Beef jerky is a popular appetizer or snack in American barbeque tradition. These dry spicy strips can be munched at any time of the day without having to cook them every time before eating. This is because beef jerky can be stored safely for a week without losing its authentic flavor. Many brands are now selling beef jerky packed in containers but nothing compares to the jerky that is traditionally made at home. With authentic flavors and perfect texture, homemade beef jerky is always ahead of any store-bought brand.
In this article, we are going to share a simple recipe for preparing beef jerky using a Bradley Smoker. The recipe has been handpicked to make it convenient for people of all age groups to try. Check out the step-by-step process given below.
Preparing the meat
This is a tricky process as the beef should be completely free from all fat and silver skin. The fat can prevent the jerky from drying while the silver skin can harden and deform the meat during smoking. Get rid of the fat by trimming the meat with a knife. 3 lbs of beef in round steak will be enough for this recipe. To remove the silver skin, glide a blunt knife under the skin and press the top surface with a paper towel and try to pull it away. It will come away in one or two attempts.
Now thinly slice the trimmed steak into strips a quarter-inch in width. Be careful to slice against the grain to prevent the jerky from becoming too hard or chewy.
Preparing the marinade
To flavor the jerky, prepare a marinade. Here is a list of some common ingredients that are required to prepare the marinade.
- 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup of honey
- ¼ cup of soy sauce
- ¼ cup of Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon of onion powder
Take a pan and heat it. Mix all the ingredients in it and keep stirring until fully combined. Once done, switch off the flame and let the mixture cool.
Marination of the meat
Now that the marinade is ready, throw the beef slices in the marinade and try to coat each slice evenly. Once that is done, transfer the beef to a Ziploc bag. Drain the remaining marinade also into the Ziploc bag. You can also use an air-tight container as a substitute for the Ziploc bag. Refrigerate the beef slices overnight or for at least 12 hours for the flavor to seep into the meat.
Smoking the beef to prepare jerky
Start the Bradley Smoker at 165 degrees F (73.8C). Prepare a tray by lining a baking sheet with a paper towel. Now take the refrigerated beef slices and place each strip gently on the tray to dry. One slice should not be overlapping the other to ensure uniform cooking.
Add some Bradley Bisquettes to the feeder and transfer the meat to the smoking racks. Close the door of the smoker and let it smoke for 3 hours. Don’t forget to check the beef slices in between to ensure they are evenly cooked. Otherwise, re-arrange the slices for uniform cooking. After 3 hours remove the jerky and let it cool.
The jerky will harden and dry as it cools. Perfect jerky will not break even when folded or bent. You can now store the jerky in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a couple of weeks.
We hope this recipe will help you serve delectable beef jerky that will replace the store-bought ones forever. These simple Bradley tips & tricks on pro-food smokers were intended to help people to invest in the right product for a brilliant smoking experience. For more great ideas on how to get the most of your Bradley Smoker, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Food Smoking Blog for more tips & tricks.