How to Make Smoked Beef Jerky

Rate this post

Dry protein is not usually the intended output in low and slow BBQ, unless you’re preparing jerky!

I’ll teach you a couple of different techniques for making flavorful, delectable beef jerky that isn’t too chewy or tough.

I’ll also go through how to choose your protein, how to slice it correctly to avoid tough jerky, and how to make the ideal marinade for traditional beef jerky.

Everyone will want to try it after you’ve prepared it (and you’ll never want to consume Jack Links jerky again).

Beef Jerky 101

How to Make Smoked Beef Jerky

Curing meat is an ancient way of preserving meat that dates back millennia. and drying

Jerky, in particular, originates from the Quechua tribe of South America, which was formerly part of the old Inca empire.

The term comes from the Japanese word charki, which meaning “to burn.” We won’t be burning any meat today, but we will be utilizing comparable ways to dry it.

The smoker is the ideal technique for me to produce beef jerky, but I have a contemporary touch that makes the procedure a bit simpler.

This jerky is not only delicious as a snack, but it also makes an excellent DIY gift.

What kind of meat do you use to make jerky?

Jerky is traditionally prepared from beef, but I’ve experimented with several meats, including more unusual versions such as elk jerky, deer jerky, and good old Aussie kangaroo jerky!

I’ve had success with a variety of meats, as well as those that have been hit or miss (crocodile jerky, anyone? ), but feel free to explore and share your successes in the comments area below.

The essential thing to know is that your piece of meat must be extremely lean, which is why kangaroo and venison are excellent choices for jerky.

I advocate utilizing an affordable topside (or Round cut) while producing beef jerky.

You could use filet, but if you’re spending that much money on jerky, you could also have your butlers hand feed you caviar.

So why is a lean cut preferable to, example, a Wagyu MB9 brisket or New York Strip?

Isn’t it true that fat = flavor? That’s what I’ve always heard.

Because fat does not dry correctly, your final product might rapidly become rancid. You also don’t want greasy, chewy chunks of fat running through your jerky.

The best temperature to smoke beef jerky at

The recommended temperature for smoking beef jerky is between 160 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. This permits the meat to dehydrate while remaining uncooked. You can go up to 200F and be OK, but any higher and you risk drying out your jerky.

Making your own beef jerky

I’ll go through my whole procedure for smoking my own beef jerky. There is much dispute about whether it is best to smoke or dehydrate jerky.

I like to do both!

I start the procedure in the smoker to add flavor, and then finish it in the dehydrator. If you don’t have a smoker, you can do it everything in the oven.

What you will need

  • A smoker or BBQ capable of low and slow BBQ
  • A dehydrator (optional, but makes it much less hands-on)
  • A large plastic bowl
  • Smoking wood cherry, pecan or oak are all good
  • A sharp knife
  • Ingredients for marinade
  • Selected protein

Making your beef jerky marinade

You should make your marinade the night before you want to make your beef jerky. Marinating overnight gives the best possible result.

For beef (or other lean red meat), combine the following ingredients in a big plastic bowl. It is critical not to use a metal bowl since the acids in the marinade might react and destroy your meat. The proportions shown are for about 2.5 pounds of beef round.

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Preparing your beef

Most essential, you should cut your protein against the grain. This will guarantee that your finished jerky has a pleasant bite without being too harsh.

That’s the thing with jerky; when done correctly, it should be a little mushy and have some give when you bite into it.

You don’t want to be yanking on it with your teeth like an extremely chewy toffee. If you slice across the grain, you’ll get stringy, tough, and chewy jerky.

While it will still taste delicious, it will be a major jaw exercise for you!

3 broad and almost half as thick. That is, the grain should go across the broadest area of the slice from left to right (or right to left).I prefer to cut my jerky into 1 inch slices.

Once all of your protein has been cut, combine it in a plastic dish with your prepared marinade, cover with cling wrap, and keep in the fridge overnight.

Smoking your beef jerky

You’ll want to set your smoker to low heat for this. You don’t want to boil the meat; instead, the smoking process dehydrates it and removes all the moisture.

If you smoke at too high a temperature, the meat will be cooked and burned. If the temperature is too low, you will not be able to adequately remove the moisture. Unless you want to keep an eye on your smoker for three days. I prefer to strive for temperatures between 140 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Because some smokers have difficulty reaching these low temperatures, electric smokers are popular among home jerky manufacturers.

I prepare jerky using two processes, both of which take a long time but one of which is quite hands-off. Either approach yields really delicious jerky.

Seriously, the first time I made jerky, I was blown away by how much better it tasted than store-bought. I also like store-bought

Use a smoker and dehydrator

Dehydrators are quite inexpensive to purchase these days, and they aren’t simply a one-trick pony.

That is to say, you will not just use it for jerky, however even if that is all you use it for, it is still worthwhile!

I use my dehydrator to make fruit snacks for my kids or to deceive myself into eating healthy snacks on rare occasions. I’ll dehydrate some kiwi or banana for an energy-boosting snack.

But let’s go back to why we’re here: tasty jerky!

I prefer to set my smoker to an extremely low temperature of 160F. This low temperature may be difficult to manage on certain smokers, particularly offsets, so it’s OK if you creep up to 200F or so.

Try to keep it as low as possible, but don’t worry if you go a little over; you’ll still make nicer jerky than you can purchase at Walmart.

Remove your marinated meat from the refrigerator, and here’s a tip: use wire cooling racks to arrange your strips of meat. This makes it easy to get into and out of your smoker in large quantities, and it also allows you to stack numerous racks on top of each other if you’re cooking large quantities, which you should be.

Lay out all of your marinated pork strips on your cooling rack, taking care not to let them contact, and then smoke using your choice smoking wood. I’ve had tremendous success with oak, hickory, and pecan woods, as well as Ironbark, an Australian hardwood akin to oak.

I prefer to let the protein a couple of hours to take on a good smoke before putting it into the dehydrator at 160F for around 5-6 hours.

You may leave it in for longer if desired, but I like the texture at this point.

If you don’t have a dehydrator, just keep it in your smoker for the whole time, but use charcoal lump or briquettes for a cleaner burn rather than wood, as I’ve discovered there is such a thing as TOO smokey. I know, insane, right?

Allow to cool before storing in a sealed container in the fridge or vacseal and store in a cold area.

Enjoy with a drink or two while watching football, or if you’re foolish, take to work and spend the following weekend preparing jerky for all your coworkers who now want to put orders for jerky!! You can probably tell which camp I belong to!

Cheers, mate.


How to make beef jerky in a smoker?

Simply heat the smoker to 200°F and place the strips on the grill grates. Smoke for 3-5 hours, or until done. Beef jerky cooks more quicker in a pellet smoker than in an electric smoker. Begin checking about 3 o’clock.If you’re using a pellet smoker,

How long does it take to smoke jerky?

Smoke for 2-3 hours, or until the meat is firm. Put it back in the smoker and inspect it again if it’s floppy or limp. Cooking time varies depending on the weather and the thickness of the meat pieces. Check for completion at the 2-hour mark, then every hour and more often as it approaches completion.

Is it better to smoke or dehydrate beef jerky?

Jerky beef is as American as apple pie. However, most people are unaware that there is a better technique to produce jerky than dried meat: the greatest beef jerky is expertly smoked.

What kind of smoke do you use for beef jerky?

Hickory is the greatest smoking wood for jerky. Some barbecue enthusiasts like the mild and sweet flavors that apple and cherry bring to smoked meats, although hickory pairs well with beef. It’s why we advocate matching it with other beef cuts like brisket or tri-tip, and the same goes for these dried beef strips.

Do you put water in smoker when making jerky?

You don’t want to add any extra moisture to the meat’s surface. However, if you used a dry rub to season the pork strips without adding any liquid, add a little water or other liquid of choice to the pan during the first 1 to 2 hours of smoking.

Do you need curing salt for smoked jerky?

While using curing salt while creating jerky is not required, it does provide a number of advantages. Correctly applying curing salt reduces the possibility of hazardous germs developing on meat and guarantees a safer curing procedure. It also enhances the flavor, color, and shelf life.

Can you just smoke jerky?

Jerky may be created in a smoker, oven, food dehydrator, or even by just leaving it out in the sun. The advantage of smoking jerky is that it produces a delicious smokey taste that you can’t obtain any other way.

How do you know when smoked jerky is done?

Jerky should be able to bend but not shatter. The “bend test” is the most crucial criterion for determining if jerky is ready. Bend the same test piece in half (preferably, near to room temperature) to evaluate its flexibility. Jerky should bend and finally break, but it should not snap off.

Is homemade smoked jerky healthy?

Beef jerky is abundant in protein and several vitamins and minerals, such as zinc, iron, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and folate. It also has a lengthy shelf life and is portable, making it an excellent alternative for on-the-go.

What cut of meat is best for smoked jerky?

You can create soft, tasty beef jerky from a number of types of cattle. While top round, bottom round, pectoral, and lifter are the most often used cuts for jerky, flank and skirt steak may also be used. These beef cuts are all lean, inexpensive, and flavorful.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *