Texture of store bought?

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by wtf, May 4, 2009.

  1. wtf

    wtf Newbie

    First time here, so I would just like to say hello!
    I've made deer jerky about 30 times usually in 5 lb (fresh) batches.I use a slicer, cut with the grain at about 1/4 to 5/16 " thick. I buy the premade jerky spices not from Walmart or any thing but the professional ones for 25 lb batches (Halford Hide in Canada). I do have a Bradley smoker with the biscuit feeder although I prefer to use our convection oven in our kitchen at about 140*C for about 6 hrs or until it bends but does not break.
    But when I buy store bought, their jerky is always soft and moist but is this an oil or corn syrup they add after or something?
  2. wtf

    wtf Newbie

    No REPLIES? Fine then I will just talk to myself.
    So I made another batch Sun. night , Honey Garlic. Turned out descent[​IMG] But I thought I'd try something different and I took a zip lock with about a dozen pc's and put in a cut up apple and placed in the fridge overnight. It did soften a bit as well as having a hint of sweet apple flavor.
  3. reichl

    reichl Meat Mopper

    In my experience with the jerky I have done, the thicker I cut the meat the more chewey the final product. I have only done jerky a couple times though so you may want to listen to others more than me.
  4. grothe

    grothe Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Never tried making jerky (yet) so I can't help ya with your question, but I would like to welcome you to SMF and at the same time give this thread a bump so that you might get the answer your lookin for.

    Love the screen name...[​IMG]
  5. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    just did 12#s and as always I do 3/8ths thick X 1/2 in and I cut cross grain-I go by ryteks recipi but add a lil ginger.
  6. wtf

    wtf Newbie

    Thanks guys for the input guys.
    I think I will dial the slicer in a little thicker. They ended up finishing up at 1/8" thick from 1/4 to 5/16". So I think I will go 3/8 - 7/16" .
  7. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The jerky I've made always seems to taste so much better and juicier a few days old. I leave the zip lock open. I just opened a batch of CB from the freezer out of a vacuum bag and it floored me. The flavor was soooo much more dominant than when I just smoked it.
  8. sea_munky

    sea_munky Smoke Blower

    I think a lot of store bought jerky has preservatives added which allows them to package it with a higher water content and still not have it spoil. I just checked a package and water was the third ingredient (!). Beef, brown sugar, water, salt, papaya juice, vinegar, black pepper, etc. If this was the water naturally in the beef, they wouldn't have to list it as an ingredient.

    Try slicing thicker as others have suggested. If it's cured properly, it should keep fine. Unless you need it to sit on a shelf for months like the store bought. In that case, stick it in the fridge. I'm not familiar with the jerky spices you mention to know if it has the nitrite or not.

    And welcome! Drop into roll call if you get a chance. [​IMG] Do you do other smoking besides jerky? We'd love to see some pics!
  9. builder59

    builder59 Smoke Blower


    Like the others have said,,cut it a little thicker and don't smoke or dry it as long. I personally would be doing it in the Bradley, just make sure you rotate your shelves so you can move the hot spots around. If you have a cure in your mix you can leave it a bit red when you bite into it. It will continue to dry and get tough. If I want mine to be really soft like Jack Links brand I will put some brown sugar in the marinade and then put it in zip lock bags and refrigerate.

    I think you will get better flavor, at least the flavor that the people I give it to like, a bit smoky. Besides just the smoke, you will get flavor from the meat cooking steam wise. All that steam rolling around the Bradley will penetrate the jerky making some fine eating.

    I make a few hundred pounds of jerky a year, not that it matters on how much I make,, just saying it goes to no less than probably 15 people and they give some away and the feedback is always damn, that's really good.

    Good luck to you and welcome to the forum.
  10. wtf

    wtf Newbie

    Hey guys, I will drop in Roll Call with some pics this weekend.
    About the nitrate, the jerky spices I buy have a separate pouch that contains the nit. and I do the math for the size of batch and add the correct ratio, but how much nit. are you guys adding. The 5 pound batches I do are gone in a week or two and kept in the fridge, so should I cut back on the nitrate.
  11. builder59

    builder59 Smoke Blower

    I'm sure there are members here that are way more scientific than me and will give you an Alton Brown sort of answer, but, I'm sure in short that is because of the low temps and long smoke times.

    Good luck,
  12. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Greetings. According to Ryteks book, he adds 1 tsp curing agent, to 3# of meat. 10# batch 3 and 1/3 tsp curing agent. (aka, Insta Cure no1.) Dont know what the ratio is on the product your using, but for the most part, these formulas are well thought out and calculated. Not too much, not too little. I also agree, if you want a softer more pliable cut of jerky, thicker is the way to go. Are you doing anything other than making jerky? Sausage? Other cuts of meat? Just curious.

    Good luck, keep us posted on your next batch.

  13. wtf

    wtf Newbie

    So, I've taken the advice given and sliced my jerky thicker 7/16". And have 6 lbs marinating in BBQ Jerky spice and 75gr /2.7oz of brown sugar. So here are some pics of the process so far along with my traditional pan fry of a few "extra pieces" for me and the dog.
  14. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Follow the appropriate proportions specified by the kit. The cure is used in jerky because of the slow drying time. Anything that is going to stay in the 40-140 range for more than 4 hours should be cured.
  15. wtf

    wtf Newbie

    So the results for the BBQ Jerky I made were not that great. I cheesed out and used my convection oven, its just so much easier.Like before, they came out tough like leather.
    But I made a smaller batch today. I used premixed Cowboy Jerky from Halford Hide as well as Worcester and cut the pieces at 5/16" thick, but more importantly I used my SMOKER.
    Awesome results. [​IMG]
    I ran it at 150*C and used 3 biscuits of cherry, one at the beginning an then the other two midway.
    I ran it for 6hrs.
    It is nice and soft but not muscley. This is the closest to store bought (without the sticky fingers) that I have made.
    Thanks for the advice.
  16. I have noticed that when the meat is still warm it has a dry texture to the out side, once it cools it starts to get a bit of a shine on the surface. Im sure its the sugars in the cure that I use, but what amazed me was when I vacuum sealed it and put it in the fridge or freezer, the vacuum actually drew out the moisture and sugars to the surface like a glaze and made the surface of the meat slightly sweet. It went from "OK" tasting to WOW!!

    BTW the Cure I use is from http://www.spokanespice.com/.

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