- 1 Smoked Beef Jerky
- 1.1 What Is Beef Jerky?
- 1.2 Step-by-Step Guide: How To Make Basic Smoked Beef Jerky Recipe?
- 1.3 Step-by-Step Guide: How To Make Spicy Smoked Beef Jerky Recipe?
- 1.4 Steps: Spicy Smoked Beef Jerky Recipe?
- 1.5 Step-by-Step Guide: How To Make Smoked Elk Jerky Recipe?
- 1.6 Step-by-Step Guide: How To Make Smoked Candied Bacon Jerky Recipe?
- 1.7 Step-by-Step Guide: How To Make Sweet Tea Smoked Pork Jerky Recipe?
- 1.8 Nutritional Facts About Beef Jerky
- 2 Smoked Beef Jerky FAQs
- 2.1 What’s The Best Cut Of Meat For Beef Jerky?
- 2.2 What Kinds Of Wood Should I Use To Smoke My Beef Jerky?
- 2.3 What Is The Best Way To Dry The Meat For Beef Jerky?
- 2.4 How Long Does It Take To Smoke Beef Jerky?
- 2.5 Do I Need To Marinate My Beef Before I Make Beef Jerky?
- 2.6 Do You Flip The Jerky While Smoking?
- 2.7 How Do I Re-Hydrate Beef Jerky?
- 2.8 Is There Anything I Can Do To Make My Smoked Beef Jerky Last Longer?
- 2.9 How Should I Store My Beef Jerky?
- 2.10 What Kind Of Meat Do You Use To Make Jerky?
- 2.11 Is There A Difference Between Store Bought Beef Jerky And Homemade Beef Jerky?
- 3 Conclusion
Smoked Beef Jerky
There are countless different styles of beef jerky out there, and an unlimited number of varieties! You can find jerky with anything from Jalapeños to Maple syrup. I have personally tried hundreds of these different varieties, and this week’s article is going to be all about Smoked Beef Jerky.
Smoked beef jerky is a great snack for those on the go. It is low in calories and high in protein, making it a perfect pick-me-up for when you need a little boost. Plus, smoked beef jerky is easy to store and doesn’t require any refrigeration, so it’s perfect for taking with you on your next adventure. Whether you’re hiking through the mountains or just running errands around town, smoked beef jerky will keep you energized and satisfied. Check out our selection of delicious flavors today!
What Is Beef Jerky?
Beef jerky is a type of meat that has been prepared by seasoning, drying, and then heating. The result is a product that can be stored for long periods of time without spoiling. Although the origin of beef jerky’s preparation methods date back to ancient times, it has gained popularity as a convenient snack in modern society. In addition to being shelf-stable, beef jerky tends to have a longer shelf life than other types of fresh meat because bacteria cannot grow as easily on dried food products. Dried meats also tend to have similar nutritional benefits as their fresh counterparts because most nutrients are preserved during preparation. However, there are certain nutrients that decrease or become more concentrated after heating beef jerky. For example, vitamin A and lycopene decrease after cooking, while vitamin B and thiamine concentrations increase. One of the most notable nutrients in beef jerky is iron, which can be up to 10 times more bioavailable than other types of fresh meat.
Step-by-Step Guide: How To Make Basic Smoked Beef Jerky Recipe?
- 2 pounds lean beef, 1/4 inch thick slices (top round, sirloin tip, bottom round or flank steak)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon smokehouse flavor barbecue spice mix
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- About 5 cups hickory sawdust
- About 4 cups mesquite sawdust
- About 4 cups apple sawdust
- About 2 cups oak sawdust
- Trim off any remaining fat from the exterior of the beef slices. Cut each slice into 1-inch wide strips, each with an angled cut that exposes more surface area to smoke and spices.
- Mix salt, barbecue spice mix, cayenne pepper and Worcestershire sauce together in a bowl until well combined. Add this dry rub to the meat strips evenly coating every piece of beef strip. This is best done by placing all ingredients in a large zip lock plastic bag or bowl cover with lid shake until beef strips are coated evenly with spice mixture set aside for 30 minutes to absorb flavor. Place oven rack on bottom third of oven.
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (77 degrees Celsius).
- Add soy sauce to the meat strips with spice mix in zip lock plastic bag or bowl cover shake until beef strips are well coated for at least 30 seconds set aside for another 15 minutes
- Spread kitchen towels over counter top, then lay out beef strips flat on towels about 1 inch apart, separating them so they do not touch each other during smoking process let rest under kitchen towel for 30-45 minutes this will remove excess moisture from beef allowing smoke flavors to be absorbed into the meat 6. Prepare smoker following manufacturer’s instructions using mesquite sawdust or apple sawdust or oak sawdust or hickory sawdust.
- Place a single layer of beef strips vertically on smoker racks leaving at least 1/2 inch between pieces hang the other half under the rack above the first strip, allowing it to “drip” onto surface of beef strip below.
- Smoke for 3 hours over cooking chamber filled with sawdust, maintaining oven temperature at 170 degrees Fahrenheit (77 degrees Celsius).
- Remove cooked jerky from smoker and allow to cool slightly before serving. Store in an airtight container or zip lock plastic bag or bowl cover with lid in refrigerator or freezer.
Step-by-Step Guide: How To Make Spicy Smoked Beef Jerky Recipe?
- Beef flank steak – 2 pounds
- Kosher salt – 1 tablespoon
- Granulated sugar – 3 tablespoons
- Soy sauce – 3 tablespoons (or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)
- Worcestershire sauce (Lea and Perrins) – 2 tablespoons
- Freshly ground black pepper – 1 teaspoon
- Chile powder (ancho) – 2 tablespoons
- Garlic powder – 2 teaspoons
- Chinese five-spice powder, optional – 1 tablespoon
- Chili oil or hot sauce as needed
- Sliced green onions as needed
- Ground cayenne pepper as needed
Steps: Spicy Smoked Beef Jerky Recipe?
- Cut the flank steak into 4 equal pieces and place them in a nonreactive baking dish with sides at least 4 inches high so they don’t splatter everywhere when you pound them flat later on (or a medium Ziploc bag).
- Mix the salt, sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, chile powder, garlic powder, and five-spice powder (if using) together in a small bowl.
- Pour the marinade over the beef and let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
- Light your smoker and bring the temperature to 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Alternatively, preheat your oven to 200 degrees F (93 degrees C). For hot and fast smoked jerky, set the oven to its highest setting and remove any racks so you have plenty of room for air flow around all sides of the meat – if you can keep your oven door cracked open about an inch or two on warm days to further improve airflow that’s even. For slower smoked jerky, use your oven’s lowest setting and keep the door closed.
- Rinse off the beef and dry it thoroughly with paper towels (or a salad spinner if you want to be fancy). If you can’t get all of the marinade off, that’s okay since it will help moisturize the jerky while it smokes.
- Tie one end of each strip of meat to a short bamboo skewer using butcher’s twine or unwaxed dental floss so they look like lollipops before smoking them. The little bit of extra effort makes a huge difference when trying to distinguish between cooked and uncooked skewers after they’re smoked properly – I don’t have exact measurements on how much meat should be dried off before it’s considered properly smoked, but I sure do know what the results look like when it’s over-smoked. Usually this works out to about 1/4 of an inch or so in thickness for most cuts of steak along with a smoke time of 6 hours or longer depending on the size and cut of meat used.
- Put the green onions in a bowl large enough to accommodate them later when you dip the skewers into the marinade after they’ve smoked for an hour or two. You can also put some sesame seeds in there if you want to make these Spicy Smoked Beef Jerky Recipe even more authentic, especially if you plan on serving them up in Asian restaurants!
- Place the skewers on a wire-mesh smoking rack and let them smoke for about 3 hours for hot and fast style jerky or closer to 6 hours if you prefer your jerky to be more moist and tender.
- When the beef jerky is finished, remove it from the smoker and slide off the green onions (or sesame seeds) onto a cutting board; cut these into very thin strips with kitchen shears or a knife.
- Dip each smoked piece of jerky in chili oil or hot sauce before adding it directly to dishes like Ramen, Pho, jambalaya, etc., while also tossing some onto slices of bread along with thinly sliced cucumbers and carrots for the best summertime smoked beef jerky sandwiches you’ve ever had!
Step-by-Step Guide: How To Make Smoked Elk Jerky Recipe?
I have made some smoked elk jerky. It was so good I thought it would be a good idea to share the process with you.
Step 1: Purchase Elk Meat
Make sure that you purchase your elk from a reputable butcher or meat shop that has access to fresh, high quality meats. If you want to save money and have a great personal experience, check out this link to find a local elk rancher. The meat is absolutely delicious and free of antibiotics and growth hormones as well as humanely raised on the farm. You can read more about what they have to say at their website as well as see pictures of their ranch located in Colorado Springs, CO. To me it also seemed like buying meat directly from the ranch would be a fun process to take part in.
Step 2: Cut The Meat
Elk meat is very lean, meaning that it does not have much fat at all. Because of this you need to make sure it is covered with something fatty while cooking or the meat will dry out and get tough. I think everyone should use venison back straps because they are high in fat content for jerking meats and they have a nice texture when cooked low and slow. Traditionally people cover their beef or pork with oil before making jerky but I found out a long time ago that if you add some unsalted butter to your ground elk meat when mixing up your jerky marinade then the meat will come out much more moist. I have since used this trick with all types of jerky, not just elk.
Cut the elk into strips that are 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick and then trim away any excess fat or connective tissue. I use an electric knife for this step because it makes short work of the job but you should be able to get by with a very sharp knife or even a cleaver. You can also grind your meat if you would like but make sure you do not overwork the meat while grinding to ensure that it does not become too dense after cooking. Another reason why I cut my own strips is because there are always some duds in every batch of jerky that you cannot sell.
One tip that I would like to share is to make sure the pieces of meat you cut are as uniform in thickness and size as possible so they will cook evenly and taste the same after smoking. To accomplish this, place elk steak on a cutting board and “butterfly” it with a sharp knife by making a deep cut on one side of the steak down its length without cutting all the way through at either end. Open up your butterflied steak and lay it flat against plastic wrap or wax paper on your work surface then cover with another sheet of wrap or paper followed by an even layer of plastic freezer film (press into meat firmly). Use a rolling to gently pound out each piece of steak to an even thickness, flipping the meat over once or twice during pounding. Peel back wrap layers one at a time as needed to check your progress until finally all layers are removed and you are left with a perfectly even piece of elk steak ready for cutting into strips.
For this recipe I used 1 pound of elk back strap that yielded 8 ounces after trimming away any excess fat or connective tissue, which is about 85% lean meat by weight. I made ten pounds of jerky using just the top half of the elk shoulder that yielded about 9 ounces after removing connective tissue and excess fat. This came out to be 90% lean by weight just 0.8 ounce less than my trimmed 0.9 ounce per pound target. I cut my elk into 1/4 inch strips then covered them with two tablespoons of unsalted butter that was mixed into the ground elk meat when I made it into a jerky marinade before dehydrating. The butter did not alter the salt content because it all boiled off during smoking.
Step 3: Marinating The Elk
You can use just about any type of liquid you like to inject your ground elk meat with flavor while making your jerky marinade. When using an electric smoker, the best approach is to add about 300 milliliters (10 ounces) or so of liquid to bolster the natural beef or game flavors in elk meat before adding other ingredients to make the jerky marinade. Some people use more, some less so try it out and adjust for your own tastes. You can also experiment by adding spices or other ingredients to this liquid but remember that too much salt can have a negative effect on flavor so I do not recommend using soy sauce as a marinating liquid because it is very salty. If you are making pepper jerky then you definitely want to keep your beef or game flavors simple with just enough acid added to pull water from the meat into the mix, thereby facilitating drying of the meat after smoking.
Step 4: Seasoning
The key to producing great tasting elk jerky starts with properly seasoning your ground elk meat before dehydrating it. I use 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of salt per pound, which is very low by jerky standards but perfect for elk meat because it’s so lean. If I were making beef or turkey jerky then I would use 1-2 teaspoons per pound instead. You can always add more salt after the fact to taste if you need too but once you have made your jerky marinade adding extra salt will really kill the flavor.
Step 5: Smoking Your Jerky
There are many ways to smoke elk meat and make great tasting smoked elk jerky recipe. Some people like hot smoking method where they bring the temperature up gradually over a period of time while maintaining specific temperature of the smoker by adding more coals or wood to their fire. Hot smoking allows you to produce traditional dried jerky by drawing out moisture and evaporating it at a very low heat (typically about 100-110 degrees F) over a period of time lasting anywhere from 5 hours up to 14 hours for premium beef and game meats like elk. This has its disadvantages too because after smoking, you cannot eat your elk jerky right away because it must be cooked first by roasting, baking, boiling or frying before eating. These cooking methods will not only cook your meat but they’ll caramelize the sugars in spices left over from the marinade process as well as make those burnt seasonings taste great on their own.
Another way to smoke your jerky is by hot smoking it at a very high temperature, typically about 145-180 degrees F for 90 minutes up until the meat’s internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F. This method is also called flash smoking and can produce delicious beef jerky in as little as 90 minutes but, again, you cannot eat this type of elk jerky right away. You must first cook it either by roasting, baking, frying or boiling before eating.
The third technique uses a combination of hot and cold smoking which requires careful monitoring of smoker temperatures throughout the cooking process. After marinating your ground elk meat overnight then adding your spices, inject your marin into the meat with an injection syringe and set your smoker temperature at about 130 degrees F. After adding wood chips to the firebox, close your smoker’s door and wait for smoke to start billowing out of the stacks before increasing temperature to 180 degrees F. At this point you can cook elk jerky up to within 3-4 hours of time when it will be finished; sooner if you like it chewier and more moist than dry or crispy. Typically 30 minutes into cooking process (after adding wood chips) I like my beef jerky moist with a texture similar to that of store bought corned beef but anything between 1 hour up until 2 hours is okay too depending on personal preference for desired level of doneness.
Step 6: Making Elk Jerky With A Dehydrator
You can buy a commercial dehydrator for jerky if you want to spend about $100 dollars but it’s just as easy to use an oven. All you need is something that dries the elk meat evenly, like an oven with accurate temperature controls or better yet, your smoker.
If using an oven set it at 165 degrees F and leave the door open about 2 inches. This will help draw out moisture while allowing heat to circulate around jerky so it dries uniformly without burning any spots. If using a dehydrator then follow manufacturers instructions for setting controls appropriately for drying elk meat in small batches. Most dehydrators have hot spots in them so placing meat on racks closest to the heating element will produce drier elk jerky while leaving it closer to the center of the dehydrator will produce a moister product.
Step 7: Store Your Homemade Elk Jerky In The Freezer For Best Long Term Storage
Whether you choose to coat your smoked elk meat in a marinade or not, I recommend enjoying your homemade elk jerky within 6 months but if you must keep it longer before eating, make sure you store it in tightly sealed packages in your refrigerator’s freezer compartment where it will remain fresh for up to 6 months. If choosing this method, however, please realize that freezing does change texture and flavor of jerky so don’t plan on refreezing any batches you may want to save for a rainy day. Freezing and thawing makes elk meat more spongy in texture so it won’t be as chewy or flavorful as when stored at room temperature without freezing.
Step 8: Eat Your Homemade Elk Jerky Within 6 Months For Best Tasting Results
The easiest way to eat your homemade jerky is by simply snacking on it right out of the freezer. It’s lightweight, portable, doesn’t need refrigeration and can be stored up to 6 months before needing to be eaten anyway! A second plan – that I use all the time – suggests rehydrating leftover jerky strips in cold water for an hour boiling them with sliced potatoes, carrots and green onions in a pot of water for an hour. After the veggies and jerky strips have cooked for an hour, add some cabernet sauvignon wine to your veggie/jerky concoction and simmer until the alcohol evaporates. Once it does, remove from heat and enjoy!
Step-by-Step Guide: How To Make Smoked Candied Bacon Jerky Recipe?
The best and easiest meat jerky recipe is here for you! With this guide, you will be able to make the tastiest and most loved fruit of all time: bacon. As long as you follow the following instructions, you could not go wrong with your creation. This is a well loved manly snack that everyone loves. It has it all: sugar, salt, meat and smoke! The only thing left now is for you to try it yourself and see that we were right about how good it taste!
- 1lb Bacon Strips
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- Meat Thermometer Smoker
1-Start by preheating your smoker for 225 degrees. If using a gas/propane smoker then use 14-16oz of woodchips (I prefer apple or cherry). If using a charcoal/wood smoker then use 18-20lbs of charcoal and 8oz of woodchips/dust.
2-While the smoker is getting to temperature, make the “candied bacon” by adding 1lb of bacon strips to a baking pan (I prefer non stick or lined with foil) and pour ½ cup brown sugar over the top.
3-Place in the oven for 10 minutes at 500 degrees (or until it starts to caramelize), flip and bake for another 10minutes on the other side.
4-Remove from oven and place on paper towels for 5 minutes (this makes sure that all excess grease is removed). Once cooled down, cut into ¼ inch pieces.
5-Now that your smoker has reached 225 degrees, add the pre-soaked woodchips to your smoker box if using a charcoal/wood smoker.
6-Add the bacon jerky pieces to your favorite jerky gun and fill with “candied bacon” mixture. If you don’t have a jerky gun then just place strips in a ziplock bag, fill with “candied bacon” and use the bottom of a cup to push all the air out of the bag before sealing it up tightly.
7-Place strips on your smoker grate and smoke for 2 hours (if it starts to get too dark on top then just flip them over).
8-Remove from smoker and let cool down for 10 minutes before enjoying!
Step-by-Step Guide: How To Make Sweet Tea Smoked Pork Jerky Recipe?
- 500 grams pork belly, sliced into long strips 1 inch thick.
- 2½ cups Lipton tea leaves
- 6 cups water
- 5 tablespoons soy sauce
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons curing salt
- ½ tablespoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke dried herbs if necessary (optional)
Step 1: Making the brine:
Mix 5 tablespoons soy sauce, 6 tablespoons brown sugar and 3 teaspoons curing salt in a large bowl. Add ½ tablespoon black pepper and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add 2 litres of water to the bowl and mix well. Check for taste and balance. You may want to add more soy sauce or salt depending on your preference.
Step 2: Soak sliced pork belly overnight (8-12 hours) in the brine solution at room temperature or slightly below. If you can’t leave it that long, soak for at least 1 hour.
Step 3: While soaking/cooking is going on, prepare tea leaves using Lipton tea bags as per instructions on the box (2 tea bags for 500ml hot water). Depending on how strong you prefer your tea to be, add more/less tea bags.
Step 4: Add 2½ cups of the Lipton sweet tea leaves to a pot and add 6 cups of water. Bring it to a boil and turn off heat when it starts boiling. Let it cool completely at room temperature or in the fridge before use.
Step 5: The next day, remove pork belly from brine solution and rinse well with cold running tap water until there is no more visible salt left over (approx 10 minutes), then pat dry with paper towels. Pat dry again with another layer of paper towels so that all excess moisture is removed from the surface of the meat. The drier the better.
Step 6: Prepare a bowl with 1½ cups Lipton sweet tea leaves and add 2 teaspoons liquid smoke. Mix well, then take a piece of pork belly and coat it thoroughly with the tea mixture until all surfaces are dried. Repeat for other pieces of pork belly.
Step 7: Add te-coated pork to smoker (approx 40°C – 70°C) over indirect heat source or in an oven/dehydrator at 100°C – 120°C for 2 hours.
Step 8: After two hours, test if jerky is done by touching and bending one end of the jerky strip (if it doesn’t break easily like this, continue to cook another 15 minutes and try again). If not done, keep cooking for another 15 minutes at a time until it’s ready.
Step 9: Once done, let the jerky cool to room temperature in an air-tight container or ziplock bag. It will last up to 3 months when properly stored in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.
* Do not use glass containers for storage as they can break when exposed to changes in temperature and moisture over a long period of time! I use either plastic containers or Ziplock bags.
* Remember that even though you’ve used curing salt, it is NOT cured meat! It’s still raw meat! Keep it refrigerated/frozen at all times!
* If you’re planning to use your homemade jerky as a survival food, I suggest that you add some dried herbs like basil and oregano into the tea mixture. This is not necessary and will do nothing to the taste of the jerky (in fact, it might make it worse if your taste testers are picky), but it will do wonders for your moral if you ever have to eat it.
* If you don’t have access to a smoker or an oven, try cooking the meat at 100°C – 120°C over direct heat source (like gas stove) on very low heat for about 5 hours. The more you smoke/cook the pork belly, the darker it will get, and the stronger the smoky taste. Make sure you expose all surfaces to heat by turning over at regular intervals so that it cooks evenly all around.
*If you’re using a gas stove to cook/smoke your meat, make sure it’s on very low heat and there is always a layer of smoke coming from the burner. If it’s too hot, your jerky might catch fire.
* When you’re dehydrating the jerky, make sure there is no visible moisture at all on any surface of the meat. You can inspect this by touching and bending one end to see if it breaks easily. It should break with very little force to indicate that it’s properly dehydrated. If it doesn’t break easily, continue to dry in small increments of 15 minutes at a time until you’re satisfied.
*Use this jerky recipe for beef, chicken, wild boar or lamb meat. You’ll love them all!
Nutritional Facts About Beef Jerky
Beef jerky is a nutrient-dense food that can help enhance various micronutrient intakes. One ounce (28 grams) of beef jerky contains: (3) Calories: 80 Protein: 7 grams Total fat: 1 gram Saturated fat: 0.5 gram Iron: 4% DV* Sodium: 650 mg Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2 gram Carbohydrates: 1 gram *DV = Daily Value, based on the USDA’s 2000 calorie diet.
Concerns About Beef Jerky
One of the main concerns regarding beef jerky is related to its high sodium content. The amount of sodium in beef jerky varies depending on the specific brand and product type, but can be upwards of 450 mg per ounce. Excessive amounts of sodium in the diet are associated with increased risk for some chronic diseases like hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. Additionally, there have been reports that some jerkies may contain excess amounts of nitrates which could pose health risks when consumed in large quantities over long periods of time (8). Although these reports are not confirmed at this time, it is still advisable to limit the amount of jerky you consume.
Traditionally, beef jerky is made from leaner cuts of meat like eye round or flank steak because these cuts have the least amount of fat and will dry easier. Most commercially prepared beef jerkies do not include this type of information on their labels, but it may be possible to determine if a particular brand contains higher amounts of saturated fat by examining its ingredients list. Leaner brands typically use low-fat protein sources like chicken and turkey combined with soy protein concentrate in order to decrease fat content while maintaining flavor. Additionally, there are several commercial varieties that contain no added sugar or excess sodium for those who are concerned about high levels of these nutrients in their diets.
Smoked Beef Jerky FAQs
What’s The Best Cut Of Meat For Beef Jerky?
There are many cuts of beef that can be used for making jerky. The most common types are the London Broil, top round, tri-tip sirloin or flank steak. Use whatever you prefer.
What Kinds Of Wood Should I Use To Smoke My Beef Jerky?
There is not one best type of smoking wood. You should use whatever type of wood you like and is available to you. Some people prefer oak, hickory, mesquite, alder or pecan.
How Does Long Will Beef Jerky Keep?
Beef Jerky keeps for about three months in the refrigerator if packaged correctly and stored below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius). If kept outdoors, it can be stored for many more months as long as it’s hung in a shady dry place with good air flow at temperatures above freezing.
What Temperature Do I Need To Set My Smoker At To Make Beef Jerky?
Smoke your jerky between 150 and 160 degrees F (66 and 71 degrees C), but not over 165 degrees F (75C), making sure that you do not exceed 85 degrees C, or 185 degrees F for any prolonged time.
What Is The Best Way To Dry The Meat For Beef Jerky?
Cut your beef into thin strips no thicker than 1/4 inch (6mm) thick and no wider than 1 1/2 inches (3 cm). Lay the beef strips on a wire rack in front of an electric fan or air conditioning outlet so that good air flow circulates over both sides of the strips. Let them dry until they are leathery with no visible moisture, but still pliable. This can take 7 to 12 hours depending on how thick you made your jerky strips, the humidity level and the temperature where you are drying them If this method is used, rotate the strips every half hour to insure even drying.
How Long Does It Take To Smoke Beef Jerky?
It takes about 7 hours to get a good flavor from the wood chips when curing the meat, but it can be less or more depending on your smoker and desired intensity of smoke flavor. The temperature in your smoker should hold between 150 and 165 degrees F (66-75 C) throughout this time frame.
Do I Need To Marinate My Beef Before I Make Beef Jerky?
Marinating will not tenderize your cut of meat like many people think; it will add flavor instead. If you want tender jerky, use low-tensile strength cuts of meat like top sirloin, flank steak or bottom round. Use a marinade with an acid like vinegar, lemon juice or wine to add flavor and tenderize the meat while drying it.
Do You Flip The Jerky While Smoking?
No, you should not flip the beef jerky strips over during smoking.
How Do I Re-Hydrate Beef Jerky?
Place your dried beef jerky into a zip-loc bag and add just enough water to cover it. The meat will absorb the moisture and plump up in about an hour. If you desire a spicier flavor, use hot tap water instead of cold.
Is There Anything I Can Do To Make My Smoked Beef Jerky Last Longer?
For those who want their cured meat to last as long as possible without refrigeration, smoke it at 100 degrees for three hours before dehydrating it at 120 degrees until completely dry (about eight hours). This process requires special care because there is no residual heat, like there is in a commercial smoker, to kill any bacteria that might be on the surface of your beef jerky.
How Should I Store My Beef Jerky?
Packaged fresh beef jerky may be stored for three months or more if kept under 40 degrees F (5 degrees C) and away from direct sunlight, but it’s best if used within one month after it’s made. If you’re lucky enough to have any left-overs after that time frame, freeze them for up to one year.
What Kind Of Meat Do You Use To Make Jerky?
The best cuts to use are the ones that have very little fat marbling throughout them. That way, you can be sure that your jerky is safe from bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. An example would be top sirloin beef jerky or flanks steaks for making beef jerky
Is There A Difference Between Store Bought Beef Jerky And Homemade Beef Jerky?
There certainly is. Store-bought beef jerky usually contains preservatives, sugar and sodium nitrite to preserve it longer, give it added flavor and give it that nice red color every one expects when they open up a bag of beef jerky. Homemade recipes will not contain these preservatives but will taste fresher with full flavors of smoke and beef.
You now have the knowledge to make beef jerky and if you follow these steps and recipes, you will be well on your way to making a great tasting product that everyone will love. Don’t forget that you can use different meats like salmon, buffalo or venison as well.
Good luck and enjoy!