Been making jerky for awhile now, any advice on recipe tweaks, things I'm doing wrong, etc.?

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by mikeyw1969, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. mikeyw1969

    mikeyw1969 Newbie

    Hey all,

    As my title states, I've been making jerky for a few years now, I figure it's time to check and make sure I'm not doing this the hard way, or throwing away good materials, using too much of any ingredients, stuff like that. 

    Anyway, my base recipe is as follows(Based on 1 lb. of meat, marinated for about 24 hours, and sliced about 1/4" thick):

    2 cups soy sauce(As a cure)

    1 cup Worcestershire sauce(Flavoring/cure)

    1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar(Counters the salt from the soy sauce, purely for flavor)

    1 ea. finely diced and seeded jalapeno, habanero and serrano peppers(Flavor as well, just enough to be spicy, not enough to overwhelm)

    2 tsp Liquid Smoke(Flavor as well)

    So I add no extra salt, but seem to get plenty of cure. Is this enough or too much soy sauce? Obviously, I don't want to use more than I need here. Is 24 hours too much marination?

    Also, best recommendation for meat I found is top round. We actually still have a local functioning butcher shop here, and I get that for roughly $5-$6 a pound. I've found mostly athing that is lean works pretty well, and a little bit of fat on the occasional piece is just bonus yumminess...

    Next question: This one might not matter anymore now that I am upgrading dehydrators and can handle a much bigger batch(Moving from the standard Nesco round stackable to this one:    It's a DELLA 1200W unit with 10 trays, and all metal build.)

    Anyway, if I marinate at 1lb. at a time, would the mixture up above work for a second go, or would it be cashed out at that point?

    Like I said, I've had great luck with this recipe, I tend to take the meat off when bending it in half shows it dry all of the way through, with a few white threads of tissue starting to show up, but not so dry it's like paper. I'm just curious if I'm using excessive materials or anything like that. I put these ingredients in a gallon Ziploc and leave in the fridge, 'massaging' the mixture every few hours to evenly distribute the marinade. I also take off individual pieces as they cure, as opposed to waiting until the whole mess is done. It also seems to work best if I have the thing set at about 155 degrees, as opposed to lower. Is there any benefit to a lower temp setting and a longer cure?

    I think that's all my questions. Just figured it was time to see if I have been doing things the hard way all of this time. Thanks!
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  3. mikeyw1969

    mikeyw1969 Newbie

    Thanks, I'll have to check out the pork loin. The price sure is right :).
  4. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Recipe sounds great,,, Have you ever tried Dry brine?? I found that if I mix my dry spices together with the right amount of cure,,, Then I take meat and lay in casserole dish,,, first layer of meat coat both sides with mix, put another layer of meat on top of the first layer and coat again and so on,,, till meat and mix is gone,,,,(you can put mix and meat in ziplock and shake S*&*T out of it and lay in casserole dish,) 

    Once in dish,,,cover with saran wrap,, pushing saran wrap down to get air out,,, let sit 24+ hours to cure then smoke 

    I had someone me one day why are you soaking it when you are trying to dry it out in the next step,,, Well tried it this way and works great..

    Good luck 
  5. Your recipe is a standard one. Three cups of liquid seems a lot for 1 lb. of meat.

    Soy sauce and worcestershire sauce are not cures although they contain a fair amount of salt.

    If you want to add cure (which is highly recommended) add 1/4 teaspoon of Cure # 1 per pound of meat to your marinade.

    Use the Search function and see what more experienced jerky makers have to say about cure. It is better to err on the safe side.

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