What are the jerky basics?

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by delarosa74868, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Never tried jerky before, just recently learned that I could make bacon in my smoker! Actually have a batch curing right now.  I would like to try jerky now after reading some of your posts.  I have a few questions...

     What cuts of meat are ideal to use?

     Will sugar cure work?

     Whats the ideal smoking temp and time? Lowest I can go is 150.

     Whats the shelf life of jerky?

     Anyone have a simple recipe?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  2. jsdspif

    jsdspif Meat Mopper

    I use top round steak sliced against the grain about 3/16 to 1/4 thick . For seasoning I use the hi mountain jerky cure / seasoning kits . I have a countertop convection oven I do it in . The hi mountain kits just make it foolproof . I know some people will say " you're not dehydrating it that way you are cooking it " because I start mine out for an hour at 200 with the door of the oven closed than lower the heat to about 170 or so with the door open about an inch for an hour and a half or so . I've also used my mes but I prefer it in the tabletop convection oven . I think it's because of the airflow and lack of airflow in the mes . I know that just about everyone who has had my jerky says the same thing " this is the best jerky I've ever had ... you should sell this " . It's not that I'm an expert it's just the hi mountain kits work so well . I don't work for them or anything like that , it's just I've been using the product for years and never had any complaints.
     
  3. I have been using eye of round, some use a peeled knuckle (sirloin tip roast) you want the leanest meat you can get, and or trim all the fat off of what you get, fat turns rancid in jerky and can give you off flavors

    I wouldn't know how to make a recipe using a sugar cure but I'll bet you can use it, and more than likely some one here has....LOL
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  4. bratrules

    bratrules Smoking Fanatic

    Brisket makes good jerky its a little on the pricey side but its very tasty. There is a ton of jerky recipes online!! check them out. or just make up your own. [​IMG]
     
  5. scrappynadds

    scrappynadds Smoking Fanatic

    I usually use a 5lb eye of round sliced thin 1/8" and a soy based marinated . Add any spice you like. I smoke mine at 145 and when it "feels" right (i like mine tuff......) 4 to 6 hours i take it out and munch all week long on it.  But just like Big Casino says take AS  MUCH of the fat off as you can it will make your jerky mushy and taste funny not to mention spoil quicker with fat on it.........
     
  6. grabber

    grabber Smoke Blower

    Tons of recipes around on various websites.  Don't get the temp over 165, as than your cooking, not dehydrating.  Make sure you use a cure but normally it doesn't last long enough to need it.  You'll save a lot of $$$$$ doing it your self.  Have fun.
     
  7. I also use the Hi-Mt kits for jerky & sausage - Never had any complaints with their products.
     
     
  8. I use the Hi Mtn. products too.  I stick to the original flavor, but they make a pepper/garlic which is good and a couple others.  I break out my old electric Big Chief for this cause it only heats up to about 160 and fits about 5 lbs. of meat.  Usually 6 hrs. in and it turns out perfect.
     
  9. jsdspif

    jsdspif Meat Mopper

    I've said that about the Big chief / little chief , that for jerky and fish they do a pretty good job . I had a Big chief originally but I wasn't going to keep it for just jerky after I got my mes . I tried selling it with no luck and then gave it to a guy who never came to get it , so I put it beside the road with a free sign and it was gone about 5 minutes later . I was going to save it to smoke cheese but I just did the soldering iron in the can trick in the mes and then went to amzs ( is that right amazensmoker ?? )
     
  10. spec

    spec Meat Mopper

    Are you wanting to make a rubbed Jerky or a marinated jerky?

    Either way everybody is right on trimming all the fat off,

    I buy meat by the case,,,Flats and sirloin tip roast, run them thru the slicer then trim the fat off the slices and slice to size...it's faster than trying to trim the whole roast and then harvest the strips...Partially freeze the meat...It makes slicing soooo much easier and precise

    I like to Marinate...Opinions differ...I don't smoke my Jerky anymore I dehydrate

    As a rule of thumb...

    DON'T GO OVER 160 AND KEEP IT ABOVE 140...

    FOOD SAFETY 1ST
     
  11. I just learned that it is easier to trim the fat off of the slices rather than try and trim the whole roast, I wish you would have posted that two days ago [​IMG]
     
     
  12. spec

    spec Meat Mopper

    Sorry
     
  13. it was good info Spec, I just wish I were a faster learner [​IMG]

    yeah I spent about an hour trying to trim off the silver skin and fat off of 4 eye of round roasts I couldn't get it all off, and friday night after I got it all sliced up I found it super easy with a good sharp butcher knife to just nip off the edge, my roast was  still almost frozen when I sliced it, and the slices were still super cold and stiff, and I just traced my butcher knife right down the edge
     
  14. spec

    spec Meat Mopper

    That's the way to do it [​IMG]

    Time and effort saver for sure

    Something I should have mentioned earlier...I always SHOCK my Jerky...Fresh and hot out of the dehydrator...Into a large Sealing rubbermaid container and into the cooler/fridge or when it's cold out on the steps...

    let it rest there for an hour or 2

    then take it out and let it stabilize at room temp

    This trick will give you a wonerful sticky soft Jerky...[​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. I cut mine with the grain, not against it I had cut against the grain b4 and I didn't care for it as much and it seemed to get stuck in my teeth more...LOL
     
  16. spec

    spec Meat Mopper

    I cut each kind of Jerky differently... Those pix were of a batch of Rosemay's baby...I cut it that way so the marinade soaks in better and the Texture stays more consistant,,When I do Tariyaky I cut at a 45* to the grain and look for light marbling...Taint, Spec's and B.B.H.O. I cut thick and any old way

    There is enouph spices that it needs a thick cut to support it...Where the Rosemary's baby is a soak in the baby, a quick spice wash and a soak in the final marinade...2 day process Open grain allows the tomato to really dig in and take hold...for a mellow yet spicy kick

    Most people don't realize that the way you slice the meat affects the texture and the way the meat takes on flavors...

    I'm glad you pointed that out
     
  17. Found a top sirloin already thinly sliced, about all there was left at the grocery store.  I have decided to go with teriyaki marinade, splash of liquid smoke, sugar cure and maybe some Head  County seasoning.  I will post the results tomorrow!
     
  18. Here are the pics of my first ever jerky.  How long does this stuff stay good? do you have to keep it in the fridge or can I just keep it in a bag on the counter?

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  19. spec

    spec Meat Mopper

    Just trying to help out here

    1 you have the foil  in the wrong place...should be under the rack

    2 looks to be really dry

    3 if you used marinade AND SUGAR CURE I dunno

    4 Looks like you have mixed sized peices on the same tray

    Delerosa... I'm not hacking on you... I'm only pointing out things that will help your next batch to be better...Sizing is important...some of yours looks really dry and touph, and some looks like it is undone...For really good Jerky you need to keep the thickness/length/girth close

    Your foil needs to be UNDER the wire rack...The Jerky needs to breathe...all around...otherwise you end up cooking it in it's own juice and a wetness that allows Bacteria to grow...THAT'S BAD

    You need to decide...wet or dry...you really don't want to use both...there is no best of both worlds here... one or the other

    Your spices look good

    Sorry if I pissed you off

    Just trying to help...
     
  20. Not pissed at all, thanks for the input!  I had it on the foil because the ends were folding over between the grate.  I realized it was a bad idea about two hours in when I picked a piece up and it was wet on the bottom.  I just flipped them over to let the bottom get some smoke and to dry out.  I was kinda concerned with the differences in the thickness also, but not owning a slicer I had to go with what was available at the store. the thicker pieces were a little chewy, but the thin pieces were perfect.  I think the flash on the camera made them appear drier than they actually were. Tasted great though.  I ended up using TQ instead of the sugar cure.  Most of the posts and searches I did mentioned TQ and I had some so I figured Id use it too.

    I got a slicer today so I am planning on smoking some more this weekend along with some canadian bacon.
     

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