Jonathon The last time I made a batch I cut the dehydrator out completely and just used my convection oven. I figured with the movement of air from the fan, it would pretty much mimic what a dehydrator does, and I would have a lot more confidence in the temperature.
Is there a favorite method of making Jerky and using a smoker? I’d like to see some folks experiences with recipes and smoke plans.
My favorite flavor of jerky is the Bold Jerky Seasoning. The most popular overall at Walton’s is probably the Colorado Spicy Jerky Seasoning though. I just take a piece of whole muscle meat, trim off any visible fat, and slice into 1/4in thick pieces. Dump the meat, seasoning, and sure cure into a stainless steel bowl or a couple vacuum pouches and mix it around until it’s pretty evenly dispersed, add a little bit of water to disperse the seasoning more and start to cover the meat, then let it sit in the fridge to marinate for 12 hours. For smoking, I usually just go with the basics and set the smoker between 180 and 200, turn the smoke on the whole time, and let it cook several hours until it reaches the level of dryness I want. If you want to do a staged cook though, I’d recommend 130 for 1 hour with vents open, 145 for 2 hours with vents 2/3 closed, then 180 until its done with vents 2/3 closed.
If you haven’t already, also check out our How To Make Jerky video for a few more tips and tricks!
How to Make Jerky
I am going to make the Colorado spicy for the first time tomorrow. I have made jerky in the past that turns out great. My questions are:
When you take it out of the brine do you put it straight on the racks or rinse first? (I have always rinsed mine)
And once you get it on the rack do you let it set at room temp to form a Pellicle prior to going into the smoker?
BrianB I never rinse mine. After I let it sit in the seasoning, cure, and water mixture overnight, I go straight to laying on racks and then go straight to the smoker/dehydrator and don’t let it sit at room temperature either. I’ve never had bad results doing it that way.
When I make jerky I cube the meat in small pieces and then season it with your jerky seasoning of choice, then grind it and pack it onto a cookie sheet. Freeze it then take it out and very slightly thaw it and then slice it on an electric slicer. Having an extra hand is great when slicing. Catch the slices as they come off the slicer and lay out on your cooking racks. Also a good idea to score the meat in the cookie sheet in pieces that will fit your slicer. Works great, no brining or tedious cutting.
BrianB I use a wet marinade and let it sit over night. I do not rinse it but i put it between double layers of paper towels and let it dry while I get the smoker ready. Then put it on the racks and let it start warming and drying in the smoker before adding the smoke.