Jerky Question



TVWBB Gold Member
I'm looking to make some jerky in the very near future. I have an 18.5 WSM. At what temp do you dry them out and for how long? Do you recommend snake method or minion? What meat cuts do you typically use?


TVWBB All-Star
I've done jerky a few times on my 18"wsm and have had excellent results. I use the snake method with a 2x2 stack of charcoal. i cut the meat to around 3/8" thick and run the wsm 150-180°. I let it go till the snake burns up and it's usually just right.

Rich G

TVWBB Honor Circle
Tim and Six have you on the right track, JR. I typically try to run at 175, using a charcoal snake with two briquettes on the bottom row, and one on the top. I run a dry pan, and I have a temp controller, so I get to cheat a little (but it makes the temp control easier for me!) I will usually use top round because CostCo frequently has that available. I cut it about 3/8" thick (I like it this way), and with the grain. Since the goal is to dry the meat to your desired doneness, I always try to blot as much marinade off the slices before putting them on the WSM as I can. Otherwise, it just takes a bit longer on the smoker, as there's more to evaporate.

Good luck!


Rich G

TVWBB Honor Circle
You're welcome, JR (or is it, JA?) :)

Ryan, I use a marinade. Usually for two to three days. Here's my go-to (originally formulated by Kevin Taylor, known around here as Stogie.....)

1 pound Jerky meat, sliced and ready
1 tablespoon Tender Quick OR Kosher salt
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 tablespoon Honey
1/2 tablespoon A1 Steak Sauce
2 teaspoons Beef rub
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
Hot pepper powder or Hot sauce to taste

I don't use TQ, as the stuff never stays around long enough to need it when I make it.

I never let the WSM temp get over about 140 when drying out jerky. I've got a fan on the WSM so I crank that all the way up and pile maybe 3 or 4 briqs on the bottom with a small piece of smoke wood. That creates just enough heat to get the wood smoking but not enough to heat the WSM appreciably. I do have to check on it about every 30 minutes or so as all that air makes the briqs burn really fast.

Remember you're not trying to cook the meat, just dry it out and maybe add some smoke flavor.

Here's a blog post I did on it.