I make Jerky 5 or 6 times a year. Secret ingredient for my brine is a mix of red wine (cab) and Burbon. Cure for 12 to 24 hours.
I use a dry (not BBQ) smoker with a cooking temp circa 95F. I want smoke cured jerky, not cooked (140F).
Be sure that you let the meat dry for several hours. It should be dry to the touch (don't remember techno term).
I smoke the meat with cherry or apple wood for upwards of 24 hours then let is rest for 2 to 3 days in the fridge (keeps the dog away).
While I know people use liquid smoke and either ovens or dehydrators (SP?), I find there is no substitute for using a real smoker. I have the largest Little Chief brand smoker ($75). Also like to smoke ribs for a few hours then finish them on BBQ....
thanks everyone for the tips. i agree about the temperature. 145 degrees did give the meat a "cooked" taste i'm not used to in jerky, but it was still good.
hmmm, the wine brine sounds good. i will be making some more jerky from thicker slices tonight, along with pineapple slices. i'll post my next results...
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