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Uncle Frog wants to get Smokin'

pigcicles

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Uncle Frog - c'mon buddy, if you're gonna swim - you gotta get everything wet. We're all here to help you get through it with as little suffering as possible. We won't even splash ya the first time.

Really the jerky is a good deal. Although I've never boiled my meat before dehydrating it. I'm sure you've read everything you can find about making jerky.. so jump in, get r done, and bring us some samples if you can (pics)

Keep Smokin
 

uncle frog

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You guys are the best! All in due time. But I do appreciate the encouragement. Here's what I'm looking at so far ...


Nearly 7 lbs of bottom round boiled for 10 minutes to help take out any nasties. When I actually try the smoking, I may skip this step. But being my first jerky experience I'd rather be safe than sorry.


I hand sliced the meat about 1/2" thick. The bottom round was about 1.25" thick. I suppose I envisioned wider pieces. We'll see how this turns out.


I've got the strips marinating in 1.75 cups of soy sauce and 1.75 cups of worcestershire. I put a little bit of water in as well to make sure the liquid surrounded all of the meat. I've got this in the fridge to marinate overnight.

I'm planning on dehydrating at 155 degrees as recommended by the instructions with the equipment. I know this is the smokingmeat forum and not the driedoutbeef forum. I'm a self proclaimed newbie, and I know I'm in good hands, and this is just the first step in my meat cooking evolution.

If my wife doesn't take our digital camera on her weekend trip, I'll post a couple more pics of the finishing/finished product.

Thanks again all y'all !!
 

cajunsmoker

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Well Uncle Frog, there is something about boiled and beef being in the same sentence that makes me think Military :evil: .

Actually, your marinating strips look pretty good. Next time get a roast instead of a steak and you can control your slice size. And by the way, I sure would like to know more about the Jesus Bacon thing :?:
 

cheech

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Boiled meat just did not sound good but then you marinated it so there should be some great flavor added in. I like the idea to make sure the yucky stuff is out of there.
 

uncle frog

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Good morning! I've had the strips going for 3.5 hours now. There were some small pieces I had in there and my wife and I have been able to sample the batch. So far so good!

Half of the batch I finished off with cracked pepper and left the other half plain. I can already see the value of a slicer. And I can tell now that I hadn't trimmed off all of the fat like I had presumed; some of the strips from the exterior of the steak still have some. I've been checking it about every 30-60 minutes and blotting the strips off, especially those with the unwanted fat.

Yeah, I was quite hesitant to boil the meat. You are both right, it doesn't sound good. Safety first, however. I believe that were I to not boil it, and rather finish it off in a smoker or even the oven, it would probably be fine. I guess you just want to be sure the meat gets to a sufficient temperature for a long enough period (I read at least 140 degrees for a minimum of 10 minutes).

cajunsmoker, the Jesus Bacon thing is essentially two things that I love. I think it is humorous because Jesus was Jewish, and Jewish people don't really eat bacon. I'm not Jewish, so I can eat all the bacon I want (well, actually I can eat all the bacon my wife will allow me ... lol).

I'm also using this experiment to get my wife excited about smoked meats so I can get a decent smoker in the near future. I figure if I can get her to ask me to make more jerky, I've then laid the ground work for the next phase of my meat cooking evolution. Any pointers on this topic would be greatly appreciated as well ... lol.
 

uncle frog

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Thanks, vulcan. I've got a couple photos of the finishing/finished product. My jaw is already sore from all the delicious chewing. It turned out great! I'll have to call my first experiment a great success.


Nearly seven pounds of beef strips laid out on six drying racks. The very smallest of pieces were able to be removed after three hours. The majority of the strips were ready after five to six hours. And the strips that had more marbling or were thicker remained on the dehydrator for nearly ten hours.


The finished product! Delicious! No, this isn't all of the jerky made from nearly seven pounds of beef. This is what's left over after our first day of jerky feasting. Looks good, eh?
 

soflaquer

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Well Froggie...........it looks like you'll fit right in here!

I have the same Dehydrator (I believe), they work very well. Just don't let the Wife put the racks on the bottom shelf of the dishwasher.......Oops! Now I'm minus one rack!

No need to Par-Boil the meat if it's well washed 1st. Also, I recommend marinating your Jerky for at least 24 Hours.

Welcome to SMF!

Jeff
 

uncle frog

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I think in my next batch I'll skip the par boiling as suggested. After all, it is dehydrating at 155 degrees for many hours.

I'll also take more care in trimming off the fat. Thought I did a good job, but ended up with more fat on some of the strips than I wanted.

I'll marinate for a minimum of 24 hours as suggested SoFlaQuer. My batch marinated for approximately 14 hours, and had good flavor. But it could have stayed in longer (weren't I so impatient to get started!).

The slicing by hand worked out OK, and I wasn't as displeased with the thickness of the steak as I expected to be. A roast would be better than the steaks I used to be able to get a slightly thicker cut, but the steaks worked well and weren't as thin as I thought they were going to be.

Another sign of impatience, I'll wait until the meat is more frozen before making the slices by hand. I do believe I'll get more uniform cuts this way. On this batch, that was my intention, but I sliced when the meat was cool and slighlty firm. It could have been firmer for the slicing.
 

dgross

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Hello and welcome Uncle Frog! I'm a relative newbie myself and this forum is the best!! Just a thought about slicing the meat, Could you use a mandoline or a V-slicer once the meat is semi-frozen? Haven't tried it but it might work. Picked up a mandolin at a rest. supply store for under 30$ and I think it could handle the job. Good luck and thanks for the pics-they got me drooooling :) ! Daun
 

deejaydebi

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Great looking Jerky Uncle Frog!

Just a side note - I have a few dehydrators that look very similar to what I see in the pics and have never had a problem putting the meat in raw. Just trim it all off really good and if there is any oil from bits of fat after it dries just wipe it off. If you have any concerns keep it in the fridge.

What's next Unk?

Debi
 

Dutch

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Uncle Frog, here is a tip that will get rid of the nasties without having to resort to par-boiling the meat. The salts in the marinade should take care of the nasties but you never know.

In a new spray bottle mix 4 parts water to 1 part apple cider vinegar (make sure that the label says apple cider vinegar and not white vinegar flavored with apple cider-there is a big difference!). Shake the bottle to mix the contents. Spray on the meat and let sit for at 5 minutes and no more than 10. Rinse off the vinegar solution and add the meat to your marinade. Most times Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]ll just blot the meat with a paper towel and then add the meat to the marinade

Apple cider vinegar is a natural disinfectant. It also helps to break down the meat proteins. This is just one of the tips I learned from my dutch oven competition days that Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]ve carried over to smoking meats.
 

deejaydebi

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I always wondered why Mama put vinegar on cuts and burns. I guess she knew what she wa doin'

Debi
 

uncle frog

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Thanks all y'all. I like the apple cider vinegar tip, Dutch. I can't say I know what a V-slicer is, dgross, but if you give it a shot and it works, let me know.

As far as what's next, DeejayDebi ... the overwhelming concensus is MORE. As we approach our final jerky strips now, I suggested to my wife that we make some more this weekend and I got an enthusiastic nod. So far so good in that department.

I sent a link to this thread to a friend of mine who is an enthusiastic elk hunter ... turns out he has a smoker that he'll let me use, and may even break out some of his elk meat for me to try out. Another friend of mine who got to taste the jerky is now trying to wrestle us up some venison.

It's likely that I'll do a couple more batches of beef before I continue my meat cooking evolution ... but in one or two short weeks I may have managed to line up some elk, venison and even a smoker. That's progress ... albeit in my methodical frog hopping way.
 

uncle frog

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Well I picked up 6 pounds of USDA Choice sirloin steak for $2.50/lb on special. I've carved up about half so far, and need to get the other half prepped and starting to marinate. The sirloin is a little fattier (marbled) than the bottom round I used last week. But the freezing of the meat is definitely helping in the slicing. And at $2.50/lb I could hardly pass that up.

My elk hunter friend suggested we break out some of his elk and smoke that up. Having never eaten elk, you could say "I'm game." LOL!
 

uncle frog

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This batch came out really well. The fattier meat of the sirloin does give it flavor, but we certainly need to store it in the fridge. The strips were cut a little thicker, like meat sticks instead of waffer shape. It made the jerky a little chewier. This coupled with a little fattier cut of beef gave the jerky a meatier flavor.

I did marinate the meat strips for 24 hours as suggested. And I do believe this was a noticable improvement. I did NOT par boil the meat this time, and wonder if this added to the flavor.

The thicker strips took 12 hours to finish in the dehydrator at 155 degrees. I may had kept them in just a little longer if I wasn't already exhausted and ready to turn in for the night.

The meat cooking evolution continue's at Uncle Frog's! Thanks everybody for your inspiration, inforamation, guidance and friendship.
 

bud's bbq

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Hi there Ucle Frog, another michigander here. Sounds like you have defintley caught the smoking bug.The jerky you did looks awesome!!!, Iv'e smoked all kind of meat and poultry but haven't tried my hand at making jerky yet, after reading this thread I think I'll give it a shot. Hoping to do a big smoke for superbowl, hope the weather corporates. :roll:

Bud
 

uncle frog

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Howdy, Bud. I said "hi" to Theresa in your Roll Call thread. But just in case you weren't there, I'll say hi here, too. Hey! My elk-hunter friend said we should break out some of his elk and smoke it.

He's not keen on trying it just now (it's 3 degrees ... and that's Farenheit for our international friends ... while I post this from Michigan). He's braging about getting his smoke house in shape, and I'm a total newbie so I'd rather start out a LOT smaller to tell you the truth.

Anyway, if he decides to put his money where his elk is (or is it vice versa? hmmm), I'll be happy to share some pics. He's got a little elk hunting video he's got on the net. Maybe I'll even be able to post video of the experience. Is there any way to have a video link or embedded video here?

And that reminds me ... I've heard people say that when smoking, to tend the smoke to produce a blue thin line. Does this capture on pics? Does anyone have a pic of what I should look for? I've got a good mental picture (I think), but a picture does say a thousand words.
 

uncle frog

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Looks like we might be out of the cold season. I'd imagine that smoking is better when it's not so frigid outside, eh?
 

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