Beef Jerky Experiment

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Brewtrog
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Beef Jerky Experiment

Post: #289720 Brewtrog
Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:00 pm

I bought a Pro-Q eco smoker a few years back (absolutely wonderful investment, home smoked cheese is so much better (and cheaper) than shop bought stuff), and have been meaning to use it to make some jerky for a while (we'll ignore the one attempt I made).
A quick read of my smoking book says that beef needs to loose 25% weight (through water loss) to be safe, sadly they don't give a proper recipe for jerky. So the recipe I came up with was
25g salt
25g golden caster sugar (it was what we had in)
1g cayenne pepper
1g celery salt
1g cumin
1g dried marjoram
1/2 tbsp paprika (only measuring spoons I could find, hence everything else being by weight)
673g Lidl cheap frying steak (weight after visible fat removed) batted thin and sliced into maybe inch thick strips

Once everything was thoroughly cleaned and sterilised i layered the beef and cure in a tub (ended up needing an extra tbsp of salt and sugar to cover the beef). Plan is to leave it in the cure till tomorrow evening then smoke it overnight. If it hasn't lost enough weight I'll dry either outside or in the oven (depending on weather on Friday)

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Green Aura
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Re: Beef Jerky Experiment

Post: #289721 Green Aura
Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:55 am

Sounds tasty. Doing it by weight is a much better idea anyway if that 25% figure is fairly critical. I'm not sure if overnight will be sufficient to remove 25% but if you weigh the liquid it will give you some idea. Although it will flavour the meat, most of the rub will still be in the liquid, though, so remember to deduct that.

My only other thought would be to cut it a little bigger so it shrank to about 1" rather than starting at that, although it will be easier to cure with the bigger surface area.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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Brewtrog
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Re: Beef Jerky Experiment

Post: #289722 Brewtrog
Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:52 am

I actually weighed the meat before adding the cure in anticipation that it'd mostly stay in the liquid. This is also good because it means I definitely have at least the 25% loss.
Overnight is almost certain not to remove the full 25% (although a fair bit will be lost during the cure), but I'm also aware that 12 hours smoking on thin strips of meat is quite a lot, so I thought it'd be wiser to finish the drying process out of the smoke (which is dependent on whether tomorrow's weather would allow me to dry it outdoors or not).
The water started to come out of the meat within a few hours, it's mostly submerged now, so the flavours should be getting nicely into the meat.

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Brewtrog
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Re: Beef Jerky Experiment

Post: #289726 Brewtrog
Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:06 am

It came out of the smoker weighing 622g. I decided to use the oven to be on the safe side, gas 1 with the door open. Couple hours later it weighs 488, so well under the 75% looked for. Just tried a little bit, tastes very good. Not too salty, all the scouts come through nicely. I'm well pleased with it

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Re: Beef Jerky Experiment

Post: #289727 Green Aura
Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:33 am

Splendid. I had a look at your smoker - looks very interesting. I particularly like the idea of trying it out in that cardboard box thing before investing in something more substantial.
I have a hot smoker but had shied away from cold smoking as it looked like you needed something much bigger.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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Brewtrog
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Re: Beef Jerky Experiment

Post: #289729 Brewtrog
Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:38 pm

I want to rebuild the box out of something waterproof, so that I can leave it outside while it's smoking (currently using the greenhouse, the chillis don't seem to mind). But the cardboard box has served me well so far


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