Author Topic: James' Jerky Dryer... On when, Off when?  (Read 881 times)

hunt0168

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James' Jerky Dryer... On when, Off when?
« on: March 05, 2017, 08:52:34 AM »
So I have searched and read for quite awhile trying to find some solid info on exactly how and when the JJD should be used to produce the best results. I didn't find much in the way of instructions for use or maintenance.

I have used mine 3 times for snack sticks and pepperoni. I ran it from start to finish. After all of my reading I cannot determine if this is the correct approach or not? Seems like some do not run it until after the smoke phase. It seems like the air movement would be beneficial during the first drying cycle. Then I read where it shouldn't be used for high temps but no temp range was mentioned. What is considered high temps?

Any information regarding this is welcome and appreciated.
Bob - Central New York
I have canine teeth...I'm gonna eat meat!

old sarge

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Re: James' Jerky Dryer... On when, Off when?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2017, 09:33:17 PM »
Just taking a stab at this.  From the posts I have read, the dryer is used from the get go for jerky.  As for the hi temp warning, I am guessing that means do not use except for jerky, in other words, not for ribs, butts, brisket, poultry etc as the temp is higher and could lead to a very dry final product.  Just a guess mind you.
David from Arizona
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hunt0168

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Re: James' Jerky Dryer... On when, Off when?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2017, 05:09:52 PM »
Thanks for your input Sarge. I'm pretty surprised that there weren't more replies to this one. It has been pretty well documented throughout this forum that it is absolutely essential to use the JJD or some similar device to draw out moisture for jerky and sausage. I figured that there would be some well documented JJD standard practices being posted in reply.

Wouldn't there be increased combustion of the wood with the fan on during the smoke portion from the extra air being drawn through the box? Ideally we want a smoldering scenario correct?

Also, wouldn't burning wood reduce the actual smoke time significantly and create a less controllable heat source within the box?
Bob - Central New York
I have canine teeth...I'm gonna eat meat!

old sarge

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Re: James' Jerky Dryer... On when, Off when?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2017, 07:08:12 PM »
Hi Bob - Here is my second stab.  One would think that pulling on more air would indeed increase the chance of or actually cause combustion. BUT!  You are smoking at a low temp and thus the element is at a lower heat point so that may be why there is no combustion.  It would also explain why you would not use it for high temperature smoking. And I also am a tad surprised that some of those users of the James Jerky Dryer did not chime in.  Leaving answers to someone like me who doesn't use one (nor do I make jerky) is a real puzzlement. There are far more qualified people with practical experience than I who could have chimed in.   I hope that helps.  Dave
David from Arizona
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Rich B

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Re: James' Jerky Dryer... On when, Off when?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2017, 08:20:28 AM »
I would imagine this question would get a lot more responses if it was posted in the Jerky section.  I have the dryer but haven't used it yet, hoping to learn all i can before making my first batch of jerky!
Rich from S.E. MI, and summers in the thumb!
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old sarge

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Re: James' Jerky Dryer... On when, Off when?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2017, 09:12:15 AM »
Good point.
David from Arizona
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Donmac

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Re: James' Jerky Dryer... On when, Off when?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2017, 11:42:20 AM »
I used this post by Pork Belly as a base when I made jerky. Came out excellent.

http://smokinitforums.com/index.php?topic=1831.0
Don from New Hampshire, 3D & #1 Owner

coachB

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Re: James' Jerky Dryer... On when, Off when?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2017, 05:00:52 PM »
The James Dryer can be used favorably for other than jerky.  I use the dryer for cold smoking bacon along with the amazin pellet smoker.  It is also good for smoking larger sausages without the heat.  And of course cheeses and fish.  Think anything smoked without a lot of heat.  No box or Auber controlled heat, just the pellet smoker and the dryer.  Use a propane torch to get the pellets going and the dryer will keep it lit and smoking.  Turn on your smoker heat when your recipe requires heat.
Bill from Myrtle Beach SC

hunt0168

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Re: James' Jerky Dryer... On when, Off when?
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2017, 05:51:30 PM »
Rich, I too had thought about posting it elsewhere but I was thinking more along the lines of the Sausage category rather than Jerky. As I mentioned initially, I have only made snack sticks and some botched pepperoni at this point.

Donmac, I checked out Pork Belly's thread and that looked awesome. A bit more involved but obviously a very effective and well thought out plan. But for me I was hoping to use the programming capabilities of the Auber and set things for the LazyQ approach 😀. Which I did on the sticks and things went okay. I just didn't want to wreck the JJD somehow? Too much heat or drawing the smoke through it when it's only made to pull moisture. Things like that. Or for other reasons like causing complete ignition of the wood. I'm still in the early stages of learning about electric smoker operational characteristics.

I'm curious... Why do these smokers not have vents like other smokers? My thoughts are to better control the burn or smoldering of the wood. I just feel the JJD throws that theory right out the window and creates a whole nother animal! Lol...

I appreciate the replies fellas. Keep em coming. I'm just trying to figure things out without destroying equipment or meaty treats.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 08:33:44 PM by hunt0168 »
Bob - Central New York
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SmokedGouda

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Re: James' Jerky Dryer... On when, Off when?
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2017, 10:03:46 PM »
I did a lot of reading about jerky on here and most of what I've read says they put the dryer on after the smoke dies down.

This is a good post:
http://smokinitforums.com/index.php?topic=4626.0
Phil from NJ
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DivotMaker

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Re: James' Jerky Dryer... On when, Off when?
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2017, 03:30:38 PM »
Bob, I don't do snack sticks, but for jerky, I smoke for 2 hours without the fan, then add the fan.  If you run the fan during the smoke phase, it burns the wood up in no time, due to the high airflow.  Smoke, and then dry, works for me.
Tony from NW Arkansas
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hunt0168

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Re: James' Jerky Dryer... On when, Off when?
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2017, 08:55:50 AM »
Thank you everybody for your input. On future sticks/sausage smokes I think I will use the JJD for the initial "drying" stage without wood. After the casings are dry I will add wood and turn the JJD off. When the smoke cycle is complete I will resume airflow with the JJD until finished.

I think this approach will most closely mimic the results I've had in the past with my old propane fired smoker.

Tony, for what it's worth, I think you are right on the $ when you say the JJD will cause the wood to burn up quickly. My first attempts were okay but we're pretty light on the smoke flavor. But even the light smoke flavor had a slight bitterness to the flavor profile. Not inedible but certainly not ideal. I attribute this to the following...

By adding the wood to the tray and running the JJD right from the start 1) the casings do not have a chance to dry before the wood smokes. Moist casings do not take smoke well from everything I have read. And 2) the added airflow drastically reduces the smoke time. And 3) if the wood is burning instead of smoldering I'm not getting the desired type of smoke.

Does this seem like my thought process is headed in the right direction? I'm always eager to learn and discuss. Thanks again guys.
Bob - Central New York
I have canine teeth...I'm gonna eat meat!