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jerky drying advice: Use a smoker?

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  • jerky drying advice: Use a smoker?

    I am making jerky today and considering using my Big chief smoker to do so, in part b/c most recipes (including Mark's) suggest using "liquid smoke". I figure that real smoke is more primal. Has anyone used a smoker? Other options I have are a dehydrator and the oven. Any advice would be helpful.

    I am also open to your favorite marinade recipe.

    Thanks in advance,
    One Delta Ten Tango

  • #2
    I make ground beef jerky, use my dehydrator to get it mostly done and finish it off by using a pan of chips for an hour in the Little Chief smoker (vary for your desired smoke level).
    "Wait! I'll fix it!"
    "Problems always disappear in the presence of a technician."
    "If you can't improvise, what are you doing out in the field?"

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    • #3
      I used the marinade recipe listed here on MDA (plus some Merlot) and dipped the meat into hot marinade for ~1min (small batches) and dried it in the oven - straight on the racks. Super easy and sooooo good! The first time I made it, my daughter and I ate most of it before it was completely done, running back to the oven every 5 minutes!

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      • #4
        Thanks Mud Flinger and Blackbird. I went with the MDA recipe, hot marinade, and did the whole deal in the Big Chief. 2 pans of chips over a 8 hr smkoe/cook. It came out very, very tasty. I used flank steak. I'll have to try the ground beef jerky next.

        OneDeltaTenTango

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        • #5
          Hi OneDelta. Good to hear you had success. I take it the temperature didn't get too hot in the smoker. I tried using my Brinkmann electric smoker and it got way too hot even with ice in the water pan. Do you know what temp your smoker was running?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by yodiewan View Post
            Hi OneDelta. Good to hear you had success. I take it the temperature didn't get too hot in the smoker. I tried using my Brinkmann electric smoker and it got way too hot even with ice in the water pan. Do you know what temp your smoker was running?
            I didn't have a thermometer in the smoker, though a good idea. I ran it for most of the time with the lid ajar. I also didn't really cook the meat when I added it to the hot marinade so wanted to make sure I erred on the side of more rather than less cooked as the meat is conventionally sourced.

            I think I will do some experimenting with the dehydrator and try to rig up a thermometer in the smoker to better dial things in.
            Last edited by OneDeltaTenTango; 06-19-2011, 10:41 AM.

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            • #7
              I use my Little Chief and it's great. Takes about 8-12 hrs - give or take depending on the thickness of the meat and temperature outside.

              My favourite marinade is just tamari sauce and maple syrup - about 2:1 ratio. And the best cut for beef jerky is HEART. It makes fantastic jerky.

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              • #8
                Smoked sea salt in the marinade is great for imparting a smokey flavor.

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