how do you make beef jerky in a smoker

My Dr. Pepper Jalapeno Beef Jerky is legendary! This post includes steps on how to make beef jerky and the best beef jerky recipe ever. I mean, really. This post is so full of beef jerky knowledge, it should probably be a book. We are going to be talking cuts of meat, slicing tips, marinating basics, and dehydrating vs. smoking.

Choosing and slicing the meat

Start by buying a lean piece of meat, I am using a beef eye of round roast for this recipe.

how do you make beef jerky in a smoker

Trim any visible fat from the meat. Fat will make your jerky spoil, so cut off as much as possible.

how do you make beef jerky in a smoker

Wrap the meat in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 1-2 hours to partially freeze. This step is not mandatory, but does make slicing the meat at a consistent width easier. A VERY sharp knife will also work well on non frozen beef. Slice against the grain at around ⅛″-¼″ thick for an easier chew or with the grain for more chew.

how do you make beef jerky in a smoker

You can also skip the freezing stage and slice your jerky using a jerky slicer. I use a Weston Jerky Slicer. It makes sure all your strips are the same width which allows them to dry evenly. Having a slicer is great when making a lot of jerky.

how do you make beef jerky in a smoker

⏲️ Drying the jerky

Dry the jerky strips on paper towels to remove any excess marinade and either lay your jerky pieces across the metal racks of the smoker or use toothpicks and hang your strips. I have decided to use toothpicks to hang my strips. After drying the strips on paper towels, I slide one toothpick through one of the ends of each piece of jerky.

how do you make beef jerky in a smoker

Place the top metal rack on the highest slot in your smoker, and hang your strips. The Dehydrator that is shown in the photos is my Masterbuilt Electric Smoker.

how do you make beef jerky in a smoker

Open the top vent on the smoker 100% and dry for 1 ½ hours at 170°F. *Do not put water in the water pan when making jerky if you soaked your strips in a “wet” marinade. If you used a dry rub to season your meat without any liquid, put a little water or vinegar in the pan during this 1 ½hrs.*

how do you make beef jerky in a smoker

Bring the temperature up to 180°F to 200°F and add a handful of wood chips to the smoker. Before adding the wood chips, soak them in water for about 10-15 minutes. Smoke at this temperature until the wood chips have quit smoking (about 30 minutes to 1 hour). A blue smoke should be coming out of the smoker if the wood is burning at the right temperature. If the smoke is a heavy white, increase the temperature of the smoker. This white smoke can give the meat a bitter taste and ruin the jerky.

Lower the temperature back to 160°F and DO NOT add any more wood chips. Too much smoke will also ruin the jerky; 30 minutes to an hour of smoke is just perfect in my opinion. Leaving the wood tray door halfway open (after all the wood has finished burning) to allow airflow through the smoker also helps dry the jerky faster.

how do you make beef jerky in a smoker

If using a pellet smoker / pellet grill, simply turn the smoker to 200°F and lay the strips on the grill grates.

Smoke for 3-5 hours until finished. Beef jerky will finish a lot faster in a pellet smoker than an electric smoker. Start checking around the 3 hour mark.

how do you make beef jerky in a smoker

Marinating the meat

Place the slices of beef to the side and assemble your jerky marinade. This recipe has a great black pepper flavor. Simply combine all of the ingredients and mix until everything is fully incorporated. Once you have made your marinade, place the beef slices in your marinade and make sure they are covered evenly. Marinate the jerky in the refrigerator for 6-24 hours.

how do you make beef jerky in a smoker

Rating 5.0 (66) · 8 hr 30 minMay 1, 2016 · Making Beef Jerky in a smoker is the BEST way to make beef jerky. Follow these 10 EASY TO FOLLOW STEPS to start smoking great jerky!⏲️ Drying the jerky · ️ How to determine when it’s


How long does it take to smoke beef jerky on a smoker?

Slice your beef into thin strips and pound them out to make them even thinner. Place your meat into a container or ziplock bag and pour marinade in and combine. Remove meat from the marinade and place onto your smoker between 160-200°F. Smoke for 4-6 hours until the jerky is cooked through and to your desired texture.

What is the best cut of meat for smoking jerky?

Let’s start with the best cuts of beef for jerky-making. I try to pick a nice roast with very little fat marbling. My first choice is an eye of round roast. After that, I think a top round, sirloin roast, or rump roast would also work well.

What is the best meat for beef jerky?

Top Round. Top round is considered to be one of the best cuts of meat to use for jerky. In fact, this is the cut that many commercial jerkies are made from.

Is it better to smoke or dehydrate beef jerky?

SMOKED OR DEHYDRATED JERKY – WHICH IS BEST? There are many differing opinions on the best way to cook and dry jerky, but if you have a smokehouse that is able to control the relative humidity, then starting and finishing in the smoker is going to give you the most consistent and the most tender piece of jerky.

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