2120: pre-ferment done, by weight, except 2 Tbsp starter (40g).
For the jerky marinade, I followed the original foodie recipe but skipped the brown sugar (we were out), and subbed coconut aminos for soy sauce, left out liquid smoke, used regular paprika, and added slightly more cayenne then called for. I sliced the 2.5 lbs of top round with the grain mostly.
9:50: meat is in marinade.
0815, next day: I added the remainder of an old packet of regular yeast to the sourdough, about 5g. Then the rest of the ingredients.
1115: sourdough has already expanded so much, it’s time for the pan.
This is great! So nice and big. It is significantly less sourdough tasting, though. That’s a big down side. Next time I should try only a gram of the industrial yeast.
1040, next day: that was a long marinade period, but the jerky is on the smoker now at 175.
Alright, time for more beef jerky. This time I found top round roast for $3.99 per pound. I’m using the same recipe as last time, but it’s 3.5 lbs so I multiplied the marinade by about 1.5. I sliced the meat more along the grain than last time, and also slightly thicker.
1530: Meat is in the marinade.
1020 Sunday: Meat is on the smoker, 175℉, vents half open this time cause why not, that’s what I normally do.
1430: I took all but the fatty pieces of jerky off, leaving those on with temperature increased to 225℉. They were glistening still, and I’d like them to dry out more before taking them off. I’m skeptical about the slightly thicker cuts. They’re definitely done, but will they stay good to eat as long as the thinner stuff did… Did they get dessicated enough to last? Some of the chunks are very much like smoked beef… We’ll see as time passes and I start to eat it… I’m thinking I’ll leave the fatty stuff for another hour.
1540: looks done enough… Taking off the last of it.
Fatty parts got much drier, but still not like the other pieces. I think next time I should start by cutting off all fat. This time I would’ve had to start by slicing the meat along the thin internal fat layer it had, then peeling of that fat. It would’ve left one thin layer of meat and one thick, but that would’ve been ok.
My brother-in-law gave me a taste of some of his homemade beef jerky a couple weekends ago, and it was fantastic! Apparently it was also easy to make. Easy, delicious, I’m gonna try it! He used a dehydrator, but I plan to use a smoker to keep my wife’s dehydrator from getting strong flavors stuck in it.
I got a 2.5 lbs bottom round steak, sliced it thin, then started it in the marinade below at 2130. I plan to marinade for over 12 hours, then smoke the slices at 175℉ for 4 hours or so.
I intended to use 1 Tbsp of paprika as in the recipe, and purposely left out the brown sugar for the first time.
1450: I dried the meat slices on paper towel, then put it on the smoker. The smoke holes are fully open to increase air flow and aid drying (not sure if this will really make a difference), the water pan is not even in the smoker, and the wood is hickory.
I’ll keep hickory in there for the first two hours, at least, then I suspect the meat will be as smoky as it can get. After that, I’m using the smoker like a low temperature oven.
That’s really why this method should be comprable to the recipe’s oven method. This is an electric smoker, and it can maintain temperatures up to 275℉, so 175℉ will not be a problem. Plus, the exhaust goes directly outside, so the house doesn’t smell like Worcestershire sauce for a week.
The meat took up all the smoker rack space except half of the bottom one. I’m pretty happy with how thin I got it.
1900: jerky is done! Final weight is only 11 oz! It is down to 27% of original weight.
I’ll freeze half.
The result should cost $1.59 per ounce, just in meat cost, since the original meat was $7 per pound. Normally jerky is $2.50 per ounce. While $1 per ounce is a good mark-up (and of course they aren’t buying their meat from the supermarket), it’s not preposterous. Meat seriously shrinks from water loss.
Changes for next time – maybe more flavorful if possible. Less spicy for sure (this is probably too spicy for Sarah). More spices though, and maybe a little salt. Same thickness cut I think – as thin as I could get it with the knife while being consistent.