How to Master the Art of Making Awesome Smoked Jerky on Your Masterbuilt Smoker: A Complete Guide and Recipes — Are you ready to take your jerky game to the next level? Look no further than your trusty Masterbuilt smoker! In this guide, we’ll show you how to make awesome smoked jerky that will have your taste buds begging for more. Whether you’re a beef lover, a wild game enthusiast, or even a pork aficionado, we’ve got you covered. Get ready to tantalize your senses with our mouthwatering recipes and expert tips. So fire up that smoker, because it’s time to embark on a jerky journey like no other. Let’s dive in and discover the art of making smoked jerky in a Masterbuilt smoker!
The Art of Making Smoked Jerky in a Masterbuilt Smoker
Jerky has been a staple in the diets of adventurers, hunters, and families for generations, not only because of its rich, savory taste but also for its ability to preserve meats for extended periods of time. Adding the dimension of smoke to jerky elevates this classic snack to an art form, combining preservation with the intricate dance of flavor that only a low and slow cooking process can achieve. For those who own a Masterbuilt smoker, the journey to creating awesome smoked jerky is not only a flavorful adventure but also a relatively simple culinary endeavor.
Choosing Your Protein: Beef, Game Meats, or Pork
When it comes to selecting the right protein for your jerky, beef, game meats, and pork all make excellent choices. Beef and game meats, known for their rich textures and ability to be consumed without being cooked all the way through, are traditional favorites. Poultry, on the other hand, requires thorough cooking to avoid foodborne illnesses. This is also true for pork, so extra care must be taken to ensure it reaches the proper internal temperature.
Preparation for Perfection: Marinating and Dry Rubbing
Marinating your chosen protein before smoking is highly recommended to infuse it with flavors that will complement the smokiness. A marinade often includes ingredients such as unfiltered apple cider vinegar, sea salt, brown sugar, and stout or dark beer, which work together to tenderize and season the meat. Alternatively, a dry rub can create a drier, crispier texture, providing a different sensory experience for jerky aficionados.
Masterbuilt Smoker Tips for Jerky Perfection
When it comes to smoking jerky in a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker, there are several tips you’ll want to follow to ensure the best results:
- Marinate or dry rub your protein. This step is crucial for flavor development.
- Line the drip pan and water pan with foil for easy cleanup.
- Lay the protein directly on the smoker grates to ensure even smoke distribution and airflow.
- Leave air space between strips to allow smoke to circulate effectively.
- Soak wood chips to ensure they smolder and produce smoke rather than burning up quickly.
- Open the vent 100% to maintain airflow and temperature control.
- Smoke at 165-185 degrees Fahrenheit for the best balance of temperature and cooking time.
- Check the meat every 2-3 hours, adding more wood chips if necessary.
- Store jerky in a sealable bag or glass jar in the refrigerator or freezer to preserve its freshness.
The Ultimate Smoked London Broil Jerky Recipe
Now, let’s dive into the practical side of making smoked jerky with an exemplary recipe:
Marinade Mastery with London Broil
For this recipe, we’ll be using 1 lb of London broil, which you’ll want to trim of any excess fat and slice into 1/4-inch strips. The key to achieving the most tender jerky is to place your London broil in the freezer for about 30 minutes before slicing; this firmness allows for cleaner, more uniform cuts.
The marinade is a symphony of flavors, combining the tang of unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the sweetness of brown sugar and blackstrap molasses, the bite of cracked black pepper, and the richness of garlic and onion powders, all rounded out with a robust stout or dark beer.
After marinating the beef strips for 4 to 8 hours or overnight, the real magic begins. You’ll want to remove the beef from the marinade and pat them dry with paper towels. Preheat your Masterbuilt smoker to 180°F and place the beef strips on the racks, making sure to leave space around each strip for the smoke to envelop them. Add the remaining beer and water to the water pan for added moisture and flavor, and place wood chips in the bottom tray. Set your smoker to smoke for 3.5 hours, checking at the 2-hour mark to assess whether additional wood chips or liquid is needed.
Cooling and Storage
Once the smoking process is complete, it’s crucial to let the jerky cool on the racks, allowing it to firm up and making it easier to handle. For storage, you can either eat the jerky immediately (and who could blame you?) or store it in the refrigerator for later enjoyment.
Spicy Variation: Kick Up the Heat
For those who enjoy a bit of spice, consider adding hot sauce or minced red Thai chili peppers to the marinade. The heat from the peppers will infuse the jerky with a fiery kick that pairs wonderfully with the smoke and savoriness of the meat.
Wild Game Alternatives: Smoked Elk and Venison Jerky
Elk and venison are excellent choices for jerky, offering a wilder flavor profile that many enthusiasts crave. For elk jerky, marinating the meat with ingredients like orange juice, which helps break down the muscle fibers, is essential. This recipe calls for 1 lb of elk loin meat or venison roast/loin to be sliced against the grain and pounded flat before being marinated in a mixture that includes tamari or soy sauce, orange juice, Worcestershire sauce, honey, and various spices.
Smoking Wild Game
The smoker should be preheated to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and the elk jerky should be smoked for 4 to 6 hours, ensuring the water pan and chip tray are checked at the halfway mark. Venison follows a similar process but with a marinade that includes a robust red wine, mirin, fresh ginger, and minced garlic, offering a unique taste that complements the natural flavors of the meat.
Exploring New Horizons: Pork Jerky
While less common, pork jerky can be a delicious variation when done correctly. A recipe found on the Girls Can Grill website utilizes sweet tea as a marinade, providing a Southern twist to the jerky-making process. The pork loin should be trimmed and marinated in a blend of sweet tea, tamari or soy sauce, and a variety of spices before being smoked over apple wood chips that have been soaked in water.
Each of these recipes showcases the versatility of jerky and the ability of the Masterbuilt smoker to maintain the necessary conditions for creating this delicious treat. Whether you’re a fan of beef, wild game, or are willing to try pork jerky, the key is in the careful preparation and patient smoking process that yields a product far superior to anything you could purchase pre-made. So, grab your Masterbuilt smoker, choose your protein, and embark on the satisfying journey of making homemade smoked jerky.
Remember, the art of making jerky is a process of trial, error, and refinement. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different marinades, cuts of meat, and smoking times. The more you practice, the more you’ll develop a sense for the perfect jerky that suits your palate. Happy smoking!
FAQ & Common Questions
Q: Can I make jerky in a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker?
A: Yes, you can make jerky in a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker. Just follow a few basic rules of thumb to ensure a delicious result.
Q: How does smoking jerky in a smoker enhance the flavor?
A: Smoking jerky in a smoker adds a whole new dimension of flavor to the meat. The low and slow cooking method allows for a subtle amount of smoke that enhances the taste without overpowering it.
Q: Do I need to constantly monitor the smoker while making jerky?
A: No, you don’t have to constantly babysit the smoker when making jerky. The low temperature required for jerky allows for a more hands-off approach.
Q: Can I use a dry rub instead of marinating the meat?
A: Yes, you can skip the marinating process and use your favorite dry rub for the jerky. This will result in a crispier texture.
Q: Can I adjust the timing for charcoal and gas smokers?
A: Yes, you can adjust the timing for charcoal and gas smokers according to the Masterbuilt instructions. However, make sure to check the meat often as different smokers may smoke the meat faster or slower.