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Thanks Smokin'. BTW, the Jerky came out good. I did it a little different with respect to leaving the door open... I opted to keep the door shut and reduce the heat to about 160. It seemed to dry it out nicely after about 5 hours in the Smokette. Oh yea, this time I used ground through a jerky gun. Next time I'm going to try a London Broil cut in strips (just as soon as my Hi Mountain kit comes in!) Maybe I'll go to 170 on that batch??
Call me simple, I am a newbie to smoking and had two successes so far... I did a batch of jerky with a basic marinade (bourbon) and let it marinate for four hours, then could wait no longer and smoked did come out a bit drier than I had anticipated, however very saltly and pretty damned good for the first time.

Then the next day I tried out one of the HiMountain Jerky cures...let it set overnight and smoked it according to, awesome and easy, almost cheating. Less salty, more smoky, fantastic results although both are excellent.

I do have a question though...what cuts of beef are you guys using for your jerky? I call mine the Upper Cruster, because I used flank steaks...not sure what cuts would produce a comparable result with regard to leanness and texture. Thanks again, this is so much fun. Doing a smoked salmon tonight, and baby back ribs tomorrow.
I.S...I have tried dang near every type of meat making jerky (well over $100 bucks in meats) and I keep going back to flank steak. If you want to get more consistant w/how you cut the flank, invest in HiMountains Jerky Board & Knife. It gives you the right cut every time. What this does is gives it a more consistant cooking time as well. You are right, it's almost cheating it's so easy.....but the results will defintely WOW your friends..(if it lasts that long)....
Hi Idaho Smokies!

I have been making jerky for over 20 years and like Qdogg...I have tried about every cut of meat. To me it comes down to price. Why? Because you will lose 2/3 of the weight..that means your finished price is triple.

Around here flank steak is around $5.00/lb. It's popularity soared with the "discovery" of fajitas. I use Top Round...I can usually get it for around $2-2.25/lb. because I can buy by the case. Most butchers will cut this stuff up for you, though fewer and fewer will slice it......most have gone to their band saws which makes it a little thicker cut, which in turn makes it much longer to dry.

I have also used bottom round when it goes on sale for $1.49/lb. It requires a little more trimming which bumps its finished price up as well, but still a very good deal.

So, the flank steak ends up costing close to $15/lb. finished, while my top round, will be around $6/lb.

Another meat to use is the flat of the brisket, but again, they cost more than top round. If you have a good butcher and don't mind paying that much for meat, ask him to slice up the "inside round"..I did this for a while but the price was always close to $5/lb. The inside round is the very internal part of the top round and has ZERO fat. Of course the reason for the price, you have to sacrifice the entire top round to get to it and not much else to do with the leftover pieces.

I make about 30-40 pounds of this stuff every month and give it away to my doctor clients, so price is the most important aspect to me.

Not sure if you have been over to my Jerky page so I will post it here.....

Stogie's Jerky Page

Good luck in your future endeavors!
I have been using mostly top round london broil when it goes on sale about $2/lb. Trimming is pretty easy and a bit less marbled then flank. I found sirloin the other day for $ 2/lb and was going to jerk that up but the weather took a dive and the wife used it out of the fridge for dinner. Oh well, I think that it would have been a nice tasty jerky.
Have had good luck with Meijer's cheap grade of bottom round which has little marbling. Before Christmas it was frequently on sale for less than $1.50 - now it's up to $2.

Winn-Dixie bottom round had way too much marbling - made jerky with tiny drops of fat on it.

Stores 'round here seem not to carry top round - maybe it's too lean for the locals.
I know I'll get flamed for this... but I don't use the CS to make jerky... Wink

OK let it fly... I can take it..... Big Grin

Seriously I was (thank you 9-11) an aircraft mechanic that worked in a hanger with over 600 people...3 shifts, and I used to sell jerky faster than I could make it, literally.. I would sell out almost every day.

I used a Excalibur food dehydrator and it ran nearly non stop. I wore one motor out and the fan lost a blade, Mad but I was able to get replacement parts direct from the maker.

Excellent product, just like the CS but get one with the timer on it, that way you can set it and forget it.

I'll post the recipe I used if anyone is interested, it's labor intensive, but it was a hit at work.

Would be interesting to see your method, D9. Probably will get toasted for this comment myself, but I've always been a bit concerned over dehydrator jerky not getting hot enough to kill bacteria - have heard that salt/dryness prevent them from growing, etc. etc. But maybe the Excalibur gets hot enough? Or you pasteurize first as some recipes suggest, by dipping in boiling water?

Whne using those dehydrator's, I would strongly recommend using TenderQuick, because of what you mentioned.

Most of those machines dry at temps around 150�...that is very close to the upper end of the danger zone.

Yes, salt will also help, but I like to be extra safe and use TQ in all my jerky stuff.
D9s Jerky......

Use London Broil, as lean as you can find. Get it on sale for about $2.00 per pound. Remove all fat and cut (with the grain) into � to 3/8 inch square strips as long as you want. I make them like slim-jim length, 6 inches or so. It cuts really easy if it�s put in the freezer for 30-45 minutes first.

4 cups Soy
4 cups H2O
1 cup Red Wine
3 tsp Gran. Garlic
3 tsp Onion Powder
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
4 tsp Black Pepper
2 tsp Crushed red pepper
2 tsp Paprika
2 T Smoke Powder
� tsp White Pepper

this is enough to soak 4-5 average size London Broils cut up.

Soak 24 hours in the fridge, stir it a few times while it�s soaking, Zip Lock bags work for this too. Lay it on the dehydrator grates as close as possible with out touching, Sprinkle with Cajun spice to taste, none for mild, some for medium, heavy for hot. Dehydrate @ 145 F until when bent, it breaks like a green twig. 8-12 hours. NOTE When it�s warm, it will be more pliable so it takes some trial and error.

Cajun Spice
2 T Paprika
2 T Garlic Powder
1 T Onion Powder
2 T Black Pepper
1 T Celery seed, Ground
1 T Cumin, Ground
2 T Salt
2 T Cayenne Pepper
1 T Crushed Red Pepper
1 T Smoke Powder
1 T Thyme

I sold a ton of it at work.

I think the reason to use TQ isn't the shelf life of the jerky (but it helps) but the meat itself while it smokes. If the meat isn't around long enough to use TQ for shelf life, I'd still use it for food safety, depending on the temp you smoke.

If you put meat in a smoker and the temp of the smoker stays less than 140, the meat is in the "danger zone" of 40 to 140 and that's where bacteria forms and doesn't die.

Just a food safety reminder Wink
I haven't used my CS for jerky yet,however I did get the recipe from this forum. I used Stogies jerky recipe last weekend for my first ever jerky. I modified it somewhat by adding black pepper, doubling up on the cayenne, and adding liquid smoke (wouldn't need this is if I used the CS) but the basic recipe is his. I dried it using a 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator I bought on Ebay. Brought some into work and everyone said it was excellent! I had to agree! It was definately better than any store bought jerky I have ever had and lots cheaper. Thanks Stogie for sharing the recipe and everyone else for the great input into this forum. I know I've saved lots of $$ and time from the knowledge I've gained here.

By the way, I used an old Rival meat slicer I bought off of Ebay for about 45 bucks which made slicing a breeze. If you can spare the money, I highly recommend them for uniform slices. Ebay always has a ton of these these slicers (all chrome and stainless models) and they are a heavy duty made in the USA product like CS.

Have my first butt (8.2 lbs) in the smokette right now. It's at 184 degrees after 13 hours and smelling great. Only a few more hours and I should be piggin' out!

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