The Ultimate Guide to Making Jerky in 2021
One of the primitive methods of preservation of food is jerky. It has become popular with the masses in the American West as it is extremely easy to carry and lasts through long treks. Jerky making has come a long way in the last few centuries with various methods, tools, and variable varieties available. So, let’s understand the entire procedure of the making of Jerky in the year 2021.
The Tools Required in the Process
#1. Meat Slicer, also known as Whole
You can make jerky instantly with the help of a knife. But if you are making jerky in large quantities, you need to get a quality meat slicer. It ensures that your slices are cut evenly, and the uniform thickness allows for continuous drying.
#2. Jerky Gun (Ground)
For uniform pieces, using a jerky gun is the best tool. You can load and press on to the seasoned ground meat into the metal racks or the trays. The jerky guns on the market are available with multiple attachments to make the flat strips or the round sticks.
#3. Rolling Pin (Ground)
Instead of a jerky gun, you can place a portion of the ground meat between the wax paper. Further, roll it into one-fourth thickness. Finally, slice it and carefully transfer it into the wire rack.
#4. Wire Racks are meant for Oven or Smoker
Wire racks are best for ground and jerky meat. Try placing a cookie sheet on the bottom of the rack.
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Select Your Type of Meat
It is best to cut any visible silver skin or fat from the meat to avoid any jerky from drying and getting rancid. Also, fresh is appropriate. Make sure to buy your meat before preparing the jerky. Mostly 3 lbs of raw meat produce 1 lb of dry jerky.
Seasoning and Marinading
Make sure to use a cure while making a jerky
For safety purposes, the cure is a must. It helps in inhibiting bacterial growth and also prevents botulism or any other foodborne illness. Jerky is dried at a very low temperature and not cooked. Jerky lasts for about two weeks or maybe less than this if not cured. But if it is cured and stored in a dark and dry place. It may last for months. While using a cure, you must marinate the meat for at least 8 hours.
A Step-by-Step Guide For Jerky
- Remove all the fat and the silver skin.
- Make sure to freeze the meat partially for at least one and half hours to 2 hours. It will help in easy slicing.
- For tender jerky, slice against the grain. If the jerky is too thin, it might be extremely dry, and it will become difficult to preserve it as it can hold too much moisture.
- Further mix the ingredients and cure packet with 1 cup of water. Further, add 5 lbs of meat (sliced). Then marinate 8 to 24 hours in a plastic container (storage). Finally, stir or the meat for every few hours to make sure it is evenly coated.
Storing the Jerky Properly
Properly dried jerky should not be crisp. Instead, it should be firm. Make sure that the jerky is properly dried and cooled before storing. Then store it in a dry, dark place at a temperature between 50-60 degrees. When you notice the moisture droplets in the storage container, the jerky should be properly dried. Also, avoid storage in plastic bags or containers to avoid any further tearing. Tall storage bars are recommended.