What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by danj, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. danj

    danj Meat Mopper

    I have tried many times without success making beef jerky. The meat turns out over dry almost like it is burned and no flavor. I left the strips of meat in the brine for over 12 hours. I smoked the meat low (180) can anyone please help so i stop making dog treats.
  2. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I do mine in a dehydrator. It runs from 95*-155* and I usually do mine on low 95* for 4-5 hours and its done. I'm talking thin sliced. I just dunk mine in teriyaki and liquid smoke for a few minutes and into the unit, flip over at 2 hours and finish.
  3. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I can't help ya much Dan, but I don't brine I dry rub them, and pull them out of the smoker when I can bend a piece into a U shape and it starts to break but doesn't. I think I do mine starting at a 100° then bump it up over time to 140°
  4. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Howdy Dan. First off, hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Lets see here. When you say brine, do you mean marinate? Smoking jerky is kinda tricky because its hard to get allot of smokers to the low temps that it requires. Around 100 degrees. At 180, you are really accelerating the processes and more or less cooking it. Are you using any cure in your recipe?

    Give this a try next time. Make sure your meat is cut to a uniform size, lets go with 1/4"- 3/8" thick by 1" wide cut with the grain.
    Here is a basic Teriyaki recipe for making 3# of jerky.

    1 tsp kosher salt, not table salt.
    1 tsp insta cure or pink curing salt.
    1 tsp ground ginger
    1 TBL Brown sugar
    1/2 ground black pepper
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    1 garlic clove chopped up fine
    1/4 cup pineapple juice
    1/4 cup soy suace

    Let this mixture sit in the fridge for 24 hours, removing a few times to mix things up.

    If you want to make more just double or triple the recipe. Cure is used as jerky is made at a low temp and prevents the growth of nasty stuff.

    Like DamMcG said, when you can bend it in a U shape without breaking, but close to it, its done.
  5. The protein molecules in meat coagulate and wind up tight at 155f. If your smoker/oven goes over 155, you are COOKING, not drying.

    Beef jerky is dried, not COOKED.

    There is your answer in a nutshell.
  6. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Something I didnt know, I always did the bend test. Thats why I love this place![​IMG]
  7. bandcollector

    bandcollector Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    180 is too high for making jerky. 150-155 will do the trick. I like to smoke my jerky for 1 to 2 hours and then finish in the dehydrator. Works every time.

    Good luck, John
  8. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When I do jerky in the GOSM, I kep the temps low 150-155 and after approx 90 minutes, I start doing the "twist and bend" test-when you twist the jerky, the meat strands should tear and separate and when you bend the jerky it should bend with out breaking in half.

    If the meat strands don't tear and separate, the meat is not dry enough and if it breaks in half when you bend it, it's too dry.
  9. danj

    danj Meat Mopper

    Thank you all for the help, I am making another attempt i sliced the meat 1/4" maybe i sliced the meat to thick, temp set at 150° If that dont work, its back to the dehydrator but will keep smokin turkey ham game birds ribs..... well you all get the idea. oh and the MES smoker is now worked into the budget. ( I got a great wife)
  10. danj

    danj Meat Mopper

    Last batch of jerky is done and ....................gone....... dangit now it gotta make more......
  11. scpatterson

    scpatterson Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So you got it now...You were coking it for sure and not drying it...Hope it works out for you
  12. danj

    danj Meat Mopper

    [​IMG] Heck ya i made a hot spicy batch wow did it turn out great. thank you all for the help. My neighbor and I made a homemade smoker out of a refridgerator. that turned out pretty good. (Im still going with a MES)[​IMG]
  13. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG] Glad to hear your on the right track now.
  14. oneshot

    oneshot Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Dan, where's the Qview????? [​IMG]
  15. zeddy

    zeddy Newbie

    I just did a batch of moose in my big chief but after only 8 hours it appears done! is that possible? it all appears to have shrunken and turned dark and when you bend it, it cracks but does not break.
    I soaked in in cure for 24hrs
    I just dont want anyone to get sick!

    I hope someone sees this, I still have it in the smoker!
  16. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Alright Dan I really glad your jerky came out good this time but you still forgot the Qview thingy. Remember if theres no Qview it didn't happen were you sleeping when your jerky was done maybe???? Now go make some more then[​IMG]
  17. i think so i did mine for 12 hrs.... its jerky a bit dry so i was thinking of nocking off a few hours....
  18. grinder

    grinder Smoke Blower

    Guess my method differs from everyone elses. After curing, I put the jerky in the smoker at 225 for 3-4 hrs. I don't like jerky all dried out like a piece of raw hide. Guess I'm making steak strips, instead of jerky. Everyone one seems to love it, though.
  19. twanger1994

    twanger1994 Fire Starter

    I remember when I was a kid some teacher told my brother, jerky can be made by leaving seasoned meat out for some period of time... Being little kids we tried it. I think it was the green color that told us not to eat it. Maybe it was the green look on our mothers face when she saw it that did the trick. Needless to say don't try this at home...

    I would like to try it the right way: what cut of meat are you all using? Any other pointers? ill be using a sfb to smoke it. Thanks for any help

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