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Old 01-16-19, 05:06 AM
Jedi Master
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lake Forest, IL
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It’s a whole weekend project. Our local supermarket runs specials on a whole eye-of-round roast for $2/lb. every once in a while, so I usually get one and stick it in the freezer until I have a free weekend and put it in the fridge 3-4 days before I’m ready to cut the meat. Saturday, I cut up the meat and make the marinade. I’d guess that takes an hour or two. It’s fairly tedious work to trim the fat and cut all the slices. I’ve had the butcher slice the meat for me before, which saves a bit of time, but only works if I happen to have a free weekend at the same time the meat is on sale.

Sunday I put the meat in the dehydrator. The 9-tray Excalibur can hold about 5 lbs. of meat at the thickness I prefer, so I can’t get the whole 8 lb. roast in at the same time. After 2-3 hours or so I’ll start checking the meat, pulling off pieces when they are done, and moving pieces around so I can get the rest of the meat on. I would guess that whole process takes about 8 hours, maybe a little longer, so I can only do it on a Sunday when I don’t have anything else going on but a short bike ride in the morning. My wife cleans the trays for me. She says that takes a while too.

After the jerky cools I put it in snack-sized ziplock bags and put in in the fridge. I have an extra fridge in the basement, so it goes in the meat drawer of that fridge. It lasts a long time, 6 months maybe. It doesn't really go bad, it just gets less good. I’m sure I’ve eaten jerky that’s over a year old that I found left in the bottom of a backpack somewhere, but normally we go through it a lot faster than that. The whole process is pretty time consuming, so I probably only make it 2-3 times a year. I started with an inexpensive plastic dehydrator sort of like the one you have, but eventually all the trays broke, so my wife got me the Excalibur, which is awesome.
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