Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's a matter of making......Jerky

In the past I have posted information about dehydrating other things, but I noticed I have not posted one of my family's favorites.....Jerky. Jerky can be made from nearly any meat. The meat should have the a majority of the fat removed before beginning. If not, the fat can go rancid and ruin the final product. Jerky can also be made from hamburger that is forced through a "cake-decorating" type of gun. Also, it looks very similar to a caulk-gun.

I often use beef. Our local family-owned grocery store will help you select a roast and slice it for free. I love that! So, that really is step one.

Take the sliced beef and put it into a Zip-lock gallon bag. Separate each slice (I use gloves as I really don't like to touch the raw meat).

Make up your marinade. If you are looking for a recipe, just use any search will find many! I particularly like a recipe that calls for Liquid Smoke. It just makes it taste that much better. You can find Liquid Smoke at any grocery store.

Add your Marinade to the bag with your meat slices.

Remove as much air as possible, and lay flat in your refrigerator. You can place the bag in a bowl if you like, but I have found that some of the pieces do not get enough marinade. Let it marinate over night or at least 4 hours for good flavor. Place the strips on the racks in your dehydrator. You could also place them on cooling racks on a cookie sheet in your oven if you like. You should dehydrate them at 155 degrees Fahrenheit and nothing lower to keep it safe.

I would show you an "after" picture....but this batch of jerky didn't have a chance at my house. My kids know when it is done at this point, and there have been many times that they have eaten it right out of the dehydrator. Needless to say, it didn't make it long enough for Mom to get a picture.

If you were to purchase Jerky in a store (i.e. Jack Link's Beef Jerky), you would pay about $3.65 an ounce. To do this at home, using a really nice roast at $4.18 a lb, the price per ounce would be $.26 per ounce for the meat alone. Depending on the marinade you chose to use, it would be an additional cost, but for me it was under $.50. So, you could make jerky for your family for around $.75 an ounce.

Depending upon who you read, it can store in a sealed container (no oxygen) for 4-6 months. Some sources say keep it in the refrigerator. However, if your home is like doesn't stand a chance of lasting over a week!

Here is a video that demonstrates how to use Hamburger to make jerky. The gentleman in the video has a clever idea, and you will see what it is. Watch the video all the way to the end....even though some editing would have been nice. It really is a good idea, and I plan to try it.

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