Homemade Teriyaki Jerky
Pellet Recommendation: Apple, Cherry, Oak
Prep Time: 10 minutes (plus a few hours to marinate)
Cook Time: 4-5 hours
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin or sweet cooking wine
2 tablespoons sugar
3 'coins' of fresh ginger (each about 1/4 thick), or 2 teaspoons of powdered ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds trimmed beef top or bottom round, sirloin tip, flank steak or wild game
In a mixing bowl combine the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, ginger, garlic, onion powder, and black pepper.
Start with a good cut of meat that has very little fat or connective tissue. I used sirloin because that's my beef cut of choice.
With a sharp knife, slice the beef into 1/4-inch thick slices against the grain. This is a whole lot easier to do if the meat is partially frozen.
Trim off any fat or connective tissue that you can. Put the beef slices in a large resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over the beef.
Massage the bag so that all the slices get coated with the marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. I turned the bag over once or twice to make sure all of the slices soaked up that marinade.
When ready to cook, start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open for 4-5 minutes or until the fire is established.
Remove the beef from the marinade and discard the marinade. Dry the beef slices between paper towels and arrange the meat in a single layer on the grill grate or on a magnificent Frogmat.
Smoke for 4 to 5 hours or until the jerky is dry but chewy and still pliant when you bend it.
I realized that I had far too much beef than would fit on my Traeger Junior. (which is definitely not a bad problem to have!) Because I didn't want to run the Traeger for another 4 hours (and although we have Extra Grill Racks for the Select, 'Lil Tex/Elite, and the Texas, there isn't one for the Junior), in a pinch I improvised and used a cooling rack with legs for a little more storage. It didn't offer a whole lot more room but it was enough to finish the job.
Immediately transfer the jerky to a resealable plastic bag and let it rest for an hour at room temperature. This will help the jerky stay soft and not give your jaw a workout. Any condensation in the bag will be reabsorbed by the jerky.
Squeeze the air out of the bag and keep the jerky in the refrigerator and you'll be enjoying that delicious treat for weeks to come!
This is my idea of a midnight snack!