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  • Re: Beef Jerky?

    OK, so having done about 1000 lbs of jerky, I feel I'm qualified to jump in here.[p]If this is your first time, I would suggest using the Hi Mountain Jerky kits you will find in your local grocery store, or sports shop (caballas, Gander Mountain, Bass pro shop, etc) one kit is about 7 bucks and makes about 25lbs of Jerky. The reason I say this is because there is a little more science in making jerky than just adding some flavors and cooking/drying it and keeping it.[p]Personally, I use my own recipes. I use a variety of wet and dry cures and recipes. However, one thing you need to be careful of is to use a cure. 'Use the Cure, Luke!' Curing the meat will cut down on any bacteria that forms when smoking at low temps. The Hi-mountain kit has the cure in it, just follow the directions. Be sure to cure it![p]OK, off the curing soapbox for now. Flavours are up to you, but I stick with himountain hickory blend, peper blend or original. Everyone likes these, and they taste real good. Just be sure you get comfortable with making jerky and get the cooking/drying procedure the way you want it before you go to the exotic flavors, otherwise you might blame the flavor for not turning out the way you like it. [p]Jerky should be dried rather than cooked. If you smoke at too high of temps, you'll get cooked flavored beef. THe texture is not right, and it tastes cooked. (very easy to do on the BGE I might add) So, the drying environment needs to be below 170 degrees, preferably 158 degrees. This will allow a good drying and a leather like consistency. Good jerky will bend rather than break when bent against the grain. for the BGE, I would use an indirect method, and as low of a temp as you can get. use the plate setter, and a screen above it. One tip, is to let the jerky dry just a tad before applying smoke.[p]Types of meat. there are a whole bunch of different opinions here. Flank Steak is my favorite, but way too expensive. Brisket, sliced with the grain is very good too. But I usually buy standing rump roasts when they go on sale. it is about 250/lb and I can buy about 10 lbs to yield 4-5 lbs of jerky. Be sure to slice off all the fat, and you'll find that this is a nice lean piece of meat to use. I like to stick it in the freezer for 90 mins or so before slicing, makes it easier. [p]THen add the cure and seasonings, let it sit in a ziplock bag 8-24 hours (I usually prepare my jerky the day before) Why the ziplock? keeps the juices from running out and the referigerator from smelling like jerky. You can use a bowl with a lid too if you wnat, just make sure that you don't cure in a metalic bowl. The salt solution will create a batery and you have a metalic tasting jerky.[p]Now smoke it up. there is not a lot of real estate on the grill, so I suggest a step up grill, two layers is good, but if you can get more, good on ya. You'll only have room to do about a pound at a time if that. slow is the best. dry rather than cook. The slowest you can still keep the fire the best.[p]Here is a tip you can use to tell if you have the right consistency. place a cooling rack on a half sheet cake pan, and put some cured beef on that. place it in your oven at the lowest possible setting (mine is 170). It will take 6-10 hours depending on thickness and amount of meat to dry. you see it go from a red meet color to a grey color, and finally to a deep red almost translucent color, leathery and bendable and tastes good.[p]remember to cure. This will give you the consistency you are after, and prolong the shelf life, and keep you safe.

  • Turkey - continuing my own eggfest

    not too long ago, I Grampas Grub posted a swell looking turkey (insert stomach growling sounds here) he said it was a little bit dry tasting, where upon I asked him if he ever did an injected turkey.[p]Turkey was on sale this last week, and I did one on Sunday. Here is how it went.[p]Thaw your turkey in the fridge, takes about 3 days. then rinse it out, take out all the giblets and neck and other stuff you might find in there. then pull out all of the excess fat you see. Then, select your injection weapon of choice. Today, I used Cajun Injector Hot butter, about 8 oz's. (wasn't sure how hot it was, so I cut it back a bit) I normally use Creole Butter flavor, and use about 12 ozs.
    DSC01599.jpg[p]then, inject about 2 oz in to each breast, thigh, about 1/2 oz into each leg, and a little into the wings. Then sprinkle some S&P or your rub of choice inside then stuff the cavity with a half an onion (cut into a couple of pieces) some sage leaves, some thyme, and a carrot
    DSC01600.jpg[p]Then rub all over with your favorite rub, I used Rudy's Turkey Rub. Oh, and tuck the wings under the turkey so the tips don't burn.
    DSC01602.jpg[p]Now, start your fire and get to 350 degrees dome temp.
    DSC01606.jpg[p]I use the Rutland fire starter squares that are just like the BGE squares, break it in two. 10 mins later, I'm ready to cook. cost about 6.9 cents a light. (topic for another discussion)
    Yes, my fire box is cracked. have a new one in the garage, but for now, nothin wrong with this one.[p]now select a hunk of wood ( I got a hunk of cherry here. no need to soak in water, the dome keeps flamage down and it will add some nice smoke. turns the turkey a red color. get dome to 350 degrees
    DSC01607.jpg[p]Set up for indirect cook. plate setter feet up, then a drip pan, then your grate. when you get this set up, put the hunk of wood in your fire, then the turkey on the grate centered over the pan.
    DSC01608.jpg[p]now, insert your temperature probe and wait til 160 degrees. you can baste if you like, but with the dome it is not needed. also, you can put some liquid in the pan, (wine, beer, water, apple will boil away)
    DSC01610.jpg[p][p]when the temp probe reaches 160 (162 in this case) take the turkey out, tent it with foil for about 10 minutes or so, while you get the rest of the dinner ready to eat.
    DSC01611.jpg[p][p]then cut it up and enjoy![p]No secret here, just good turkey, and very moist. even better for sandwiches the next day. This was about a 13 lb turkey. I've done up to 16 lbs in the egg.
    DSC01612.jpg[p][p]Have fun and enjoy![p]M

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