How much smoke to give beef jerky?

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by eightythree, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. eightythree

    eightythree Newbie

    I just purchased an MES 40 smoker and wanted to try jerky in it first since it's something I've done before in a dehydrator.

    With this recipe ( it includes liquid smoke as an ingredient but obviously I want the real deal. What temp/time settings would you use and how many hours of smoke does it need?
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I smoke mine using a step process. I set the smoker for 130° and run it there for 1 hour with no smoke. Then I bump the temp 10° degrees and add smoke. I continue the 10° degree bump every hour until I get to a pit temp of 180°. I don't go higher in order to make sure that the meat doesn't render any fat. I apply smoke the entire time. As for how long, it can be a 12-16 hour process and I go by feel for how I like my jerky. It really is a personal preference on how you like your jerky. I like mine tender and not too dry.

    Here's a very simple, but super tasty recipe. It's for 1 pound but you can scale it up easily. Other spices can be added after brining for different flavor profiles.
  3. eightythree

    eightythree Newbie

    Thanks for the tips! Do you use the water pan with water inside of it?
  4. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    I'm pretty much the same but I'll go to 180 a little faster.  After a low temp for an hour, around 130, I go right to 180.  Vents are wide open and no water in the pan (I never add water to anything anyway).

    You've heard that if you're lookin' you're not cookin'?  Well, in the case if jerky, I KEEP LOOKIN!!!!!!!!!!

    I'll flip it, move it around, etc, until it gets to the level of "doneness" that I want.  Not too crispy but not too soft, either.

    If it looks done to my liking, I'll take it out.  Jerky will come out at different times as I go.

    I've got smoke going most of the time, especially early.  

    Then.......go make some more.
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nope. I'm a dry smoker for everything I smoke. The water pan is left empty or sometimes for longer smokes during crappy weather I will fill it with sand. Especially jerky, you are trying to dry it out no moisture needed or wanted for that.

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