabasco Sauce

    1 tsp course black pepper

    1 tsp onion powder

    2 tsp garlic powder

    1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder


    1.  Mix all ingredients and brine for 10 hrs. (Refrigerator temp is steady around 39F)

    2.  I do not rinse off the meat, straight to the smoker.

    3.  I hang all meat using tooth picks.

    4.  Add 1 pan of hickory wood chips (smoke house products brand) in the beginning.

    5.  Avg time in the smoker is 8-10 hrs depending on weather.

    6.  I monitor internal smoker temps using a Taylor probe as well as an internal probe.  I average around 145 degrees.

    Smoker: Little Chief

    I really appreciate your advise and help.
  2. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It may be the hot sauce, I have tried adding some recently to a sausage recipe and it tasted good while it was hot, but once it cooled I had a  bitter after taste.... I'm unsure if it was the hot sauce, the wood or what ? .........If you figure it out let me know...I would be interested in finding out myself....Shoneyboy
  3. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Your problem is the Miller Light. Pick a good beer. hahaha Just giving you a little grief. 
  4. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This is the first I've seen anyone use beer in the marinade. You might want to try without it, maybe use some pineapple juice instead, about 1/3 cup.

    Save the beer to drink while you're enjoying your jerky :)

    Hope this helps
  5. I would try it without the beer.  Seems it could be the hops in the beer being concentrated.  Even though BMC beer does not really have much of a hop bite compared to a good IPA.  Try it next time with no beer. 
  6. spec

    spec Meat Mopper

    I think there a a couple of things working here... one is definately the beer

    The other is the liquid Tobasco sauce,

    I use dried pepper's and pepper mixes to get the heat, and taste I want

    One thing you may want to concider is raising your temp to 165* for at least 2-3 hours depending on your load...This is just for food safety reasons
  7. dalton

    dalton Smoke Blower

    well here is what i know from my own experience.  I have done quite a bit of beef jerky in my cheif.  my recipie is very similar to yours.  except I don't like it hot so I stay away from the hot spices.  I hace no after taste and every one likes my jerky.  here is my recipie for comparison.

    1-1.5 lbs meat

    1.5 cups of water

    2 tablespoons canning salt

    2 table spoons soy

    1 table spoon worstichire

    1 table spoon garlic

    marinate 4-12 hours and smoke in the chief until done.

    here is my suggestion...   eat a piece of your jerky and focus on the "pungent" flavor that you don't like and take a small taste of each ingredient and find the one that matches the flavor the closest.  I know this seems a little yucky because who wants to taste any of those flavors alone but I am guesiing you will find your culprit.  to be honest my guess will be the soy sauce.  you are using quite abit in terms of % of volume for your brine.  I used too much soy once as an experiment mainly because I really like soy sauce but in the end I didn't like it because of the after taste.  but the thing about flavor is that it is very subjective to the person tasting it.  for example you obviously like hot spice flavor and if I tasted it my mouth would be on fire!!   but that is just me. 

    if all else fails make several small batches and eliminate one ingreadient at a time till the flavor you don't want is gone!  I konw that is a lot of work but pratice makes perfect!!

    keep trying
  8. I would have to say its the liquid hot sauce,I use beer in all my liquid marinades,use dry spices like red pepper flakes or powder and let the meat sit in there for 24 hrs,I pat the meat strips with paper towels by layering the meat between the towels in a large cake pan before skewering to help cut down the drips and drying time.
  9. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have to ask, does this taste come immediately after smoking the jerky, or is it after it has been stored a few days, maybe a week?

  10. Hi Eric
    It happens after the smoke. Most batches don't finish until late at night. After it cools I store in an airtight container until the next day. The jerky usually never goes beyond a week.

  11. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hmm, shouldn't be a spoilage issue then. Well, it's remotely possible...my concern is the low chamber temp of thew smoker being an average of 145* with uncured meat. Thing is, if no-one has even gotten an upset stomach, spoilage could reasonbly be ruled out.

    Ok, on to the worcestershire sauce...the ingredients on the bottle I have are likely near the same as most brans, but anchovies kind of rang the first bell for me, then, the base being white vinegar came second. The acidity of the vinegar helps in the marinating process, but could it cause some off odors or tastes after smoking with beef? The anchovies, being fish, may have some odd flavors way in the background.

    I think I'd punt with worcestershire first, and replace it with some apple juice or other low PH/acidic liquid with a mild flavor. It will change the overall rpofile of the jerky's flavor, yes, but this can be compensated for by adding other dry spices, powdered chilis, etc. The sauce has chili pepper extract, which accounts for a good percentage of the overall flavor of the sauce, so adding chili pepper would be a start.

    Maybe drop the tabasco as it's a vinegar base as well, add about 2 tsp cayenne pepper, and increase the chipotle by 40-50%, then toss in about 3 Tbls dark brown sugar. Double the black pepper...you've got onion and garlic covered well.

    If the above doesn't take care of it,  go back to the original recipe, but loose the beer completely, because I suspect you may be souring the beer with the vinegar in the tabasco/worcestershire.

    Let us know what happens...this one has me puzzled, but I'm accustomed to using Tender Quick in an otherwise relatively neutral PH marinade to cure the meat, so it's alot different than the low PH process you're using here.

  12. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    I would say the first two ingredients are not compatable. I say drop the soy sauce.