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Old 08-25-2009, 05:08 PM
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Default Beef Jerky Tutorial with Pics

As promised, here is my contribution to the growing list of tutorials.

This jerky will be dried using just my smoker. At this time I have an abundance of apple wood, that needs to get used up, so that's the only wood I'll use for this smoke. Well......maybe just a little hickory too.



Pick good cuts of meat. Steaks and roasts with little or no marbling, sinew or fat are best. I told my brother I would be smoking jerky this weekend and I'd do some for him if he wanted me to. He brought over a pikes peak roast and a rolled rump roast. I almost told him no, but then I thought I'd use it for this tutorial to show that you can use fattier cuts of meat, if you want to work your tail off and have a lot of waste. If you are good at skinning fish with a knife, then you can minimize some of the waste buy using the same skinning techniques. It's been a long time since I have skinned without my electric fillet knife, so I am out of practice, but tried anyway.

Here is the pikes peak and rolled rump roasts. You can see the sinew, fat, and all the other crap that has to be trimmed out. Even though this will be cured and smoked, I suggest storing this in the freezer if it's not going to be consumed in a few days, and then in the fridge.
A word about cure: In this example the cure is not used as a preservative. It's used to keep bugs, namely botulism (Clostridium botulinum) at bay while drying/smoking at low temps for more than 4 hours.




Here it is after a bit of trimming. Still have a long way to go though.




Here's the pile of waste. If you're a dog owner, you and your buddy know this is not waste. I'll fry this up and feed to the hounds.


Once you have your meat trimmed, you need to slice it into strips. I use an old Hobart deli slicer, but you can slice by hand if you want. Make your slices about 1/4 of an inch thick. It helps to freeze slightly. Slice with the grain if you want traditional chewy jerky, or across the grain for easier chewing.

This is from a better roast. I used a couple of sirloin roasts for my jerky.


Here you see a pile of meat that I couldn't slice. It's just chunks. Once I trim the fat from it, I'll cure it with the rest and smoke it on a cookie sheet.


You can use a prepackaged jerky seasoning/cure mix, or use your own. Probably the most used ingredients in a jerky seasoning are, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, pepper, and some type of cure. I'll use Prague powder (cure #1) here, because I can use any recipe I want and additional sodium is not an issue. Add .04 oz of pink cure per pound of meat or 1 level teaspoon for every 5 lbs of meat.

Marinade recipe for 10 lbs of meat.
1/2 C soy sauce
2 C water
1 tsp ground ginger
6 Tbs brown sugar
2 cloves minced garlic
.40 oz pink cure or 2 level teaspoons
Yes, that is corn starch in the picture. Just ignore it.

Mix all ingredients, except cure. Heat just to dissolve the brown sugar, remove from heat and cool. Once cooled, add cure and mix well.


I like these tall containers for marinading/curing jerky, because it doesn't take a lot of liquid to cover all the meat. Once you add the meat, take your hand and mix this some to get the marinade all over through the mass of meat. This is 10 lbs of meat. I'll put the lid on this and leave it in the fridge for 24 hours. You should always use a non-reactive vessel (i.e. plastic, glass, or stainless steel) to handle marinading and or curing. Ceramic coated metal is OK too as long as it's not chipped. Never use aluminum.




24 hours later, drain the meat into a strainer, then decide if you want black pepper or not. If you do, I sprinkle coarse black pepper on a cookie sheet, then lay the meat on the top and sprinkle the meat.


Now it's into the smoker. I use paper clips like tiny meat hooks to hang each strip from the grate wire. This way I can arrange them so they aren't touching. I boil the paper clips when I buy them, because I have no idea what booger eating person handled them during manufacture.


There are about 300 strips of meat in there. And the pans have the small chunks that won't hang.


I see some thin veins of sinew that I missed.


I am drying at 100 with small sticks of apple. With a stick burner, it's a pain to keep temps this low, but it's possible. Sometimes, you can dry meat without even starting a fire. When it's sunny out, check your smoker temp sometime and see what I mean.

Here it is. It went on this morning at 7 and came off this evening at 7. So 12 hours with temps ranging from 90 to 125. I like mine a little moist, so I take it off before it's at the cracking stage. You can do this if you cure it. Otherwise, it's done when you can bend it and it cracks but doesn't break.
This started out at 10 lbs and ended up being about 2.5 lbs.
I'm sure I probably forgot something. If I did, remind me and I'll edit this.
Thanks for looking at my jerk thread.




Kingudaroad Adds:
Quote:
You see a lot of people lay the meat on the grates, but if you can figure out a way to hang them in your smoker, like Tom does, you can do a lot more at one time. Excellent thinking with the paperclips. I use toothpicks and hang the meat through replacement grill racks.
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Last edited by DDave; 09-17-2017 at 10:58 AM.

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