Sunday, June 29, 2014

Beef Jerky...from your Food Storage

I love using my Dehydrator....year round.  This is one of the things I love to do, and they do no stay around long....I'm really not kidding about that!

My son loves Beef Jerky....I mean loves it.  He has asked me to pick some up at the big box store when we have been out....but has been very surprised at how little you get for the price.

I went to my local grocer and chose a Beef Roast that was on sale.  I asked the Butcher to cut it into slices, which they quickly did. The best part of this process is that there was no fee for the slicing.  Some of the big box stores do not have a Butcher on site, so if you want someone else to slice it, go to a neighborhood grocer.  It is important that you choose a roast with little fat in it. This is important because the fat can become rancid when you are making or storing your jerky.

I use the the "Food Saver Quick Marinading Canister" to which I add the beef slices and the marinade. I only let it marinade for about 2 hours in the refrigerator and it was ready to go. (Let's just say, I had errands to run, so it just marinaded away while I was gone!)

Now, lets talk about the do not have to purchase a commercial marinade!  I have used a variety of recipes over the years to make Jerky.  Did you know that you do not have to use "Liquid Smoke" in your recipe?  You certainly can, but it is not necessary. You can use a variety of marinades to flavor your jerky?

I used this one:

2 pounds flank steak sliced thin
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
6 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon ginger grated, heaping
1 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
30 grinds black pepper freshly ground
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring

Partially freeze steak to assist in slicing. Remove all extraneous fat, slice thinly (1/4 inch). Combine remaining ingredients, mix well, and marinate meat overnight. 

(Dehydrate according to the instructions of your device).

I used the Mesh screen inserts in my Dehydrator.  I like them for several reasons:  they make removal easy-just peel the screen from the jerky and they allow air to circulate around the food. The Mesh inserts and the trays clean up easily in the dishwasher.  I love that!

I placed the slices on the mesh inserts on your trays.

Here is one of the trays with the slices spaced with room around them. This is important so that the slices dehydrate more evenly.

Here in my desert climate, it takes about 4+ hours until the deliciousness is done! I would love to show you the final results.


Take Home Message:

  • This is very simple to make.
  • I made just under 2 lb. of Jerky for under $8.00.  Commercially prepared Beef Jerky costs about $.90/ounce.  I calculate that this Jerky cost $.25/ounce. This costs varies up to about $.50/ounce depending on the roast I purchase.
  • You can make any flavor you choose, which gives you tremendous variety.
  • If I had the chance to store any (not likely around here), I would have sealed it either in jars or bags with my Food Saver.
  • I have purchased Roasts, had them sliced and frozen them in our Freezer. You can also leave the Roasts slightly frozen and slice them yourself. 
  • Items like this show just how convenient and delicious your Food Storage really can be!

Try it and let us know what you think!

Postscript:  You need to check your Dehydrator settings to determine the temperature and length of time it takes for your Jerky to be completely dehydrated.  In my case, my family likes it to be a bit pliable and not rock hard. As you can see, when I make Jerky, it does not last long enough for long-term storage.  However, if the intent was long-term storage, I would dehydrate it until it was essentially brittle.  


topmom2000 said...

wow! Thanks for the post! I am looking forward to getting a dehydrator and doing this.

The Little Red Hen said...

Thank you for stopping by. Let us know how your Jerky turns out when you do try it!

01 09 10