Perfect Jerky Weather

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Chief Longwind Of The North

Aug 26, 2004
I got the marinade going yesterday morning, the inside round cut into strips and put into the marindade shortly thereafter. Today, seven charcoal briquettes were ignited, topped with several half-inch thick sticks of sugar maple. and the jerky is cooking.

I like this weather because it makes it easier to control the internal heat of the Webber covered kettle. That is, I can allow more air to flow through the barbecue without raising the internal temperature too much. This allows a more even fire, with less chance of it going out from too little air, while the black surface radiates more of the heat out of the inside, and the incomming colder air helps moderate the temperature.

In other words, I get dried jerky instead of cooked jerky. I can make the good stuff in the summer, but it's more labor intensive. Although I love the Webber, If I had the money, I believe I could design a better barbecue for general purpose and smokiing. The Webber, as good as it is, has limitations. I do like it for smoking turkeys though. They come out with incredible flavor and color, and are sooooo juicy. But today is Beef Jerky day, a little overcast, about 38 degrees, lots of cool air. Just right. If it weren't Sunday, and I had a hunting license, today would have been a great day to be out in the woods. I also love camping during this time of year. No tourists, the air is crisp with the smell of fallen leaves, and the wildlife is active. This is the land I was born in, and the land I love. :D :D :D

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
Goodweed! I would never have thought of using the Weber Kettle for making jerky. How long does it take?
Takes about five hours because I like to dry my jerky, with just a bit of heat. I use lots of maple, birch, or apple, for a good smoky flavor. I just put about 5 charcoal briquettes heaped on one side of the fire grate and let get very hot. While the fire is getting started, I break up the sticks into suitable lengths. I lay the meat strips onto one side of the grill grate, no closer than an inch from the center. When the coals are hot, I pay the wood thickly over the top and put the grill grate on, with the meat on the cold side. Fully open bottom dampers, and the top danpers to the half open position. Cover and check every hour and add charcoal and wood as necessary to keep the smoke going. It really comes out good. Just make sure the meat isn't too thin. You want chewy, not dry and crunchy.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
Goodweed, I've wanted to smoke meats for as long as I can remember and after reading one after another of your methods with your Webber kettle, I'm beginning to believe that it will achieve anything I want it to do!

This jerky just sounds wonderful. It's a great snack to have around and I particularly would prefer to make my own, sans a lot of the necessities that commercial makers throw in to keep it on the shelves forever. Obviously, the Weber performs admirably at this. Would you further recommend it for smoking pork shoulders and the like? If so, it just went on my very short Christmas List!
Absolutely. You only need to learn how to build the proper fire for what you are cooking. And a shoulder would cook admirabley on the Weber. But remember, it is relatively small and so needs wathching to assure that you have the proper heat, and enough smoke. But it doesn't cost thousands, or even hundreds of dallars and will give you great relults. Send me your email and I'll send you some pictures.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
Glad you posted your technique. Had I guessed, I would have closed down the bottom damper to half way and left the top fully open.
The bottom dampers are much larger than are the top ones. By closing down the top dampers, I'm choking the air flow while capturing the smoke, allowing maximum deposition of smoke particles onto and into the meat.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
Goodweed, I have done turkey and pork in my weber and love it. I would like to try smoking jerky also. How thick do you cut the meat and what is a good marinade? Thanks for the webber idea for jerky.
Thikness - like thick bacon, about 1/16th of an inch.

Marinaide - can't give you measurements because I make this by taste and don't meassure. But I can give you an idea and you can add a bit, taste, add something else, taste, etc. Plus, there are a thousand different marinaides you can use for jerky. But here's my favorite:

Kikoman Lite Soy Sauce - about 1/3 cup
brown sugar, or Slenda and mollases - about 1/4 cup
onion powder - about a tsp.
garlic powder - about 1/2 tsp.
A1 Steak Sauce - about two tbs.
Lee & Perrin's Worcestershire Sauce - about two tbs.
1/2 tsp. prepared mustard
1/8 tsp. Mesquite flavored liquid smoke
Maple/apple/birch hardwood chunks
1 tbs. lime juice (optional)
3/4 cup water.

The marinade should be sweet, but with a distinct pepper flavor, and you should be able to discern the soy sauce. The mustard will ballance the sweetness. The A1 and Worcestershire sauces will add a subtle bite of tamarind and hot pepper flavor.

If you decrease the sugar, add pineapple juice and more soy sauce, with a bit of ginger thrown in, and omit the A1 sauce, you have more of a Teriyaki flavor.

You have to experiment a bit. I find that If I take a bit of the meat, and about a quarter cup of the marinade, throw it in a small sauce pot and cook it until the meat is done, I get a pretty good approximation of the cooked flavor, not the texture of course. Then I can adjust as needed.

Hope this helps.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

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