Introduction: Home Made Jerky
Now that I've made a barbecue smoker ( https://www.instructables.com/id/Build-a-Barbecue-Smoker-for-9/ ), it's time to make some actual food with it. Since I had some very lean elk and antelope meat in the freezer, jerky seemed like a logical choice. Follow the steps below to make a delicious snack.
Step 1: Gather Tools and Materials
I used a recipe similar to Alton Brown's jerky recipe:
As for the food, you will need:
~2 pounds red meat (I used elk and antelope meat since that is what I had on hand, but any super-lean meat will do)
~2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
~2/3 cup soy sauce
~1 teaspoon liquid smoke (since I used real smoke this batch didn't have any liquid smoke)
~1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (two of those little packets that come with pizza is the perfect amount)
~1 tablespoon honey
Equipment you will need:
~Barbecue smoker, like this one:
(or you can just use an oven)
~Wood chips and/or charcoal to make the smoke. I recommend hardwood like apple or hickory.
~A sharp knife and cutting board or a mandolin slicer.
Step 2: Preparation
1. Trim off any remaining fat or gristle from the meat.
2. Slice the meat as thin as you possibly can, going with the grain. Make the strips about as long and as thick as a pencil, and about half an inch wide.
3. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and pour it into a large plastic bag.
4. Put the meat in the bag and let it marinate overnight.
5. Pull out the meat and skewer all the pieces through one end. Arrange the pieces with a small gap in between them.
Next we will fire up the smoker and get cookin'!
Step 3: Put THAT in Yer Pipe and SMOKE IT!
Well, put it in the smoker and smoke it, that is.
1. Start a small fire in the bottom of the smoker, or if you use an electric smoker like I did, just put the tray of wood chips on top of the burner. DON'T soak the wood chips in water, since we want to dry the meat out.
2. Arrange the skewers on the grill so that the strips are hanging down and there is enough space in between all the pieces for air to circulate.
3. Put the lid on, with the vents open, and wait. It will probably take about 6 to 8 hours to fully dry out the meat. You probably don't want to do this outside at night since raccoons or stray dogs might tip over the smoker and run off with the meat.
4. When the meat is good and dry, take it off the skewers and put it in plastic sandwich bags. Unless you got every last drop of moisture out of the meat or you have some of those desiccator packets lying around from an old bag of jerky, keep it refrigerated.
If you don't have a smoker, you can also use an oven. Heat the oven to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit and hang the meat from the racks. You should also keep the door cracked open with a stick to let out the moisture.
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