Pepper Jerky with TQ – First Jerky

This first jerky was ok but needed more spice and cut so not so chewy.

October 15, 2016 –  First time I made Jerky.

5:00 PM – Lean beef “London Broil” 1 lb. 7 ozs. Sliced the meat to 1/4″ to 3/8″ thickness
Mixed all ingredients and placed meat in a Ziploc bag.  Massaged to mix and into refer for 18.5 hours. See note below as the target per SQWIB is 24 hours.This spice quantity is for 1 lb.

  • 1 Tbl. Worcestershire
  • ¼ cup Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tbl. Dark Rum (SQWIB called for Captain Morgan)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbl coarse grind black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp Morton® Tender Quick® per pound of meat. Added 2 tsp plus a half of the 1 tsp measure more.

NOTE – As I had 50% more meat if it seems not a flavorful as desired then I should have increased the spices along with the TQ.

6:00 AM & 9:00 – Massaged the bag

Ready to Smoke

Ready to Smoke

11:30 AM –

Drained in colander for maybe 15 minutes then laid out on baking sheet and put under ceiling fan to dry. Did not blot them per some recipes as wanted the marinade/cure to remain as I am not leaving it in for 24 hours. If did that would put us too late when they would be done. This is a small batch and will be eaten and kept in the refer and besides the cure should have gotten all the way through on the majority of the strips anyway.

1:30 PM – Used heavy bamboo skewers and hung the strips from the top grate of the MES over an alum pan. MES set on 120 to dry them some for an hour.


Cured and Ready for the Smoke

2:30 – Lit tray with Trafalger hickory pellets and raise MES to 150 for a 160 target. When tray was lit well and placed it inside the MES was climbing past 160 and coasted up to 172. Reset MES to 160. NOTE: This is the first time I had nuked the pellets for 2+2 minutes AND pulled chip loader out until chip holder part of the tube was outside so there was even more space for air to enter. Had a lot more smoke and more air speed leaving the top vent.

NOTE – At 3:10 the MES has cooled down to 158 and heated back up to 160 and turned off–it has stabilized. The two ChefAlarm probes are clipped on the bottom of the top grate, on either side, where the strips are hanging from the bamboo skewers. One reads 145 and the other 147. There is less smoke than at the start–more like the past–but there is still more air flow.

3:30 – Set MES at 180.


Smoked for 4 hours

NOTE: at 4:10 the MES is reading 10-14 degrees higher than the two probes mounted to the bottom of the top grate.

4:30 – Cut off the lower half of a strip in the center of the group and it was too moist and not like jerky. Raised MES to 210 after watching it coast up to 208 BUT the two grate probes were still only reading 193-195. Again, they are 15 degrees lower than the MES. That is why the meat is not as far along as it was for the poster whose process I am following as it sounded right. Will leave it at this setting for a 4th hour.

5:00 – Grate temps are 204 and 205 with the MES set at 210 but reading 218.

5:30 – Grate temps are still around 205 so pulled it and called it done. Outside is dry like jerky we had in Louisiana. Chewy but not tough. Pepper is there but not overwhelming. All in all it is good but makes me want to try a teriyaki recipe.

NEXT TIME – Cut so the meat fibers are short. Needed more spice and should try one of the teriyaki recipes. Don’t think the cure was forth the trouble.

Extracts I used as reference for this cook.

From post response here by SQWIB. He points out: I use 1.5 teaspoon of Morton® Tender Quick® to each 1 lb of ground or thin sliced meat 1/4″. Morton® Tender Quick®suggests 1 tablespoon per/lb for thin sliced meat 1/2″, but their curing process is for a dry cure and for 1 hour which is different than what is outlined here.

See SQWIB’s great post here with advice and many photos.

“Had the MES on 120 when the meat was added and held that for the first hour to dry the meat. Got the AMNPS going with Pitmaster Blend during this time. Starting the 2nd hour bumped the MES to 160 and put the AMNPS into the MES. Starting the 3rd hour bumped the MES to 200. At the end of 3 hours tested a piece after short cool down and texture was just what I wanted. Nice firm not tuff or stringy chew and lots of good smoke flavor. Pulled the remaining pieces out and let them cool out before bagging.”

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