Field Dressing (right after the kill)
- Only cut through the skin
- Be careful not to puncture the stomach
- If you spill any urine or feces onto meat, wash it away immediately with water
- Place bag of ice inside chest cavity to help keep carcass cool
PreparationStart with chilled meat so that it’s easier to cut. You’ll be grateful later. Trim all excess fat from the edges of the meat. Slice your meat with the grain, not against the grain. Cut your pieces thin, then pound with a mallet.
Curing & SeasoningIn a large bowl, combine the ingredients of your favorite curing recipe and stir until well blended. Garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, nutmeg, ginger and other spices are commonly used. When ingredients are dissolved, put bowl in the refrigerator and chill well. Later, add strips of meat and stir using your fingers until all of the meat is covered. Put back in refrigerator. Over the next few hours, stir meat occasionally. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, strain the liquid from the meat using a colander. You do not want to rinse the meat.
Smoking Your JerkyPrepare your smoker with your preferred smoking chips or bisquettes, enough to last 6 to 8 hours. You can hang the strips of meat, place them on the rack or put them in a wire-mesh smoking basket. Leave the damper wide open and do not add water to the drop bowl. Bring temperature to 140-160°F and let cook until completely dry.
When done, your jerky should be about half the thickness it was when raw, and about half the weight. When you bend it, a few of the muscle fibers should fray. This is normal. If it breaks, then it will have a longer shelf life, however, it will not be as tasty.You may want to flip over the meat strips every 45 minutes or so to prevent them from sticking to the rack or wire-mesh basket. There you have it! If you think your jerky needs more salt, go ahead and add a teaspoon to the curing mixture. Bradley Smoker offers many jerky curing options for wild game so check out some of our other recipes! Good luck and happy hunting this season!