Anyone have MES jerky suggestions? My plan, and a few questions.

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by gllen, May 2, 2010.

  1. gllen

    gllen Newbie

    My first batch of beef jerky turned out pretty terrible. It was the first thing I did in my 30" MES, and I kind of winged the marinade.

    I just prepared my next batch using this recipe (minus MSG and liquid smoke):

    I have a couple general questions..

    1) What's the reason behind hanging the meat? I assume it's just to maximize surface area and get a little more smoke distributed. I think I have enough surface area, and my MES racks have a pretty fine grate that wouldn't allow hanging anyway (without string).

    2) Recipes I see say to dry the meat after taking it out of the marinade. How liberal can I be with how much sauce I keep on it? I basically didn't dry it at all the first time, but I like the idea of a very flavorful outer layer.

    3) Fat: I trimmed my sirloins pretty well, but there's obviously some fattier pieces. How long should I allow until the fat goes rancid, and does keeping it in the fridge help?

    4) I have apple, hickory and mesquite woodchips to choose from, any recommendations on what (or what not) to use?

    My plan:

    Last time, after the first batch of wood chips, I didn't get any smoke from my MES when it was set to 150, so I was planning on smoking it for about 4 hours at 165 (about the minimum I can get smoke) and using non-soaked woodchips. Then finishing it at 150 without smoke. Does that sound reasonable?

    Any other tips (especially MES related) would be appreciated!

  2. yumyumeatumup

    yumyumeatumup Newbie

    While I am a newbie with the MES, I have learned a few things during my first Jerky attempt this past Feb. I made three batches of Jerky from a whole round.

    My marinade was spot on and I marinated the meat overnight. My first batch was a problem. I cut the meat too thick (3/16 to 1/4). I adjusted to 1/8" on batch 2 & 3 and that was perfect.

    On my first batch, I strung the jerky ends onto bamboo skewers and suspended from racks with wire to be space efficient. BAD IDEA. Smoke and dehydrate was uneven and meat curled terribly. On batch 2 & 3 I layed meat down on racks sprayed with Pam. Great results.

    I smoked the jerky at 140 degrees (read on my Maverick and an independent themometer). The MES temp. on the digital readout reads 10 to 15 degrees cooler than real temp. I smoked with one and 1/2 doses of mesquite for 14 hours. My favorite marinade is: Yoshidas terriyaki sauce, water, seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper.

    I store in large plastic jars (bought at Walmart) with one 1/8" hole drilled in lid and I keep it in our pantry. I hope this helps.
  3. gllen

    gllen Newbie

    Thanks, great info, helps a lot!

    Is that 1 1/2 cups of chips in two doses? Soaked?

    Something like this?
    1. Preheat to 140
    2. Add 1 cup chips, wait for smoke
    3. Put meat in
    4. Wait until smoke stops, add 1/2 cup chips

    How much of the 14 hours can I expect it to be smoking?
  4. yumyumeatumup

    yumyumeatumup Newbie

    I take the large chunks of wood and split them into smaller pieces and ussually soak them for 1+ hours. The MES starts smoking in about 1-1 1/2 hours( I don't preheat because temp comes up pretty fast)

    While I am new to this smoker, I have smoked salmon for 30 years and always like to use moist wood. I fill the slide tube up full at the beginning and then another half load after about three hours. All in all, it only smokes for part of the first 4 hours approx. Don't put too much smoke on it because the meat is so thin.
  5. gllen

    gllen Newbie

    Thanks again!

    Any comments on drying off the marinade (prior to smoking)?

    Wondering if I should pat them completely dry with paper towels, 'squeegee' the strips with my fingers, or if I can leave them somewhat wet.
  6. jsdspif

    jsdspif Meat Mopper

    I would say get some hi mountain jerky seasonings and use that . I used to make up my own spice mixtures but a few years ago I tried the hi mountain stuff and I've used it ever since . Most of the time I start it in my MES at 200 for about an hour (it seems like it takes about 30 minutes or so to get to temp) with the water pan empty , then I usually transfer it to a tabletop convection oven on about 175 or so . I know that people may chime in and say "above 140 and your cooking it " or something like that , but that's just the way I like it and it's done in about 3 hours or so . I have also just opened the door of the MES after an hour or so ( I leave the hook hooked to the door , I just don't fold the latch back to close the door completely ) and stop adding wood chips at that point also . It can get too smoky for my taste pretty easy , but on anything else I smoke I almost wish it was smokier , so I think the small pieces of meat don't need a whole lot of smoke to have a smoky flavor . I guess if I was making my own spice mixture I would probably measure stuff accurately and take note of what and how much I am using , how long in the smoker , times , temps etc . , but I just prefer to use the hi mountain stuff . I've had perfect results with their stuff except for the one or 2 times I've gave it too much smoke.
  7. ryanhoelzer

    ryanhoelzer Smoking Fanatic

    I did my first batch with 1/4" cuts and it was thicker than I like but turned out good.

    I've done a few more batches since and have been really happy with the Hi Mtn spices. I also bought a slicer to cut 1/8". I've kept the temps around 120 and lit chips with a torch when needed.

    I haven't tried any wet recipes yet but will soon.

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