Jerky for Deercamp! (Heavy Qview)

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by humdinger, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. humdinger

    humdinger Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I made some Jerky two years ago (venison & Beef) and it was off the hook. Family and friends loved it and of course soon after I was "gifted" plenty of venison steaks and roasts to convert into dried meat-gold! However life happens (kids, work, etc..) and the meat sat in my deep freezer...until last week!

    When doing venison jerky, I always like to use teriyaki because I feel it cuts the gamey flavor of the meat all while adding a salty flavor that venison usually lacks (compared to beef). Here you see my slicer, cutting board, scale, disposable gloves, and seasonings. I used Sweet and Spicy seasoning for the beef. Pink salt was my cure. 1tsp/5lb.

    Weighing it out and prepping to mix in 5lb batches. I had 15lbs of venison total, and I've found that 5 pound batches works best not just for curing, but a gallon ziplock bag holds 5lbs nicely allowing for a little room to mix and squish while curing. Plus I find it's the maximum amount I can mix by hand before it gets to be too much. This picture below is of the venison steaks. They were still slightly frozen together making slicing easy, but broke up into smaller pieces as they thawed for easier blending/seasoning.

    I sliced it a little thinner this time, (last time was about 1/4in). This time most pieces were around 1/8, but some sliced up thicker by accident, and they turned out better in the end, so I think go back to that next time. Also I slice across the grain for a easier bite/chew.

    Here is the seasoning and blending. I usually sprinkle and toss the jerky in three stages (sprinkle-toss-sprinkle-toss-sprinkle-toss) to ensure optimum curing and seasoning.

    Bagged with the air squeezed out. I also added a tablespoon of cracked black pepper to the seasoning blend for a little heat.

    After a few days resting in the fridge, it's time to smoke/dry. A few years ago I had the idea to buy 1/8in food grade stainless steel rods and cut them to fit on my smoker rack. It works great. I skewer the meat onto the rod using my bench vice, then into the smoker!

    Each rod holds a pound of meat, which helps planning. Here is what it looks like. Beef on top, venison on bottom. It looks like the meat is touching, which is a jerky drying no-no, but I was careful to make sure they weren't.

    Got some bourbon oak pellets smoking in the A-MAZE-N smoker. I did this batch on Halloween. Took about 6 hours. Started at 120 degrees and worked up to 160/165.

    It went a little long, but the temp never got higher than 170, so it's just tougher jerky, which is the whole point I guess.

    My son after a long night (20 minutes) of tough trick-or-treating! He was grunting like a cave man at the meat. My in-laws got a kick out of it!

    "Let me give you a hand with that dad, this skewer looks a little overloaded."

    Close up of some of the Black pepper teriyaki venison.

    After resting in a ziplock bag overnight, I wrap in a paper bag to improve tenderness. Thanks to @nepas via @smokinghusker for this little tip.

    These were pieces too small to fit on the skewer. Qmatz worked awesome, thanks @TJohnson

    This batch went in Nov 2nd. All venison, but some with black pepper, some with red pepper flakes. Also, I used pitmasters blend pellets this round.

    Some of the finished red pepper teriyaki venison.This batch was by far the best!

    Close up!

    The best part is the guys who gave me the meat do not know it's done yet! They're in for a nice surprise when I get to deer camp next week! Thanks for looking.
  2. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    That looks great. We had a bunch of different jerky at deer camp last week and now I am craving more. 
  3. twoalpha

    twoalpha Smoking Fanatic

    Awesome looking jerky [​IMG]
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great looking jerky!

  5. garyhibbert

    garyhibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Now that's GOOD looking jerky.  I figure to turn most of my hopefully "soon to be got" deer into jerky and snack sticks this year.


  6. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    HD, great looking jerky and I love your vise /skewer approach ![​IMG]
  7. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice looking jerky! Good luck at beer I mean deer camp!
  8. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dang it man that looks good,,, Wish I was in deer camp with that 

    point for the full smoker 

  9. humdinger

    humdinger Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks bmaddox. What kind of jerky did you guys have? Elk is the best I've ever had, followed closely by buffalo. I've heard moose is the holy grail, but have yet to try it myself.
    Thanks for the points! I know they don't really mean anything to the forum, but it's nice to see after a few days of hard work!
    Thanks Case. I did do the sausage last month too, but haven't posted the pics yet. Appreciate you looking!
    Thanks for the points Gary and good luck to you. I've find there are very few venison steak lovers, but venison jerky lovers are like weeds.... you break out the jerky and.they pop up everywhere!
    Thanks. After I created the skewers a few years ago, they worked great but it took a long time to skewer all the meat with only two hands, and was a lot of up and down on a cookie sheet. That's when I thought "...a table clamp would help, hey wait, I have a vice!"
    Sounds like you do the same thing we do; lotsa drinking with a little hunting sprinkled in! Funny thing is when I started this tradition about 6 years ago, it was just 4 or 5 buddy's who were serious hunters. Now it's 24 guys, 6 of whom are hunters! LOL
    Thanks. I love making jerky. It's a lot of work to do as much as I do at once, but so rewarding when you start handing it out! Thanks for the points.
  10. humdinger

    humdinger Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

  11. humdinger

    humdinger Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

  12. westby

    westby Smoking Fanatic

    Great minds think alike.  I've been using 1/8" rod for about 3-4 years now.  The pic below has about 30 lbs of jerky (pre-cooked weight) in it.

  13. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice treat for camp.

    I bet it added some extra motivation to get out there extra-early! [​IMG]
  14. humdinger

    humdinger Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hey hey! Look at that @westby  I guess I'm not so crazy after all! I love it. It's a great system for optimizing the cubic space in your smoker. (I work in shipping and logistics, so my mnd is always thinking about that)

    Is that beef? What flavors did you give it?
    Honestly, since jerky is so much time and work, I didn't tell them I was bringing it.  The reason is, for most of my friends deer camp is less about hunting and more about getting away from the wives and any other reminders of civilization, and when that happens they forget their manners (in other words, they'll wolf it down!). I waited until the time was right then passed the bag around the fire. It was a hit! Thanks for the points!
  15. westby

    westby Smoking Fanatic

    That is all venison Humdinger.  Used all the roasts I could get from my deer (except back loin) and had some meat from two other buddies as well.  I have been a huge fan of Hi Mountain for years.  I use the regular blend and add some course black pepper and a little garlic to it.  Started out around 30 lbs and cooked down to just under 15 lbs.
  16. smokindeer

    smokindeer Fire Starter

    2 questions...

    Where did you get the 1/8" rods?

    How do you store your jerky and for how long?
  17. westby

    westby Smoking Fanatic

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