Wet Jerky after smoking and other questions

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by nbarr7655, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. nbarr7655

    nbarr7655 Newbie

    Hello all! I have recently been trying to my hand at smoking some beef jerky and have had some mixed results. I was hoping you guys could lend some advice.

    In total I have made 4 batches of jerky so far in my smoker. (electric - Masterbuilt Pro Electric) I have been using pretty much the same marinade each time and have used the same cut of meat as well - eye of round. My marinade is basic, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey, garlic powder, onion powder, honey, red pepper flakes, black pepper. I marinade overnight or for about 24 hours.

    Meat is sliced closer to half an inch, maybe a tad thinner.

    1st batch:
    Started out at 225 for about 20 minutes then lowered to 160 and let it go overnight. This batch was dog treats as it was entirely too dry - whoops!

    2nd batch: Marinaded the meat for 24 hours and patted dry before smoking. Started out at 225 for 30 minutes then lowered to 160 for about 5 hours. This batch turned out pretty tasty! Good smoke flavor but not much marinade flavor.

    3rd batch: Same as the 2nd batch but I believe I left the meat in a little long as it was a little dry this time around. Still edible but not preferred.

    4th batch: Removed meat from marinade and did NOT pat dry. Instead I let it drip dry a bit before smoking. Put in smoker at 225 but immediately turned the smoker down to 160 - dried for around 5 or 6 hours. Smoke flavor is very mild but marinade flavor is strong and delicious.

    Now, on the last batch it came out with a dry exterior, completely normal. However, after sitting in little plastic baggies for a couple days the outside of the meat is now wet. This didn't happen with my prior batches, what gives? Was it from leaving the marinade on? Also, the meat is now dryer than when I first took it off. It's as if the moisture is being sucked out of the meat.

    Long post I know but where I can improve on this or what should I change? Thanks for the tips and tricks guys!
  2. biteme7951

    biteme7951 Meat Mopper

    Maybe it didn't dry out as well as other batches. Mine will sweat in plastic bags also. Switch to paper grocery bags for the rest period and it will allow the jerky to breath and shed excess moisture.

  3. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    A couple things i would consider:

    1. You need to add Cure #1 to your marinade. A teaspoon per 5# of meat. this prevents botulism.
    2. you may want to consider thinner slices. I find they dry better the thinner you get your jerky ( and the flavor is more pronounced.)
    3. you may want to marinade longer than 24 hour. i do about 4-5 days.
    4. eye of round is fine but also consider thin sliced bottom round (rump roast). i usually use whats on sale/cheaper.
    5. i find about 6-8 hours of smoke at 130-160 degrees is fine and then if it need more time to dry i put in 180 degree oven for a few hours.

    Just a few things i thought of.YMMV
    Happy Smoking,
    phatbac (Aaron)
  4. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Making jerky is definitely a learning process. When I first started making jerky last year, I used the oven for 6-8 times before I moved to the smoker. I buy meat that's on sale, which is usually bottom round. It is a little fattier than top round, but I just snip the fat off with meat scissors AFTER it is smoked.

    I do use cure #1 in my marinades for added safety, and use teriyaki sauce instead of soy sauce, which is just a taste preference. I also smoke at 150F min, 175F max for the entire smoke. Since I'm using a WSM, the temp can climb when you peek for progress toward the end of the smoke.

    Out of the many, many batches I've done in the oven and the smoker, I've only had one batch that had water in the bag the next day. I just left the bag opened on the countertop and it evaporated. I figured there was a piece or two that didn't get as dehydrated as the rest.

    Like the OP, I've played with patting dry, loading wet with marinade, etc. In the smoker, I get my best flavor results patting the meat dry before loading it in the smoker. It saves a couple hours of smoking time too. On rainy days when I use the oven, I like to load it wet. The evaporated marinade gives it an additional zip because it doesn't get any smoke flavor in the oven, and I HATE the taste of liquid smoke, so I don't use it.

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