Lem Shooter and ground beef jerky...

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by raselkirk, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. raselkirk

    raselkirk Newbie

    Hi All,

    I got a Lem jerky shooter for Christmas and just had to try it out today. First off, a good soapy cleaning. Ooops! The nut on the plunger fell off and into the disposal, not good. After fishing with a magnet for a few minutes, it dawned on me the nut is prolly non-magnetic stainless steel. So, out to the shop for a pair of long-handled needle nose pliers. Ever try wedging a flashlight and pliers into a 4" opening partially covered by a rubber splashguard? I eventually settled on using a table knife to scoot the offending nut to the center so it could be easily seen w/o the flash. Ahhh, after 1/2 hr finally success!

    Now, on to the jerky!  Used 2.3 # of ground sirloin (90% lean) and the appropriate amounts of High Mountain Hickory Blend, mixed the previous day and fridged overnight. After assembling the shooter with the flat nozzle, I squeezed out strips the full length of my Frogmats and dusted them with cracked black pepper. Ended up with 3 1/2 trays full for my MES 30, couldn't believe how many strips from just 2.3 # of meat. Since I only have 3 frogmats, the "1/2 tray" went on a disposable aluminum perforated cook tray. Into the smoker at 125° for an hour with no smoke, then set to 150° for 4 hours with full smoke from the cold-smoke box. Came out beautiful! Cut the strips into thirds after removing them from the mats, except for the 1/2 tray. Had to destroy the tray to get those off, but they still eat just fine. Ended up with a full QT ziplock that should last at least a week.

    I like this better than muscle meat jerky! To be fair, I tried making ground beef jerky awhile back w/o the shooter using my own recipe and ended up tossing it. It tasted OK, but the "strips" looked like something from another planet and it was overly frustrating to try and mold this "meat paste" by hand.

    Some observations:

    Lem shooter = awesome! Make sure to either tighten or remove the nut before washing.

    Frogmats = awesome! Expensive, yes. Well worth the money!

    Cold-smoke attachment = awesome! Before getting it, my MES would not smoke below 200°.

    High country mix = great! Each pkg does 15# of meat.

    Ground beef > muscle meat for jerky. Much easier on the teeth, no fat/sinew trimming required.

  2. I just got my Lem jerky cannon this weekend. I will be doing 15lbs of meat sticks with it. I picked up a bunch of jerky seasoning kits from Cabellas for $6 that does 15lbs per pack and they come in three packs to do 5lbs at a time.

    Glad to hear you hada good experience with the Lem product. Maybe get some pics next time. :)
  3. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I have the 2 sizes of the Jerky Cannon That is all I use to make sausage, snack sticks.
  4. raselkirk

    raselkirk Newbie

    Anyone have a rough idea of "shelf life" on this burger jerky? I've been keeping it in the fridge, not sure if this is necessary or if it's OK in a ziplock left on the counter. Would like to know if it spoils and after how long...

  5. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I'd leave it in the fridge and it will last quite awhile,should be gone before it dries out !
  6. raselkirk

    raselkirk Newbie

    Round two! Made another batch today, but it didn't come out as good. Same meat, same ingredients except this was "mesquite blend" instead of hickory blend. Oh, and I added 2 tbs of Tabasco pepper husk to the mix and forgot the black pepper dusting. Same temp and duration, when I pulled them off, they were greasy. I put them back on for 2 hrs and still greasy. I'm thinking when I was extruding the strips, I may have moved a little slower making the strips thicker. I put them closer together so they'd all fit on three sheets, and thought it odd that I only got 2 1/2 sheets...


  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds like you may have rendered the fat out, which occurs when you get the strips to hot. What temps were you running your smoker at this go around? Are you using a remote therm to monitor your pit temps or the stock therm that comes with the smoker?
  8. raselkirk

    raselkirk Newbie

    After re-reading my original post (temp), that could have been it, I went up to 165° because I got a late start and was hoping to cut the time a bit. I put them back in even higher at 170°. Definitely will be sticking with 150°! I have used a dual-digital monitor and my MES is close enough...

  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yep that's the culprit. I always do a hour at 100° then bump up to 120° add smoke. The every hour bump up 10° until I get to 150°.

    As for your storage question, even though you are using cure you still will want to store the finished jerky in the fridge or vac-pack and freeze.
  10. raselkirk

    raselkirk Newbie

    How many total hrs do you end up doing?

  11. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Honestly it depends on the texture. But I can say that I always hit a pit temp of 150°. So at least 5 hours, if not more.
  12. raselkirk

    raselkirk Newbie

    Thanks!  My 1st batch was 4 hrs (+ 1), so that works...


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