My First Attempt | How to Make Jerky

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My First Attempt

For my first attempt at making beef jerky, I wanted something spicy.

These days, I like everything spicy. Whereas years ago I would put cheese on everything, these days I put chiles, hot sauce, or salsa on everything.

So I decided to try something bold for my first ever jerky: "Pepperoncini Beef Jerky"...

I used bottom round. At first I looked at top round, but the bottom round looked more lean.

I trimmed off the strips of fat.

I sliced the beef into strips, cutting against the grain so that when it dried out, I could bite off chunks very easily.

The jerky ingredients: Grizzly Joe's Trail Dust, Giuliano Pepperoncinis, Casa Fiesta diced jalapenos.

Dump all the diced jalapenos into a ziploc bag.

Put the beef slices into the bag.

Pour the pepperoncini juice into the bag. The juice contains salt and vinegar.

Stick your hand into the bag and stir up the contents really well.

Let the bag sit and marinate. Most instructions I've read calls for anywhere between 6 to 24 hours. However, I let it sit for 2 hours.

After two hours, this is what it looks like. The meat soaked up about half of the pepperoncini juice.

I sprinkled Grizzly Joe's Trail Dust on both sides. The Trail Dust is a spicy steak seasoning.

I laid the strips on my BBQ grill, and one-by-one laid the diced jalapeno chunks on each strip.

Most instructions says the heat should be set to 150 or 160 degrees F. Unfortunately, the lowest flame on my grill warms up to 200F, and will go higher if I leave the cover completely closed.

So to help keep the heat down, I used a garden shovel to keep the BBQ cover partially open. However, it didn't help enough. I could only get the heat down to about 190F.

And here's the finished jerky. Because the heat crept up to about 190F, I couldn't keep the jerky on the grill for very long. Most instructions call for about 6 hours at 150F. I ended up doing 3 hours at 190F.

The verdict?

It sucks.

First of all, I can't taste any of the pepperoncini marinade. I guess I needed to marinate longer, and use more marinade.

Second, I sprinkled way too much Trail Dust. It was way too spicy, and too overpowering. For the most part, all I can taste is the Trail Dust.

The meat came out soft and tender, and very easy to chew. I was quite pleased with that part. However, I couldn't taste any of the meat. The meat consistency was comparable to pot roast.

I'd like to try this recipe again, except I think I'll buy a dehydrator instead.

The Grizzly Joe's Trail Dust might be ok for seasoning, but I don't think it works well with pepperoncini juice. I think just some salt and garlic is all that's needed. Also, the Trail Dust is very strong stuff, it should only be used sparingly.

The diced jalapenos are tasteless. It would be better to use fresh jalapenos and puree them, and then stir them into the marinade.


Pens Of The abyss said...

do you think the bad taste was from the seasoning choice? or the higher temp? why do you think it tasted bad

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