Vintage Jerky Questions

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Retired Spook

Master of the Pit
Original poster
Jun 28, 2022
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I am curious about making pure traditional jerky, in a smoker. I am not at all interested in any sugary, soy sauce, teriyaki, pepper based marinated soft jerky; I am curious about the most authentic Plains-Indian style jerky it is possible to make in an offset smoker.

Let's presume to use a beef eye round trimmed of all traces of fat.

Does anyone here have any idea how to do this?
 
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I am curious about making pure traditional jerky, in a smoker. I am not at all interested in any sugary, soy sauce, teriyaki, pepper based marinated soft jerky; I am curious about the most authentic Plains-Indian style jerky it is possible to make in an offset smoker.

Let's presume to use a beef eye round trimmed of all traces of fat.

Does anyone here have any idea how to do this?
I have not had plains jerky before. But until December of last year the only way I made jerky, be it elk, deer or beef, was salt and pepper and either in a wooden box with a hot plate and chips or dehydrator. It was excellent. A couple older guys who have since passed on, used to place the deer meat on framed window screens sandwiched between to keep flys out. And set them in the sun to dry. It was legit too. Just Salt pepper. I never tried their method.
 
Did Plains Indians have offset smokers?
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BandCollector BandCollector mneeley490 mneeley490

Actually, Plains Indians dried bison that was hung over fires... I am no expert but my guess is that the smoke kept the flies away while the bison dried in the sun.

Also, the Lewis & Clark expedition often dried meat over fires when it was too humid to air dry.

And, in either case, they did not have cure #1...

But back to my question - safe to say that you don't know?
 
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BandCollector BandCollector mneeley490 mneeley490

Actually, Plains Indians dried bison that was hung over fires... I am no expert but my guess is that the smoke kept the flies away while the bison dried in the sun.

Also, the Lewis & Clark expedition often dried meat over fires when it was too humid to air dry.

And, in either case, they did not have cure #1...

But back to my question - safe to say that you don't know?
Actually, I do know, because I taught American History.

What I am trying to caution you of is that Cure #1 is a modern safeguard from pathogens which can cause immense discomfort. Why take the chance just because you want authentic jerky?

You can still make it authentically, but if I were you, I would use Cure #1.

But, do what you want,

John
 
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Actually, I do know, because I taught American History.

What I am trying to caution you of is that Cure #1 is a modern safeguard from pathogens which can cause immense discomfort. Why take the chance just because you want authentic jerky?

You can still make it authentically, but if I were you, I would use Cure #1.

But, do what you want,

John
I always do what I want, but never recklessly or impulsively/emotionally, and I minored in Native American History.

RS
 
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I always do what I want, but never recklessly or impulsively/emotionally, and I minored in Native American History.

RS
Great. Then you should know that Native Americans hunted meats that were not grown and processed as they are today.

Just trying to help you out here.

Again, do what you want,

John
 
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Thank you, but I am interested in learning about traditional Plains Indian jerky.
 
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sounds like salt and pepper, or maybe just only salt. Try trimming it into 1/4" thick or less slices then salting it at 17-20g/kg of meat weight for a day or two in the fridge keep it nice and cold under 38F. Then blast it with some heat initially to kill off any pathogens i usually do 180-200 for at least an hour for the 1/4" thickness jerky i make then drop the temp to 150-170 and dry to you tenderness level you like. Keep it stored in the fridge unless you know for sure you dried it sufficiently to a shelf stable product. i use cure #1 in my jerky to be safe but you can do whatever you want
 
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Not sure you'll be able achieve this... thinking the plains Indians lived on the plains for a reason. They didn't want to live in the ninth circle of hell ( I think that's what you call it at times ??). But if you wait till summer just throw it out on your hood, bet it would be hot enough! :emoji_blush:
All kidding aside, if you do try it post up your results. Maybe also try making pemmican as well.

Ryan
 
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