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2 lb sliced flank steak
1/2 cup worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup Jack Daniels
2 tea. onion powder
2 tea. garlic powder
2 tea. crushed red pepper
2 tea. chinese 5-spice powder
2 tea. indian curry powder
3 dashes liquid hickory smoke

Marinate overnight then dry in a dehydrator.

Note: this recipe is from before I had my CS. I really need to try it without the liquid smoke but with some real smoke. Big Grin
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Sorry I broke the unwritten law Big Grin But, I did cook before I got my Smokette - sort of. And I wanted to reply to Andi's request for jerky info before I had the chance to do my homework.

Anyway, please do try the recipe with whatever modifications you think appropriate. And I will give it a try in the Smokette this weekend. I think it is really good, and it never stays around very long once I've made it. It is a bit hot, but very flavorful what with all the spices.

By the way, as you can see, there are no nitrates/nitrites in this recipe, and I've never been very brave about food poisoning, so I keep it in the 'fridge (hope that wasn't another unwritten law).
This is just my personal experience and I don't want to cause anyone to flirt with food poisoning but I don't put a (nitrite)cure on my jerky either. I assume that the salt in the soy sauce that I use is going to aid in curing the meat. That, followed by the six hours of smoke that they get (minimum) has resulted in jerky that I've been able to leave at room temperature for over six months and eat without incident. One important key, one you likely already know, is to trim all of the fat from the meat before smoking. The fat will turn rancid (so I've read)..... dchem
Most folks'll tell you something like, "My jerky will keep for (a month, 6 months, eternity, until they pry it from my cold dead fingers - you choose), but it's always eaten (in the first month, in the first week, as soon as it's cool, the instant I open the smoker - you choose)." You must have unusual self control!

Seriously though, why not keep jerky in the fridge, assuming there's room?
Hi tjr!

Nothing wrong with keeping it in the fridge!

I travel over 200 miles a day in my job and like to carry it around for several days at a time. This allows me to throw into the glove box and not worry about it.

Same thing with my office and workshop....I like to stash a bag of it in those places and not worry about keeping it cool.

Also, I am always a big hit when flying, I share lots of it then!

Yes I make enough to have all these little stashes around the homestead, but I make 30 lbs. almost every weekend.

It comes down to whatever suits you best. Find your preference and then perfect it!
True enough - a friend used to always have a few pieces of jerky wrapped in butcher paper in his pocket. People wondered why dogs seemed to like him so well.

Same gentleman lived for a time in an apartment above a locker plant. Imagine using a Cookshack as a clothes closet - that's sort of what he smelled like. One evening he brought a young lady home, having forgotten that the next day was "slaughter Monday". She left pretty quick after being awakened by the first "MOOOOO"!
Ok - time to bail myself out of "forum jail." I tried the jerky in my Smokette. I left out the liquid smoke, and used 2 oz of apple wood. I smoked it for 3 hours at about 160 degrees. It was not dry enough at that point, but I had run out of time, so I moved the meat to a dehydrator to finish drying.

I was not entirely happy with the results. The flavor was fine, but the texture was not. It was too crumbly - probably the temperature I chose was too high so the meat cooked instead of just drying.

But, I had reasons for choosing that temperature - in a word, botulism. According to "Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing" by Rytek Kutas (great book, btw), one has to be careful about smoking at low temperatures. In the book, Rytek says, "It is ... simple to create food poisoning: temperatures of 40 to 140 degrees F., moisture, and lack of oxygen. If you don't cure it, don't smoke it." Note: this doesn't apply to hot-smoking, i.e. temperatures above 140 degrees.

Ok, so I believe the lack of oxygen caused by the smoke creates conditions that favor botulism development. And, Rytek says there are two ways to avoid the problem:

1) Keep the temperature above 140 degrees
2) Use nitrates and/or nitrites in the cure

Since my recipe has no nitrates, I felt I had to use a temperature above 140 for safety.

So, it is time for me to ask a question. Do other folks share this concern about low temperature smoking, and if so, how do they deal with it?

Also, as I was thinking about the problem, it occurred to me that maybe the Smokette is not the right tool to make jerky. After all, the Smokette is wonderful at keeping the moisture in brisket, pork shoulder, etc. But, for jerky, we want it dry. So, I am also interested in your comments on this. Is it a problem or not?

Lastly, I could have used a nitrate cure and dropped the temperature. What is the lowest temperature I can set, and still burn enough wood to make smoke?

Oh, and thanks, Your Honor. I plan to go straight, hereafter.
I know what your going through, been there, done that. I spent over a $100 bucks trying to perfect jerky until I finally got the winning way. I use the flank steak, cut against the grain...cure w/High Mountain seasonings overnight. Apple or hickory, 2-3 oz. Here's the key IMHO, set temp at 200 degrees and crack the door the first 3 hours, shut the door for 1-2 hours, open the door another hour or so and it comes out great. Depending how dry you like it, cook longer. But this has had great success for me. My jerky is gone w/in the day. Hope it works...!!!
I've had good luck the 2 times I've tried making jerky in my Smokette just smoking it for around 4 hours - certainly not crumbly to my taste. Did use TenderQuick, a cure. And I used bottom round, a denser (and cheaper) cut.

Read somewhere that that correct jerky texture is that if you bend a piece double, it should crack across the outside half but not break into two pieces. The beef that I did came out that way after about 4 hours at 190F, the turkey was just slightly more moist after slightly longer at 175F.

It is sort of a paradox that jerky can be "dried" in a very high humidity environment. A possible explanation: I noticed a large amount of liquid in the drip pan - more quantity and waterier than my curing solution. I think that the heat combined with the thin slicing of the beef (and maybe the salt and acid) causes the fibers to shrink and drive out liquid water. A lot winds up in the drip pan, while a relatively small amount remains on the surface to evaporate. Too cool a smoking temperature, or too thick slicing, might interfere with this shrinking.

Now, maybe I'm pleased with the result because I hoped for a product like midwestern locker plant style jerky, which is heavily smoked, and maybe I'm actually looking for a "cooked" flavor rather than trying to avoid it.

Perhaps someone else can cast more light on the whole botulinum development during smoking issue - there's a food safety thread going on right now.

I think your temp was right on. I use 160� as my target temp. However, at this temp, it will take me 8-10 hours of drying time! It will vary depending on the thickness of the meat. So 3 hours is just getting started.

Keep in mind, most de-hydrators work at around 150�, so you can use your dehydrator experiences as a barometer for the time.

Not sure why you avoid the use of nitrates. I have been using TQ for 20 years and it works like a charm. My personal opinion is, if you are cooking anywhere near the 140� mark, you better be using a nitrate. Since that is very close to the temp I cook jerky at, I insist on TQ.

If your jerky comes out crumbly, it is usually a sign of cooking at too high a temp. Another problem could be the type of meat used.....I have made jerky using sirloin and other "high quality" meats and it turns out horrible.

Keep trying and experimenting...I been changing things for 20 years and finally have it just about right.
Thanks to all for the replies. I will definitely use a cure next time. I have nothing against using a cure - it just was not part of my recipe originally, because the dehydrator method doesn't require it.

I'll post again when I have some more data.

This forum (and more importantly, the folks who hang out here) is the best!

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