Jerky Brine

  • Regular Contributors

    Is there a general rule of thumb for adding curing salt to jerky brine either by weight of meat to be sliced or by amount of liquid?

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee

    mdseaside I think I understand your question, please let me know if my response addresses it or not.

    Either way, I like to calculate the cure by weight of the meat, not by the amount of water. Use 1/4 of a teaspoon per lb of meat, so if you are doing a 5 lb batch use just over a teaspoon. Now, if you are making whole muscle then coat the meat in the seasoning and cure and then put it in a bag and add just enough water where everything is covered. If you are making a restructured product add about a 16 oz of water per 25 lb of meat, this is just to help mix in the seasoning and cure. Remember, whatever you add to the mix will have to be cooked or dried out of it later!

    We have the cure conversion chart to help you break down cures by lb of meat and a Seasoning Conversion Chart that helps you break out the amount of seasoning per lb of meat. I strongly suggest you di it by the listed weight, not the volume. Thos charts aren’t perfect but they are a very good starting point.

  • Regular Contributors

    Thank you Jonathon. That will help allot. I have been making my jerky by starting with a mix of 2 parts water, 2 parts soy sauce, and one part teriyaki sauce and the various spices. But would like to get away from so much sodium in my diet. I use whole muscle meat, marrinate for up to 36 hours and then dry and smoke till done. I am always careful about bad bacteria so your info will put mind at ease. Thanks again. Marc

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee

    mdseaside What meat are you using? We did an experiment somewhere recently where we took store-bought eye of the round and just marinated it, no vacuum bag or anything and I was shocked that it picked up 0 additional weight. This was probably because the meat was already pumped when we bought it and there was some transfer of the seasoning into the meat, it just expelled some water that was already in there and exchanged it. It was pretty fascinating actually, even though I’m probably not making it seem so!

  • Regular Contributors

    Mostly I use boneless pork loins and then trim them out so I have only the tenderloin left with little to no fat. But for beef I use the eve of the round trimmed of all fat and silver skin. Then I chill the eat and slice it across the grain about 3/16 to 1/4 inch. My average batch is 17 lbs. of meat and the marinade is usually about 1 3/4 gallon. Then I take the meat and layer it between layers of paper towels to dry it off while I get the smoker set up. When it is done I usually end up with 8 to 9 lbs of finished product. I get the meat at my local restaurant supply store so it is as fresh as I can get and seems to be unaltered or pumped full of unknown stuff. I have never checked for weight difference before marinating and after, but I think i might give it a try just to see what it is. All I know is it comes out very flavorful and I try to keep it a little on the moist side AKA Not cooking it to death.
    Thanks for the info. and interest.

  • Team Blue

    mdseaside I go through the same process on the eye of round and have been using the recommended Excalibur seasoning ratio per pound but instead of water I use 8oz of vegetable glycerine per 5 lbs of round. This adds slight sweetness but no added sugar and seems to really help with the soft texture. I will then vacuum tumble for an hour and rest in fridge overnight. I was then hanging in the smoker to finish but the process took all day.

    Recently I began to lay the beef out on my Westin dehydrator racks and bake in the oven at 350 for ten minutes to bring the temp up to 160 as quickly as possible then transfer to the dehydrator to finish. It cut my time down by half!

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee

    Joe Hell Eventually everyone will use the added glycerine or sugar to make sugar jerky, it is the only thing I make anymore. I still havent tried it with venison and I am worried that I wont like it as much with venison as much as I like it with beef, dont know why I feel that way but I do.

  • Team Blue

    Jonathon The one flavor That I’ve tried so far that I don’t feel it complimented was the Bloody Mary. I plan to change that one up a bit next time. I’ve been asking around amongst friends to find some venison or other game to no luck. I’d really like to give goat a try too. My brother has a small heard so hopefully that happens soon!

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee

    Joe Hell A few I wont try with it are Dill Pickle, Garlic & Pepper and the Habanero Lime. I will add Bloody Mary to that list!

  • Team Blue

    Jonathon Oh man…do yourself a favor and try it with the Habanero Lime and Garlic & Pepper. Those two are WILDY popular among friends. Particularly the Garlic & Pepper. I personally felt that the lime in the Habanero was overpowering and almost ‘metallic’ in my first batch. On my second batch I added 1/4 c. Brown Sugar (splenda substitute in my case) as I did with the Teriyaki. It boosted the sweetness slightly but really balanced out the lime. I would describe the before as an essence of bitter lime peel…the after was like a green lifesaver candy! It was unanimous between friends. Everyone described the change as an upgrade.

    As a side note, I tried the Teriyaki, Garlic & Pepper and the Habanero Lime with almonds last weekend and all of them turned out fantastic. The surprise with the Habanero which didn’t have much if any lime character to speak of. Oddly, it reminded me of a typical ‘BBQ’ flavoring. I’m going to try roasting a batch in the smoker to see if I can truly capture a smoky bbq flavor.

  • Joe Hell Beware!! Smoked nuts can be addictive!! We usually just add salt and smoke at 325 F for 20 - 30 minutes. You might also try smoking with an “Amazing Smoking Tube” for 30 min BEFORE adding heat for a much stronger smoke flavor.

  • Team Blue

    KansasDad I’m going to do it!!! There was a post here not too long ago that said they couldn’t find smoked almonds in their area. I’d love to make something true to that style!

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee

    Joe Hell You may have sold me on the Garlic & Pepper but I can’t see it with the Hab Lime! I’ve got some venison in the next week or so to work with so I think I will make some jerky with it and try the glycerine!

    We are also going to be testing some “sugar free” (less than 1 gram per serving) jerky here! I’ll keep you all updated on the progress.

  • Team Blue

    Jonathon Salty, sweet and spicy is the best! Trust me!

  • Joe Hell what temps and how long do you go in the dehydrator after the oven cycle? I’ll be trying this process soon!

  • Team Blue

    fatsnacks I have so far ran the dehydrator at its max temp of 160 although I’m not sure it’s necessary as the meat has already hit that temp. It probably speeds up the process though. As far as duration I don’t have an exact on that either. I kind of go based on the look, bend, feel, etc… Sorry to be so vague. Lol! I haven’t been in the jerky game long but each batch seems to improve by leaps and bounds. I will be making another batch this weekend and will try to take note of time frames!

  • Joe Hell well, lesson learned. I tumbled my jerky with the added percentage of water and brown sugar as suggested in one of the videos. I then loaded it onto the dehydrator racks and put it in the oven at 400 to get to 160. Of course dumb me didn’t even think about how much drippings there would be and now the bottom of my nice brand new convection oven is coated with a nice layer of burnt sugar 😂. Moral of the story: foil is your friend!

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee

    fatsnacks I am doing some jerky today in the oven and some in the smoker to show the differences. You have inspired me to not only use a pan underneath my racks but also to foil that pan!

  • Team Blue

    fatsnacks 400 might be a bit much. I go with 350 and place my dehydrator rack over a sheet pan for 10 minutes and it seems to work pretty well. I’ll get a couple drips but nothing significant.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee

    Joe Hell I am going 325 on 1/4" thick, figure take no more than 15?

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