Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Beef Jerky

Time is running out before our 2014 NSE trip (this year it's Surf City on the Churchill River near Missinipe, SK) and I still have to pack and get everything ready. On my "To-Do" list is smoking & drying the jerky for our trip. On Sunday I bought 2 round roasts (5 lbs of meat in total?), sliced them up and marinated them in a homemade teryaki sauce with jerky cure. This evening (Tuesday) they will go into the smoker using this smoke schedule from the Bradley Smoker website:

  1. Dry at 140°F without smoke until the meat is dry (~ 1 hour)
  2. Smoke at 160°F for 2-3 hours
  3. Dry at 175°F until done - about 3 hours.
The sauce I used was gleaned and modified from a couple of different websites and spiced up some, but basically went something like this:
  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white wine (since I didn't have any rice wine or whatever was called for)
  • a couple tablespoons of fresh ginger
  • a fair bit of honey to sweeten the mixture to taste - maybe 1/4 cup or more
  • minced garlic
  • onion powder
  • cayenne
  • ground pepper
  • chili flakes
The sauce was heated to dissolve the honey, then cooled in the freezer before use. Just prior to marinating the meat with the sauce, I added an appropriate amount of cure based on the instructions (just shy of 2 tsp).

Rather than finish in the smoker, I pulled the jerky out after smoking and finished in the dehydrator. The smoker doesn't offer very even heat, getting hot along the back above the burner (some folks install a small fan which would be great in this application). Because the meat is thin it is prone to quickly overcooking in some areas along the back and I would have to counter this by frequently rotating the racks and meat. Since it was late (~11 pm), I decided to finish the drying process on the dehydrator, set to 160°F. I connected the dehydrator to a block heater timer so that it would dry for about 3 hours, be off for the rest of the night, then start up again in the morning to finish it off. I find that second drying step is helpful with a lot of foods - the moisture becomes "trapped" inside the dried outer parts, and takes a very long time to dry properly. By giving the food a bit of a break, the moisture moves outward and becomes more even through the product. Then, a short period of drying (~1 hour in this case) finishes off the product and ensures it is sufficiently dry all the way through.

Smoker set up and ready to go.

5 racks of jerky ready to start the drying step.
The finished product the next morning.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Kayak Asshole

This is pretty hilarious. Enjoy! Thanks to the Kayak Yak blog for sharing! http://kayakyak.blogspot.ca/2014/08/kayak-asshole.html

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Inspiration for Rod

NSE member Rod often tells the story of falling a large tree in his back yard much to his neighbour's chagrin. Well, we think Rod will enjoy this precision tree-falling video.