Prep 6 hrs
Cook 4 hrs
Technically and traditionally, beef jerky isn't smoked, but allowed to air-dry slowly. However, the drying process was often given a boost by hanging the strips of meat over a smoldering fire. So, when adapting the process for jerky to a stove top smoker, start with a small amount of wood and low heat and finish with a lengthy drying process that takes place in the oven, not around the campfire. Use oak, mesquite, hickory, or cherry wood chips. From the "Smokin" cookbook.
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 lb bottom round beef roast, cut into 1/4 x 1/2 x 3-inch strips (see note)
- 1 tablespoon wood chips
- Stir the salt and sugar together in a small bowl. Toss the beef strips in the marinade.
- Refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap for about 6 hours, tossing several times.
- Drain the beef thoroughly in a colander, but do not rinse or pat it dry. Lay the beef strips on the smoking rack, making sure there is space between each so the smoke can circulate. Set up the smoker using the wood chips and smoke the beef over medium heat with the lid cracked until the first wisps of smoke rise and close lid; then reduce the heat to medium-low once the lid of the smoker is closed, for 30 minutes.
- While the beef is smoking, set the oven to 'Warm' or 200ºF.
- After the beef is done smoking, transfer the beef on the rack to a baking sheet. Oven-dry the beef until it is leathery but still slightly pliable, about 4 hours. Leave on the rack in the oven to cool.
- Store the jerky at room temperature in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. Jerky will last indefinitely.
- Note: When buying beef to make jerky, choose a piece that is about 3 inches long and fairly thin. It will be easier to make strips of the right size. First, cut with the grain into 1/4-inch strips. Lay the strips flat and cut them lengthwise intl 1/2-inch or so widths. Finally, if necessary, cut the strips to about 3 inches in length. Don't worry if the pieces are irregular, that's part of the fun of making your own jerky. Do make sure they are no thicker than 1/4-inch or they won't dry properly.