Thursday, April 14, 2011

J Is for Jerky

The beauty of jerky is you can use almost anything to make. Though I have not personally tried it with all of these, I understand it can be made with beef, venison, turkey, pork, chicken, salmon or rabbit. You can even use ground meats for making jerky. The options for flavoring it are just as varied. Common flavors are teriyaki, barbeque, mesquite and spicy.
Tips for Making Jerky
Trim all the fat off. Use only the lean portions of the meat. The fat will become rancid and ruin the jerky if left intact.
Slice the meat when it is still partially frozen in order to control the width of the slices more easily. Slices should be between ¼” to 3/8” thick. The thicker they are, the longer they will take to dry out.
You can use almost anything to marinate the meat. It depends on your personal tastes. Here are some common marinates to try:
Worcestershire Sauce
Soy Sauce
Teriyaki Sauce
Barbeque Sauce
Italian Dressing
To these you add your spices. We’ll get into recipes for specific flavors later on. For now, these are the basic spices you can use to make jerky: salt, pepper, garlic powder, sugar, onion powder, cloves, cinnamon, and curry. You name it and you can use it.
Let the meat soak in the marinade overnight, for at least 12 hours. Fish and chicken can soak for 4 to 6 hours. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels. Marinates don’t work well with ground meats. Instead, add the seasonings you want and use as is.

Follow the directions that came with your dehydrator for settings. I use between 150 and 175 degrees. Meat will reduce by about 30% when it is done. It should be dry but not brittle. Some cuts of meat are dry enough in six to eight hours, while ground meats can three or four days to complete. Keep checking on it and remove it when it has achieved the consistency you like. Store it in a Ziploc bag or some Tupperware and you’re all set!


Theresa Wiza said...

I never thought of making my own jerky. I don't have a dehydrator though so it probably doesn't matter. Thanks for the tips. Maybe I'll get one someday. My current A-Z Challenge blog is

Lisa Mason said...

I have a dehydrator we use for fruit all the time. It has jerky settings but I never tried it. Now I think I will.

Marie Anne said...

Mmmmm, venison jerky is the best!

Popping in by way of the A-Z Challenge. I’m blogging at:
Write, Wrong or Indifferent
Marie Anne’s Missives
In the Garden With Sow-n-Sow
Every Day Crochet

Sylvia Ney said...

I have not had jerky since I was a child. I'll have to try making my own. I’m so glad I found your blog! I’m stopping by from the A to Z challenge and I look forward to visiting again.

nutschell said...

I actually enjoy a bit of jerky every now and then. I think this is a much better way of doing it.
Great meeting you through the A-Z:)

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Here's to making it this far, congratulations! I have an award for you!!

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