1. Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Shoe Leather Jerky

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by jmardock, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. jmardock

    jmardock Fire Starter

    The butcher shop in my home town makes my favorite jerky. I am eating some as I type this and I want to figure out how to get close myself. It's sliced thin and makes me feel like I'm chewing on an old piece of shoe leather. I like jerky that gives me something to chew on for awhile.

    I've made jerky myself twice and it turned out a bit softer, much like some of the grocery store brands. Both times I used london broil sliced WITH the grain. I want to achieve shoe leather jerky! Who can help me?

    This will also be my first time attempting jerky on the pellet smoker I currently own. I used an MES30 in previous attempts. My pellet smoker has a hard time getting below 180. Is that too hot to make jerky?
  2. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I like it the same as you . I use eye round and dry it in the oven @170 .
    jmardock likes this.
  3. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    By my experience, a dryer jerky should produce a less "softer" chew.
  4. Holly2015

    Holly2015 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The eye of round makes IMO the best jerky. Top round (London broil is a cooking method not a cut of meat) while lean does not have long striated muscle fibers like eye of round. So without long muscle fibers you lose some chew.

    I also quit using a smoker for jerky as all the toothpicking and hanging the jerky was labor intensive. I have gravitated towards a dehydrator and have also determined not everything needs smoke.

    I dry at one hour at 160 degrees and then back down the temp to 125 degrees until finished. 6+ pounds takes 8 to 10 hours.
    jmardock and chopsaw like this.
  5. Bspeech

    Bspeech Newbie

    I use top round, sliced with the grain for an easy tear. Throw it on the smoker for around an hour at 150. Then I finish it off in the dehydrator for a couple hours at 155. Ive found the dehydrator gives you the texture you are looking for.
  6. jmardock

    jmardock Fire Starter

    Looks like I'll have to look into getting a dehydrator.
  7. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I got a Presto Dehydro as a Christmas gift last Christmas. Couldn't have been happier than a 5 year old with a new bike!
    I tested it and it hits 173° easily when set for 165°. Which is good for critical heat. Makes great jerky, along with other dried stuff. I even dried onions and made some wonderful Onion powder.
    I've found right around 2 pounds before processing makes a good load for it.

    I'd try some flank steak, cut with the grain. If you want chew, you want some tough beef. You could ask what cut they use for the jerky you like. They might even tell you...
    It is a given you need to cut it with the grain, and NOT across the grain to make it tougher.
    Then dry it nice and slow, until it is hard as a rock.

    A friend of mine killed a range cow back in the early 1970's. He brought a chunk of it over to see if we could make it tender. Even ground into hamburger it was inedible. Now that... was shoe leather.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
  8. jmardock

    jmardock Fire Starter

    Thank you SonnyE. I'll check out the Presto. I'll also see if I can find a range cow somewhere :).
  9. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you can find leather soled shoes, you could marinate them in AuJu, dry, and gnaw.... :rolleyes:
    But I don't think anybody makes leather soles anymore. Kind of a lost art.
    jmardock likes this.