How to Make Jerky in an Electric Smoker

 

Best Smoked Beef Jerky Recipe

This type of recipe and post is a little bit off the beaten path for us. In a house full of boys, it was inevitable that we would one day have a smoker and play around with some recipes. However, being unsure of exactly how much we would use such a contraption, we opted for an electric smoker, hoping to keep the task a little easier than the old-fashioned smoker.

One of the biggest hits, though, of dishes that we’ve tried in the smoker is this Beef Jerky recipe! It really hits the spot for an easy snack, full of protein, and an abundance of homemade flavor (which you can easily adjust to your own tastes).

When I first tried doing this, I bought a chunk of beef and tried cutting it up into small, thin strips (no easy task for myself). Then I discovered the stir-fry beef strips already sliced nice and thin and available in the meat section at the grocery store. Yay for keeping things simple and easy!

Stir fry beef strips and marinade for beef jerky

The marinade for the beef is made up of everyday ingredients – soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey, red pepper flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. Mix all those together and pour over the beef strips in a Zip-lock bag or container with a lid.

Then let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator so all that good flavor soaks in really well.

Next day, heat up the smoker to 165 degrees F and add your favorite wood chips. Do not add water to the water pan, though, especially if cooking a really large batch of jerky (filling up the smoker racks), as the water really keeps the jerky from drying out sufficiently and greatly prolongs the needed cooking time.

 

beef jerky on rack in smoker

I bring the smoker racks inside and set them on a large tray covered in aluminum foil so I can easily lay out the beef strips, with a little space between each strip, and prepare it for putting in the smoker. Once the smoker is heated up, I just carry the racks out to the smoker and put them in place.

 

It takes about 3 hours for one pound of jerky in my electric smoker, but it may be a little longer in yours, and it will definitely take longer if you double the recipe.

Once your cooking time is close to finished, check the jerky to see if it’s done by pulling out one strip and seeing if it’s limp and floppy when you hold it or if it’s fairly stiff. If it’s still limp and floppy, let the jerky cook a little longer and check it again.

Smoked beef jerky with seasonings

We usually eat this jerky up pretty quickly, so I just store it in an airtight bag or container for the few days until it’s gone. However, if you cook up a bunch and want to freeze it, it can last for about 3 months in the freezer.

Beef jerky in serving bowl

Is this something you would consider making at home now in your own smoker? Do you have another favorite way to make jerky or a favorite smoker recipe to share? Please take a moment and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Remember, you can keep all your favorite smoker, BBQ, grilling recipes and more right here in your own digital recipe box at Dish Dish!

Keep Favorite Recipes in Free Online Cookbook with Grocery Shopping List (recipe organizer)

 

Easy Creamy Ham and Corn Chowder Pasta Recipe

 

Creamy Ham and Corn Chowder Recipe | Easy Pasta Recipes

When you need a quick pasta recipe to get dinner on the table and fill everyone up quickly, this Creamy Ham and Corn Chowder Pasta is a winner!

The ham, corn, and green beans with onions are sauteed in butter; then you add a little flour to make a bit of a roux before adding the chicken broth to bring it all together in a nice creamy sauce (with some half-and-half and Parmesan to round out the flavors).

A little chopped fresh parsley adds some color and a hint of flavor while also making a beautiful garnish (to make everyone feel special at the table).

Use up some leftover ham or dice up some ham from the deli, add in frozen or canned vegetables, and this dish doesn’t take long at all to be ready for your crew.

So, let’s get started with step-by-step directions (view and print the detailed recipe).

We’ll start by putting a pot of water on to boil and adding a little salt to it.

Next toss the diced onions into a skillet with some butter and let that cook for a few minutes until onion becomes translucent and softens a bit.

(Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions).

Stir in the diced ham, corn and green beans (either frozen or canned), and stir over medium-high heat until ingredients begin to lightly brown (add a little more butter, if needed).

ham and parsley for creamy chowder pasta recipe

Sprinkle some flour over the ingredients in the skillet and stir (lightly coating everything), then pour in the heated chicken broth and reduce heat to a simmer. Now, we’re going to let this simmer for just a few minutes until some of the broth has evaporated and sauce starts to thicken.

Then we add in the half-and-half along with some Parmesan cheese and stir well, reducing heat to low so the half-and-half doesn’t curdle. (You can add the chopped parsley and stir in at this point or save it to add as garnish just before serving – or use a little for both). Stir in the cooked pasta.

Creamy Ham and Corn Chowder Pasta | Easy Pasta Recipes

If you aren’t ready to eat right away, you could cover the dish and set in the oven to keep warm for a bit without continuing to cook; or pour it all into a baking dish and top with some breadcrumbs and bake for a few minutes if you prefer to serve it as a casserole dish.

I loved how this pasta recipe reminded me of the savory flavors of corn chowder, and it was great to have the entire meal in one skillet (or serve with your favorite salad and bread, as desired).

What do you think? Will you try this recipe soon? What kind of variations would you consider for your crew? (Meatless, gluten-free pasta, different vegetables or seasonings?)

We love hearing from you, so please leave us your thoughts in the comments below.

Remember you can keep all your favorite recipes (and edit them, create a grocery list, add photos, share with friends) right here in your digital recipe box and online cookbook!

online recipe box, digital recipe book, online cookbook

Stress-Free Kitchen Living Tips

 

Stress Free Kitchen Living and Cooking Tips

 

Some people are relaxed and completely at home in the kitchen, comfortably curious and content to putter around experimenting with ingredients, textures, and processes until they find their favorite ones for dishing up simply fabulous food for friends and family. (Above Photo by Katherine Chase on Unsplash)

And then there are the rest of us – some completely stressed at the thought of having to get in the kitchen and pull together an edible (if not completely enjoyable) meal for themselves or their family on a regular basis (all while either dreading or listening to the cries of “What’s for Dinner?”)!

If you find yourself more closely aligned to the latter group, take heart! Here are a few simple tips that will reduce your stress in the kitchen, and help you move towards being more comfortable and relaxed while cooking and prepping meals (perhaps even having you dancing in the kitchen before you know it).

1. Have a Plan

Start small – if you are unaccustomed to meal planning, pick two or three dishes that you already know how to make (or feel comfortable that you could learn quickly) and plan to make those in the coming week. Add the ingredients to your shopping list for the week (so you’ll be prepared with everything you need), and see which days of the coming week will work best with the schedule for you to prepare those meals (not on the night when you’ll have 15 minutes between getting home from work and leaving to get the kids to sports practice).

We have lots of quick and easy recipes here on Dish Dish, or pick up a cookbook like Quick Six Fix by Stuart O’Keeffe that contains 100 recipes each requiring only six ingredients and six minutes of prep. No matter your plan, just having one is going to reduce the stress immensely!

4 Week Meal Plan (Menu) with Grocery List

2. Clear your Work Area

This simple step should only take a few minutes and will make all the difference in how you “feel” as you start prepping and cooking in the kitchen. Clear off the counterspace you’ll be using (in the long-term, it’s best to have a place for things, so the clutter isn’t an issue); for now, it can be simply setting the things in a different part of the kitchen or adjacent area while you work.

Professor Joseph Ferrari of DePaul University in Chicago noted that a chaotic and disorderly living space can disturb your “sense of home and ability to bond with others.”

cleared kitchen counters; stress-free living tips

3. Enjoy Stress-Reducing Ambience

I know, the word “ambience” makes you think this is going to be real work, but it isn’t! If you have an essential oils diffuser, turn it on and diffuse relaxing scents like lavender, citrus, or cinnamon. No oil diffuser? No problem! Set a saucepan on the stove and throw in a few cloves, a cinnamon stick, or some ginger slices and a lemon slice, with 2 cups of water and allow to simmer while you’re working. In no time at all, the familiar, soothing aromas will help clear your head and reduce the stress level. For an even easier route, light your favorite scented candles.

decorative candles

4. Play Some Dancing Music

Having grown up in a family that was very musically-inclined, music was a large part of most of our activities and gatherings. Even if that is not a familiar custom for you, enjoying some of your favorite music (whether it’s upbeat dancing music or your favorite soothing instrumental music) will always make the task you’re doing be a little less tedious and a lot more enjoyable. If other family members are in the kitchen with you, let them help pick out something to listen to together while everyone pitches in on the prep tasks.

Dancing in the Kitchen; stress-free kitchen living tips

5. Remember to Be Kind (to Yourself)

Okay, this isn’t really so much of an action step as a frame of mind. In the end, remember if the meal doesn’t come out looking like a Pinterest recipe (and how many of us actually end up with that kind of result?!?) or tasting like a million bucks, cut yourself some slack. Accept a pat on the back for taking steps in the right direction; and if the meal turns out to be a complete fail, don’t cry if you have to order a pizza as a last resort.

All of us learn by trying different things until we find what works best for ourselves and our particular situation. A friend of mine used to say she had decided to just smile and say “Ta-da” even when things weren’t going well since it reminded her to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective – it’s not usually as bad as it seems in the moment.

 

We look forward to hearing how these tips inspired and reduced stress for you; please leave us a comment below with other ideas and suggestions you would like to share, too! We love hearing your stories and feedback.

Remember to reduce the clutter in your kitchen by digitizing your paper recipe collection with our Digital Recipe Album (just stuff them all in the envelope we send you, and we’ll digitally organize them for you online in no time)!