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Beef Jerky. Tips and Tricks

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  • Spinaker
    Moderator
    • Nov 2014
    • 10963
    • Land of Tonka
    • John "J R"
      Instagram: JRBowlsby
      Smokin' Hound Que
      Minnesota/ United States of America

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    Beef Jerky. Tips and Tricks

    Hello fellow Pitmasters.
    As some of you know, I am heading up to Alaska in a week. I am planning on making some beef jerky for the group. This will be my first run at making Jerky. I picked up 10 pounds of choice top round from Costco. I am going to be using a meat slicer to get uniform 1/4 pieces. I was planning on using Meatheads recipe for the marinade. I plan to slice the meat, put it in bags and let it sit for 48 hours. Then I plan on setting up the keg for smoking the beef pieces to make Jerky. I don't have a dehydrator. So the keg will have to do. I am open to any techniques or method.

    Should I go with thinner or thicker slices? How about the marinade? What are some of the Pit's experience with Meatheads recipe and technique or a technique that y'all have used over the years for your Jerky?

    I am totally green in this department. I am totally open to anything here so, If anyone would be willing to help me with a few tips and pointers, it would be much appreciated.

    Thank You. Hope all is well.

    -Spinaker

  • MBMorgan
    Club Member
    • Sep 2015
    • 6551
    • Colorado
    • > Weber Genesis EP-330
      > Grilla Grills Original Grilla (OG) pellet smoker
      > Pit Barrel Cooker (gone to a new home)
      > WeberQ 2000 (on "loan" to a relative)
      > Old Smokey Electric (for chickens mostly - when it's too nasty out
      to fiddle with a more capable cooker)
      > Luhr Jensen Little Chief Electric - Top Loader circa 1990 (smoked fish & jerky)
      > Thermoworks Smoke
      > 3 Thermoworks Chef Alarms
      > Thermoworks Thermapen
      > Thermoworks IR-GUN-S
      > Anova sous vide circulator
      > Searzall torch
      > BBQ Guru Rib Ring

    #2
    It's been a long time (back when I was living in Alaska) ... but I seem to remember that a combo of teriyaki sauce and fresh cracked pepper was pretty tasty.

    Comment


    • Jerod Broussard
      Jerod Broussard commented
      Editing a comment
      I think that was right before the U.S. dished out 7.2 million for Alaska.

    • MBMorgan
      MBMorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      We thought it might be a bargain on sale like that ...

    • Jerod Broussard
      Jerod Broussard commented
      Editing a comment
      Just might.....
  • Jerod Broussard
    Moderator
    • Jun 2014
    • 9927
    • East Texas
    • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
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      Cambro Model 300MPC110 w/ Winco SS Pans
      B & B and Kingsford Charcoal
      B & B Pellets

    #3
    All I can say is 10 pounds once dehydrated will last about 10 seconds.

    You can smoke per the recipe, then place in an oven on the lowest setting and crack the door to get the approximate temp you want.

    Comment

    • Spinaker
      Moderator
      • Nov 2014
      • 10963
      • Land of Tonka
      • John "J R"
        Instagram: JRBowlsby
        Smokin' Hound Que
        Minnesota/ United States of America

        ********************************************
        Assistants
        Dexter (Beagle mix)
        Kinnick (American Foxhound)
        ************************

        Grills/Smokers/Fryers
        Big Green Egg (Large) X3
        Blackstone 36" Outdoor Griddle 4-Burner

        Karubeque C-60
        Kamado Joe Jr. (Black)
        Lodge L410 Hibachi
        Pit Barrel Cooker
        Pit Barrel Cooker 2.0
        R&V Works FF2-R-ST 4-Gallon Fryer

        Weber Spirit Gasser
        ******************.
        Thermometers
        FireBoard (Base Package)
        Thermoworks ThermaPen (Red)
        Thermoworks MK4 (Orange)
        **************

        Accessories
        Big Green Egg Plate Setter
        Benzomatic TS4000 Torch X 2
        Benzomatic TS800 High Temp Torch X 2

        Bayou Classic 44 qt Stainless Stock Pot
        Bayou Classic 35K BTU Burner

        Digi Q DX2 (Medium Pit Viper Fan)
        Dragon VT 2-23 C Torch
        Eggspander Kit X2
        Field Skillet No. 8,10,12

        Finex Cat Iron Line
        FireBoard Drive
        Lots and Lots of Griswold Cast Iron
        Grill Grates
        Joule Water Circulator
        KBQ Fire Grate

        Kick Ash Basket (KAB) X4
        Lots of Lodge Cast Iron
        Husky 6 Drawer BBQ Equipment Cabinet
        Large Vortex
        Marlin 1894 .44 Magnum
        Marquette Castings No. 13 (First Run)
        Smithey No. 12
        Smokeware Chimney Cap X 3
        Stargazer No.10, 12
        Tool Wizard BBQ Tongs
        Univex Duro 10" Meat Slicer
        ********************************
        Fuel
        FOGO Priemium Lump Charcoal
        Kingsford Blue and White
        Rockwood Lump Charcoal
        Apple, Cherry & Oak Log splits for the C-60
        **************************

        Cutlery
        Buck 119 Special
        Cuda 7' Fillet Knife

        Dexter 12" Brisket Sword
        Global
        Shun
        Wusthof
        *******
        Next Major Purchase
        Lone Star Grillz 24 X 48 Offset

      #4
      Originally posted by Jerod Broussard View Post
      All I can say is 10 pounds once dehydrated will last about 10 seconds.

      You can smoke per the recipe, then place in an oven on the lowest setting and crack the door to get the approximate temp you want.
      How much do you think I will end up with after its dehydrated.


      Thanks guys. I think I need to go out and get a dehydrator at some point but i want to try this first.

      Comment


      • Jerod Broussard
        Jerod Broussard commented
        Editing a comment
        I've never weighed, it just seems like I always should have made 10x more than I did. Crap goes fast.

      • smokinfatties
        smokinfatties commented
        Editing a comment
        i second that! 10lbs will make a few pounds, but the stuff is so good that 1 guy can eat 1 lb.! I would say to start with 10 lbs and be ready to buy more if you have time before your trip.
    • oldsteve
      Former Member
      • Oct 2014
      • 190
      • Citrus Heights, CA

      #5
      The only warning I have comes from a past experience. Be careful of how much smoke you put to it. A little bit goes a long ways. I rendered it basically inedible on the first try. The second batch was much, much, better. I've only run into this problem when making jerky from strips of meat. I normally make jerky using ground meat and have never had an overpowering smoke taste. I guess they're two different beasts. With all your knowledge, you'll do just fine!

      Comment

      • smokinfatties
        Former Member
        • Oct 2015
        • 521
        • Upland, CA

        #6
        dehydrators are super cheap on amazon! I got one for $30 that works excellent. I use the flank steak from costco and it works great. I dont use a lot of smoke, and have a great teriyaki habanero recipe if you're interested. Trader Joe's soyaki is great

        Comment

      • smokinfatties
        Former Member
        • Oct 2015
        • 521
        • Upland, CA

        #7
        Spinaker I use trader joe's ingredients, and it can be scaled- you can always improvise if you dont have a trader joes:

        1) 1 cup trader joes soyaki or the island soyaki if you want more pineapple/citrus flavor. you can always mix some soy and teriyaki (sauce or marinade) if no TJs
        2) 1/2 cup lea and perrins wors. sauce
        3) 2 teaspoons hickory liquid smoke
        4) 1 tbspoon of minced garlic (optional)
        4) 1 teaspoon honey
        5) as much cracked pepper, cayenne and red pepper flakes as you'd like. you can also put a bit of bbq rub
        6) 1 teaspoon trader joe's habanero sauce- start low and go as spicy as you'd like, you'll get some sweet heat for sure. you can also throw a couple seeds from the habanero in there or something to spice it up!

        I throw in a gallon ziplock bag at least overnight to let marinade and throw in the $35 Presto 06300 dehydrator. buy the extra drying trays so you can get more jerky on there and you should be able to do 10lbs in a couple days. I usually do it 8-12 hours and run it constantly for a couple days. buy the silicone stay fresh things (food grade) and use a foodsaver to get more time for storage. if you're going with your buddies and consuming within a few days just a ziplock should be fine. Also let it dry for a bit and cool down before packaging because of the moisture. You'll find the perfect tenderness and dryness over time.

        if it's good, people will burn through it, as you test it you will for sure go through 1lb or more it's soooo good! Enjoy

        Comment


        • Spinaker
          Spinaker commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks Dude!!! Cant thank you enough!! I am new to this whole Jerky deal.

        • smokinfatties
          smokinfatties commented
          Editing a comment
          no prob dude let us know how it turns out. i love the $35 dehydrator. also works great to make chicken dog treats if you have pups. dehydrate chicken breasts that are thinly sliced. pups love em!

        • Stoney
          Stoney commented
          Editing a comment
          I have the same dehydrator, and for the money it works wonderfully.
      • GadjetGriller
        Club Member
        • Dec 2015
        • 754
        • Lubbock tx
        • I have 3 outdoor devices (plus a couple indoor items) Starting with the PBC, Faux Kamado Kooker,(Akorn metal Kamado) & Oklahoma Joe offset grill and smoker. I use the FireBoard WiFi Thermometer. IQ110 (heat control device for akorn) recently acquired a Char-Broil Big Easy TRU-INFRARED 3-in-1 Roaster, Smoker and Grill, I also have A Anova & Joule Sous Vide Wands and The Steakager ( a unit for Dry aging big hunks of meat!)

        #8
        I did some on my Pellet Grill (1st time that less smoke flavor was a positive) what you have planned sounds great only I cut mine pretty thin and boy did they shrink up!! (now I used Brisket flat) so I would go with the thicker cuts of meat. I have to 2nd what everybody said it goes real fast so you might think about doing twice the amount just to be sure. I mean its jerky if you make to much it will last a long time anyway! Good luck and have fun in our 49th state!

        Comment


        • Powersmoke_80
          Powersmoke_80 commented
          Editing a comment
          How does Brisket work for jerky? I have a 15 lb choice Briz in the freezer begging to be used for jerky. I totally agree with you on the subtle smoke from the pellet grill, I am keeping mine just for salmon and switching the hopper assembly back and forth from the Stick burner project.

        • GadjetGriller
          GadjetGriller commented
          Editing a comment
          It had to much fat. It turned out not to be a big deal, Fat can turn rancid if not eaten fast enough. As stated earlier the 3 pounds I made didn't last 2 days so the fat going rancid was not a problem. but ne3xt time I'll use a bottom round instead. Tasted great I liked the fat truth be known.

        • SlushDeezey
          SlushDeezey commented
          Editing a comment
          All I've ever used is brisket flat. I buy it at HEB and get the butcher to slice it 1/4" thick with the grain. Bring it home and trim all the fat off then use one of the jerky kits from Academy.
      • rat88
        Banned Former Member
        • Jun 2016
        • 262

        #9
        I cut mine a little thicker and give them a good thumping with a rolling pin. That helps break down the fiber so they arent going to pull your teeth out trying to bite off a chunk or dislocate your jaw trying to chew them. I dont have the patients to do it on a dehydrator, I normally do them in the electric smoker at 180, but I have had good luck on woodfired smoker and a gas grill work in a pinch. It just takes a closer eye. They can go from almost done to completely ruined in 1 beer

        Comment

        • Spinaker
          Moderator
          • Nov 2014
          • 10963
          • Land of Tonka
          • John "J R"
            Instagram: JRBowlsby
            Smokin' Hound Que
            Minnesota/ United States of America

            ********************************************
            Assistants
            Dexter (Beagle mix)
            Kinnick (American Foxhound)
            ************************

            Grills/Smokers/Fryers
            Big Green Egg (Large) X3
            Blackstone 36" Outdoor Griddle 4-Burner

            Karubeque C-60
            Kamado Joe Jr. (Black)
            Lodge L410 Hibachi
            Pit Barrel Cooker
            Pit Barrel Cooker 2.0
            R&V Works FF2-R-ST 4-Gallon Fryer

            Weber Spirit Gasser
            ******************.
            Thermometers
            FireBoard (Base Package)
            Thermoworks ThermaPen (Red)
            Thermoworks MK4 (Orange)
            **************

            Accessories
            Big Green Egg Plate Setter
            Benzomatic TS4000 Torch X 2
            Benzomatic TS800 High Temp Torch X 2

            Bayou Classic 44 qt Stainless Stock Pot
            Bayou Classic 35K BTU Burner

            Digi Q DX2 (Medium Pit Viper Fan)
            Dragon VT 2-23 C Torch
            Eggspander Kit X2
            Field Skillet No. 8,10,12

            Finex Cat Iron Line
            FireBoard Drive
            Lots and Lots of Griswold Cast Iron
            Grill Grates
            Joule Water Circulator
            KBQ Fire Grate

            Kick Ash Basket (KAB) X4
            Lots of Lodge Cast Iron
            Husky 6 Drawer BBQ Equipment Cabinet
            Large Vortex
            Marlin 1894 .44 Magnum
            Marquette Castings No. 13 (First Run)
            Smithey No. 12
            Smokeware Chimney Cap X 3
            Stargazer No.10, 12
            Tool Wizard BBQ Tongs
            Univex Duro 10" Meat Slicer
            ********************************
            Fuel
            FOGO Priemium Lump Charcoal
            Kingsford Blue and White
            Rockwood Lump Charcoal
            Apple, Cherry & Oak Log splits for the C-60
            **************************

            Cutlery
            Buck 119 Special
            Cuda 7' Fillet Knife

            Dexter 12" Brisket Sword
            Global
            Shun
            Wusthof
            *******
            Next Major Purchase
            Lone Star Grillz 24 X 48 Offset

          #10
          Originally posted by rat88 View Post
          I cut mine a little thicker and give them a good thumping with a rolling pin. That helps break down the fiber so they arent going to pull your teeth out trying to bite off a chunk or dislocate your jaw trying to chew them. I dont have the patients to do it on a dehydrator, I normally do them in the electric smoker at 180, but I have had good luck on woodfired smoker and a gas grill work in a pinch. It just takes a closer eye. They can go from almost done to completely ruined in 1 beer
          What temp do you roll your smoker at? And how do I avoid the ruining it so quickly? Thanks!

          Comment


          • Powersmoke_80
            Powersmoke_80 commented
            Editing a comment
            Run it as low as you can to start as you are just trying to dry it basically not cook it then bring up at the end to hit your 165.
        • rat88
          Banned Former Member
          • Jun 2016
          • 262

          #11
          I try to keep around 200, but that is hard on a stick burner, you dont want to add wood too soon so the temp spikes, so you let it go a little too long and the coals burn down. Then you throw on a few sticks and it overshoots by 75.
          "Done" for me it is a "feel" thing, kinda like the bend test on the ribs. I go by color too, but that varies from one cook to the next depending on rub, outside temp and what wood was used. The key is constant flipping and rotating in/out of the hot spots. A half a dozen burgers can be hard enough to keep track of.... 80 jerky slabs is another story

          Comment


          • rat88
            rat88 commented
            Editing a comment
            They will cook a little more after you take them off too. So you want to yankem sooner than you might think you need to. Its kinda like bacon, if you like your bacon a little floppy and you take them out that way, then they get stiff and crunchy
        • Powersmoke_80
          Founding Member
          • Aug 2014
          • 885
          • Bay City, Michigan
          • Vintage Brinkmann Longhorn Offset Stick burner (newest addition)
            Weber 22 w/SnS
            Brinkmann Pellet Grill W/ Ortech TR-100
            Vermont Castings, gas
            Masterbuilt smoker, gas
            Future build, 80 gallon tank hybrid, pellet/stick burner
            iGrill black, dual probe thermometer
            Thermapen instant read
            Polder,Speed Read instant thermometer
            Favorite Beer, Yeungling Black&Tan

          #12
          Ok Spinaker this is a super secret recipe so don't tell anyone!
          I got this off Michigan out of doors like 30 years ago and make it all the time and is awesome. A couple guys at work love it so much that they ask that I put the mix together and sell it to them since it is easier than them buying all the ingredients for 1-2 batches Click image for larger version

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          I do it in my pellet grill and at 185 deg. till IT of 165 or desired dryness as it does not last long so I am not storing it for long and I put in ziploc and throw in fridge soon after I pull it off and it will have a lite glaze on it after it cools and is fantastic.
          P.S. Marinade in fridge for 1-2 days and I do not add liquid Smoke!
          Last edited by Powersmoke_80; June 28, 2016, 04:09 PM.

          Comment


          • Smoking joe
            Smoking joe commented
            Editing a comment
            How long does it take on your pellet grill

          • Spinaker
            Spinaker commented
            Editing a comment
            I don't have a pellet grill. But it takes about an hour in a Kamado. I would guess it would be a little faster in a pellet rig, because of the increased airflow. Smoking joe

          • chandlerjorlandi
            chandlerjorlandi commented
            Editing a comment
            Spinaker I believe you have a KBQ? Have you tried this recipe on it? If so, any cooking tips/suggestions adapted to that pit?
        • rat88
          Banned Former Member
          • Jun 2016
          • 262

          #13
          After seeing this thread and finding out that 6/12 was national jerky day (how did I miss that?), I pulled 3# of deer loin out of the freezer. I was in the shop making sausage and didnt feel like going in the house for the rolling pin, I improvised and worked it over in a zipper bag with a 1" pipe. It will wet brine until tomorrow night when I smoke the sausage.

          Comment

          • Splatt44
            Club Member
            • Jun 2016
            • 61
            • North Potomac MD

            #14
            I have made several batches. Love Meatheads recipe. I cook from 165-190 for about 7 hrs. Make sure to rotate and tast a lot. I find that when I think it's done it's done. It can burn before you know it. Have a great adventure.

            Comment


            • Spinaker
              Spinaker commented
              Editing a comment
              Thank You
          • Strat50
            Former Member
            • Nov 2014
            • 511
            • Houston, Alaska

            #15
            Where in Alaska? If you like, we can meet and greet.. As far as jerky is concerned, I would recommend using a good dehydrator to finish what you start in your smoker. This will allow you to get the texture you like, with good controllability. I've made a ton of jerky in my time using all sorts of recipes and techniques. Most are pretty good, but the great equalizer for me is the dehydrator. Trust Uncle Tom on this.

            Comment


            • Spinaker
              Spinaker commented
              Editing a comment
              Strat50 We are flying into Anchorage then onto King Salmon. From there we are headed to the Alagnak River. just north of King salmon about 40 miles.

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