New to Smoking, Its an ART!!! Any Help appreciated.

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by kully, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. UPDATE: First time making Deer Jerky     Smoker: Bradley Digital 6 Rack     Temp: 12C Outside

    Decided to smoke some jerky this past weekend. Great recipe from alelover!, but........................not sure if the smoker was reading the correct temp?  I smoked for 1 hour and then set temp at 150F.  Readings inside the smoker, said anywhere from 152-156F.  I think that's OK. But had it in the smoker for about 11 hours which seemd long to me. Some of the jerky seemed a little soft to the touch. Should it have been in the smoker that long?? I thought that the cuts were a tad thick, yet I cut them about 1/4 inch thick, as I had seen online and what my local butcher told me. Some dried very well and others not. Soaked in a brine mixture about 20 hours, patted dry, left out for about 30 minutes then into the smoker. Taste was great, yet the range of pieces were from very dry, (almost hard) to perfect,  to kinda soft.

    I did move the racks up and down every 2 hours as well. Not sure what my problem might be with the difference in pieces, but it the first time and I guess I expected better from myself after following recipes and instructions. Is this something that happens most of the time? or am I doing something wrong here?? Does it make a difference with the type of meat used? I used mule deer.

    Any help, ideas or tips much appreciated.

    I know I always want to do the best every time, but like some things it takes a few times. I now know SMOKING IS AN ART!!! LOL

    One thing I did do, was just before I put the some of the jerky into the smoker I sprinkled some Motts Clamato Rimmer (we use it on the glass rims when making Vodka Caesars) on one tray of marianted strips. It gave the jerky a very nice taste. I will do some with this spice again.

  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I am looking forward to doing Jerky so I am interested in the answers here as well...JJ
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  3. I would check the thermometer in some boiling water and make sure they are accurate. That seems like a long time. And I am quite flattered you used my recipe. [​IMG]
  4. Check your temps. I'm not familiar with the smoker you are using, I have an MES 40 and just did venison jerky and duck jerky. I use Hi Country Jerky Seasonings which is a dry cure, not a marinade. I let the meat air dry while getting the smoker ready.

    Total time roughly 7 hrs in the smoker.

    I start at 110-120* with no smoke to dry it out (usually about 1.5 hrs).

    Then bump the temp to 130-140* and add smoke for about 3-3.5 hrs,

    Bump to 155-165* for another 1-2 hours

    Bump to 170* to finish it off.

    It is your preference if you want to continue adding smoke after the initial 3-3.5 hrs. I start doing the bend test at 6 hrs and pull off any of the smaller pieces that are done and put them in a ziploc bag, when the rest is done I put it in the same bag so all the moisture can re-distribute and leave it overnight. Next day I vacuum bag it.

    This is the way I've done venison, elk, antelope, beef, duck and goose since I started smoking and I've never had a bad batch yet...(knock on wood). 

    Here's some I did
  5. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    Definately calibrate your thermometers as Mr. Alelover said.

  6. Thanks Guys, but I don't have a thermometer as with the Bradley Digital, it is supposed to be built in. It is a brand new smoker used three times so far and I had thoughts that the temp readings might be out. I guess I should buy a good thermometer and use it. I know my local butcher uses his to check the internal temp of the meat when its close to being done. I really thought I didn't need to have one.

    Live and learn!!!!

  7. The stock thermo that comes with a smoker is usually way off.
  8. Thanks Guys!!

    Smokin Husker, QUESTION: I looked at your pics on the urls you added, is it your preference to hang the peices of jerky or is it ok to lay them on the racks? Any benefits to either way??

    Great pics!! Thats what jerky should look like!!!!

  9. I guess I will be buying a thermometer this weekend in the city. Maybe even two.


  10. I started out laying the strips on the rack and would rotate the racks every couple hours and flip the strips. I don't really know how much of a difference it makes to hang vs lay, because it's been quite a while since I've laid an entire batch out, I do lay the smaller pieces on the top rack and they come out fine. My personal opinion and preference is to hang them, which allows more air circulation and smoke to the surfaces. I don't know if you can tell in the pics, but I use non stick skewers (tried bamboo and non stick skewers (meat stuck) and dropping them between the spaces on the racks to hang (takes a bit of time to get them down through the racks), my significant other suggested s hooks to slide the skewers through and then hang the s hook on the rack. I can get 6 skewers with approx 8-10 strips on each leaving about an inch between the strips of meat. I don't have to rotate racks, flip meat and it's quicker than dropping the skewered meat through the rack. I feel it's all a matter of preference. 

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