Monday, May 26, 2014


My youngest son was having a birthday.  One of his favorite foods is Beef Jerky...seriously, who doesn't love beef jerky . With the GMG pellet cooker, I can run really low cooking temperatures, so as a birthday present, I made him some beef jerky.  I thought it turned out pretty well.  Here's what I did:

First, I had to select the beef.  From everything I've read, the leaner the beef the better.  So I bought about 2.5 lbs of sirloin.  Sirloin is a pretty lean cut and, right now, it's relatively inexpensive compared with other beef prices.

When I got the sirloin home,  I stuck it in the freezer to make it easier to slice.  Slightly frozen meat is much easier to slice than refrigerated meat.  I got to slicing after the meat had solidified a little bit.  I cut the sirloin with the grain to a 1/8" thickness.  In retrospect, I might have gone thicker...up to 1/4" thickness should be okay, it will just affect cooking time.

Now for the marinade.  I did a lot of research into different marinades, and most had a couple of things in common:  Soy Sauce and Worcestershire Sauce.  Knowing that my son doesn't like spicy, but does like salty and sweet, I went with the following marinade:

1 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar
2 TBSP Brown Sugar
1 TBSP Onion Powder
1 TBSP Garlic Powder

I poured this over the meat and let it marinade for 20ish hours.  I've found the best way to marinade is to put the meat in a 1-2 gallon ziploc bag, then pour the marinade in.  As I'm sealing up the bag, I make sure to get all the air out.  This seems to do the best job marinading while using the minimal amount of marinade.

When it came time for the smoking, I set the smoker to 170 degrees, and laid down a non-stick frog mat.  I laid out the meat and let it cook for 5 hours.  The result was a sweet, salty and smokey bit of beef jerky perfection!  The texture is perfect for me...I like my beef jerky to have some chew.  Cooking longer will make a crispier beef jerky, but I'm not a big fan of super crispy beef jerky.

My family's feedback is that they would like a little less soy sauce next time.  I'm going to play around with a bunch of different recipes.  I'll post the results on this blog.

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