Fast but good?

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by rons, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. rons

    rons Smoking Fanatic

    I started making jerky recently, had a good batch, a couple decent and one oops. It always takes quite a while, using tips I read here on the forum. Our local grocery store makes their own jerky, it's really good. The other day I was in there and got to talking to the guy behind the counter, he's the butcher there and does all the smoking (jerky, sausage, chicken, salmon etc.). They have a big indoor commercial smoker setup. I asked him, Hey how to you guys make your jerky? I was really surprised at his answer, he said

    "We cure and season it, then run it in the smoker at about 210-220 for 2 hours, ... but we have fans in the smoker"

    I'm like wow, this jerky is smoked in only 2 hours at that high a temperature? He said again, "But we have fans in the smoker"

    Seems it would more cook the meat, but the jerky is perfect that they make. How do fans allow it to come out so good, so fast, at such a high temp for jerky?
  2. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Jerky is more about dehydration than smoke. I never used cure or smoke until coming here because my Pop never did. I understand the additional safety aspect of the cure but to get good jerky I still use the dehydrator after a couple of hours of smoke, Too much smoke and it tastes like a dirty ashtray.

    Also remember like any smoked cured meat allow LOTS of smoothing time. It will taste awful right after you finish and a week later you'll think you need to go into business its so good. ALL cured smoked foods need a smoothing period, and don't forget the nuts too.

    Keep good notes on how you do it so next time you can improve because its not like you can stick your finger in the bowl and sample.
  3. rons

    rons Smoking Fanatic

    smoothing? I hadn't read about that. Man, how am I going to not eat it and let it sit for days :)

    Question though, HOW is their jerky so good cooked like that?

    I found that too with smoke, found a small pinch of pellets once an hour or so is plenty for the first 2-3 hours, then no more smoke after that.

    Wait, nuts? what nuts?
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Closer to the holidays you'll see more and more nuts, spiced nuts, sweetened nuts, smoked nuts, spiced smoked nuts mixed smoked nuts, smoked cashew butter, etc etc etc......

    I usually dewater an hour and smoke an hour (Approx.), then its to the dehydrator until it develops the spider web when you try to break it over.

    This is jerky I did 100% on the smoker. it was smoked a couple a hours and an dried at about 100 to 150 for about 30 hours.

    Bad picture but you can almost see those strings.

    remember jerky is a personal taste type thing some want just moist and slightly chewie, some want all dry, some want crunchie. That is why we make our on so we can get what we want.
  5. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Jerky is awesome to make from home,  like Foam said each his own taste, texture ect.

    Smoked Nuts are awesome as well as cheese, and butter also as Foam mentioned. 

    How about smoked pretzels - OH YA!!

    Use that search bar at the top and you will soon call it your best friend. 

    A full smoker is a happy smoker - Good luck on your adventure in smoking 

  6. rons

    rons Smoking Fanatic

    wow 30 hours! that jerky looks awesome.

    Did you use an electric smoker? I used charcoal, can't imagine playing with temps for 30 hours using charcoal.

    My jerky last night came out almost perfect, the only downside was I thought I'd try using a tritip roast for the meat. The flavor is A++++ but it's sooo greasy. Last time I used round and it was really blah almost liver tasting. What leaner meat is the best? What's the most popular?

    I ran mine in the smoker

    1.5 hours at about 140-150

    4.5 hours with a touch of smoke here and there for 4.5 hours

    (Then it was so dark outside and I knew it had enough flavor, transferred to oven at 170)

    oven at 170 for 2 more hours

    texture almost perfect, flavor awesome, but just really greasy from using tritip.


    Ok, now question

    I read some threads on here, looks like...

    1) Eye of round, have the butcher slice to 1/4 (man I didn't know they'd do that, been slicing myself!)

    2) Cure, season

    3) On the smoker for a couple hours with smoke at 140-150

    4) Then into a food dehydrator till done

    Would that be a solid method?

    Found this, fits my budget, look ok?

    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  7. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    1. Eye of round is very lean (most of the time) and works good for jerky.  I have a slicer, but if the butcher will do it, go for it.  If you need to slice it by hand, put the eye of round into the freezer for a bit and let it firm up quite a bit.  Makes slicing easier.  With eye of round, YOU determine easy chew jerky or tough chew jerky.  Beautiful straight grain assists with this.  Slice across and you get easy chew, slice lengthwise and you get chewy...
    2. Yep, give it an overnight rest to be sure.
    3. Try not to cook it.  You've cured it, so you can smoke at a lower temp.
    4. Yep
    Take notes, monitor temps, sample some now and then, and take pics!
  8. rons

    rons Smoking Fanatic

    OK, cool, thanks much!

    Yesterday I got an eye of round and had the butcher slice it, man that is nice! I've been doing the freezer thing but using an electric knife which was way better than a normal knife, but this was deluxe having them do it.

    I'll get it cured overnight, seasoned then run it really cool maybe 140? for a whole day if it needs it. Still eating my tritip jerky, sure tastes good but sheesh so freaken greasy! :)
  9. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If it's sliced, it'll smoke pretty quickly if you have it on grates.  I'd give it 2-3 hours with heavy (still thin blue) smoke, and then dehydrate.  If you're doing the drying in the smoker, 140 will be good since it's been cured.

    Looking forward to updates and pics.

    Wife told me I'm doing jerky and biltong this weekend, so I'll get to play some as well.
  10. rons

    rons Smoking Fanatic

    Cool, yes, first batch I used too much smoke, I like it lightly smoked. This last batch had just the right smoke flavor, I just tossed a small handful of pellets on the coals about once an hour 3 times. Jerky really takes the smoke!

    What's a biltong?
  11. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    BIltong is a South African style dried meat.  I use eye of round for it, but in SA they use what ever heavy muscle meat they have on hand.  It's not smoked, nor cured with nitrates or nitrites.  Some scream at me about that as well, but...

    So, this is how I make it.

    I remove as much fat as I possibly can, and then slice the EOR WITH the grain into 1/2" strips and then cut them in half length wise.  Strips will then be 1/2" thick by around 2.5" wide and however long the EOR was.

    Then I place the strips into a glass bowl of ACV and let soak for about 45 minutes to an hour.  I keep moving the meat so all is well exposed to the ACV.  Then I pull the strips from the AVC and pat dry on paper towels.  Some say to not soak it, just brush the ACV on, but that's how I was taught, and I like the end results.

    I then add the following items to a bowl and mix together

    2 hand fulls of coriander seed (measure out whole and then grind before adding to the rest of the spices)
    2 Tbs ground black pepper (more or less depending on your pepper preference)
    2-3 Tbs kosher salt (again, depends on your liking)

    1 Tbs granulated onion (if you want)

    1/2 Tbs granulated garlic (if you want)
    1 tsp powdered white pepper

    Mix the above really well, and then shake and press the spice mixture into the sides of the meat.  Then, put the spiced strips into a glass or plastic container and let them sit for about 4 hours or so.  I do this in the frig.  Once that's done, take out the strips and put them on a hook or skewers and get ready for the drying.

    Now, this is the part that starts all kinds of debates...  I dry mine outside under my back patio cover with the meat covered inside of cheese cloth.  The meat is hung on my bacon hooks and then I make a bag of sorts around it with the cheesecloth.  Make sure no bugs, dogs, or other critters can get at it or into it.

    Others dry it in a dehydrator, and others hang it in a closet.  The diehard makers use a "biltong box" that is an enclosed cardboard box with vent holes and a 60w bulb in the bottom.  The meat will get really dry on the outside, but will still have some color and a bit of moisture on the inside when done.

    The drying will take 2-5 days depending on the thickness of the meat and the temperature.  Here in Texas, right now, I'll be done in 3 with no problem.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
  12. rons

    rons Smoking Fanatic

    wow freaky stuff, I myself would be scared to eat it, but I'm extra scared of those things :) I do chicken to 190 and pork to 190, beef never under 140 :)

    Interesting food though, never heard of it!
  13. To cure or not to cure? I have made one batch in my MES just marinated then smoked and dried out as low as she'd go and I was happy with it, what is the advantage/reason for curing?
  14. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You're well below the safe temp for meats when making jerky most of the time. That's why the cure is called for by most, including me when making jerky.

    The biltong has a LOT of stuff on the outside, and is marinaded in vinegar (very acidic) , which all combined, in theory, assists in taking care of the bad critters on some meats.

    For jerky, I use a cure and let the meat marinade for a minimum of 24 hours in my mix. I share jerky, I don't share biltong.

    Right now, I have jerky in a marinade with cure, and biltong in homemade ACV only. I'll post pics in another thread.
  15. rons

    rons Smoking Fanatic

    cool, it does sound interesting! I think my brain just has issues since the meat isn't heated at all :)
  16. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Do you eat sushi? Ceviche? Oysters on the halfshell?  Some foods don't even require warmth.  Just pull the horns, wipe the butt and run 'em across the fire one time. I found that gaging it so it can't Mooooo while ya eat helps too!
  17. rons

    rons Smoking Fanatic

    Let's see,





    I eat raw  fruits and veggies :) Everything else, cooked :)
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  18. I find the sticky part of the duct tape imparts an unpleasant flavor, when used for gagging... [​IMG]

    Especially when only run through the fire once... [​IMG]  
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015

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