Good jerky is something that is hard to beat! They are so many flavors you can add to the meat, and you can make jerky out of almost any type of meat. This makes the options almost limitless. You generally will use a dehydrator to make jerky, and there are many great products on the market if you need to buy one. Stop on by the store for some suggestions if you want to purchase one. Here are some tips for making beef jerky, which is the most popular type of jerky.
The first thing to know is that using a lean piece of meat will result in the best jerky. For example, sirloin tip, flank steak, or bottom round are all great cuts that will make good beef jerky. The more fat in the meat, the shorter amount of time that the beef jerky will be good for. You can even use ground meat if you have a jerky gun. Cut off any fat that you can and then you’ll be ready for the next step.
One thing you can do is to put the meat in the freezer for a couple of hours to make the slicing easier. Don’t let it get fully frozen, just so that it is hard to the touch. Then cut uniform strips that are roughly 1/8 -1/4 inches thick. This will make the jerky easy to chew. You don’t have to do the freezing if you don’t want to, we have just found that it makes the process easier.
Once you have sliced your meat it is time to get the seasoning ready. You can either make your own in a bowl or bag, or you can purchase a jerky seasoning. We carry many great seasonings like Caribbean jerk. Regardless of where you get your seasoning, you will need to add the beef strips, to your container with the seasons and shake it so that it will evenly coat the meat. After this is done you can leave the meat in the marinade seasoning for hours. We would suggest between 6-24 hours to get the best taste!
After the meat is done marinating it is time to start the dehydration! Evenly space the strips of beef on the racks, and let it start dehydrating. Depending on how much marinade and how thick the meat is will change how long it will take to be completed. Check on the jerky to make sure that it doesn’t over dry. Once it starts to bend and crack it is done! Don’t let it break through, this is a sign that it is to dry.
Jerky will usually last around a week or so if stored in ziplock bags. If you want jerky to last longer then you will need to vacuum seal it, and this can extend the shelf life up to 2 months. Again the fat quantity will affect the length of time it will keep.
This is basically it! The jerky making process really isn’t that difficult, and you can try as many different seasonings that you want. Once you have experience making jerky your friends and family will love you!