• Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    Made some venison jerky, teriyaki in a chunky stick style.

    A recent post from Deepwoodsbutcher showed jerky in 1/2" square strips of meat. Some folks said they hadn’t seen this style, not cut into sheets. However, being also from Michigan, I recognized it as the style I am most familiar with for homemade jerky.

    I didnt take many pics.
    20220821_091726.jpg 20220817_150719.jpg

    20220817_150438.jpg

    10 lbs meat, sliced round steak into half inch square strips. 4.5kg

    Soy sauce, 1cup. label says 960mg sodium per 15ml; x 2.5 for molecular weight of salt vs. Sodium = 2400mg or 2.4g in 15ml, 1T. 1c has 16T, so a total of 38.4g salt.

    Total salt 1.7%, of which part soy sauce:
    4.5kg meat x 1.7% = 76.5g. Subtract 38.4 from soysauce, = 38.1g additional salt.

    Total water 10% or 450g, about 2c, of which 1c was from soy sauce, so added 1 additional cup.

    3T granulated garlic
    4t ground ginger
    1/2 t cayenne
    Cure#1 @ 0.25% or 2.5g/kg meat = 11.25g
    Brown Sugar @ 9%. 4500g meat x .09 = 405g

    Mixed all spices but cure1, nuked to dissolve, cooled down and added cure1. Added to meat in 2gal foodsafe bucket w/ sealed lid from HD.
    Let cure in fridge 3 days…1 was fine, but I was busy.
    Cook: IAW the USFDA FSIS Jerky guidelines, I wanted to get meat up to 160f while still moist for pathogen lethality. Then dry.
    Used sealed electric smoker from Smokin It, 180f with hickory smoke. Took 1.5 hrs. Then turned temp down to 150f, used more smoke from a side mounted cold smoker, and a computer fan over the 1 inch exhaust hole to draw dry air thru smoker. 2 hrs later was happy with dryness.

    Removed, vacuum sealed in 2 lb batches, stuck in fridge for humidity to equalize, will now freeze.

    Notes and Lessons Learned:

    1. I first used 1 T lemon pepper. Turns out the lemon flavor is just citric acid, a strong accelerator for the cure#1. As soon as I stirred it into the water/salt/cure1 mix, it started foaming poisonous Nitric Oxide gas. I held breath and dumped it outside quick, left doors open a bit to disperse. That stuff will cure your lungs just like it does meat. Never add an accelerator to a liquid brine with cure#1 or #2 in it… I knew this, but forgot that lemon pepper is just citric acid. If you want to add it, add it on day 2 or so after cure is absorbed by meat.

    2. I screwed up the sugar calculations. For some reason I only multiplied desired 9% by 2.3 kg…was looking at old recipe notes from my last batch! So I only added half the sugar intended! It was still over 1 c, but you can definitely taste it in the jerky, wish I had more sugar.

    3. Prior batches I’ve used 2.3% salt, which gives around 5% in final 50% dried product, similar to a salty bacon. I reduced salt to 1.7% for wife’s lowered sodium for blood pressure, and these sticks didn’t dry to 50%. They were a good meat stick, but not as salty as normal jerky. I would stick with 2.3% salt or more.

    4. This is a decent teriyaki flavor I have made before that results in the normal recognizable teriyaki flavor you’d find in Jack Links or such. My mess up on the sugar using only 50%, and the reduced salt I tried, gave a product flavor more like dried steak dipped in a teriyaki sauce, than the normal strongly sweet/salty jerky. My wife was super happy as she could tell it was healthier for her issues. However, I think most would like the more candied salt you get in commercial jerky.

    5. Lastly, the FSIS recommended moist cook up to 160 and THEN dry, results in more of a cooked meat texture than a dried meat jerky texture. This is an area most folks posting jerky recipes just skip and don’t talk about, going right to dehydrator or talking about 2 hrs drying at 130 etc, which don’t really follow the FSIS jerky guidelines. Which home producers don’t have to, I just feel it’s wise to do it the way the safety folks tell commercial makers to. However… I don’t like to final texture as much as when I do a dry with gradual heat increase. So 130f 2 hrs, 140f 1 hr, 150f 1 hr, 170f til done type of thing. The dry 1st step up schedule gives a more translucent product, less steak-like. In the future I will go back to this more gradual temp schedule.

    So final recommendations, go with a full 10% sugar and 2.3% total salt or more.

    Hope these flavor notes are helpful to others who apply their own spices for cooking and meats, rather than purchased blends. 😉

  • Referenced by  Dave in AZ Dave in AZ 
  • Power User Veteran Michigan

    Dave in AZ great post. Thank you for going in depth with your process. This information will help me refine a few of my recipes that I feel needed more salt and possibly sugar as well.


  • Thanks for the post! Very informative and well written!

  • Cast Iron Canning Green Mountain Grill Team Orange Masterbuilt Power User Military Veterans Regular Contributors Yearling Nebraska

    Dave in AZ Thank you for the detailed instructions. You’ve helped a lot of people.

  • Team Blue Masterbuilt Canning Kamado Joes Regular Contributors Power User Sous Vide Oklahoma

    Dave in AZ great post with great detail. Thanks 👍


  • Dave in AZ sounds like you have it down to a science.

  • Iowa Regular Contributors Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Green Mountain Grill Power User

    Dave in AZ Thanks Dave your time was nicely spent and appreciated by me! I don’t make jerky my hunting partner does. But your read is helping me to learn a tad bit more like your #1,

    “I first used 1 T lemon pepper. Turns out the lemon flavor is just citric acid, a strong accelerator for the cure#1. As soon as I stirred it into the water/salt/cure1 mix, it started foaming poisonous Nitric Oxide gas. I held breath and dumped it outside quick, left doors open a bit to disperse. That stuff will cure your lungs just like it does meat. Never add an accelerator to a liquid brine with cure#1 or #2 in it… I knew this, but forgot that lemon pepper is just citric acid. If you want to add it, add it on day 2 or so after cure is absorbed by meat.”

    Thank you Chief!

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    Denny O thx much Denny! My big lesson on this batch is how much sugar and salt is needed. I tried to reduce salt a bit much, and I find I like the full planned sugar instead of the reduced amount I ended up using. Well, it does set some nice minimums for future, and others 🙂

  • Team Blue Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Military Veterans Power User Regular Contributors

    Dave in AZ Outstanding post Dave, thanks.

  • Team Blue Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Military Veterans Power User Regular Contributors

    Dave in AZ said in Venison jerky, stick style:

    the FSIS recommended moist cook up to 160 and THEN dry

    What is really sad is that I have done jerky the old way for over 40 years, and no one has even been infected or made sick, but unfortunately all it takes is once to have a very bad day with E. coli. If the process doesn’t end up with the desired final product then what is the point of making it. Your review has me wondering if a vacuum-packed jerky could be sous vide at pasteurization time and temps and achieve the same pathogen kill benefits while having the desired texture of the final product.

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    mrobisr thx! Been eating a bunch last few nights, liking the lighter seasoning more and more, I can eat more and feel pretty healthy still.

  • Regular Contributors

    Dave in AZ I love the poison message on the cure.

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    pr0wlunwoof said in Venison jerky, stick style:

    Dave in AZ I love the poison message on the cure.

    Lol yeah, my son gets in messing around with whatever I buy, learning to cook. Sure enough, the week after I bought that cure, he came and told me he would have tried using it as salt if I hadn’t preemptively labeled it! Got to be careful with that nitrite!

  • Regular Contributors

    Dave in AZ I totally get it. Mine cant read yet so I have to keep it out of reach.

  • Team Blue Masterbuilt Canning Kamado Joes Regular Contributors Power User Sous Vide Oklahoma

    mrobisr said in Venison jerky, stick style:

    Dave in AZ said in Venison jerky, stick style:

    the FSIS recommended moist cook up to 160 and THEN dry

    What is really sad is that I have done jerky the old way for over 40 years, and no one has even been infected or made sick, but unfortunately all it takes is once to have a very bad day with E. coli. If the process doesn’t end up with the desired final product then what is the point of making it. Your review has me wondering if a vacuum-packed jerky could be sous vide at pasteurization time and temps and achieve the same pathogen kill benefits while having the desired texture of the final product.

    This is a great question Dave in AZ or Jonathon does either of you have any input on this question 🤔

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    cdavis I don’t make anywhere near the jerky that Jon does. And this thick stick stuff is by nature gonna be more like a steak stick. I don’t know if sous vide is ever gonna give anything close, since jerky is by definition dried meat.

    But I know I didn’t like my attempt to follow the FSIS guideline, going right up to 160f fast then drying, as much as all my prior slow dry. So I don’t know…maybe targeting a much lower temp but longer time, on their pathogen lethality table?

    I just reread the jerky guideline document, and it does say you can do whatever lethality time/temp combo you want, so long as it complies with “Appendix A”, before drying. The appendix A is from FSIS Cooking Guideline for Meat and Poultry Products (Revised Appendix A) December, 2021

    Some reasonable examples I might use next time, that I think would “cook” the meat less and give that dried rare meat texture, do exist. If we say 135 is the cutoff after which beef starts to lost the red/pink rare texture, then these would all work in a moist oven or SV, before drying:
    130f Internal meat Temp, for 121 minutes
    135f Internal meat Temp for 37 minutes.

    Screenshot_20220902-193833_Drive.jpg

    So yeah, I do think 37 min or less once meat hits tem, is pretty reasonable. The hard thing is getting the jerky internal temp, or keeping SV or oven low enough that meat satys below 135f to keep that rare feel. But this is what I am going to do next time! Thx for the question, mrobisr and cdavis , it got me looking and finding a better solution 😉

  • Team Blue Masterbuilt Canning Kamado Joes Regular Contributors Power User Sous Vide Oklahoma

    Dave in AZ thanks for the reply.

  • Team Blue Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Military Veterans Power User Regular Contributors

    Dave in AZ cdavis
    So next time I do jerky I will dry as usual then vac seal and sous vide 130f for 3 hours and I should have the proper jerky texture and still be completely free from e. coli. For the record I have been doing my dry cure products like this if they include beef and haven’t had any textural issues. Flavors, presentation, and taste are still comparable to the raw products of the past. Yes, I actually took the chance and did a side-by-side test, one with raw and one with the pasteurized product.

  • Team Blue Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Military Veterans Power User Regular Contributors

    Dave in AZ cdavis So next time I do jerky I will dry as usual then vac seal and sous vide 130f for 3 hours and I should have the proper jerky texture and still be completely free from e. coli. For the record I have been doing my dry cure products like this if they include beef and haven’t had any textural issues. Flavors, presentation, and taste are still comparable to the raw products of the past. Yes, I actually took the chance and did a side-by-side test, one with raw and one with the pasteurized product.

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    mrobisr said in Venison jerky, stick style:

    Dave in AZ cdavis So next time I do jerky I will dry as usual then vac seal and sous vide 130f for 3 hours and I should have the proper jerky texture and still be completely free from e. coli.

    That depends on what “dry as usual” means…
    I guess I confused you by just talking about step 5 only without context. But the big point of the jerky guidelines is to say that the lethality treatment, step 5, has to be done BEFORE DRYING, on a moist product. THEN drying is step 6. If you slowly dry first, bacterial spores form a hard dry coating that lets them survive well above 160f, so then the pathogen lethality treatments don’t work.

    Here I will just cut and paste a picture of their steps. You can surface dry the strips so they are tacky and will take smoke, and smoke for color, for less than 30min, then you heat treat while still moist inside, then you dry.
    Screenshot_20220903-171258_Drive.jpg

    And to be clear, you can of course do whatever you want as a not-for-sale private citizen, and I’m not telling you that you MUST follow all this FSIS guide… we’re just having a discussion on how the gov says commercial producers must do it 😉

    I’ve read this thing and Appendix A like 10 times, and each time I find something new… complying as a commercial producer is a lot of work!

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