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
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).
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!
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.
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.
Originally Posted by yodiewan
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 at 10:41 AM.
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.
Smoked sea salt in the marinade is great for imparting a smokey flavor.