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Smoking Jerky

smokehouse_1A good, smokey-flavored jerky is always a favorite of those who eat jerky. And while this flavor can be infused by using a ‘smoke flavored’  ingredient in the marinade, another way to achieve this woodsy taste is to smoke the jerky outdoors over wood chips rather than using a dehydrator indoors.

While this outdoor process will most likely require more attention rather than merely setting a dehydrator and coming back later, for those willing to take the time, the results can be simply delicious.


Wood Chips

The flavor will depend on both the marinade and the type of wood chips used, i.e., hickory, pecan, oak, mesquite, etc.   (Visit this link to read more about wood chips, as all woods are not safe  . . . some are toxic.)


offsetBBQSmokerWhen smoking jerky over charcoal and wood chips,  the preparation method is basically the same – lean meat, trimmed of fat, marinated –  with the exception of adding in a ‘smoke flavor’ to the marinade.



Before purchasing any smoker for making jerky, consider the frequency of making jerky, the amount of jerky to be made each time, and the possible use of the smoker to smoke (or BBQ) other foods like:

  • Sausage
  • Hams
  • Turkey, Chicken
  • Brisket
  • Ribs

The amount of jerky to be smoked will depend on the size and type of smoker required. Some use home-built wooden smokers that look like small buildings* –  while others use purchased ones. These manufactured smokers can range in size  from large to small;  charcoal  to propane, fancy to plain.

* It should be noted that if using a free-standing smokehouse-type building, due diligence  should be performed on how to effectively deliver the smoke to the meat as well as how to maintain a constant temperature for drying.



biggreenegg_aniMost home BBQs can be adapted to smoke jerky by using the offset method  or if you already have a smoker like the   Big Green Egg, you’re ready to go.  The following  link is to an alternate smoker similar to BGE (lower price) – Char-Griller 06620 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker, Red.



To see a variety of smokers & accessories available on Amazon, please visit this link.



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