Over Smoked Jerky! Can it be saved?

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by fpmich, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    How embarrassing!

    I over-smoked my jerky.

    I brushed my teeth and tongue and still had that awful lip/tongue numbing taste.

    I ate some Kimchi and still had it,

    I ate a couple hand fulls of my wife's Carmel corn, and still had it.  ICK!

    Brushed teeth and tongue again and it is still there after several hours.  LOL

    Is there anything I can do to rescue it from garbage bag?

    Will rinsing or soaking, re-seasoning, and re-drying in dehydrator help or not?

    Or should I just go make friends with my neighbor's dog tied to a tree, and give him some attention, and a VERY smokey treat?
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  2. Seems to me, if you're going to toss it or feed it to your neighbor's dog anyway, that you have nothing to lose by trying to fix it.  I've never done it, but I wonder if you could soak it in water for a few minutes, rinse it off then try drying it out in the dehydrator?  May have to re-season it after rinsing?  Might be worth a shot.

    I'm actually more interested in how you got it to it's current sorry state, so that I can avoid it in the future.
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like you added smoke while the jerky was wet with the brining solution..... Meat needs to be dry to the touch when smoke is added... IMO..... Adding smoke to wet meat makes "acid rain".. Creosote has a tongue tingling to it.... Too much smoke and not enough air flow makes creosote along with other stuff.... Wood chips, chunks, pellets or dust should look like this.... to get good smoke flavor......

    If the wood is still black, you made charcoal..... not enough oxygen for a complete burn.....

  4. Try steaming it.
  5. brewski

    brewski Newbie

    That's funny! Made it past the kimchi eh, that's a feat..maybe use food processor chop it up fine and simmer in some beef broth...may tone it down some. Then add it to fresh sausage mixture?  Might make a nice chaw backa for hunting trips??? [​IMG]
  6. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This was kinda my thoughts. Gal pal just got me some jerky from the Net somewhere and one of the little bags actually looked 'shredded' instead of the usual cuts. I'm big into Thai soups right now and they often use a fish flake kind of thing, along with the Koreans, as a seasoning sprinkled on top of the soup. So, vegetable beef comes to mind with a handful of your ground jerky added for flavor. Could also be magical added to a batch of hot links, then grilled and washed down with beer......Willie
  7. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    Yep, it persisted past Kimchi, beer, toothpaste, and Carmel corn.  LOL

    I would like to know what I did wrong too.  But the only thing I can think of is just plain out too much time in the smoke.

    I patted it with paper towels, air dried it with fan for 30-45 minutes.  Lit a few pieces of lump and put in side fire box,  Put jerky in cooking chamber, but did not add any wood pellets for another hour at 135* - 140 *  Meat felt pretty dry before I started the AMNPS with a mix of Cherry and Pitmaster.  Coals had died down, so lit another small handful and then added them to sfb.  Temp spiked to 160*, so I cracked open the smoking chamber an inch, which gave me plenty of air flow for both evaporation as well as the smoker tray to burn well.  I was afraid I would not get enough smoke on the meat with the lid cracked open so far,  Guess I don't have to worry about that anymore.  <grin>

    It was fairly breezy, so air flow was no problem.  Both intake and exit vents wide open.  Tried to control heat with just the amount of burning lump.

    I left it like that until the temp dropped to 145* inside chamber, then I closed the lid and let it do it's thing.  Did not have billowing smoke, nor white smoke at any time.

    Total time in smoke was about 2 hours, then I put it in dehydrator to finish drying at 145*-150*

    I'm at a loss other than maybe I should only smoke it 30 minutes.  If that's the case, then it isn't worth the time to get smoker going.  I'll  just do it all in the house and use liquid smoke, like I have for years.

    However, I know I will at least give it another shot in the smoker.  I hate admitting failure.  LOL

    I wasn't very hopeful of getting a sure cure for over-smoked meat, but thought I would ask.  Ya never know.

    I may try to wash/soak, re-season, re-dry suggestions and see if it's edible, but I don't expect very good jerky out of it.  Or I may just give it to the dog.  He a good boy even if he does bark a lot.

    I did learn something else with this attempt though.  I don't like the texture of bottom round for jerky near as much as I like the eye of round.  It seems courser grain, and tougher.  If your younger and have still good teeth, or even all of them, then it may not be as noticeable.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  8. brewski

    brewski Newbie

    I wish I could help u there I have never smoked jerky always used dehydrater. Just got new mes and so im still a newbie.cant even get my temps established to make an attempt yet.
  9. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    Well, I tossed the batch in paper lunch bags and put in fridge crisper until I decided what to do.  Being a sucker for punishment I decided to try some of it again last night (2 days later).

    I can't believe I actually did that, because the first taste was so awful!  LOL

    Lo and behold, while it was still way too strong with smoke,  it had mellowed quite a bit.  I actually ate 3 or 4 pieces without gagging afterward.

    Maybe it's like cheese.  Let it mellow awhile before eating?  I'm going to try a couple of pieces tonight before deciding whether or not attempt a rescue.

    If it's even a little bit milder tonight, then I am going to try soaking in cold salt water a couple of hours in fridge, rinse, then make another batch of seasoning and bag it for a few hours in that, and re-dry it in dehydrator.  Good thing I used cure in this batch huh?  LOL

    I know it won't be the best after all this, but I think maybe I can save it for myself anyway.

    I originally made it, to give to some relatives up from Arkansas to eat on their way back home.  Now they are S. O. L. 

    They did rave about my ribs though and said I could cook them every time they visit.  Those ribs weren't my best either.  LOL

    Will let you know how the rescue attempt turns out in a couple of days.  If it works, I'm going to patent the process!  [​IMG]  

    I still wish I could figure out "why" this happened.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014
  10. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    I tried another about 6 to 8 pieces.  Not bad!  Definitely mellowing out!  I actually like it now, except for weak seasoning.

    I made it pretty mild because I didn't know the heat/flavor preference of those I was going to give it to.

    I don't know if it's because I have it in paper bags that it is getting better (less smoke), or if it's just absorbing it inside more.

    I made this batch to give away, but didn't, because of first taste.  So I will use it for myself.

    I think I will skip soaking in water.  I will just mix up some more marinade that I like, and soak it in that a few hours and re-dry again. 

    If I had used a good spicy marinade/brine to begin with, I think this would've been about perfect by now.

    So.... for over smoked jerky.  Don't toss it, until after a week in paper bags left in fridge.  If it's still nasty by then, maybe toss it, or try the soaking/rinsing, re seasoning and drying again.  But this is turning out okay for me.

    Let-it-age!  LOL
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
  11. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    Well, I saved it!

    6 days of time mellowed the smoke out a lot in paper bags.  I didn't bother soaking in salt water. I had already used salt and cure #1 in the beginning.

    I just mixed some of my favorite spices and hot sauce, along with some soy and w-sauce.  Bagged it and let it sit 24 hours.  Drained, patted dry and sprinkled ground black pepper, ground red pepper flakes, and some cayenne pepper on top.  Dried at 145* in dehydrator for about 2 hours and it was ready.  Good stuff now!
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014

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