It really doesn't matter what meat you use in this California jerky seasoning recipe (deer, beef or turkey), the results are equally delightful. You just need to make sure that the seasoning in the marinade has enough time to work its magic and your jerky will be to die for!
Technically making jerky doesn't actually involve smoking the meat (although you can if you wish) it is actually just about drying it. That said, a smoker does come in handy for drying at the right temperature which is between 160-175°F or 71-80°C
Where does the flavor come from if it's not in the smoke? It's from the seasoning and this marinade packs a punch but note that it's an overnight marinade.
You'll notice in the list of ingredients for this jerky seasoning recipe that I use a pinch of sodium nitrite or salt petre. This is the coloring agent that you normally see in ham, it turns the meat an attractive pinky color. You don't have to use it, it'll make no difference to the final flavor but if you don't use it then your meat will just be it's normal brown color.
Likewise, the use of mono sodium glutamate and liquid smoke are also optional ingredients but clearly the omission of these will change the final flavor somewhat.
There is enough seasoning to flavor 2.2lbs or 1 kg or raw meat.
Mix everything together and you're ready to add your strips of meat to the seasoning. Put the sliced meat in and stir well then cover and refrigerate overnight giving it a stir on the hour for the first couple of hours.
When the night is through and you're ready for the drying / smoking stage, use a sieve or colander to strain the meat and don't rinse it.
The final stage is to dry the meat and as I said earlier, you can do this in your smoker or oven. Use these links for the full guide on the drying process:-