What are you all using for Sweetner’s for Jerky? I’m trying to find the best product and proper ratio per pound.
Thanks much, Gary T.
@Gary-T Since I only use premixed seasonings (and that’s honestly what I would recommend you do as well) I might not be the best person to answer this question. However regular sugar appears to be by far and away the top sweetener used in Jerky processing, Brown Sugar would the second and I don’t really see any evidence of artificial sweeteners as a main sweetening agent.
Anyone else have any thoughts?
@jonathon Thanks J, yeah I’m with you on premixed seasonings as well, but I usually use that as the base and add my own seasoning to suit my taste. I just didn’t think it was as simple as Sugar LOL.
@Gary-T The one time we added more sugar to a premade jerky seasoning it came out excellent. We added a lot of it to try to bind up the water in sugar to make it more shelf stable, I’ll warn you though, it was 18% of the product weight in sugar. Check out the video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DQAyF6FWfw
@jonathon That’s a great video Jonathon, one question though? After adding all that sugar was it over the top sweet?
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Yeah I’m a premix guy myself, so many premixes available, you can’t go wrong. However, I have mixed and/or created my own blend, but the premix such a sure thing, that I stuck on it.
@Gary-T The first test batch we did was a little over the top sweet, however in the second one we tumbled it a little longer and made 100% sure all of the sugar was dissolved before adding the meat. Those two things seemed to help, the only reason for that that I could come up with was it prevented it from sitting on the outside of the meat and creating a film where it was the first thing you bit into because when we tumbled it long technically the meat took up MORE of the sugar but it deffinitely had slightly less of a sweet taste.
If anyone is looking to do this I can recommend the bold as a good base but if you are wanting to branch out and try a different seasoning I would recommend you stay with something with some heat to balance the sweetness.
Just an FYI, everybody that received snack sticks for Christmas last year loved them… I just ordered another batch of Willie’s Snack Stick spice blend to do it again this year!
Jonathon, I have to agree that 275 is too hot… If you have the time I’d shoot for 225, but if it needs to be “done”, then 250 would be the max I would do…
I have always filled the water pan for everything I smoke… 2 reasons, first it does tend to add moisture during the long cook thus keeping the bark from turning to shoe leather… and second because the water pan acts as a heat sink and helps maintain the temperature (in my vertical propane smoker) a bit more accurately… I’ve heard folks tout using apple juice in the water pan to impart a sweeter flavor, but I’ve never tried it…
On the other hand, my dad smoked for years, mostly in a converted fridge with an electric hotplate in the bottom… he never used a water pan and never had an issue with dry meat…
As for the type of wood to use, that’s just a trial and error, personal preference thing… I happen to like steaks cooked with oak… that may be too strong a flavor for your taste (my GF hates it)… Recently I have been using a lot of maple for NC bbq, chicken and even cheese… I like the maple for the meats, but next batch of cheese will go back to the hickory / cherry mix that I was using…
I followed the instructions on the video. It may have something to do with the sausage not getting as firm as it should. I used the cotto salami on duck breast with pork fat. It sure tastes good. But it’s a little soft.
I’ve done a lot both ways. I would highly recommend a stuffer and I have the Weston grinder with the auger stuffing attachment. It’s slow, but if you’re doing 5# or 10# batches, it’s not that bad. I’ve had small 5# stuffer, old school cast iron Enterprise, 11# vertical and now a 35# hydraulic. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t trade the hydraulic but the 11# vertical I got on amazon had a lot of versatility. I think your bigger decision should be what type of stuffer should I buy. I would recommend the taller, smaller diameter instead of the large shorter one. The smaller diameter allow for a higher pressure for doing sticks with cure in them. The large short ones would be great for doing pork sausage or larger diameter casings, not 19-22mm sticks with cure. It would be fine as long as you’re doing fresh like breakfast or something like that. If you go the stuffer route I’d get it from Waltons and get the Weston-they stock parts, other no name from amazon is a one shot deal, once ours broke couldn’t find parts. Plus they have so many tube sizes now and Walton’s does a great job helping with casing and stuffing horn sizes, they carry them all.
I purchased a stuffer off Amazon for under $100 and would never go back to using the grinder. With the grinder, it was always a two man job and took forever. The stuffer is much faster and have no problems doing it all by myself. Plus with a hand crank stuffer, no electricity usage and wear and tear on your grinder.
Thank You Sir: