Do you want to know why I hate the rain? It drives my little fur babies inside where they just sit around and look depressed in between random bouts of tearing up the house. If I put on Animal Planet the big one is fine, but the munchkin hasn’t quite caught on to watching TV just yet. I know, I am a terrible parent letting them watch TV all day.
While they have been busy driving me crazy I was making smoked jerky. My spoiled yuppie dogs would not even eat any raw venison. If there is anything a dog should like it is freshly killed wild game, but no. They wanted the nicely seasoned and cooked chicken thighs that were sitting on the counter for lunch. Spoiled little monsters. To keep the puppy entertained I just throw a lemon on the floor, which you can see here . I am not sure if that is for the her entertainment or mine, but this went on for a solid hour before she got bored. The lemon is like crack to her, she knows it will make her suffer, but she just can’t stay away.
If you want to make them feel better, you can of course share some deer jerky with them, but first you have to make it. So, get some mesquite wood soaking and your BBQ set to 175, only use about 1/4 of a chimney full of briquettes. You want to cook on very very low indirect heat here, because you are just trying to dry the meat, not cook it. Remember, because the meat is still technically raw, you will want to store your jerky in the fridge. You don’t have to use deer, any small beef roast or cut of steak will work too, I have not tried this with poultry yet though.
Cut your meat into thin slices, about 1/4 inch thick, it really helps if the meat is slightly frozen. Put your slices in a bowl with a marinade made from
- 2 cups water
- 2 TB Worcestershire sauce (optional, you can add more salt to the marinade if omitting)
- 1 TB honey
- 3/4 TB – 1TB salt
- 1 TB BBQ rub
Add extra water if needed to cover the meat. This recipe makes enough marinade for up to 2lbs of meat. Let it soak up the awesome juice for 1-2 hours, then discard the marinade. Cover your cooking grate with tin foil and then poke some holes in it to let the smoke through. This is just a precautionary measure, but I was worried about some of the smaller pieces falling through the grates as they shrunk up a bit. It is part redneck ingenuity, part BBQ genius.
You only need to add smoke in at the beginning, since meat this small cannot continue to pick up smoke flavor through the whole drying process. Leave the strips on there until they start to look dry and brittle, ours took about 1 hour and 50 minutes. If you need to add more charcoal, remember to add lit briquettes, as the ones in the smoker will not be hot enough to light them.
After you are done, let it cool for an hour or so and then dig in.