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First time for jerky

Banker JohnBanker John Posts: 583
edited 11:52AM in EggHead Forum
Hi All,[p]I am attempting jerky for the first time in my egg. I have made it in a dehydrator I own many, many times.[p]I am trying something different though. One of my clients owns a butcher shop and I was talking with him earlier in the week about my egg and how versatile it is. We got on the subject of jerky and decided together to make a batch.[p]I had him make up 6.44# of jerky. He ground the beef and then added the jerky seasoning and cure. Ran it through a mixer of some sort to evenly distribute the seasoning & cure. Lastly, he made a rope of sausage from the ground jerky. I then made links by twisting every 4-5 inches and the end product is jerky pieces about as big around as a hot dog.[p]On the way to the butcher shop in Dunellon this morning, Megan (my 3 year old) and I stopped at a house in the neighborhood and picked about a 1/2 five gallon bucket full of hickory nuts from a tree.[p]The egg is fired to 180 and there are about 13 hickory nuts sending a very aromatic scent through the neighborhood. I put the jerky on at about 12:30.[p]This is a test batch to see if using the egg and links of jerky work well; to see if the temp is correct; to see how much I can put on my medium (note to self: next time limit to 5.75#); to test the flavor the butcher used.[p]If all goes well and I have good results, I can then tweak the seasonings and smoke to get it "just right".[p]At what temp should I realistically be cooking the jerky? To get it all on, my set up is firebox with firering removed. Inverted platesetter on firebox with a small pan of water. On the plate setter is a flat grid filled with jerky links and a second raised grid using 4" bolts that is at opening level and also covered with links. There is just a little too many links and I might have an issue with heat/smoke/air flow between the links since they are packed on the grids pretty tight.[p]It is days like today I wish I had a large BGE, or even the really really big K (#9) like djm5x9 has. If this eggsperiment turns out well, I may just have to invest in the absolute largest ceramic I can find. To those of you who have made jerky in the past know that 10#'s of good jerly does not last long with all the vulture friends and family we all have! LOL[p]It's a Miller Saturday. Any ideas on how long this might take? I'm hoping not longer than 6-7 hours. I started it at 12:30. How do I tell when the links are done? I know how to tell with strips of meat from my dehydrator days.[p]Banker John


  • MemphisMemphis Posts: 144
    banker john,
    It sounds more like jerky sausage - jerky is usually a result of removing all or most of the moisture to dry and preserve - will this work with the thickness of your product ??

  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    banker john, Did your meat cutter put the ground meat/seasoned mixture in casings? I would almost think he had to roll and twist. Just curious as to well this will turn out.
    What kind of seasonings, I think I going to try a small batch with High Mountain.
    I think it will be done in about 3 hours at the most at 180, the rest of the time should be for drying out.
    Let us know. [p]CWM

  • Car Wash Mike,
    I think you can just stuff the casing like sausage. Isn't this what a slim jim is? (Round jerky sticks?) I went to some jerky making supply house and they had a jerky injector that looked sorta like a caulking gun.[p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • Car Wash Mike,
    Here's a link:[p]TNW

    [ul][li]Jerky Shooter[/ul]
    The Naked Whiz
  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    The Naked Whiz, I kinda thought that is what he did. I like tough, chewy, and spicy jerky. I'd be curious to see how the texture comes out.[p]CWM
  • Car Wash Mike,
    Yes, he did put it in casings. I'm now a little better than 3 hours into it. I have had difficulties with the indirect set up; the inverted plate setter resting on the fire ring did not leave enough room for proper air flow and I was getting one real hot spot and the rest was very cool.[p]I changed the set up back to a direct heat set up replacing the fire ring and bottom grid on the fire ring and a second raised grid 4" above.[p]The meat does appear well cooked. The skins are really starting to sweat and dry out. TNW mentioned like a slim jim. Yes, this is the same thought, but a thicker tube.[p]I am starting to get some shrinkage now and this is helping with space. I oput too much on in the beginning and the links were all touching and little room for air flow between.[p]As for the seasoning, I have no idea. I just asked for jerky and he mixed it all up for me. I took a leap of faith and figured "Heck, he is a professional meat guy. He should know what will work." My only request was to not make it too spicy hot and that I wanted a cure in the mix. He assured me that there was a cure in it and it should not be too spicy.[p]I did take one of the links and cooked it on the stove in a skillet with beer (#5 - gotta have the wife make a run soon) and then removed the beer, sliced & browned it to taste the end product. Just the right amount of saltiness and pepper with a hint of spicy after flavor but not the jalepeno & vinegar that I do not like.[p]So far, so good. The egg is chugging along at 192. The bottom layer is getting good and browned but the top grid level has not begun to brown. I can tell that the next time I do this, I should start at 7am instead of 12:30/lunchtime.[p]Will post more later. Thanks for the insight.

  • Memphis,
    Good question. This is a test, so we'll see. So far, the casings are sweating and have already began to reduce in diameter. The whole inside of the egg is drippy wet. I have never experienced this before, even on long 15 hour pulled pork cooks.[p]With all the moisture present, after I finish, I will crank her up to about 350 for an hour or so to dry it out real good before letting it cool. I'm not to fond of the green hair growths, if you know what I mean
    Banker JOhn

  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    banker john, Well, my biggest question is, How the Hell do you get your wife to make a beer run?
    We have a Chiefs game tonight so the brew is starting to flow freely here also.[p]CWM[p]Texture is what I'm most interested in.

  • Car Wash Mike,
    I just had to try a bite to see how it was doing. It is currently very moist inside. I ate the most browned skin one. The skin is starting to toughen up but the insides are still real most, kinda like a good Bratwurst (sp?). [p]"How do I get the wife to make a beer run?" Well, I am supposed to be replacing a 48" shop lite in the laundry room. (Supposed to). I haven't gone to Home Dep yet and now that is getting later in the day, and a beer run is necessary, she can cheauffer me to Home Dep and on the way home, I can let her know that if she stops at the gas station, I will fill her tank for her and she won't have to get out of the car. Once inside to pay, I can pick up another 12 pack.[p]So far, the jury is out on whether the eggsperiment will necessitate a second try. The dehydrator cooks so even.[p]Banker John.

  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    <p />banker john,
    Well, that is my strategy also. I'm really curious about the outcome.
    Headed out to 1 Arrowhead Drive to watch Randy Moss make toast out of our secondary.
    I wonder if Juggy pulled double duty today?[p]CWM

  • banker john,
    I'm now almost 7 hours into it. THe links are beginning to look more like Hillshire Farms "Little Smokies" at this point.[p]I took one off to let it cool a bit and then ate it. Boy, would these make great ABT meat fillers! They are very tender and still very juicy. They need to cook several more hours. We are headed out to dinner now. When we return, I will reload with lump, rotate the top & bottom grids and wake up to finished jerky. [p]Banker John

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