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So after the last jerky attempt on the Big Green Egg, where I used a wet marinade on the meat before smoking, this time I went with a dry brine. I ordered my cure and seasoning from Hi Mountain Jerky – I ordered both variety packs to be safe and also to have some flavors to play with in my smoking adventures. So Saturday, as the salmon and pastrami was smoking, I went to the market and picked up 5lbs of bottom round. Tip: Have the butcher slice it for you – request 1/4″ or thinner. That will save you a lot of time and prep.

Step 1: Trim the fat from the meat and cut into strips – then layout on a sheet pan and coat with seasonings per the directions. I used 2 tsps of cure with 1 1/2 tsps of seasoning per 1 lb of meat. (My 5lbs was reduced to 3lbs or so when the fat was trimmed). Bag and tag the jerky (label it if doing different flavors) and then refrigerate for 24 hours.

Jerky - Bagged and Tagged

Step 2: The Big Green Egg Prep. You need to get your egg to 200 degrees – for 7 hours. How you do it is up to you, but this is how my setup worked (and it worked great!). I first started the egg using my electric starter, got them to 500 degrees and then began shutting the top and bottom vents. In stage 1, I shut the bottom vent 3/4 of the way and the top vent about 3/4 of the way as well. That brought the temps down to 350 after about 30 minutes. I then added the apple wood chips (soaked for 2 hours) and the plate setters with a drip pan on each. In the drip pan I just put water, some rosemary, bay leaves and a jalapeno (fresh from my plant). Then I shut the eggs again and closed the vents even further (see picture below) and waited another 30 to 45 minutes until the temps hit 200.

Apple wood chips on the lump coal
Apple wood chips on the lump
Plate setter in Place
Plate setter in place
Steam tray in place on plate setter
Drip / steam tray in place on plate setter

Step 3: While the egg is coming down to temp, you can get your jerky ready to smoke. This time around, I took my grills inside and arranged the jerky there. This helped immensely in making sure the eggs didn’t smoke too much. I was able to arrange the jerky without being rushed and the eggs didn’t flare up.

Jerky - Prepped Inside

Step 4: Smoking. Now your egg is at 200 degrees, you can put the meat on. And now you wait. No peaking. Except every 1 1/2 to turn the jerky – you want to turn it to make sure it smokes evenly and that pieces near the outside don’t get to dry – do this quick and carefully, otherwise you’ll lose meat through the grill and the temp will flare up.

Jerky - First on the Grill

Jerky - Smoking on the Big Green Egg

Step 5: Nom nom nom. I smoked my jerky for 7 hours. It was done around 5 hours – but I like mine a little smokier and dry. And after 7 hours, it still came out delicious and moist. From Hi Mountain Jerky, I tried the Hickory, Cajun and Garlic Pepper Flavors. The far and away favorite was the hickory – it was nice and smoky without being overpowering. The garlic pepper was more pepper then garlic and the Cajun was pretty weak – maybe I need to up the seasonings on that next time.

Dry brining / curing turned out much much better then the wet marinade – but both were delicious. Just another affirmation that the Big Green Egg can make anything taste good. I’m hooked on jerky from the Egg – this batch is already gone and it was just smoked on Sunday.

Finished Jerky

Jerky Close Up

Finished Jerky

Now my mouth is watering for more!



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