When you learn how to make beef jerky in your smoker you can bypass all the beef jerky recipes that call for liquid smoke. Smoker beef jerky is about as authentic as jerky gets.
Making jerky outdoors on a smoker is closer to the old pioneer method. That's when beef was cured and dried to preserve for eating on the long trails.
By using this method not only do you get some great eating but also it's just doggone fun!
Selecting Beef For Smoker Jerky
Selecting the beef you use for jerky is the same regardless of the method you use to create the jerky.
You must select a lean cut of beef and then trim any fat you see. Fat will not dry out and it will cause your jerky to go rancid quickly.
Most cuts from the round section of the beast animal do just fine. My personal choice is eye of round. It's a single muscle cut with no connective tissue and has very little internal fat and any external fat is easily trimmed.
You can buy round steak for easy slicing into strips but I usually buy an eye of round roast and have my butcher slice it 1/2 inch thick. Then I trim the fat and cut the slices into strips.
For this recipe you will need two pounds of beef.
Smoked Beef Jerky Marinade
Caution: This smoked beef jerky recipe calls for a lot of black pepper. If you're not a black pepper fan you might want to cut back a bit for your first try.
1 cup soy sauce
4 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 dash hot pepper sauce
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
Combine the soy sauce, ground black pepper, cider vinegar, pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce in a non-reactive bowl. Mix the ingredients well and add the beef strips.
Pour the strips and marinade in a resealable plastic bag. Place the bag in the refrigerator overnight. Turn the bag over once in a while when you think about it.
Smoking Beef Jerky
Fill the fire pan of your smoker with charcoal and light it. Wrap some wood chunks of your choice in heavy-duty foil and punch a few holes in the foil.
Remove your marinated beef strips from the refrigerator and dry them as well as you can with paper towels. The dryer the better!
When your charcoal is ready for smoking add the foil wrapped wood chunks to the coals.
Try to maintain a 140-degree temperature in your smoker with the use of the vents. You only want the meat to smoke and not cook.
Lay the marinated meat strips out on the grill so that they do not overlap. Alternately you can drape the strips over the rods of the grill grate. You can smoke a lot of jerky this way.
Kick back and relax as you smoke the jerky over low heat. Pop a top or two!
Your smoked beef jerky will be done when the edges appear dry with just a slight hint of moisture in the center of the slices, about 6 to 8 hours.
For a lighter smoke flavor you might consider removing the meat from the smoker after two hours and finish drying in the oven.
This is one of my favorite beef jerky recipes. So now you have it. How to make beef jerky in your smoker!