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So I tried to make for the for the first time last night. I started off at 180 degrees. I put to good sized chunks of hickory which was just under 6 ounces. I set the timer for 4 hours. It had marinated insured for approximately 72 hours prior to smoke. I checked in about 45 minutes in. The drip tray was completely filled with water and the meat looked soggy. I emptied the drip pan and closed the door. I had 6 lbs of jerky in there hanging on rods. I let it go for another hour and a half and kept checking on it. I would open the door every 30 minutes to let the moisture out. I finally decided at about the 2.5 hour mark to leave the door cracked and turn the temp up to 225 to make up for the door being open. I did notice that there wasnt anymore smoke coming up. The wood chunks must have already burned up by this point. I checked it again and about 2 hours later it was done. I pulled it all off of the rods and patted it dry with a paper towel. I threw it all into ziplock bags and let it sit over night.

I tried some today and it was a little dry for my liking but edible. I could definitely taste the pepper from the hi-mountain seasoning but could not taste the garlic (Cracked black pepper and garlic seasoning). The jerky did not have any smoke flavor at all that I could taste.

Where did I go wrong and why wasnt there any smoke flavor? I had the door shut for the first 2 hours and saw smoke coming from it up until that point. I definitely think it had something to do with all of the moisture inside of the smoker. Do you guys add more wood chunks half way through?
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I made a lot of jerky when I first got my SM008 - now I have an SM150 and need to get new jerky rods for it (or use my 5 racks).

I used Bill's method EXCEPT instead of soy sauce I used YOSHIDAS MARINADE in it's place.

I used about 3 oz. of wood (tried red oak, hickory and apple wood - all tasty). Check out what he does. I put my jerky on the rods and lay the rods across a 13x8 pan to let the excess marinade drip off. Plenty of smoky flavor. Now isn't this one of your first runs with your new smoker ?? After you do a couple briskets and pork butts you'll see it's getting a nice smoky flavor. Heck after a while you'll get such a layer of "shellac" on the inside of your smoker you won't need much wood...

Good luck
Not sure where it went wrong, but I made some jerky using HiMtn following it's directions, and using the smoking procedure from the video posted by Big Mike above. In other words, NO marinade, just the Hi Mtn and smoking technique from the video. It was the best jerky I ever made. So you might want to try using the Hi Mtn by itself, with a smaller batch of meat, see how it turns out. If you like it, start experimenting from there, and keep good notes.
Problem is that there was so much water in there. After the first 2 hours at 180 degrees, the whole dang pan was full of water. That doesn't seem right. All I used was the hi mountain seasoning, no marinade. I guess I can add more wood next time but I used almost 6 ounces so I don't know.

Maybe I'll call cookshack and see what they think is causing all the water.
Help me out here as I am sight impaired and saw something in your description and 2nd comments that caught my eye. You mentioned a drip pan that ended up full of liquid... Did you have a drip pan INSIDE the smoker ?? If you did that is your problem... Just make sure you have one below the smoker drip hole and that you have lined foil on the woodbox cover and the bottom of the smoker - being certain to punch a hole in that foil where the drip pan exit hole is...

If you were catching drippings INSIDE the smoker then yeah you would be maintaining a very humid environment because of that. Using the foil on the bottom of the smoker and the woodbox makes clean up a snap.

IF I have guessed wrong then I apologize. Just trying to help out... I always thought the marinade helped push the "cure" into the meat.
Haha no I did not have the drip pan on the inside. It was underneath where it was supposed to be. I put foil on those and punched a hole in it. I did not have a wet marinade on mine so I have no idea of where all that water would have come from. I have read other members on here who have had the same thing happen but never saw how they fixed it. I smoked a tri-tip in it last night at 225 for about 1.5 hours and then moved to the pg1000 to char it. There was no water in the pan with that.
A couple thoughts....

If you dry brine it longer than the instructions said, it will wash out some of the flavor in the spices. That could have been the taste problem.

These smokers are so air tight that the moisture must be dumped often, I would recommend at least every 30 minutes, and keep the door open for 15-20 seconds while fanning it. You are basically trying to dehydrate/dry out the meat, so the moisture must go somewhere and it appears that the grease pan is where yours went.

I'm sure others will have some more thoughts!

Good luck next time.
Hi-mtn does tend to lose flavor if u do let it go for more than the 24hrs per 1/4 inch. I just did a batch of the pepper garlic seasoning, the pepper it definitely the predominate flavor. I would suggest adding more garlic either in juice form or dehydrated. For mIne, I added about a 1/2 cup of tiger sauce (hot sauce) to my 5lb batch. I use QDoggs method which is the first post in bold in this category. 2hrs open, 1 hr closed, 1 hr open, 1 hr closed, then I open it and let it cool. I never go the 6-7 hrs he mentions, mine comes out tender/chewy. We love it. Also depends on how you like it. I like playing with flavors, but for the hi-mtn products, longer doesn't always mean better. Like suggested, try small batches until you find your sweet spot and keep experimenting with add ins. Have fun. It usually is always at least edible.
Last edited by vickib
Thanks guys. That is actually the hi mountain flavor I used. All I could taste was the pepper. I did not taste the garlic at all, nor did I taste any smoke flavor. I will try 2 lbs at a time until I get a way I like. I also thought about adding garlic powder to the hi mtn mix.

One question with doing it QDoggs way. If you run out of smoke because your wood burns up within the first hour or two, do you add more wood to continue the smoke?
Your product will not absorb smoke after it reaches an internal temperature of around 140 degress - it's at that point the pores of the meat have closed. With jerky that temp is reached rather quickly because it is so thinly sliced. One dose of wood will do the job. I have over smoked jerky and believe me more is not better in that case.
Sorry BBQnCali, I thought my edited post went thru, bad internet connectio. on vacation here in Arizona....what I tried to add to the end of my poat was that I put in about 4 oz at the beginning and just let it go. No adding for me. Mike is correct. You can always try adding a little more wood in the begining maybe one chunck over the element and one in the corner of the box will g u wantive u more burn time.
This is what I do and works gret every time.

After marinating:
1. Pat meat dry with paper towels on a cookie sheet
2. Hang meat from toothpicks on top rack
3. Smoke for 2 hours at 170 F
4. Smoke 2 more hours at 180 F
5. Check jerky, if not done smoke for 30 min or until done

You can open the door for 5 seconds at the 1.5 hour and 3 hour mark
Thanks guys. I have done quite a few more cooks on it since my last post. The inside is now completely black for the the most part. I am going to try 3 more lbs today separately. It has already marinated overnight and is at the 24 hour mark. 2 lbs in the mesquite flavor and 1 lb that is just used garlic powder and a little pepper mixed with the cure. We will see how it turns out. I am going to try a few different methods.
Ok so the first two hours has past. I opened the door and kicked up the temp to 200. I am using Bill's method for this first batch. It did not put out anywhere near the water that the last batch did. It did put out some, maybe 1/8 of the drip pan full. I think starting it off with the door closed makes it like this.

The next batch I am going to use the QDogg method and see how that works, and since he starts with the door open, it might work a little better. We will see.

I also just purchased this

I also have a A-maze-n pellet tube on the way. I will use that in the Amerique for cold smoking cheese.

I am also going to try it in the Amerique for 1-2 hours with heat off to pound the jerky with smoke but not dry/cook it, then finish it off in the dehydrator to get a good texture. I will post that up too when I get a chance to do that.
Last edited by Former Member
Well first batch came out. It was in a total of 4 hours. Came out way too dry and had a really funky taste to it. That could have been due to the seasoning I tried to use. I just threw the second batch in which is actually HiMtn mesquite and am doing it the Qdogg way. Cracked the door an inch, set at 225 and am letting her rip for two hours. I will post when I am done.
Sorry to keep posting but I like to post the progress as it comes.

Ok so 1hr 4mins has past since I put the 2lbs from the second batch in. Keep in mind that the smoker was still warm from the first batch and was reading about 130 degrees when I put this new batch in. I used three good sized chunks of Cookshack hickory wood. This time instead of hanging the meat, I just laid it flat on three racks. I also cut the meat in half because they were such large pieces, so that I have double the amount of pieces. The temp seems to be staying at about 212 per the Amerique digital thermometer. I shined my flashlight in there and the jerky has a very nice red color to it, not the soggy brown color that it had with the first batch. I decided to sneak a piece out to see. I grabbed one of the really small pieces out and it had a very nice texture to it. It also smelled really good. I pulled it in half so that I could see the inside of it. It actually was not too bad. I decided it looked done enough to try a piece. It had awesome flavor, could definitely taste the smoke, and had a good consistency. I am actually considering taking it out in about another hour. Is it possible for it to be done in only 2-2.5 hours? I know QDogg's method says 5-7 hours so I am curious?

I don't even see a need to close the door. It seems to be coming out perfect just the way it is. I don't like my jerky very dry. I like it to still have some texture to it and be very pliable. I don't like it when it is ripping my teeth out just trying to tear some off.
I use only the QDogg method. I have found over the many batches that I don't need all of that time. I do 2 open 1 closed 1 open and about 1/2 - 1 hr closed. I will then open it and let it cool enough to handle. I use London Broil cut thick almost 1/3 inch. We all like it just as you do. So I get a really nice finished product. You will notice that in he freezing winter months you will need more time because the open door temps will not be able to climb as high, but just keep sampling till you get it to where u like it. Also, it does soften up a bit after cooling and placing it n a plastic bag overnight. The flavors intensify as the days go by as well. Good luck! Oh, I leave mine on the counter until its gone, but if you decide to only cook it in about half the time, you may need to refrigerate just to be safe.
Well, the more moisture it holds the quicker it can get moldy. I leave mine in for closer to 5 hrs most of the time, so I have never had that problem except for once, I had a couple pieces left that I forgot about and it started to grow mold in the bag even though it was open slightly. It depends on how long it takes you to eat it. Sometimes mine is gone in a few days, sometimes it lingers around for almost two weeks. all with out refrigeration. U have to be the judge of how long you wann leave it out. The fridge may dry it out a little more. depending on where you live, We have a lot of humidity in NJ in the summer. So my fridge would be a lot more dry. What it comes down to is how much moisture did u leave in it and ow long is it gonna sit before it gets consumed.
I usually take it out, pat it down, throw it in a zip lock back and then into the fridge. After it is cool, I split it up and vacuum seal it with my chamber vacuum sealer. I am in cali so no humidity here. I hated that when I lived in Georgia. It just seems like if I leave it in there for 5 hours that it is going to be way too dry. I don't know. I closed the door just to see. I am wondering if keeping the door closed for an hour will moisten it up? Oh and the meat I am using is only 1/4" thick.
1/4 inch may only need 4 hrs. You can adjust the open close cycles to your liking. Yes closing the door will moisten it up. Remember the cookshacks are very moist environments. Ge leaving it open parts is to dump the moisture while still drying it. I can't really say I know for sure. I just know it has always worked for me. Did try another method once, forgot which one, and I wasn't as happy with it. I don't mind the open and close becuz I am always around to tend to it.
Well thanks for all of the help guys..I can see that everyones results are going to be different due to living in different places, even people smokers working differently. I ended up letting mine go with the door closed for an hour, then opened it up for another 40 mins. So in total I let it go for 3 hours and 40 mins. I ruined the second batch too. It was just too long. I threw it in a ziplock and into the fridge to see if I can get it to moisten up a bit to salvage some of it. Letting it run that extra 1 hr 40 mins also changed the flavor a BUNCH. It still has flavor but I can't taste nearly the detail that I did at the 2 hours mark.

All I can say is that I will make another batch next week. From now on I am going to set the temp at 225 with the door open an inch and let her run for 2 hours. At that point I am going to pull it off. That is the done point for me.

I will also experiment once my dehydrator and Amazen tube get here and post those results.

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