Forget about making jerky in a dehydrator or oven. It’s all about making jerky in a smoker.
If you’ve never tried smoked jerky, then you are missing out. The secret to making the best jerky is knowing what temperature to smoke it at and how long to smoke it.
Smoke your jerky at 200°F for 3-6 hours, and you will have the best jerky on the planet.
- Is 200 Degrees Too Hot For Jerky
- Can You Get Sick From Undercooked Jerky
- Is Jerky Better In A Smoker Or Dehydrator
- What’s The Best Wood For Smoking Jerky
- Do You Use A Water Pan When Smoking Jerky
- How Long Do You Marinate Jerky
- How Long To Smoke Jerky At 200
- How Long To Smoke Jerky At 200 In A Pellet Smoker
- How Long To Smoke Jerky At 200 In An Electric Smoker
- How Long To Smoke Venison Jerky At 200
- Final Thoughts
Is 200 Degrees Too Hot For Jerky
When smoking jerky, all the moisture must be evaporated from the meat. If the temperature is too high, the outside of the jerky will form a crust.
The crust prevents the moisture inside the meat from evaporating.
Any temperature between 170°F and 200°F is ideal for smoking jerky. At 200°F, the jerky will dehydrate completely.
Plus, it will dehydrate much quicker than if it were smoked at 170°F or 180°F.
Can You Get Sick From Undercooked Jerky
Yes, you can get sick from undercooked jerky. You can get food poisoning from eating under-processed jerky. Listeria is the most common type of food poisoning associated with jerky.
However, listeria and other pathogens will not develop in beef jerky if they are fully dehydrated and there is no moisture to promote bacterial growth.
So make sure your jerky is processed thoroughly before consuming it.
Is Jerky Better In A Smoker Or Dehydrator
Smoking jerky in a dehydrator is the more common method. It is easier to use a dehydrator to make jerky than a smoker. Plus, most folks have access to a dehydrator.
However, it takes much longer to make jerky in a smoker. Plus, there is a greater chance the jerky will still be raw in the middle, especially if it is not sliced thin enough.
In contrast, smoking jerky with a smoker is the better option, especially if you have access to a smoker.
The jerky will cook faster and more evenly. Additionally, the jerky will have a beautiful smoky flavor.
What’s The Best Wood For Smoking Jerky
It depends on what type of jerky you are smoking. For example, beef jerky can tolerate concentrated wood. However, chicken or pork jerky can easily be overpowered by concentrated wood.
Hickory is an excellent wood for smoking most types of jerky. It gives the jerky that beautiful smoky flavor we all know and love.
Additionally, it’s perfect for beef jerky because it will not overpower the beef’s flavor. Hickory also pairs really well with sweet notes in the marinade.
You can also smoke jerky using apple or cherry wood. It will give the jerky a mild smoky flavor with a hint of sweetness.
Do You Use A Water Pan When Smoking Jerky
Remember, the point of smoking jerky is to remove the moisture. Do not use the water pan if you are smoking jerky. Remove it from the smoker if possible.
The water will add additional moisture to the meat, possibly lengthening the cooking time. It could also cause the jerky to dehydrate improperly.
Moisture may still be left in the meat. Remember, once the outer crust forms, the heat cannot penetrate the center of the meat. So do not use a water pan.
How Long Do You Marinate Jerky
It depends on how much time you have. You must marinate the jerky for at least 4 hours to let the meat absorb the marinade’s flavors.
You can marinate the jerky in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
The longer you let the jerky marinate, the more flavor it will absorb and the more tender it will be. However, you do not want to overdo it, or the jerky will be mushy.
How Long To Smoke Jerky At 200
How long it takes to smoke jerky depends on how thick or thin the jerky slices are and the smoker you are using.
Ultimately you want to slice the jerky between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick.
At this thickness, it will take 3-6 hours to smoke the jerky at 200°F. Check the jerky progress after 3 hours to ensure it does not get too dry.
How Long To Smoke Jerky At 200 In A Pellet Smoker
Pellet smokers/grills are a little different. They are known for maintaining consistent heat, which can speed up the smoking process.
The jerky will take about 3-5 hours to smoke at 200°F in a pellet smoker. However, check the jerky after 2-3 hours to ensure it is not drying too quickly.
If it is, move the pieces that are drying too quickly away from the heating unit.
How Long To Smoke Jerky At 200 In An Electric Smoker
You can smoke jerky in any smoker, including an electric smoker. Every smoker is different, but it will take 6-8 hours to smoke jerky at 200°F in an electric smoker.
However, check the jerky to see if it’s done after 3 hours. If it is not done dehydrating, continue smoking it, checking the jerky every 60-90 minutes.
How Long To Smoke Venison Jerky At 200
Smoking venison jerky differs slightly from smoking beef, pork, or chicken jerky. The thin slices of venison easily absorb, so it is important not to over-smoke the meat, or it will ruin the jerky.
It can take as little as 2 hours to smoke venison jerky. However, it can take as long as 6 hours to smoke venison jerky.
Check the venison jerky after 2 hours to see if it is not done. If it is not done, check it for doneness every hour to ensure it does not overcook.
Smoking is hands down the best method for making jerky. It adds a delicious smoky touch to the salty dried beef.
The trick is figuring out how long to smoke the jerky. If you do not smoke the jerky long enough, it will be undercooked and could make anyone who eats it sick.
In contrast, it will be unpleasantly dry if you cook the jerky too long.
Luckily, since you know how long to smoke jerky, over-dried or undercooked jerky will not be an issue.
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.