Wanting to make my first jerky this weekend

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Apr 16, 2006
Northern IL
I was at my local Mejiers today looking for a pork butt but the price was to high. I look at the beef and they had some bottom round steaks on sale that were lean for the most part so I picked up 3 of the leanest ones I could find. So I have a little over 3lbs of meat to start off with. If I remember right that will down to about 1lb when done.

I do not have any bought cure and when I have bought Jerkey I like orginal flavor so I kind of want to start off with that taste to start off with as a base line. I am just not sure where to start off with flavor.

I see how I have to cut it and I know I have to cold smoke it so I can not do this while making my prok butts on Satruday I will have to make the jerkey on Sunday. What I do have to make my life a little more easy is I do have a Ronco Food Dehydrator to help me out.

These are my over all questions that I can not find in a search.

What is a easy cure or rub to start off with as a starting point?
About how long should I keep these meat on the smoker and what temp is best?
How do I know for sure when it is done?

Thanks for any help on this. This is going to be a less then $10 trial so I figured what the heck and give it a try.
For every 2 pounds of meat, I use:
1 cup soy sauce (Low Sodium)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
if using a food dehydrator add 1 tsp. liquid smoke

Allow meat to marinate 4 hours (some go as long as an over-night soak).
Place on racks or hang from racks using skewers to hold the meat (placing jerky strips between the rack wires).

Smoke at 140-150 degrees. Depending on how thick you slice the strips, you should start checking the jerky after about 3-3 1/2 hours. To check for doneness, you want to be able to bend or twist the jerky and see the grains of the meat begin to tear. You don't want the jerky to break apart when bending or twisting.

Remember that the thinnest strip will dry the quickest. As the jerky passed the tear but not break test, pull it off and continue smoking the rest of the jerky. I usually check it about every 45-60 minutes and pull off what is done.
Thanks I will give that a try on Sunday. I did not know how to know when it was done so that was a big help.
I`2nd that one that's how I make mine too except I gotta have a bit of canjun spice!

Thanks for your help so far so good. I had them in the fridge over night in the blend and this morning I dried them and put them on and did not allow my temps to get above 160 and tried to stay around 120-130. I had them on their for about 4 hours I think I need to cut them a little thiner next time. After pulling them off the smoker I added them to my dehydrator and I have had them on their for about 3 hours so far. Most of the tiners ones are done and good to go I have a few left that are still a little moist.

I have to say this is my first smoke that I could snack on as soon at it was done and that was nice.

I think my next try I am going to add some pepper, garlic, and onion for some flavor. It is a little bland but not bad at all. Not bad for a first time.

BTW I have no idea why but my dogs have been fallowing me around the house all day today.
I have done lots of venison jerky. Once you have your base you can add almost anything that you can think of. Variations I have done are cajun seasoning, jerk seasoning, hotsauce, teriyaki (if you like that), I always use hot sauce, black pepper, garlic and onion powder (not salt) and sometimes cayenne (but watch out for this one) as well as cumin. No matter what the end product is it is devoured.

I've only done jerky twice so far and I've only used a dry jerky cure. Using just the original one they came out better than any jerky I have EVER purchased any where. You're local grocery store might have them, but here is a link to Hi Mountain which has been mentioned a lot here on this site...The dry cure you'll have to increase your "sitting" time to 24 hours for 1/4" slice jerky meat.

I have to say after letting the jerky stay out for 2 days it is just great now. Best I have ever had the store stuff is not this good. It is hard on the out side to pull but once you get into it it is very chewy. I think I have to be loosing weight eating it because I seare the enery get bite off a piece and then chew it take a bit. I am very happy with my Hickoy Meskite mix of wood.
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