• I have been doing jerky for years but see I might have been doing it wrong. I season and cure. Let it sit for 12 hours. I then put in my dehydrator or smoker . My dehydrator I do it at 160 and if I put on smoker between 170 and 180. I see a lot about heating it up first to internal temp of 160 then dehydrate do to bacteria. I guess my question is how everyone else does it and most of the time i start out snack sticks at 140 and ramp up gradually to 170 for an internal temp of 160. Am I at risk with bacteria doing that as well? I want to make a safe product but also a tasty product as I’ve heard heat/boiling jerky before hand looks and taste different.

  • Team Blue

    @astatler For jerky I use my oven (350 for 10 minutes for 1/4" slices) on a rack over a covered sheet pan and finish in the dehydrator set to 160 until they are at my preferred dryness.

  • Team Orange Power User Veteran

    For years I’ve been doing jerky the same as you are and never had an issue. And then…Meatgistics. The new dehydrator I just bought even had a sticker on the door saying the meat should be cooked to 160 before dehydrating. Talked to seven other jerky makers I know and none of them have ever done or heard of that before. I’m going to try it within the next few weeks. As Joe Hell mentioned it shortens the drying time which would be a plus.

  • Power User Canning Team Orange Regular Contributors Veteran Masterbuilt

    PapaSop I think that is for meat safety as far as thermal processing to a safe IT.

  • Team Orange Power User Veteran

    Yeah I know. All about safety. Kinda weird in a way.

  • Power User Canning Team Orange Regular Contributors Veteran Masterbuilt

    PapaSop kind a disclaimer

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    @astatler Jerky is one those things that a lot of people do differently. We just give our process that is based around food safety and quality. Some people dont even cure jerky because the water activity is so ridiculously low at the end, but that introduces a few problems and doing it this way get around those issues. I also think it gives a better jerky than just a dehydrator.

    PapaSop Good luck with the new dehydrator, hope everything comes out well, I am sure it will!

  • Team Blue Cast Iron Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Veteran Sous Vide Power User Regular Contributors

    I’ve been doing jerky similarly ( without the pre heating step ). I haven’t been using cure but I would like to. Usually I just marinate in the overnight and dehydrate at 155-160. After reading many posts on here I think I may try the oven to dehydrator on at least half of my next batch. This is the marinade I use. Hoping for some suggestions on how much cure #1 to add. And should I base it on liquid volume or meat weight. I don’t have a vacuum tumbler.
    Recipe as of now:
    Beef jerky

    ~4.5lb eye roundRoast sliced across grain about 1/4”
    2 cup soy sauce
    4 Tbsp wosterschire
    2 Tbsp ground black pepper
    2 Tbsp granulated garlic

    Usually split the marinade and add some different spices/hot sauce etc to play around with flavors.

    Sometimes I will just do 1:1 soy sauce and gochujang or siracha and just marinate in that.

    I then dehydrate at 155-160 until dried, about 6 hrs
    It has always been delicious and so far haven’t gotten sick but it’s easy enough to add cure so would like to start. I always store in the fridge unless it’s in my pocket at work 🙂

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors Traeger Power User Veteran Sous Vide Canning

    Surg The cure is based on the weight of the meat. 1/4 tsp per pound of meat is all you need. I don’t vacuum tumble mine either. I dry season then put the jerky in a bag, add my water and seal the bag, put in the fridge overnight to marinate. Then I put it on the smoke and finish it in the oven on convection drying at 140 degrees. I can’t maintain my Traeger below 180 degrees on the hot side and the cold chamber just doesn’t hold enough jerky. Hope this answers your question.

  • Team Blue Cast Iron Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Veteran Sous Vide Power User Regular Contributors

    Perfect thanks

  • Power User Canning Team Orange Regular Contributors Veteran Masterbuilt

    My oven has a dehydrate cycle that I have yet to use might try it that way

  • Team Blue Military Veterans Power User Regular Contributors

    Before I found Waltons I had been doing jerky for years. I have always used Hi Mountain jerky seasoning. The cure that comes with their kit is 0.625% nitrates. You have to use more of it and it has to sit for 24 hours in the fridge. Then I either cook it in the oven or the smoker at 200 degrees until it hits 160. This is how the instructions that come with it say to do it. I have always had excellent results.

    Then I found Walton’s and meatgistics. This is the first time I had heard of bringing it up to 160 fast and then turn temp down and finish till desired texture.

    Fast forward to last week. I bought another Hi Mountain kit to make jerky. The box was different shape than before. I opened the kit and noticed the cure pack was a lot smaller and in a foil pack. I opened the cure and it was 6.25% pink cure instead of the previous 0.625% cure. I looked at the directions and noticed they were different. After reading through they say only needed to sit 4 hours now for cure to work but instructed to put in oven at 375 and bring the internal to 160 before smoking or dehydrating. This is a big shift from their previous instructions. So I will assume there is some validity in the bring it to 160 fast method.

    Just fyi, not endorsing the brand of seasoning I mentioned. Just what I have always used with good results. With the price of eye of round, hate to experiment with something new. I will someday give excalibur jerky seasoning a try.

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