Every once in a great while, you come across a fantastic gadget that makes you feel like you had never really lived until the moment you first used it. Combine that experience with a killer recipe and it is like foodie nirvana. I want to give you one of those moments by introducing you to the Frogmat and Traeger's Coffee Break Jerky. A match made in smoker heaven. (Yeah, it's a real place)
This jerky is cured meat perfection. It effortlessly marries the salty, the sweet, the smoky, and the spicy in each chewy bite. This recipe is great because the Traeger does all the work for you, the hardest part is waiting the 5 hours until it is finished.
Coffee Break Beef Jerky
Recommended Pellets: Cherry, Oak, Pecan
1 cup brewed strong coffee or espresso, cold
1 cup cola
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoons Morton Tender Quick® curing salt (optional)
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 pounds trimmed beef top or bottom round, flank steak, or sirloin tip (this is what I used)
1. In a resealable plastic bag, combine the coffee, cola, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, curing salt (if using), pepper, and hot sauce.
2. With a sharp knife, slice the beef into 1/4-inch thick slices against the grain. (This is easier if the meat is partially frozen.) My sirloin tips were thinly sliced already. Trim any fat or connective tissue and cut into strips that are 1-2 inches wide.
3. Put the beef slices in the large resealable plastic bag with the marinade mixture. Massage the bag so that all the slices get coated with the marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight.
4. When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes).
5. Remove the beef from the marinade and discard the marinade. Dry the beef slices between paper towels.
6. Arrange the meat in a single layer directly on the grill grate. I put my Frogmat down on the grill first and then laid my beef strips directly on top.
7. Smoke for 4 to 5 hours, or until the jerky is dry but still chewy and somewhat pliant when you bend a piece. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag while the jerky's still warm. Let the jerky rest for an hour at room temperature. Squeeze any air from the bag, and refrigerate the jerky. It will keep for several weeks.
After you spent all of those hours waiting for your jerky to smoke, it would be a huge shame to have it stick to your grill grate. That is the beauty of the FrogMat. Nothing sticks! We have used them for more than just jerky, though. Honestly, I only ever take it off my Traeger to clean it and then put it back on. Check out some gems from my Frogmat Scrapbook:
If you are interested in picking up a Frogmat for yourself, you can find a list of dealers here. They will run you anywhere from $8 to $40 depending on size.