A Quick Jerky Lessons Learned.

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by bigfoot21075, Nov 17, 2014.

  1. bigfoot21075

    bigfoot21075 Fire Starter

    Over the years, I have made Beef Jerky off and on, I have tried the "Jerky Maker" Gizmo that goes in the oven, I tried the box fan and filter method - eh. Last Year I got a nice Excalibur Food Dehydrator, OK This thing rocks, yes it dries at 155 degrees, but I am fine with that. This year, I got a manual Jerky Slicer from Cabelas that simplified the entire process greatly. I also happen to get a new Smokin it electric smoker. This thing is also cool and CAN smoke Jerky with the Jerky dryer attachment.

    My last batch (also 5 lbs) I used my favorite seasoning (High Mountain Cracked Pepper and Garlic along with some Baldridge Seasoning shaken on before smoking for extra zip - Yeah I know flame away but I love the stuff). I run my dehydrator outside in my screen room, I just set it on top of the smoker and use it for a stand as mi kitchen is so small. This time I loaded my empty moker up with 4 little blocks of hicker and turned it on high. I set the air inlet for the dryer fan right over the chimney hole and poof have GREAT smokey Jerky!

    I have noticed I do not like super dry Jerky, nothing like the leather you get with a Jack Links or such. My Jerky is cured for 24 hours, I also like some fat in my Jerky - damn that is good, try it if you have not before bashing. I smoked for about 3 hours and total dehydration time was 8 hours. I rotate the racks in the dehydrator at 4 hours moving the top to the bottom and so on. I start peeking/sampling after about 6.5 hours. I seem to be able to get it all to finish at the same time this way.

    No, my Jerky will not take you through the Apocalypse nor will it last 20 years. When I am done dehydrating, I put it all on a plate in a big pile and let it totally cool, then I stick it in a gallon ziplock, take the air out as much as possible and toss it in the fridge. When I want some, I take out what i want wrap it in a paper towel and nuke it for 20 seconds in my whimpy microwave. It is fantastic. I have no idea how long IT COULD last as it has never even approached that time period. The longest I have been able to keep it without eating it was 3 weeks and it was just as good as day 1.

    I think I may try something like Ribeye for a test run and see how the fattier cut works out....
  2. I sure do like jerky! I wish I had got to see yours [​IMG]

    Happy smoken.


    PS [​IMG]
  3. ctraugh13

    ctraugh13 Newbie

    You can freeze it too and its just fine coming out of the freezer. though it sounds like mine MAY be a little drier.......but we've eaten it straight from the freezer....
  4. jerkyguy

    jerkyguy Newbie

    Cut that drying time down in half. I have always tried and true for the last 15 years dried my jerky for at most 4.5 hours. Start peeking and or rotate trays about halfway through cooking time for me around 2.5-3 hours. Even when I worked in a large jerky manufacturing company, we dried the jerky for 4 hours and then place it in container and cover immediately. That is the secret, take jerky out of dehydrator and place into container and cover immediately. Try that and let me know how it works.

    Also, you speak of using ribeye. Have you tried using eye round? Ribeye, as funny as it sounds doesnt make the greatest jerky. Of course its flavorful but a meat that is nice and tender as cooked as a steak isnt alway the best for jerky. A crappier cut of meat is a better choice, much like the low and slow methods. Plus all that marbling, I know it tastes good, but it will make your jerky rancid quickly. Fat is the enemy of long lasting jerky.
  5. bigfoot21075

    bigfoot21075 Fire Starter

    Hmm I did another run this weekend, 5 lbs. It still took almost 7 hours to get to where it is not done enough (still fair amount of moisture) for any commercial jerky I have seen. I wonder if my dryer fan is too wimpy or if the 45 degrees screen room temp has something to do with it? I rotated and turned the trays after four hours so they all finished at the same time.

    The jerky is fantastic. This run I bought thin sliced ribeye to try for fun, I got almost a pound of it. While it tasted good, it was too fatty even for me. I will try eye round next.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014
  6. jerkyguy

    jerkyguy Newbie

    Yeah it is probably your dryer giving you hell. What sort of a dehydrator are you using. I can honestly say, I had used a nesco dehydrator for years and put 5 lbs in which was kind of pushing it as far as space goes, and the drying time is always the same no matter how much weight is in the dehydrator. Whether i put 1 lb or 10 lbs it takes about the same as long as slices are thin and trays rotate then 4.5 hours is my golden time. The nesco can be set at 160 degrees.

    How long do you marinate for? I do a minimum of 24 hours. Also what you marinate in could be causing the problem of prolonged cooking too. If it isnt getting a good cure then drying time will be increased. 
  7. bigfoot21075

    bigfoot21075 Fire Starter


    I am using an Excalibur 5 Tray set at 155. I thought I got a good one. for 5 lbs I am using 4 shelves, there is very little space between pieces could that be contributing? I also run it in my screen room sitting on top of my smokinit #3 Electric smoker. I set the dehydrator fan intake right at the chimney hole on the smoker and when I first begin to dehydrate I burn three chunks of cherry in the smoker.

    I use the Cabella Jerky slicer to make my slices. I have been using High Mountain Jerky kits lately, I actually love the Cracked Pepper and Garlic one. It is a dry cure you mix and shake one. I am very careful to get good coverage on the meat. I also add a dusting of Baldridge seasoning for a little zip. 
  8. jerkyguy

    jerkyguy Newbie

    Hey no problem!

    Yeah ur not getting enough airflow. I used 5-6 trays for 5 lbs cut at 1/4 inch thick. So definitely a couple more trays to help that airflow and cut down on drying times along with making a more uniform jerky
  9. I like your innovative thinking of letting your dehydrater suck in the smoke through the intake. I agree with Jerky guy, some of the best jerky I made came from eye of round.  I prefer softer jerky so cut it cross grain. It was amazing.

    As mentioned up there [​IMG]    some pics to drool over are always greatly appreciated !  Happy smokin' - Ed

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