Saturday, November 8, 2008

Recipe: Jerky

Making Jerky

Smoked jerky can be a surprisingly versatile snack and a great way to make use of your smoker. Depending on rubs and marinades (mostly the marinades) used, you can impart flavors such as sweet and sour, teriyaki, Hawaiian fruit, chipotle and smoke (obviously).

The basics are to set your smoker to 150 and prepare to keep it at the temperature for a long time. The aromatics that you use are important, but only for the first few hours. Cherry and other fairly mild fruit woods are recommended, as mesquite will often be too harsh for the meat.

Lean meats are needed for making jerky and even those should be trimmed as much as possible. Lean beef, bison and venison make the best jerky. After cutting the meat into ¼ inch strips, marinate it in your favorite flavor base for up to 24 hours.

The time for smoking will vary depending on the type of meat used and the humidity. A minimum of 12 hours would be a reasonable expectation and 24 hours isn’t unheard of. Like most new ventures, experimentation is the best guide.

There are plenty of excellent sources offering guidelines on the net. Check them out for suggestions on marinades, meat selection and smoking time frames.

Suggested Resources:

Derrick Riches, BBQ guru of

A site with numerous recipes

Venison Jerky resource:

If a 24 hour time investment in jerky isn’t your thing, the Home of BBQ will be reviewing a number of commercial Jerky’s in the upcoming weeks. All will be available via mail order