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Venison Jerky / Smoker (pics)

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Here are some pics from earlier in the year that I thought some of you might enjoy.

I agree with a lot of what has been written on the subject here. I tend to like the store bought mixes better than anything I've put together on my own (which is actually kind of frustrating to me - but, oh well). I liked the "Backwoods" stuff from Gander and the "Eastman" stuff. smile.gif

I really didn't like the "Wildlife" brand stuff that says to add vinegar. frown.gif

I've used apple, maple, and alder woods and liked them all but pretty much in that order. BTW - The "apple" came from an ornamental crab apple tree that needed to be taken out of the front yard.



I think one key is to keep the temp low. I strive for about 140 for most of the process - especially in the beginning. Later I let it creep up into the 160-180 range to finish it off with a nice "crust". Each batch takes about 6 hrs.

BTW - Yes, that is ice in the "water tray". It's just a summertime thing to help keep the temp down, while keeping the temp up on the fire to keep the smoke rolling. I think winter is an easier time to make jerky, and I take the tray out all together in the winter.

Also, I think I stop mine a little earlier than many people. It feels pretty dry, but still flexible. Then I vacuum pack it and rely on the freezer for the storage factor. The remaining moisture in the core of the meat kind of re-distributes, and it makes the final product kind of moist. Kind of non-traditional, but many people comment on it and compliment the texture (and taste) - especially people with braces, like my daughter and my friend's wife.

Oh, I also think it is pretty important to control the thickness and consistency of the slices of meat. An actual meat slicer does a much better job than I can do free hand with a knife blush.gif... and of course the temperature of the meat when it is cut is probably the most significant factor to control for consistent slicing... Still mostly frozen, but starting to get flexible - and ideally the same temperature throughout the piece of meat.


Hope you all liked these.


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Mine is a "Smoky Mountain Series" made by:

CFM Home Products.

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I got mine when the Gander Mountain in Fridley re-located up to Blaine and they cleared out their inventory. I think they still carry them. There are two models - One is about 15 inches square and the one I have is wider. I think the racks in mine are ~14x22 inches. In hindsight, the bigger one is definately the better choice.


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STIFF I would have to agree with you on the Back Woods stuff I used this stuff a couple of weeks ago on some jerky that I did for Harmonica Bear and it was great, same smoker I think it rocks I have had mine for about 3 yrs and it never gets much rest very easy to control the temp!

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The older ones were fired clay, the newer ones are glazed ceramic and use natural lump charcoal. You can smoke as low as 150°, barbecue at 250° or grill steaks at 800°. I have two of them, and they work well in Wyoming because the cold and wind don't affect them. Mine are Big Green Egg brand. More info on their HSOforum.

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Here is some salmon I cooked on a plank last night.


and here are some smoked turkey legs.


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Hey BNS,

That's funny. I just made a batch this past weekend up at deer camp. I made two batches and the one I like better was made using Eastmans "Spicy Maple". It tasted kind of salty at the time I made it up so I added some Maple syrup and brown sugar to the mix. With the smoke it came out with a pretty nice mix in the end.

I was thinking of trying a batch using a standard fish smoking brine of salt, brown sugar, and a little black pepper.

Anyone ever try anything like that for smoking venison??



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Things turned out pretty good that day. My buddy worked on the cabin and I kept a close eye on the temp and the smoke, .....and kept the beer cold until it was gone. I kept rotating the less done jerky towards the lower trays and the more done pieces towards the top trays.

Later on, when we got towards the end of the jerky batches and some space opened up in the smoker - I put 3 lbs of Buffalo Wings on the lowest tray. I mean, a guy has to eat something or he might run the risk of starvation.... right? grin.gif

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Hey Stiff,

I just have a couple questions if you wouldn't mind sharing. What thickness do you cut the strips? And if you are cooking it 6 hours, how often are you moving the racks?

I just picked up a smoker a couple weekends ago (looks like same as yours), so have been looking for some good tips and recipes. I have been using a dehydrator over the years, but prefer smoked.

Thanks and pics looks great!

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I'm just guessing, but I'd say that I cut them about 3/16 of an inch thick or so. They vary a bit, but I don't get many that are more than a 1/4 of an inch thick. The thicker ones come out good too, but they take a long time.

I check them after about 45 minutes or so and when they start to dry out on the bottoms, I just flip them over so that they don't stick to the racks too hard. The ones that are lower in the smoker (closer to the heat source) will start to get done sooner. I just rotate the racks and pieces around to try to even things out. Seems like the edges of the racks - and the lower racks in the smoker are first to get done - so I just rotate the "less done" pieces into those positions and put the "more done" pieces in the cooler spots.

Since temperature, humidity, and meat thickness all play into how long it takes - you can't really just set a time. You just have to keep your eye on things. Some thin pieces get done in 2-3 hours - others take longer.

I think the cabinet style smokers and the propane heat source makes checking in very easy. Once you are done moving your pieces around. Just close the door and you will be back up to temperature in a matter of minutes.

Does that help?

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Sure does, thanks. I was just curoious & thats what i was kinda expecting. I've only smoked a turkey and some salmon in it so far, but have a freezer full of venison and elk to use up.

I really like the upright propane smoker though, i got a charcoal smoker for my Dad for father's day quite a few years back, but it was a hassle keeping the temp just right. It's just so much easier with propane!

(anyone want a used charcoal smoker grin.gif)

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