1st beef Jerky HELP!!!!

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by matt r, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. So I picked up a nice Angus Rump Roast yesterday. Removed the fat cap, froze if for a while, and then sliced it against the grain on an electric slicer ( the slices came our really nice, about 1/4 inch thick).

    I have it marinating in a mix of Soy Sauce, Brown Sugar, Sriracha, and  garlic powder. I plan to smoke it tomorrow on my MES 30 at around 160 degrees for about 5 hours.

    Sound Okay? There is a LOT of info around this site, and much of it conflicts ( personal taste and all that), but I have a few questions:

    1. The Soy Sauce is acting as a cure, right? I dont mind keeping the jerky in the fridge, as it will be gone within a day or two. I just want to be sure that this is ok

    2. How do I check the temp of the meat? I have a maverick, but the meat is so thin that the probe will poke through. Can I get away with just the very tip of the probe being on there? is that enough for a reading?

    3. Can I eat it immediately after it comes out of the smoker, or does it have to chill in the fridge?

    Thanks guys! Im uptight about this!
  2. so the jerky is not so good. Too much mesquite smoke, its overpowering.

    I think I cooked it at too high a heat. It smoked at 160 for about 4 hours and I couldn't get the IT past 129 so I kept boosting the heat. Now the consistency is not soft and chewy but kinda brittle.

    I don't know if I'll try it again. Juice may not be worth the squeeze.
  3. Hey Matt,

    Sorry your having such a frustrating time. Have some feedback for you but just bear in mind....it takes some experimenting and trial and error. So... try not to get too frustrated with errors and learn from mistakes.  As always, when you ask opinions here you'll get many different answers. I look for the middle ground and what seems right to my situation, then, go for it and pray ha...


    My experience is at 160-180* chamber temp jerky sliced 1/8 - 1/4" starts being done after 2 hours. You're correct, the meat is too thin to probe.  Your soy mix sounds great and soy has enough sodium to act as a cure just still keep general guidelines - clean prep and cook surfaces, fridge it after done. To kill botulism bugs ya need to reach 145* IT for at least 30  minutes.  Thin sliced meat cooked at 2 hours plus will generally meet this.  After a few goes you'll get an eye, touch and taste / feel for what's done, not done or overdone.

    See what you like for flavor, I use both mesquite and/or hickory for jerky but only put about 90 minutes of smoke on the meat. I like the seasonings to be tasteable along with the smokiness. I start checking my jerky at 90 minutes, then every half hour after and pulling as it gets done.

    Wish ya well and good smokin. When ya get a good batch post us some Q Vue eh!   Happy Smokin - Ed
  4. Good morning SA, and thanks VERY much for the response. Im gonna take your advice to heart and give it another couple of tries. Understand, that the jerky I made wasnt BAD...I mean, its all gone!! I just think that utilizing the tips you gave me, It could be better. I really think I oversmoked it and  over cooked it.

    I'll post some pics of the new batch!
  5. java

    java Smoking Fanatic

    jerky seems to be an odd project around here, Ive been doing it for about  5-6 years and still cant get it consistantly the same  smokeyness and dryness. what I have learned is less smoke is better( just my opinion) too much just gets bitter., the real trick is the right amount of "dryness"
  6. java

    java Smoking Fanatic

    what i meant to say is just keep trying and enjoy!
  7. couldn't agree with you more! I think a bit less smoke and a little less cooking time would do the trick!
  8. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    It is better to under smoke then to over smoke.You can always up the smoke time on the next batch. I always taste test the jerky as its cooking so eating it hot is fine. After a few batches you will have it down pat and know when to remove it by looking and bending a piece.i brine for two days,don't use a cure and let it air dry for and hour before throwing in the smoker or dehydrator.I've been doing this for over 30 years and never had any ill effects from eating pounds of it.
  9. MMMMMmmmmm....pounds of jerky...Im definitely gonna give it another few chances. My kids really liked the batch I made, so I cant have been too off!
  10. jlcnuke

    jlcnuke Fire Starter

    1. Soy will act as a cure.  Personally, I prefer to use tenderquick etc overnight for a cure and then rinse it off.  This let's the "cure" happen and allows you to set a flavor profile of your jerky that isn't dependent upon your cure.

    2. You don't check the temp.  Jerky is "done" when it behaves right.  For 1/8-1/4" thick jerky this can generally be seen by picking up a piece and gently bending it. Done jerky will have show have appear to pull out some "white" where it is bent.  After a while, you'll be able to tell if it's done just by picking it up though.

    3. You can eat jerky as soon as it is done.  In fact, I'll go on record as saying I think it often tastes best when still hot :)

    When smoking, you need very little smoke to convey the flavor into jerky as the meat is quite thin.  For this reason, when smoking it a I will start in the smoker and then move to my dehydrator to finish the jerky off after about an hour in the smoke.  Like you, I discovered it was easy to over-smoke the jerky.  

    Experiment with different flavors when you make jerky too, I almost never just make 1 type of jerky at a time.  Variety is the spice of life after all :)
  11. jerkyguy

    jerkyguy Newbie

    Your three questions are answered correctly by yourself haha. I would only try smoking the jerky for about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. keep the temp about 160, thats cooker temp not internal temp of meat. At 160 you can take the jerky out at 4.5 hours and it will be good! Take it out and place it in a container and seal it immediately then pop it in the refrigerator. That is the secret to a nice jerky! Tried and true method for over 15 years,personal and professional [​IMG]

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