Mastering the Art of Jerky Making with an Electric Smoker

Do you want to make delicious, mouthwatering jerky with an electric smoker? Look no further, this guide will show you the exact steps and techniques to becoming a master in the art of jerky making.

Get ready to enjoy an incredibly tasty, guilt free snack that is also healthy and nutritious!


Welcome to your comprehensive guide to mastering the art of jerky making with an electric smoker. Jerky is becoming increasingly popular around the world as a healthy, delicious snack or addition to any meal. Making jerky, however, is no easy task – it requires special ingredients and equipment, time and energy, and precision in order to achieve optimal results. This guide will provide you with the step-by-step instructions required to make great tasting jerky in an electric smoker.

This guide is divided into four sections: Introduction, What You’ll Need, Making the Jerky, and Electric Smokers. In this introduction section we will discuss some of the basics of making jerky: what it is and what types are available; what ingredients are required; how it is typically prepared; as well as some tips for successful preparation. By following all these steps closely, you’ll be a master of jerk manufacturing with an electric smoker before you know it! Read on for more details!

Explanation of jerky making

Making jerky at home is a delicious way to enjoy the unique flavor and texture of dried, cured meat. Using an electric smoker is a great way to optimize your jerky making results, as smoking adds deeper, richer flavors. It also helps protect against microbial spoilage while beef jerky is drying. With an electric smoker, you lower your risk of exposure to heat that can cause overcooking and burning if you instead use ovens or open flames for your jerky making endeavors.

For best results, start by acquiring the right cuts of meat for a successful jerky experience. Those include top round steak and flank steak for beef; thigh and breast sections for poultry; pork tenderloin, or backstrap for pork; leg of lamb trimmed of fat for lamb; and fillet, sirloin tip or rump roast sections for venison. All cuts should be sliced thinly to prepare uniform pieces that dry at the same rate. Marinate your meat pieces before continuing with your recipe to bring out more robust flavors in addition to deepening the interior seasoning while being smoked in the electric smoker.

The temperature plays a critical role in getting just-right results when making jerky with an electric smoker. A temperature range between 160°F – 180°F will help minimize shrinkage as much as possible while keeping harmful bacteria at bay during the smoking process—a must-do when consuming uncooked meats! A food thermometer comes in handy when assessing doneness– it should indicate an internal temperature close enough to 165°F before taking off the Jerky from its smoking session.. Be sure to frequently monitor progress as various meats require different cook times depending on size and marinating technique used prior cooking—they may range between 2-4 hours! By following these guidelines along with other safety measures regarding food preparation in general, you’ll be on track towards mastering successful homemade Jerky creations from an electric smoker!

Purpose of the article

This article provides readers with a comprehensive guide to making high-quality jerky using an electric smoker. It begins by outlining the necessary equipment, ingredients and techniques that are involved in preparing meat for jerky-making. It then continues to detail different marinating techniques, as well as smoking and drying tips, before ending with some helpful suggestions on seasoning and storage.

By the end of this article, readers should feel well-equipped to make their own delicious jerky in their own electric smokers.

Overview of the steps for making jerky in an electric smoker

Making your own homemade jerky has never been easier than when using an electric smoker. Electric smokers offer a simple and reliable way to make high-quality jerky in just a few steps. Before you begin, it is important to make sure that you have the right equipment and materials to get started. Below is an overview of the essential steps for making the perfect jerky in an electric smoker, as explained in more detail later in this guide:

  1. Select your meat and prepare it for cooking by trimming off any excess fat or sinew. Consider using ground beef or pre-formed “jerky strips” if you are short on time.
  2. Marinate your meat with your preferred seasonings and other flavorings (salt, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, tamari, etc.) overnight or for at least four hours prior to cooking it on the smoker.
  3. Set up your electric smoker according to its instructions about temperature settings and wood chips before loading the prepared meat onto the racks inside in small batches – this prevents overcrowding of the jerky pieces on each tray during smoking process, which will ensure even cooking throughout the process.
  4. Smoke your jerky at a low temperature (around 140-145F) for 3-4 hours until dark brown with crisp edges; adjust heat levels lower or higher based on desired level of smokiness being added and time needed for drying out before reaching desired texture/consistency for finished product – sliced pieces usually take longer than shaped medallions due to thickness/density differences between shapes measuring internal temperature of finished product (165F) is also recommended to confirm proper cooking throughout entire batch!
  5. After removing smoked jerky from electric smoker racks, place it on cooling racks or wax paper lined baking sheet while still warm so any pooled fat/petroleum residue can drain away; once cooled completely store in sealed containers/bags!

Choosing and Preparing the Meat

When it comes to the meat you use to make jerky, you have quite a few options. You can choose traditional jerky strips of beef or opt for something more exotic. You can also experiment with other proteins such as poultry, pork, fish, or even fruits and vegetables. No matter which type of protein you decide to use, be sure to select the freshest product possible that is free from preservatives.

You’ll need to begin the jerky-making process by trimming the selected proteins down into thin strips that are around one-half inch thick. Make sure all fat and connective tissue have been removed from the meat so that these pieces dry out evenly and quickly during the smoking process. Although every type of protein behaves differently when cooked, in general, thicker pieces take longer to dry than thinner ones do. Experiment with a few test runs until you learn how your electric smoker behaves with different types of meats.

Choosing the right meat

When it comes to creating the perfect jerky, selecting the right type of meat is key. Different cuts of meat will have different textures once dried, so it’s important to know what you are looking for when making your own jerky. If you are just getting started with your electric smoker, it is recommended that you opt for a lean cut of beef or poultry such as bottom round or chicken breast. You can also experiment with venison, turkey or salmon depending on your preference.

When choosing a protein source make sure to select pieces that have been neatly trimmed and free from fat. The fat content in the chosen meat can cause issues later when you are smoking as they will not dry out properly like the lean cuts and may become spoiled over time. With this being said, be sure to purchase your protein from a reliable source and keep in mind that purchasing organic meats may be more expensive but can offer you great results due to its lack of added hormones or antibiotics.

Preparing the meat for jerky making

Making jerky in an electric smoker is not difficult, but it does involve some specialized steps. Some people prefer to buy premade jerky or use a pre-packaged mix, but the flavor and texture will be much better if you take the time to properly prepare your meat.

When working with an electric smoker for jerky making, choose cuts of beef that work best for slow smoking at a low temperature. The ideal cuts are those with less fat, such as eye of round or top round. This type of meat is lean and less likely to become tough when smoked slowly over time. Trim away any excess fat from the meat before preparing it for marinating or drying in an electric smoker.

To get started, cut the beef into thin strips about 1/4 inch thick and no wider than 1 1/2 inches for optimal drying results. You can also ask your butcher to do this step for you if you want perfectly even slices throughout your batch of jerky. Place the strips on a plate or rack and make sure they are evenly spaced so they can be individually dried without sticking together during the smoking process.

III. Making the Jerky Marinade

Jerky is a delicious and popular snack, made from lean meats that are trimmed of fat and cut into thin strips. When making jerky, it is important to create an assertive marinade that will both tenderize the meat and provide it with a unique flavor. The following steps offer a guide to creating the perfect marinade for jerky made with an electric smoker.

1) Begin by combining all of your ingredients in a bowl or other container. Use 1 to 2 cups of liquid per pound of meat – typically apple cider vinegar or beer can be used to provide flavor, while low sodium soy sauce offers saltiness. You can also add liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, or syrup-based barbecue sauces for added depth of flavor.

2) Sprinkle herbs and spices into the mix as desired – adding garlic powder, onion powder and ground black pepper for savory notes; chili pepper for heat; brown sugar for sweetness; and smoked paprika for smokiness as desired.

3) For additional flavor, you can also use fresh ingredients such as minced onion, jalapeno peppers, shredded carrots or celery sticks in the marinade–these will get cooked along with the meat in the smoker so it’s important that all of your ingredients are prepared safely before adding them in!

4) It’s also a good idea to include some kind of fat source in your marinade – this will help keep the strips of meat moist while they’re being cooked in the smoker. Olive oil or bacon fat are excellent options here.

5) Once all your ingredients are combined feel free to adjust according to taste; if you’d like more kick, spice things up with some additional seasonings! Once you have reached your desired level of savoriness you may proceed onto marinating and smoking your jerky!

Choosing the right ingredients

The foundation of memorable jerky starts with selecting the right ingredients. Not all cuts of meat are suitable for jerky, so it’s important to take this first step seriously before starting any project. Picking the wrong type of beef, such as a fatty cut, will result in a greasy, unpleasant finished product.

When selecting a cut of meat for jerky making, opt for an old-fashioned tough and lean cut such as London broil or eye of round steak. This will ensure that your jerky is flavorful, protein-rich and low in fat. The best cuts are still slightly pink on the inside when cut into strips for dehydrating and you will want to remove fat and sinew before processing some integral pieces to your finished product. If a overly dry or tough texture is desired then larding can be added during processing which will be further discussed in later sections of this guide.

Once an appropriate beef cut has been selected its time to move onto other ingredients needed depending on the flavor profile desired by the individual creating their masterpiece. Some flavor combinations require additional components to maximize their potential such as teriyaki blends calling for ingredients like pineapple juice or soy sauce added during marination ensuring optimal flavor absorption throughout each step while providing variety when presenting if they made variation flavors over multiple batches.

Mixing the marinade

Having chosen the type of meat and the desired texture, it’s time to choose a marinade. Mixing up your own marinade is relatively simple and can be tailored to suit your own tastes. Be sure not to skimp on the liquid ingredients; they are required to help ensure that all of the spices adhere to the meat.

Start by combining all of your dry ingredients in a bowl and stirring them together with a spoon. Once you have mixed in all of the ground spices, add wet ingredients such as beer, wine, or soy sauce and mix it together with a fork. You’ll want to make sure you don’t over-mix or leave any clumps out of your mix as these can cause uneven flavor distribution. When your marinade is complete, set it aside until you’re ready to soak your jerky.

Marinating the meat

Marinading is an important step to ensure your jerky turns out tasty and succulent. All you need to do is combine the ingredients of your favorite marinade in a bowl, then mix them together until they are completely combined.

The ingredients needed for most meat marinades include soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Add herbs such as rosemary, garlic powder and onion powder for an even tastier flavor profile.

After mixing these ingredients together, add the cubed meat to the bowl and coat it with the marinade by stirring or making sure each piece is exposed to all of the flavors. Once you have completed this step, cover it with cling film or simply cover it with a lid and pop it into your fridge overnight to let all of those flavors sink in nicely.

Finally take it out of your refrigerator in the morning so that it can start returning to room temperature before cooking.


Making jerky with an electric smoker is a great way to enjoy delicious and healthy snacks. The process is simple and the flavor of the finished product can be customized in many different ways.

As with any food preparation, it’s important to take safety precautions like sanitizing all surfaces, cleaning it prior to use, keeping the meat below 40°F, using a marinade for optimum flavor and moisture retention, monitoring the temperature with a high-quality thermometer, and adding seasonings as desired.

Taking these steps will ensure that you make perfectly cooked jerky every time out of your electric smoker!

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