Here is another post from January 2007.
The other day I was at the local Walmart and found this Jerky Maker Kit on sale for $15. I have seen them before, but making jerky out of burger never really appealed to me. Knowing that this kit could cost $30 or more and the fact that I have a ton of game burger I decided to buy it. I made a small 1 lb batch in the oven and it turned out great. Now that I know it works I wanted to make a large batch in the smoker. So I went to Sportsman’s Warehouse and picked up a couple extra racks at $10 each, then on the way home I made a quick trip to Wallyworld (thinking that an extra Jerky Maker Kit for $15 would give me another rack as well as extra parts). When I got to the section, the kits were now on clearance for $11. Well I sure could use a few more racks ……so I bought 3 more kits.
The kit comes with one rack, one gun (caulk type) and two nozzles, one flat and one round. The nozzles and tube are made of plastic and I am sure that they will become brittle in short order. The spices are purchased separately.
After mixing the burger (5 lbs), spices, cure and water, you need to let the meat sit for a minimum of 4 hours in the fridge. Since I have a few, I fill two tubes with meat to save time. When “shooting” the jerky strips on the rack I put them as close as I can and I get 12 pieces about 12 inches long per full rack. The jerky gun is easy to use and within a few minutes I was able to shoot strips with ease.
The racks are a bit too wide to fit side by side in my smoker cabinet but I was able to maximize by not filling one rack (9 strips instead of 12) on each level and over lapping with a full rack. I left the racks in place for 45 minutes and then rotated them at 30-minute intervals and then let them sit for 15 minutes without heat for a total cook time of 2 hours. I was able to hold the temperature around 200 degrees F.
When done the strips were very tender and a little moist so I laid them out under a fan for a few hours and they dried and toughened up a bit. The Teriyaki flavor that I used was a bit bland, but other than that it turned out great.
I really like this little kit, but because it is made of plastic, I would not buy it at full price. I would look at some of the other models available. Some even have tips that shoot two strips at a time.
Below you will see some pics from the batch I am making as I post this. I am making 5 lbs of the “Original” flavor. I started laying the strips at 5 pm and now at 6 pm I just loaded the smoker.
Making the strips
Finished (Previous Batch)
Close up (Previous Batch)