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Starting my first jerky smoke...

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by mlol, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. mlol

    mlol Newbie

    My meat is marinating right now, but before I start smoking I have a few questions first:

    1. I read that in smoking other meats lots of people smoke with lump coal and then switch to wood chips/pellets only for a short period of time as to not oversmoke. Is that the same with jerky? Or is it safe to smoke with the wood chips only?
    2. I only have mesquite chips at the moment, my plan is to smoke the meat for 4 hours (or until done) @ 150 with the mesquite chips in a ventilated small cardboard box smoker.

    Any other tips before I start?
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  2. mlol

    mlol Newbie

    First smoke went well fyi. Did it at about 155/160 for 4.5 hours. The jerky came out a bit hard, so maybe next time I would try 4 hours instead.
  3. big lew bbq

    big lew bbq Meat Mopper


    Keep in mind that the meat/jerky will continue to dry a little bit more once you pull from smoker/dehydrator. But sounds like you got it down. Nice work!
  4. mlol

    mlol Newbie

    The meat did start to sweat. I put it in a plastic bag but left it open, it seems i should have just left it on the drying rack, maybe even overnight? then bagged it? Any suggestions on how long to wait until you seal the jerky for storage?
  5. I have been enjoying making jerky for a couple years now and I have noticed some "sweat" as soon as I take it out of smoker and bag it too. I generally just leave bag open for an hour or two and then refrigerate. I then let the jerky (as tough as this may be...) sit in the fridge a few days before eating. After a few days the jerky is even better than the first day. Flavor seems to penetrate entirely through the meat. There may be a little condensation but generally this goes away... i'm assuming that this sweat is reabsorbed into the jerky as flavor and helps make more tender jerky. I think leaving the jerky on racks overnight may dry the jerky out too much. I am guessing that if you follow the instructions for the cure you use you will be fine. My jerky never lasts long enough to have it go bad.... i'm guessing your jerky won't be around long enough to be concerned either
  6. big lew bbq

    big lew bbq Meat Mopper

    Try putting the jerky into an open paper bag over night. The paper bag will act like paper towel and help absorb some of the "sweat".