Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Homemade Beef Jerky...

A couple of weeks ago I took my family on a short trip to the little town of Phippsburg in Colorado. There were two reasons that spot was chosen. First, I bought my son a nice telescope for his birthday last year and I wanted to take him out before it got too cold. Second, I wanted to take my wife out to see the fall colors in the mountains. Out local news had a map up that showed the northern part of the state was at peak color, so I focused my search there.

Looking at the stars in the city can be a problem because of the light pollution. There is a Dark Sky Finder website that will help you locate a place that is pitch black; using this tool I located the little town of Phippsburg CO. We stayed at the Black Dog Inn, and it was a very nice. We got the suite, it had a kitchen, 2 queen beds, and a pull out couch. I think the cost for the room was about $100.00. The area was so nice, I think next time we go up there we will camp at Routt National Forrest.

Any way...

I usually like to pick up some Beef Jerky when I take my boys out on the road somewhere. This time was no different. I stopped by Gander Mountain on the way out of town and grabbed 5 bags. With tax that set me back about $30.00. I bet total weight was less then a pound of Jerky. So I decided that in the future I would make my own. What follows is my stab at home made beef jerky.

I looked online for a recipe that I wanted to try, I settled on this one...

Beef Jerky Recipe
2 pounds flank steak sliced thin (I used London Broil; it looked like a nice low fat piece of meat)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
6 Cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon ginger grated -- heaping
1 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring

I cut the Beef into 1/4 to 3/8 inch strips, I then tossed the meat and the brine/cure in a freezer bag, and squeezed out the air. I put it in the fridge overnight. At about noon I fired up the smoker. I did not want to burn the beef (like my last attempt, not so good), so I needed a way to get smoke but still keep the temps at less then 150. I could have used my cold smoke adapter I made, but I wanted to try out something else; The A-Maze-N-Smoker, this device is designed to produce smoke, and generate almost NO heat. After trying it out I can say without a doubt it works as advertised.

I put the A-Maze-N-Smoker on the cast iron wood tray and fired up the smoker to as low as I could get it to go, (which is normally about 225, but I dialed the source gas valve down and got it to a stable 125). With the smoke generator going strong (I used Hickory dust) and the heat at 125, I left the jerky in for 8 hours on thinner pieces, and 10 hours for the thicker ones.

The Beef Jerky turned out great; my 2.5 lb London Broil cost me about $5.00 and I have far more then a pound of finished product. Enjoy the pictures below (click on them to see bigger versions).

Bag of Hickory "Dust".

The A-Maze-N-Smoker.

Partially filled, full it should last about 9 hours.
I used a torch to start it, it should slowly smoke through the maze.

Beef Jerky Smoking away (the foil is there to help keep the dust dry).

Finished Product!

Looking Good!!!

I put this in so you could see the maze after the burn.
This product really works great!

The jerky has a great flavor, a little spicy, but a little sweet at the same time. I must give credit to the original site I got the recipe from www.cdkitchen.com, here is a LINK to the original web page I used to make this Beef Jerky.

Enjoy until next time!

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