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Topic: Making beef jerky . . . . From: Brian,
Subject: Re: Making beef jerky
They_Want_More_On - smoking your own meats and making beef jerky
Excellent jerky is easy to make but easy to over smoke. Jerky is dried rather than smoked. My favorite recipe is an oldie which aptly reflects the origin of jerky. "Sprinkle with enough salt to dry it out and enough black pepper to keep the flies off, then hang it in the sunshine until it is dry."
Meat used to make jerky should be the leanest available, then have all fat removed. Slice across the grain into 1/4 slices, sprinkle with salt and pepper as above then expose to temperatures not exceeding 150°F until dry. A small amount of smoke may be introduced, but if you are drying over charcoal, it will impart enough smoke flavor for those with discerning palates. Other favorite seasonings may be added after the meat is dry.
I prefer sirloin tip roasts for making jerky. They have few pockets of occluded fat and provide rather large slices which reduces the slicing time. Remember that you will lose the 60% water weight and mass.