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Beef Jerky

While I have my smoker out and I am working on my smoked salmon, I also like to make a big batch of beef jerky. I make jerky to keep and jerky to give away as Christmas presents. It makes an impressive gift, and no one will know you most sat around sipping on beer while your kitchen appliances chugged away at the hard work. 

This is a recipe that requires 2 pieces of special equipment; a smoker and a dehydrator. They are an investment, but I would argue good ones. The smoker is great for turkey thighs, ribs, salmon, trout, jerky and so many other lovely meats. The dehydrator is fantastic for beef jerky, but also for dried fruit, herbs, veggies and fruit leather. 

Try this recipe out then feel free to tweak the marinade to suit your tastes; I tend to like things pretty mild so you might want to up the hot sauce! Enjoy!

3 pounds top round
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup bourbon
5 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoon barbecue sauce (such as Sweet Baby Ray’s)
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 tablespoon hot sauce (such as Tobasco)

Put the meat into the freezer for two hours. This will stiffen the meat and make it easier to slice. Slice the beef into discs about 1/8 inch thick. Be sure to cut across the grain; this make the end result much less chewy. 

Whisk all ingredients of the marinade together,

Place these slices into a plastic bag with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 48. 

Use your smoker according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Smoke  for an hour at 180 to 200 degrees F. I like to use cherry or apple chips. 

Next, place the jerky into your dehydrator. I use an electric dehydrated with a fan. Set the temperature to 140 degrees and dehydrate them for at least six hours, or until the meat is very dark (it will progress from tan, to rosy to black). 

For optimal food safety, I vacuum-seal the meat and store it in my fridge; it will last this way for 4 weeks. Frozen, it will last 6 months. Enjoy this with a cold beer!


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