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Old Dec 8, 2005, 2:24 pm   #1
steo
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Name: Dave
Southern, Ohio usa
Join Date: May 17, 2004
Posts: 173

Jerky

Last night I was visiting a neighbor who killed his first deer and was making jerky, also for the first time. As I entered the kitchen he excitedly gave me a piece to try. I ate it and told him it was good. Seeing how I've been making jerky for twenty or so years I had to be careful not to spoil his enthusiasm. After placing the strips of meat on skewers he had placed them in an electric oven at 250 degrees for 4 hours, with the door completely shut! Needless to say it was not at all like jerky. There is nothing wrong with using an oven to make jerky, up until a few years ago that is what I used. Now that I have a couple dehydrators, I can make a lot more at a time, the oven is clean and the wife is happy. As for my neighbor, I managed to offer some advice, crack the door, lower temp., extend time etc. with out making him feel like the first batch was wasted. My dad may be a little prejudice but he always says my jerky is the best so I thought I'd share my technique. I start out with six to eight pounds of meat. Use a good cut of meat like part of a hind quarter, the bigger the mussel the less stringy stuff. If you don't have an electric meat slicer get one. I used to just use a knife and that was by far the most time consuming part. I don't like the slices to be any more then a quarter of an inch thick and no thinner then an eighth of an inch. Always cut with the grain of the meat and trim out anything that is less then pure red meat. As I am slicing the meat I have a glass or stainless steel bowl ready with my wet ingredients. I use liquid smoke, Worchester sauce, Frank’s red hot and soy sauce. Sprinkle a little of each in the bottom of the bowl before you start adding the meat. I don't use very much of any of these except the liquid smoke. I have seen recipes that call for a teaspoon; I use a couple small bottles. This may sound like a lot but keep in mind, 6-8 pounds is quite a bit of meat. As I add meat to the bowl I add more of the wet ingredients trying to layer the slices so both sides get wet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12-48 hours. You can take the bowl out now and then and mix it up if you want but I like to leave it alone. I find it easier to spread the slices if they are layered neatly in the bowl and not all twisted together. When it's time to load up the racks clean a large counter area and dry well. Sprinkle an area about 2.5'-2.5' with garlic power (or ramp), cayenne pepper (or other dried hot pepper), black pepper and plenty of salt. Take the slices from the bowl one at a time and place them side by side on the dry ingredients. Next sprinkle each of the dry ingredients on the top side of the slices. (I used to do this then turn each piece over to sprinkle the bottom side then one day it occurred to me to just sprinkle the counter, much quicker then handling each piece again.) Now all that is left is to load up the racks. The most important thing is to not over load. Leave a little room so no piece touches another. Every dehydrator is going to have a little different drying time. I usually don't start checking for doneness until after eight hours. Some times it takes closer to ten. The hard part is knowing when it is dry enough with out being too dry. I like to stop it when the very thin pieces snap in half when bent while the thicker pieces still flex. At this point the jerky is not ready to eat. It will not acquire the right texture until bagged and let set for several hours, preferably over night. As it sets the remaining moisture will even out so those thin pieces that snapped in half will become pliable.
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Old Dec 8, 2005, 3:03 pm   #2
dbowhntr
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Name: andy
Southern, Michigan usa
Join Date: Apr 25, 2004
Posts: 29

Sounds good. I will have to give it a try. What temp do you run your dehydrator on? Have you ever tried one of those jerky cutting boards? I don't have a meat slicer, but this would be a good reason to get one. At least that is what I will tell the wife
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Old Dec 8, 2005, 4:24 pm   #3
steo
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Name: Dave
Southern, Ohio usa
Join Date: May 17, 2004
Posts: 173

Hadn't heard of the cutting boards. Once you use an electric slicer, I'm not talking about an electric knife, you will be hooked.
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/chchmo610.html
I have two American harvesters that don't have a temp. adjust. They run a little hot for mushrooms, about 140 degrees, so I usually just use them to finish them off after fan drying. For jerky, 140 degrees works well for me. Here is a link that suggest you must bring the meat up to 160 degrees before drying at 130-140 degrees.
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OA/pubs/jerky.htm
I'm really anxious to hear other's experiences because like Doug says, "the more I learn, the less I know."
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Old Dec 8, 2005, 4:35 pm   #4
dbowhntr
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Name: andy
Southern, Michigan usa
Join Date: Apr 25, 2004
Posts: 29

Here is the jerky slicer I was talking about. For a little extra I could get one like you linked to.jerkey slicer
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Old Dec 8, 2005, 4:46 pm   #5
steo
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Name: Dave
Southern, Ohio usa
Join Date: May 17, 2004
Posts: 173

I see how it works, you put the meat down in the box and the sides hold the knife up. This link has a little better picture.
http://shop.himtnjerky.com/online//p...tid=22&cat=254
I guess it depends on how much $$ you want to spend, some of the higher end electric slicers on the link I posted were $700. I could buy a lot of jerky for that kind of money!
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Old Sep 26, 2010, 6:56 pm   #6
Earthstar
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Name: Aggie
Northern, Michigan USA
Join Date: Jul 24, 2010
Posts: 18

Re: Jerky

This jerkey recipe sounds like a good one....I have dehydrator I'm going to have to try it.
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Old Nov 24, 2010, 1:19 pm   #7
Mushroom Jack
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Name: Jack
Northern, Michigan USA
Lewiston
Join Date: Mar 21, 2009
Posts: 387

 
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Re: Jerky

I always used to think that Jerky made from burger probably wouldn't be any good, till I made some. I used a popular brand of Jerky seasoning from a local store. ( can't remember what it was, but I think any one will do ) It will call for water to be mixed with the seasonings and meat. Instead of water, use your favorite BBQ Sauce. Also get one of those Jerky Guns. They aren't too expensive and make perfect 1 to 1 1/2 in. stix. That way all stix will dry in the same amount of time. By the way, I have an Excaliber dehydrator with variable temp & time settings.
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Old Apr 22, 2011, 9:20 am   #8
MrDave
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Name: David
Southern, Michigan USA
LAKE ODESSA
Join Date: Apr 16, 2011
Posts: 16

Re: Jerky

I get my jerky from Jone's meat market, in Saranac, Mi they take a whole steak,, soak it, and make the jerky that way,, then when you order up 1/2lb or what ever,, they slice it right there. It is very tender,, carries a great flavor, and does not last very long in my house! =D
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Old Sep 17, 2012, 1:49 am   #9
Jochs
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Name: Jeff
Southern, Michigan USA
Benton Harbor
Join Date: Feb 26, 2010
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Re: Jerky

For anyone who likes jerky, I suggest a visit to the Dublin General Store in Dublin, (Wellston address) MI. (Easy to find in the small village of Dublin...just stay on the main street. )

http://www.dublinstore.com/mm5/merchant.mvc

You can buy their jerky online and have it shipped to your home!
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Last edited by Jochs; Sep 20, 2012 at 2:25 am. Reason: added website link
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