What do I look for?

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by billbo, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    How do I know when my jerky & snack sticks are done? They are in a dehydrator. 1st batch so I don't want to overcook them. Thanks everybody!
  2. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    bill - your jerky will be dry and leathery on the outside. on the inside, it will be dried to the level that you prefer. also, if you take a slice of jerky and twist it, it should be flexible, not brittle.

    i prefer my jerky to be pretty dry, but some prefer it to be quite moist inside, almost like kippered beef rather than jerky. try for something in the middle and see how you like it, then go from there.

    the temperature of your dehydrator shouldn't be above 140 degrees, so there shouldn't be any danger of overcooking them. overDRYING them, however, might be another matter, depending on your preference.
  3. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I can't speak to snack stix yet (that's next) but to jerky: sliced meat, can hold it straight out but it bends easily. Ground beef, much the same. When you tear it apart, it shouldn't be dead dry. I prefer a 1/4 inch thickness on the sliced meat. It drys slower and gives you time to figure it's ready, not the "Aw Shoot, it's over dried stage."

    So what kind of jerky are you doing? I've become addicted to the Apple flavored Jerky.
  4. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Snack sticks??? As for jerkey all I do is give them the bend test. If you like them dry they should almost break in half when you bend them but if you are like me and don't want them dryer then a pop corn fart I just make sure that when I bend them the meat should kind of seperate and not quite break and also not bend over like a wet noodle. I don't know how to explain it very well but if you do a few test bends throughout your drying you will see what I mean.
  5. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks guys! I think it's pretty done then based on your answers. I am making venison jerky & snack sticks. Nothing fancy. Just got the dehydrator so maiden run.
  6. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    that's a perfect description, rb![​IMG]
  7. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks guys! And you are dead on with your description of the texture rb!

    Here they are out the dehydrator to rest a wile before I eat it all!

    Going skiing with my daughter tomorrow so these will come in handy! Good first run on the dehydrator thanks to your help. I was close to over drying. Thanks again to everyone!
  8. Looks great, you are becoming a master already. Just remember, it will keep drying out till room temp so don't over dry in the dehydrator. I keep notes on time and temps, helps alot. Have fun.

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