Homemade Smoked Jerky

One of the better smoked foods you can make yourself is smoked jerky.  While it can be a bit time consuming, the end results will exceed your expectations.  You would have to look long and hard to find a commercial jerky that could compete with your own homemade.

I started with two beef bottom round roasts weighing 4.1 and 5.62 pounds for a total of 9.73 pounds.  You’ll notice that these two roasts are frozen because I freeze them prior to slicing, so the slices stay clean and even.  Luckily, we had normal MN winter weather here at -10 degrees, so I placed them outside for 4 hours until they stiffened a bit.

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The roasts are ready and I’ll be using my Chef’s Choice Model 667 to slice the roasts into nice 7MM (.284) slices.

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There we go!  Nearly 10 pounds of beef sliced and ready for trimming.  We want to trim off all the excess fat before we apply the cure and dry rub.

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Using a good sharp boning knife, I find it takes me about 5 minutes to trim the entire 10 pounds.

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Here are the two piles of meat.  The trimmed beef and trimmings.  I’ll save the trimmings and add them to my next batch of all beef franks or bologna.

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We have 1 3/4 pound of trimmings.. Which leaves us with ~8 pounds of pure meat prior to adding the cure and dry rub.

Next, we need to apply the cure and dry rub to both sides of the meat.  Take care to apply very evenly.

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Once you have applied the dry rub and cure to all the meat, place in ziplock bags and place in the refrigerator overnight.

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The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and place on racks in your smoker.  I’m smoking this batch using one half pecan and one half peach.  The pecan adds a nice depth of flavor while the sweetness of peach compliments the spiciness of the rub and the depth of the pecan.  I smoke the batch @ 140 degrees and it will take 6-7 hours before the jerky reaches the texture I want.

Once the jerky is done, it’ll show some rendered fat on the surface and be translucent, but still tender.  Do not cook until dry….  once the jerky is translucent, it’s done!   I dare you to  not sample it at this point! Notice on the bottom rack that you can see the grid rails through the meat.

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This batch is now completed and ready for final processing.

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One final picture of the completed Jerky.

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Notice, we have a final weight of 4 pounds 1 5/8 ounces… Ok.. might be a bit more, but seem to have a lost a couple pieces during the last few minutes…. Too many onlookers… and my pup…..but only lost about 2 ounces.

  • Starting weight  8.75 pounds
  • Trim                     -1.75 pounds
  • Cure and Rub           .5 pounds
  • Into the smoker   7.5 pounds
  • Final Weight     ~4.24 pounds
  • Roasts                               $28.97
  • Pellets                               $  1.80
  • Cure and Rub                    $ 3.50
  • Total                                   $34.27
  • Cost per Pound                $  8.06

I didn’t factor in the electricity, but it would only be a few cents. This will be some of the finest jerky you’ve ever eaten!!!

Happy Smoking!

Dave Naas

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