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Weber Smokey Mountain Jerky (Explained)

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Beef Jerky Weber Smokey Mountain

Beef jerky is one of the best things to come from a cow after milk (and all its derivatives) and brisket. Jerky is a great protein-packed snack whether you are on the go, enjoying the game, or smoking more meat. The best part is you can make it at home instead of buying it at the grocery or convenience store. If you have a Weber Smokey Mountain, you have the ability to make delicious jerky in your own backyard.

Weber Smokey Mountain Jerky Rack

One of the most common ways to smoke jerky is to hang it from a rack to maximize cooking space on your Smokey Mountain. The more jerky you can make at a time, the better. However, Weber discontinued their expandable smoking rack. Laying your jerky flat on the cooking grates will work well for getting that smokey flavor though.

Weber Smokey Mountain Venison Jerky

Jerky is almost synonymous with beef. Most bags of jerky at the store are beef-based. However, venison is a great option when it comes to jerky. If you are a hunter, jerky is a great way to utilize as much of the deer as possible. Venison is also lean which is perfect for jerky.

Weber Smokey Mountain Jerky Rack Alternative

With Weber having discontinued their smoking rack, where does that leave you, the aspiring jerky maker? Thankfully, a smoking rack is not the only way to make jerky on your Smokey Mountain.

How Do You Make Jerky Without A Rack?

A rack is most useful for increasing the amount of jerky you can smoke at one time. Jerky can be laid flat across the cooking grates of the Smokey Mountain. While that does reduce the amount you can make in one batch, you will still get the same delicious results as if you had a rack for hanging the jerky. The Smokey Mountain does have two cooking grates which helps make room for more jerky.

How Do You Smoke Jerky On A Weber Smokey Mountain?

The key to great jerky is low and slow to dry the meat out. You are wanting to keep the temperature on your grill low throughout the cook, lower than you would normally be smoking anything.

Do You Use A Water Pan When Smoking Jerky?

While most times you smoke anything on your Smokey Mountain you will be using the water pan to help add moisture, you will not be putting water in the water pan for jerky. While a full water pan does help regulate the temperature in your grill, you do not want any more moisture being added while making jerky.

How Long And At What Temperature Do You Smoke Beef Jerky?

Low and slow is the key, even lower than when you are smoking brisket. You want to target a temperature around 160 degrees Fahrenheit but if you end up around 180, you will still be okay. Smoke them for around 5-6 hours until you reach the desired texture.

Is Jerky Better In A Smoker Or Dehydrator?

There are pros and cons to both the smoker and the dehydrator when it comes to jerky. However, if you’re reading this article, chances are you’re a fan of smoked food. If you are judging your jerky simply on taste and texture, you want smoked jerky. As long as you don’t add too much smoke to your jerky, it will taste better and be more tender on the smoker. A dehydrator is more effective than a smoker if you are trying to preserve meat for an extended period of time.

What Kind Of Meat Can You Use For Beef Jerky?

When it comes to choosing your cuts for beef jerky, the most important characteristic you are looking for is the amount of fat on the beef. The leaner the cut of beef is, the better it makes for jerky. Fat does not dry out the same way meat does, and the fat can cause the meat to turn bad. Whether you are attempting preserve the meat for longevity or you just really like jerky, fat is bad either way.

Price also factors in to what is the best meat for making jerky. When you smoke jerky, you lose half to 2/3rds of the starting weight. So you do not want to put the most expensive cuts of beef into jerky. The best meat will be the leanest, cheapest cuts such as top round.

What Wood Is Best For Smoking Jerky?

When smoking jerky, you need to pay attention to how much wood smoke you are putting on the meat. Jerky is made from thin slices of meat and can be easily overpower by too much smoke. Hickory is a great option for smoking jerky. As long as you are careful with how much wood you put on your grill, it should not overpower the jerky but instead be a nice, smoky addition.