Can you make jerky on a pit boss smoker?

Are you a jerky lover who craves the taste of smoky, savory meat? If so, you might be wondering if it’s possible to make this delicious snack on your Pit Boss smoker. Well, we’re here to tell you that making jerky on a Pit Boss smoker is not only possible but also easy and fun.

With its consistent temperature and long cooking times, the Pit Boss smoker is an ideal tool for creating mouthwatering jerky from different types of meat such as beef, turkey, or chicken. And the best part? You can customize your jerky with your favorite marinades and flavors.

Imagine the satisfaction of biting into a perfectly smoked piece of homemade jerky that you’ve crafted to your liking. From sweet and spicy to savory and tangy, the flavor possibilities are endless when making jerky on a Pit Boss smoker.

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of making jerky on your Pit Boss smoker step-by-step. We’ll cover everything from choosing the right cut of meat to preparing a delicious marinade and smoking your jerky to perfection. Plus, we’ll give you some insider tips to help you avoid common mistakes and achieve amazing results every time.

So if you’re ready to elevate your snacking game with some homemade jerky made on your trusty Pit Boss smoker, keep reading.


What is a Pit Boss Smoker?

When it comes to smoking meats and other foods, Pit Boss smokers have become a household name. These pellet smokers offer a unique approach to smoking, utilizing wood pellets as fuel that are fed into the smoker through an auger system. The pellets are then ignited by an electric ignition system, producing a flavorful and smoky taste that cooks food to perfection.

What makes Pit Boss smokers stand out is their versatility. These smokers allow for precise temperature control, making it easy to smoke a wide range of meats and other foods like jerky. The key to making perfect jerky on a Pit Boss smoker is selecting a lean cut of meat, slicing it thinly against the grain, and removing any visible fat. Marinate the meat in your preferred marinade for several hours before smoking it at a low temperature of around 180-200°F for several hours until fully dried.

Pit Boss smokers come in different sizes and styles, from portable models to commercial-grade units. They also offer a variety of features and options such as digital controls, multiple cooking racks, and even built-in meat probes for monitoring internal temperature. With such flexibility, Pit Boss smokers are the perfect investment for any grilling enthusiast who wants to master the art of smoking.

Selecting the Right Cut of Meat for Jerky

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Well, before you start, let’s talk about the most important factor in creating the perfect jerky: selecting the right cut of meat.

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To begin with, lean cuts of meat with little to no marbling are the way to go. Marbling can cause the meat to spoil quickly and we want our jerky to last as long as possible. The top choices for jerky include beef top round, flank steak, and sirloin tip. These cuts not only have a delicious beefy flavor but also contain the ideal amount of fat for smoking.

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Next up, thickness is key. The meat should be sliced thinly, no thicker than ¼ inch. Thin slices allow for proper drying during the smoking process, resulting in that coveted chewy texture. Plus, thinner slices absorb more of that smoky flavor we all love.

Last but not least, remove any excess fat before placing the meat on the smoker. Fat can cause your jerky to spoil faster and create flare-ups on your smoker. Keep your jerky tasty and safe by trimming off any extra fat.

Marinades for Making Great Jerky

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Then let’s talk marinades. As an expert on all things jerky, I know that a good marinade can make all the difference. So, let’s dive into the world of jerky marinades and discover what makes them so essential.

First and foremost, consider the type of meat you’re using. Beef jerky pairs perfectly with smoky and savory marinades, while turkey jerky benefits from sweeter flavors. Keep this in mind when selecting your ingredients to ensure that they complement the meat best.

Another important factor to consider is the thickness of your meat. Thicker cuts may require a longer soak in the marinade to fully absorb all of those delicious flavors. Trust me, patience is key here.

When it comes to creating a tender and flavorful jerky, acidic ingredients like vinegar or citrus juice are your best friends. They help break down the meat fibers and make it easier to chew. Incorporating salt into your marinade also helps draw out moisture from the meat, which is crucial for achieving that sought-after chewy texture.

Now let’s talk ingredients. Soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce are classic choices for a savory base, while liquid smoke adds that smoky flavor without needing to use a smoker. Garlic powder and onion powder add depth of flavor, and spices like cumin or chili powder can give your jerky a little kick. And for those with a sweet tooth, honey or brown sugar can be used as a balancing agent to counteract the saltiness of the marinade.

In summary, selecting the right marinade is key to making great jerky on a Pit Boss smoker. Here’s a quick checklist to guide you:

  • Consider the type of meat being used
  • Take note of the thickness of your meat
  • Incorporate acidic and salty ingredients to tenderize and draw out moisture
  • Experiment with different ingredients to find the perfect balance of flavor

Preparing the Meat for Smoking

The key to delicious, homemade jerky is all in the preparation of the meat. With some careful attention to detail, you’ll be well on your way to creating mouth-watering jerky that will impress all your friends and family.

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The first step in preparing your meat for smoking is to start with a lean cut such as beef or venison. It’s important to trim off any visible fat as it can cause the jerky to spoil faster and result in an unpleasant texture. Once trimmed, slice your meat against the grain into thin strips about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Slicing against the grain helps break down the muscle fibers and makes the jerky easier to chew. If you have a meat slicer, it can make this process easier and more consistent.

Now it’s time to marinate your meat. A good marinade should include a combination of salt, sugar, and acidic ingredients like vinegar or citrus juice. You can also add spices and seasonings for added flavor. Make sure to fully coat each strip of meat with the marinade, and let it sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight to absorb all the flavors.

When it’s time to smoke your meat, pat it dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture from the marinade. This will help your jerky dry out evenly and prevent any bacterial growth during smoking. It’s essential to remember that proper drying is crucial for both flavor and safety.

Setting Up the Pit Boss Smoker

Before you start smoking, it’s crucial to properly set up your smoker for the best results possible. As an expert in setting up the Pit Boss smoker, let me guide you through the steps to prepare your smoker for making mouth-watering jerky.

Step 1: Clean and Assemble Your Smoker

First things first, make sure your smoker is spick and span and free of any debris from previous uses. Check that all the components are properly assembled and in good working condition. You don’t want any surprises once you start cooking.

Step 2: Soak Your Wood Chips

Choosing the right type of wood chips is essential for adding flavor to your jerky. Whether you prefer hickory, mesquite, or applewood, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before using them in the smoker. This helps prevent them from catching fire and ensures a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process.

Step 3: Season Your Smoker

To prepare your smoker for use, it’s important to season it. Heat the smoker to a high temperature for a few hours with no food inside. This helps burn off any residual chemicals or oils from the manufacturing process and prepares the smoker for use. Not doing this step may result in an unpleasant taste in your jerky.

Step 4: Prepare Your Meat

Now it’s time to prepare your meat for smoking. Slice the meat into thin strips, about 1/4 inch thick, and trim off any excess fat or connective tissue before slicing. This ensures that your jerky will be tender and flavorful. Marinate the meat overnight with a combination of salt, sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and various spices to allow the flavors to fully penetrate.

Step 5: Load Your Smoker

Load your jerky onto racks in a single layer with space between each strip for even smoking. Set your smoker to a low temperature, around 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit, and let it smoke for several hours until the jerky is dry and chewy. Don’t forget to periodically check the temperature and add more wood chips if needed.

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Smoking the Jerky

This method infuses the meat with a smoky flavor that perfectly complements the other flavors in your recipe, leaving your taste buds dancing with delight.

However, before you start smoking your jerky, it’s important to prepare it properly. Begin by trimming all the fat and connective tissue from the meat and slicing it into perfectly uniform strips. A sharp knife or meat slicer can come in handy here, ensuring that each slice is of equal thickness for even cooking.

Next, marinate the jerky in your choice of marinade. A good marinade should have a balance of sweet, salty, and spicy flavors and enough acidity to tenderize the meat. Depending on how strong you want the flavor to be, you can marinate the jerky for several hours or even overnight.

Now it’s time to fire up your Pit Boss smoker. Preheat it to a temperature range of 180-200°F for optimal slow cooking and smoke absorption. Place the jerky strips on the racks, making sure they don’t touch each other. This allows for better air circulation and even cooking. You can also add wood chips or pellets to the smoker box or tray to create smoke.

Smoking time varies depending on how thick your jerky slices are and how strong you want the smoke flavor to be. On average, smoking jerky takes anywhere from 2-6 hours. Keep an eye on your jerky as it smokes and check its texture periodically – you’ll know it’s ready when it has a dry and chewy texture.

Maintaining Temperature During Smoking Process

Using a pit boss smoker can create mouth-watering flavors, but maintaining the temperature during the smoking process is crucial. Fear not, as an expert on this question, I have researched and compiled some tips to help you out.

Firstly, ensure that your smoker is set within the ideal temperature range for smoking jerky, which is between 160°F and 180°F. This temperature range is critical as it ensures even and thorough cooking of your meat.

Now let’s dive into how to maintain the temperature during the smoking process. Here are four tips:

Use a digital meat thermometer

Using a digital meat thermometer will allow you to monitor the internal temperature of your meat as it cooks. This way, you can ensure that it reaches the appropriate temperature without overcooking. It is also important to keep an eye on the smoker’s temperature gauge to ensure that it remains within the desired range.

Choose high-quality wood pellets

Different types of wood pellets produce varying levels of heat, so it is essential to choose pellets that will provide consistent heat throughout the cooking process. Hickory, mesquite, and applewood are popular choices for smoking jerky.

Ensure proper ventilation

Proper ventilation is crucial for adequate airflow, which can help regulate the temperature inside the smoker. If you are smoking your jerky in a closed environment, it may be necessary to open vents or doors periodically to allow for proper ventilation.

Monitor weather conditions

Weather factors such as wind can affect your smoker’s temperature, so it may be necessary to adjust the settings or position of your smoker to maintain consistent heat.

Storing and Serving Jerky

The way you handle your jerky after smoking it on your pit boss smoker can make all the difference in its taste and texture. Let’s dive in.

Firstly, it’s crucial to let your jerky cool down completely before storing it. You don’t want to trap any residual heat or moisture in the container, as this can cause spoilage or affect the flavor. For the best results, place the jerky on a wire rack for a few hours before storing.

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When you’re ready to store your jerky, choose an airtight container or ziplock bag. One of the most important things to remember is to remove as much air as possible from the container or bag. This will prevent moisture buildup and help keep your jerky fresh for longer. Using a vacuum sealer is ideal for this purpose, but if you don’t have one, try pressing out as much air as possible manually.

Now, how long can you store your jerky? If kept at room temperature, it can last up to two weeks. However, for longer shelf life, it’s recommended to store it in the refrigerator or freezer. In the refrigerator, it can last up to three months, and in the freezer, up to six months. Just be sure to label your container or bag with the date you stored it so you know when it’s time to use it.

When it comes to serving your delicious jerky, there’s one golden rule: cut it into thin strips against the grain. This ensures that the jerky is tender and easy to chew, making for a more enjoyable snacking experience. But why stop there? Jerky makes a great addition to salads, soups, and other dishes. It’s also perfect for outdoor activities like hiking or camping as a lightweight and high-protein food source.

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In conclusion, the Pit Boss smoker is a versatile tool that can help you create delicious jerky with ease. With its consistent temperature and extended cooking times, this smoker is perfect for making jerky from various lean meats like beef, turkey, or chicken. To achieve the perfect texture and taste, it’s essential to slice your meat thinly against the grain and remove any visible fat before marinating it for several hours.

Pit Boss smokers come in different sizes and styles, ranging from portable models to commercial-grade units. They also offer an array of features such as digital controls, multiple cooking racks, and built-in meat probes for precise temperature monitoring. This flexibility makes Pit Boss smokers an excellent investment for any grilling enthusiast looking to master the art of smoking.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to smoking meats, making jerky on your Pit Boss smoker is an exciting way to elevate your snacking game. Follow our step-by-step guide to select the right cut of meat, prepare a delicious marinade and smoke your jerky to perfection.

Your efforts will be rewarded with mouth-watering homemade jerky that’s sure to impress all your friends and family.

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