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Making jerky?

Old 11-07-09, 07:06 PM
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lachy94
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Making jerky?

Jerky seems to be a fairly popular option for protein on the road, but tends to be extortionately expensive, so I'm thinking of making it as the cost of raw meat is much less, as is the cost of my labor (free ). So does anyone have a good recipe or link to one they'd care to share?
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Old 11-07-09, 08:18 PM
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There's tons of recipes on the web, but it all boils down to what you like, and what you're using to dry the meat- I use a large electric convection toaster oven. It will dry one 2 lb London Broil in one shot (using both racks.)

For that 2 lb London Broil, I cut it into strips and marinade it for around 24 hrs in about 4 oz of teriyaki sauce and maybe a teaspoon of black pepper. I then dry the meat at about 180 deg for around 12 hrs. That makes jerky that I like. It's a little on the dry side, I suppose.

You'll probably need to make a few batches before you find out how to make it so you're happy- but when you find out how to, it's worth it.

Fresh meat is really important, of course. The London Broil cut works really well (low fat, good grain, easy to strip-cut) but you'll figure out how you like it sliced- I use maybe 3/4" by 1/4" cross-grain strips. Too much marinade sauce is worse than too little. Any fat on the meat is easier to cut out after the jerky is dried, and you should cut it out because it gets nasty as it sits around. I think 160 degrees is the minimum temp you should use (look it up to be safe!) The temp controls on lots of ovens are pretty unreliable, so remember where you set the dial when you get a temp that works well. I store the jerky in a zip-lock bag in a dark cupboard, only after it's settled back to room temp on the drying racks - condensation is bad for jerky (and zip-locks in the fridge don't work either.)

Good luck- it's addictive.

Last edited by LostPony; 11-07-09 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 11-07-09, 09:05 PM
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I'm taking a deer tomorrow and drying jerky in our Excalibur food dehydrator after the meat seasons. I might put a little salt a pepper on it but that's about it.
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Old 11-07-09, 09:52 PM
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The only way I would do it is with deer meat. Anything else would be expensive. For years I've been using black pepper, Lawrey's seasoned salt, and liquid smoke. Heavy on the pepper. No one complains or turns it down. I use a food dehydrator.
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Old 11-08-09, 06:26 AM
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Did I hear you guys say venison jerky? I would like to ride with you guys, but up wind. Venison jerky is the best there is but it makes most of us carnivores stinky as hell
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Old 11-08-09, 08:17 AM
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Sounds like a fun project. It might not be as cheap as you think though since a pound of meat yields a half pound of jerky.

Drying veggies or making jerky is fun, and allows you to have a superior product in some cases. One thing I don't get though... Why are folks interested in drying their own veggies or making their own jerky for touring? In my experience it just doesn't make sense to take much food from home. For an overnight trip maybe, but on a tour of even a few days it makes sense to buy food daily or at least frequently. I guess that you could use mail drops from home if you wanted, but doubt it is worth the hassle and the postage would cut into any savings.

I really like jerky to nibble on throughout the day. I was especially happy when we found homemade elk jerky for sale at a roadside produce stand and did buy several days worth.
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Old 11-08-09, 09:40 AM
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Recommend this one:

https://ezinearticles.com/?Hawaiian-B...cipe&id=554277
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Old 11-09-09, 08:32 AM
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I prefer using the ground meat method with an extruder type device--looks like a caulk gun. I can find 4% fat ground beef at Trader Joes for $4/lb. I do 3 lbs at a time which just fits in my Nesco dehydrator and have over a pound when finished which lasts me about a week.

As for spices I've found that you need about 1 tablespoon per pound of spices, other than salt. Its hard to get it mixed just right though, some pieces get more spices than others. About 3/4 of a teaspoon of salt per pound is all I need. I've never used sodium nitrite becuase I usually eat it within week and keep it refrigerated. Premade spice blends like Indian Garam Masala work fine.
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Old 11-09-09, 09:53 AM
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x2 on the Jerky Blaster. Keep your sodium content low, You only need about 1Tbs of dry spice per Lb. unless your marinading.

Also if you can't find lean beef and don't have a grinder, use or borrow a food processor with the coarse blade

Last edited by DizMT; 11-09-09 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 11-09-09, 04:24 PM
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Drying veggies or making jerky is fun, and allows you to have a superior product in some cases. One thing I don't get though... Why are folks interested in drying their own veggies or making their own jerky for touring? In my experience it just doesn't make sense to take much food from home. For an overnight trip maybe, but on a tour of even a few days it makes sense to buy food daily or at least frequently. I guess that you could use mail drops from home if you wanted, but doubt it is worth the hassle and the postage would cut into any savings.
Well, this is only for a short trip, and I don't know what the situation is like in America, but wherever I look in Australia jerky only comes in small packs (50-100g) and is usually priced so that it's around AU$70-100 a kilogram! I doubt it could cost me anywhere near that to make, especially if I use the cheapest lean meat I know of; kangaroo
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Old 11-09-09, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by lachy94 View Post
Well, this is only for a short trip, and I don't know what the situation is like in America, but wherever I look in Australia jerky only comes in small packs (50-100g) and is usually priced so that it's around AU$70-100 a kilogram! I doubt it could cost me anywhere near that to make, especially if I use the cheapest lean meat I know of; kangaroo
Thanks for the clarification. How is Kangaroo jerky? Here in the US I have had beef, buffalo, elk, venison, and even alligator jerky but we don't see kangaroo here.

Our jerky here is pretty expensive in the small packs too, but not quite that bad. I can sometimes find it in bulk or larger packs for a lot less and might buy several days worth when I do. I find that I like to nibble on jerky through the day, but I generally eat no more than and ounce or so in a day and am not in the mood for it every day. Because of that it is a pretty minor expense, even at the extremely high price that the little packs fetch. Obviously it would be a bigger deal if you plan to have it be a larger portion of your diet.
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Old 11-09-09, 06:24 PM
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no idea how the roo tastes in jerky form haha, even though it's a cheap meat here I've never seen jerky made from in any stores I've visited. It is available, but I've not seen it. That said, I'm a big fan of roo meat, and it tends to taste best a little overdone or even burnt, so I reckon it will be the perfect meat for jerky. Plus, since they're an active animal, it's only 2% fat, which means minimal prep time
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Old 11-09-09, 06:29 PM
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We made a bunch of deer jerky once, spreading out the meat in the little room w/ our natural gas water heater. That apartment was kind of a carbon monoxide hazard but at least we got some good jerky out of it.

Currently we buy it bulk, the kids are eating a pound a week or thereabouts in their lunches.
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Old 11-09-09, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by lachy94 View Post
no idea how the roo tastes in jerky form haha, even though it's a cheap meat here I've never seen jerky made from in any stores I've visited. It is available, but I've not seen it. That said, I'm a big fan of roo meat, and it tends to taste best a little overdone or even burnt, so I reckon it will be the perfect meat for jerky. Plus, since they're an active animal, it's only 2% fat, which means minimal prep time
Let us know how it turns out if you make some roo jerky.
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Old 11-09-09, 07:14 PM
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I use a smoker, myself for either beef or venison. I've even made Turkey Jerky and dried smoked fish that will keep without refrigeration.
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Old 11-09-09, 07:55 PM
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We make pheasant, grouse, quail and prairie chicken jerky with a Ronco food dehydrator. Very salty with a bit of spice.
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Old 11-11-09, 01:27 AM
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In the county jail, you just sprinkle a piece of ham with the flavoring packet from an instant ramen noodle, then hang it in front of a vent overnight.
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Old 12-09-15, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
In the county jail, you just sprinkle a piece of ham with the flavoring packet from an instant ramen noodle, then hang it in front of a vent overnight.
O___o;;;

So I was just trying my hand at making some beef jerky in the toaster oven for the first time and googling up some recipies and methods then saw this thread and the above comment and laughed but at the same time was O_o;; at the comment. I take it that is from that users personal expeirence?
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Old 12-09-15, 11:05 AM
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For long distance touring making food is too much TROUBLE and wasted time.

This July-August I bicycled in Australia from Perth to just north of Adelaide. 2700 km on 30 days. I bought eggs and they lasted in the less than 20 C temps. The same for sausages (not raw, just the cured ones -like Kielbasaw). If it strikes your fancy, then by all means spend the time and make jerky. Very nice when having a beer in front of a fire while camping - or in front of a TV set in some roadhouse. Popcorn is always a nice addition - and it can be made on a fire

Personally, I prefer to use the KISS approach to making food for touring.
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Old 12-10-15, 01:14 AM
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Food dehydrators are supposedly slow & electricity hogs but they seem like a good option for camping food. Home-made jerky can be much healthier than salt-laden commercial stuff, take some dried veggies/fruits for lightweight paleo meal?
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Old 12-10-15, 02:22 AM
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Years ago, I tried making jerky in the oven a few times, with the oven set on low and with the door propped open a little. The first batch came out rock hard and bitter. The second batch was tolerable. But it wasn't as good as store bought and wasn't actually cheap. When you cook it the mass drops by about half as all the water and fat cooks out. The result is high in protein and low in fat, which means it's pretty inefficient from a calories to weight perspective, it might have a lot of sugar depending on your marinade, and it contains more salt than Lot's wife. I'd rather carry mixed nuts or gorp.
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Old 12-11-15, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Years ago, I tried making jerky in the oven a few times, with the oven set on low and with the door propped open a little. The first batch came out rock hard and bitter. The second batch was tolerable. But it wasn't as good as store bought and wasn't actually cheap. When you cook it the mass drops by about half as all the water and fat cooks out. The result is high in protein and low in fat, which means it's pretty inefficient from a calories to weight perspective, it might have a lot of sugar depending on your marinade, and it contains more salt than Lot's wife. I'd rather carry mixed nuts or gorp.
Can't one make dried meat w/o all the salt? Shorter shelf-life than with heavy salt but maybe OK for shorter tours. Home-made not super cheap I guess since quality cuts still cost $$. But cheaper than freeze-dried meals.
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