Buffalo Jerky

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My husband was given some beef jerky by a golf buddy one day. He came home and insisted that I try it immediately, because it was “that good.” Well, it was good, in fact great, and neither of us has ever been a beef jerky fan before.

As you can tell from the feature photo, this jerky isn’t in flat and narrow strips that take about an hour per inch to chew. These are lovely tender bits of tasty meat.

The jerky recipe requires three steps – marinating, dehydrating, then smoking.

Start with 7-10 pounds of meat. Golf buddy recommends Black Angus choice sirloin steaks, about 1 1/2″ in thickness. Also London broil is a good choice – anything lean.

For fun, I purchased lean buffalo sirloin steaks from D’Artagnan, one of my two sources for high quality meat.

Slices the meat crosswise into pieces 1/4″ thick. If the slices are any thinner they dry out too fast. The meat was still partially frozen to help me slice more consistently.

Then golf buddy slices those into smaller, bite-sized cuts, but I left mine in the short strips. My total meat weight is 8 pounds.

Golf buddy’s recipe is a mixture of Allegro Original Hot and Spicy Marinade and Teriyaki marinade, one bottle of each, then your favorite barbecue sauce and Sriracha.

I’ve never tried the Allegro brand, so I purchased both. Head Country is my favorite bottled barbecue sauce, and we’re all familiar with Sriracha!

Use a very large bowl to prepare the marinade. Obviously you can create whatever kind of marinade you want, if you make your own sauce or have bottled favorites. Personally, I’ve never liked commercial teriyaki sauce, but since I did taste this beef jerky and loved it, I’m going with golf buddy’s recipe.

The dry seasonings golf buddy recommends include onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. I used a lovely coffee and garlic spice mixture from Trader Joe’s that my friend gifted me. I thought it would be a great addition.

Submerge all of the strips of meat in the bowl of marinade. I transferred the meat to a 2 1/2 gallon zip-loc bag. Let the meat sit overnight or up got 3 days in the refrigerator.


Bring the meat close to room temperature, then place the pieces on foil-covered jelly-roll pans, without any strips overlapping.

Heat the oven to 180 – 200 degrees and place the pans of meat in the oven to dehydrate slightly for 30 – 45 minutes. I used my oven on convection bake at 180 degrees, and dried the meat out for a total of 1 hour. It helps to pat the marinade off of the meat before it goes in the oven also.

Pre-heat the smoker to 180-200 degrees F, and prepare hickory chips for the smoke. We use a Bradley electric smoker.

Following the dehydration step, place the meat on the smoker’s racks, greased, and smoke for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

This jerky is really flavorful and not overly dry like commercial jerky, which requires an extra set of teeth.



I’ve noticed that some marinade recipes for jerky include liquid smoke, which I personally don’t like. In those recipes, there isn’t a smoking step. So I must admit that I love the dehydrating and smoking combination to create this buffalo jerky.


If you’re not going to eat the jerky right away (be careful – it’s addictive!) then use a vacuum sealer and refrigerate or freeze.

Layered Salmon Spread

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One day I was searching on Epicurious.com and came across a recipe that got my attention. The recipe is “Smoked Salmon 7-Layer Dip.”

The name befuddled me at first, because when I think of layered dips my mind goes directly to Mexican-inspired dips with beans, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, salsa, and so forth. Although I have presented a Mediterranean version of a layered dip on my blog. But still, smoked salmon?

Furthermore, it’s not lox in this dip – it’s hot-smoked salmon. I was truly curious.

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Before I could put the spread together, I hot-smoked salmon steaks. My Cameron stove-top smoker is so useful for salmon. In fact, it’s primarily why I use it.

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If you want to know how I hot-smoked salmon with this smoker, please refer to the post here.

You can change up the wood you use for the smoke, but it’s essential to not overcook the salmon. Like in the tutorial, I smoked these steaks for 15 minutes, timed from when the smoking begins.

Here is the recipe as I adapted it:

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Smoked Salmon 7-Layer Dip

2 salmon steaks, seasoned with salt and pepper
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3-4 small cooked beets
2-3 tablespoons creamy horseradish, depending on your taste
4 tablespoons sour cream
4 radishes, trimmed, finely chopped
Drained capers, about 1/3 cup
Chopped green onions
Zest from 1 lemon
Pumpernickel bread

After smoking the salmon, remove it from the skin, flake it, and divide in half. From the beautiful photograph of this spread online, it’s obvious that the salmon was more finely chopped. It’s another option.

Beat together the cream cheese, goat cheese, and butter in a medium bowl; set aside

Make the beet horseradish by combining the beets, horseradish and sour cream in a small blender. The texture should be spreadable.

Have the radishes, capers, and green onions on hand. I had intended on including shallots but I simply forgot.

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This spread could be made in a springform pan lined with plastic wrap and flipped over when ready to be served, but I simply used the 6″ greased form without the bottom to mimic a ring mold. Place the form, if you’re using one, on a serving plate.

Spread half of cream cheese mixture evenly inside the ring mold, smoothing surface with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the cream cheese with half of the salmon.

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Scatter the radishes and capers over the salmon. Drizzle half of the beet horseradish sauce over the top.

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Top with the remaining cream cheese mixture and salmon. I poured the remaining beet horseradish sauce over the salmon.

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Scatter on more radishes and capers.

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Sprinkle the green onions in the middle, and for a little color and zing, I added lemon zest.

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Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

To serve, simply slide the springform mold up. I would suggest leaving the spread at room temperature for at least one hour before serving.

The layered spread is absolutely vibrant.

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I served with the spread with pumpernickel triangles. Bagel crisps or pita chips would also be good.

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The spread can be made the morning of, but I wouldn’t make it the day before serving.

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Grilled salmon would work just as well as hot-smoked.

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Note: In the original recipe, the feta-cream cheese and the beet horseradish were all blended together, which made the spread very pretty, but I wanted more actual layers, so I kept those elements separate.