BWCA Calling all Jerky makers! Boundary Waters BWCA Food and Recipes
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02/20/2014 06:48AM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
Beef jerky is an area I need some skill development in. Other than using filet mignon marinated in a good teryaki- what are the versions you all have?
 
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02/20/2014 08:21AM  
I just got my dehydrator the other day and have been playing around making jerky. The recipe I have been using is:
3/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup worcestershire
1 table spoon each garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper
2 table spoons brown sugar

Eye of round is supposed to be pretty good to use and is not too expensive. I have tried flank steak and bottom round roast so far. The flank was better. Im looking forward to trying the eye of round.

I have the butcher slice it for me (1/4 inch slices cross grain) and just dump the strips into a bag with the juice. 3-4 hours of soaking and pull them out and lay them between paper towels then press to remove more juice.

Couple of hours in the dehydrator and they are done.

It's been fun so far and I'm looking forward to trying different meats / marinades.

 
Swampturtle
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02/20/2014 08:30AM  
Your recipe looks great, do you use any type of cure?

 
Swampturtle
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02/20/2014 08:31AM  
I make lots of jerky. Last weekend I processed 6 lbs of fresh venison in five different flavors. When I want to make beef jerky, I use anything that is long and flat and is labeled a "London broil"-even though London broil is a style of cooking and not a cut of meat. I have not used an expensive, tender cut of meat for jerky-that must be delicious, I am going to have to give it a try...when I run out of venison. Jerky is perfect for tougher cuts. I have never used ground meat to make jerky, so I have no experience with it. Salmon also makes great jerky, I'll dig that recipe out if anyone would like it, but you were asking specifically for beef.

Some tips..if you plan on slicing the meat yourself, freezing it for 15 minutes or so will firm up the meat making it easier to slice thin before marinating. Cut off any silver skin & fat. Slices are nice, but don't overlook chunks of jerky meat, as long as it's uniform in appearance it will dry properly. I turn my machine to 165' and use a timer for 4 hrs, turning the meat and rotating the trays half way thru the drying process. Leave it in the machine until fully cooled down. It should bend without breaking.

Since I process a lot of venison and we take jerky on our canoe & backpacking trips I feel it is necessary to use cure based jerky mixes. I have not ventured into adding cure to regular recipes, I am eagerly awaiting others input here. I worry about spoilage over the long term even though I vacuum seal and freeze finished jerky. I spotted a summer sausage recipe here from Gramma L and saved it for future use, I have been reading about cure types in anticipation of trying it.

Our favorites are from Nesco

Garlic & black pepper-with extra black pepper added-our personal favorite
Teriyaki-with mr yoshidas & garlic powder added
Andouille
Pepperoni
Cajun
Sweet Hardwood
Fajita

Mr yoshidas Found at Walmart.
 
02/20/2014 08:34AM  
No everything I use is listed. I have been keeping it in the freezer. I'm not yet to the point of trusting it out for a long time yet. I think as long as you make sure you get all the fat removed it should be safe.

This thread made me go grab a slice from the freezer lol.
 
OldFingers57
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02/20/2014 09:31AM  
Keeping it in the freezer is a good idea as it will last a lot longer. All of my dehydrated stuff is kept in the freezer, veggies, fruit, meats, etc.
 
Swampturtle
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02/20/2014 09:41AM  
quote okinaw55: "No everything I use is listed. I have been keeping it in the freezer. I'm not yet to the point of trusting it out for a long time yet. I think as long as you make sure you get all the fat removed it should be safe.

This thread made me go grab a slice from the freezer lol."


Thanks! Jerky in the morning..nothing better. Now you have me headed to grab some! I freeze as well, if you see mold on jerky..toss it...or so I have read.

It sounds like you have a good process going, just a note, you could drain your meat in a colander, then put it on the trays-eliminating the paper towel. If you like pepper for example, you can add some extra just before placing in your machine. Glad you are enjoying it...have fun!


 
goaljohnbill
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02/20/2014 09:54AM  
I dont know why but I am a little leary of making my own jerky... I havnt made near as much as I assumed I would when I bought the dehydrator. 4 hours doesnt seem like a very long time to me.


The problem with recipes for me is i dont really measure this stuff, normally i fiddle till i get something that tastes good. I had too much meat in a roast and I sliced some off and marinadted it in something like below

dried Cilantro 1-2 teaspoons
garlic powder .5 tsp
onion powder .5 tsp
chipoltle powder 1 tsp
sugar 2-3 Tbl
salt 2 tsp
lime juice 1/4 cup

I have a friend who is using "standard" recipes and smoking his jerky before drying it. Says it turned out great.

What is the longest anyone would recommend taking home dryed "uncured" jerky into the woods?
 
Chicagored
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02/20/2014 10:21AM  
Ripple:

This is a recipe I got from alton brown on the food network:

2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon honey

I tend to use it with venison. Any low fat beef roast works as well. The original recipe has liquid smoke in it, but if I want a smoke flavor, I'll throw the jerky in my smoker for an hour with some applewood chips about half way through the drying process. I find I like my jerkey much better since I started grinding the meat and using a jerky shooter to form it. I have made it with or without cure. I keep it vac sealed in the freezer in 2 portion packages, and even without cure, have never had a problem on 6 to 8 day trips. I get the curing salts at a fleet farm in wisconsin.

Here is a link to some other recipes I have tried with good results:

http://www.bowhunting.net/susieq/jerky.htm
 
Swampturtle
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02/20/2014 10:24AM  
USDA jerky info

The very end of the article says commercially made jerky can last 12 months, home made jerky 1-2 months.
 
02/20/2014 10:36AM  
quote Chicagored: "Ripple:


This is a recipe I got from alton brown on the food network:


2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon honey


I tend to use it with venison. Any low fat beef roast works as well. The original recipe has liquid smoke in it, but if I want a smoke flavor, I'll throw the jerky in my smoker for an hour with some applewood chips about half way through the drying process. I find I like my jerkey much better since I started grinding the meat and using a jerky shooter to form it. I have made it with or without cure. I keep it vac sealed in the freezer in 2 portion packages, and even without cure, have never had a problem on 6 to 8 day trips. I get the curing salts at a fleet farm in wisconsin.


Here is a link to some other recipes I have tried with good results:


http://www.bowhunting.net/susieq/jerky.htm"


Oh my kitchen gadget disease is flared up with the description of a "shooter"- what is this mysterious thing!?
Edit- OK I just youtubed this- WHOA!! I can see so many versions of jerky!!!!
 
goaljohnbill
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02/20/2014 10:36AM  
quote Swampturtle: " USDA jerky info


The very end of the article says commercially made jerky can last 12 months, home made jerky 1-2 months. "


Thanks swampturtle

Do you have any idea if 1-2 months is counter top storage or vac sealed freezer?

I am going to shoot this thread to my friend he is in my travel group in June and I know he plans on taking some hes made up north
 
goaljohnbill
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02/20/2014 10:40AM  

A jerky shooter is like a caulk gun that presses out shaped strips of ground meat. Jerky shooter

edit -- NM I took too long typing this lol
 
02/20/2014 10:46AM  
quote goaljohnbill: "A jerky shooter is like a caulk gun that presses out shaped strips of ground meat. Jerky shooter "
How does this taste vs the traditional version? Is the texture strange? I can see making tons of interesting flavors by adding ingredients- plus using lots of different meats. What is everyone's experience with this?
 
goaljohnbill
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02/20/2014 10:49AM  
quote ripple: "quote goaljohnbill: "A jerky shooter is like a caulk gun that presses out shaped strips of ground meat. Jerky shooter "
How does this taste vs the traditional version? Is the texture strange? I can see making tons of interesting flavors by adding ingredients- plus using lots of different meats. What is everyone's experience with this?"



It chews easier, in my experience it isnt bad just different. I used to occasionally buy a brand that was that way by the box from sams club but I dont remember who made it. I want to say it had a "wire frame" whole cow profile as its logo but I dont remember
 
Swampturtle
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02/20/2014 10:58AM  
quote goaljohnbill: "quote Swampturtle: " USDA jerky info

The very end of the article says commercially made jerky can last 12 months, home made jerky 1-2 months. "


Thanks swampturtle

Do you have any idea if 1-2 months is counter top storage or vac sealed freezer?

I am going to shoot this thread to my friend he is in my travel group in June and I know he plans on taking some hes made up north"


I read thru the article searching for the same thing, it said nothing about storage. I feel they are alluding to it being at room temperature. Personally, I think once it's vacuum sealed in the freezer, no pathogens or bacteria are going to grow or harm it and it can be kept for months, up to a year.
 
caribouluvr
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02/20/2014 12:52PM  
Okay, I think I'll have to break down and get the jerky gun. I got a Nesco earlier this winter but haven't used it yet because I've been too busy XC skiing! Should have some time during the "slush" season that will soon be upon us.
 
Frenchy
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02/20/2014 02:07PM  
I have used a jerky gun for years. Much less of a hassle vs slicing meat.Mills Fleet Farm has many interesting flavors to use with gun.

I have produced this way for BWCA trips, and never had a complaint.
I make ahead and use a Ziploc vacuum bag which is resealable.
 
Chicagored
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02/20/2014 02:17PM  
One other thing about using the jerky shooter - I find that the ground meat absorbs the flavors much more completely than meat strips. You get much more uniform strips for drying. (Actually, my family prefers jerky using the round tip) I usually mix everything together and put it in the fridge for one or two days before drying.

Also, if you are using spices that contains no liquids, it helps to mix the dry stuff into some cold water first before stirring into the ground meat.

The strips are much easier to eat when made from ground meat.
 
02/20/2014 02:49PM  
I'm another Jerky Shooter fan. Mix everything up and place in the fridge over night and then put it on the trays.

My wife works in housewares at a Fleet Farm. The Nesco rep suggested the square dehydrator to her for anyone making jerky. Guess that's why they make that model.
 
02/20/2014 02:54PM  
This sounds like a slam dunk! Any advice on which gun to get?
 
Chicagored
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02/20/2014 04:28PM  
quote ripple: "This sounds like a slam dunk! Any advice on which gun to get?"

I have one from Fleet Farm that I think I paid between $20 and $30 for. It is a little small and the tube is made of plastic. It came with 3 tips. The choices are either plastic or metal for the tube and they come in different sizes. Basically its a refillable caulk gun. The bigger it is, the less often you have to fill it. And I've seen them with anywhere from two to five tips. I'm not sure there's much of a difference between the different brands. I've had my cheapo for about 15 years now, and I make about 30 pounds of meat into jerky a year. Mostly venison. Doesn't need to be fancy, more money probably gets you more convenience and options. That's just my opinion. I've also seen them at Cabelas and on Amazon.com and ebay.

Just be sure that you take it completely apart to clean it each time.

As a side note, before I got the jerky shooter, I would sometimes grind the meat, season it, and then use a rolling pin to flatten it out before I cut it into strips. The shooter is much easier and neater.
 
02/20/2014 07:09PM  
quote Swampturtle: "quote okinaw55: "No everything I use is listed. I have been keeping it in the freezer. I'm not yet to the point of trusting it out for a long time yet. I think as long as you make sure you get all the fat removed it should be safe.


This thread made me go grab a slice from the freezer lol."



Thanks! Jerky in the morning..nothing better. Now you have me headed to grab some! I freeze as well, if you see mold on jerky..toss it...or so I have read.


It sounds like you have a good process going, just a note, you could drain your meat in a colander, then put it on the trays-eliminating the paper towel. If you like pepper for example, you can add some extra just before placing in your machine. Glad you are enjoying it...have fun!



"


I thought about doing the colander thing but by pressing it in paper towels I think it removes a lot of the stickiness from the end product and it dries really fast. I can do a batch ready to eat in about 2 hours in my Nesco.
 
02/20/2014 07:12PM  
quote okinaw55: "I just got my dehydrator the other day and have been playing around making jerky. The recipe I have been using is:
3/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup worcestershire
1 table spoon each garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper
2 table spoons brown sugar

Eye of round is supposed to be pretty good to use and is not too expensive. I have tried flank steak and bottom round roast so far. The flank was better. Im looking forward to trying the eye of round.

I have the butcher slice it for me (1/4 inch slices cross grain) and just dump the strips into a bag with the juice. 3-4 hours of soaking and pull them out and lay them between paper towels then press to remove more juice.

Couple of hours in the dehydrator and they are done.

It's been fun so far and I'm looking forward to trying different meats / marinades.


"


I forgot the teaspoon of liquid smoke! That's the kicker for me.
 
02/20/2014 07:12PM  
A friend of mine has a jerky gun / shooter and I will be trying that out very soon as well. Like others have said, I think it will be easier to chew and I'm confident it will be just as tasty if you get the recipe right.

It's a lot of fun and beats the pants off the MSG and preservatives you get from store bought stuff.
 
podgeo
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02/23/2014 10:55AM  
quote okinaw55: "quote okinaw55: "I just got my dehydrator the other day and have been playing around making jerky. The recipe I have been using is:
3/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup worcestershire
1 table spoon each garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper
2 table spoons brown sugar


Eye of round is supposed to be pretty good to use and is not too expensive. I have tried flank steak and bottom round roast so far. The flank was better. Im looking forward to trying the eye of round.


I have the butcher slice it for me (1/4 inch slices cross grain) and just dump the strips into a bag with the juice. 3-4 hours of soaking and pull them out and lay them between paper towels then press to remove more juice.


Couple of hours in the dehydrator and they are done.


It's been fun so far and I'm looking forward to trying different meats / marinades.



"



I forgot the teaspoon of liquid smoke! That's the kicker for me. "


With a recipe like that how much meat do you topically use ?
 
02/24/2014 10:17PM  
I want to say it was around a 2 pound roast but honestly its all guess work for me. I gave official amounts, but I just "eye" everything. Its spices and meat, you can never go wrong with that combination. I do however measure the soy sauce and worcestershire.
 
02/24/2014 10:20PM  
Just to follow up, all you need is enough marinade to cover the meat. If you have too much meat, add marinade and vice versa.
 
canoepaddle
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02/25/2014 09:50AM  
I've posted this before in a Excalibur thread here but here it is again. It's been a favorite of everyone who's tried it.

8-10 LBS boneless venison or beef steak 9fat and silver skin removed)
2 cups soy sauce
2 cups Worcestershire sauce
1 cup liquid smoke flavoring
1/2 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons pepper (I like a little more)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon salt.


I usually make half the marinade and put in half the meat cut in 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices(I use a meat slicer) in a gallon freezer zip lock and then make the other half with the rest of the meat in another gallon freezer zip lock. Marinade overnight and then put in my excalibur dehydrator. This last batch was over 9 LBS of sliced steak and it fit on 8 of my dehydrator trays.


canoepaddle
 
02/25/2014 01:54PM  
I’m not sure I’ll ever make Jerky again, maybe someday as a hobby, but it just isn’t very cost effective and the work to do it is immense, I might have shaved $1-2 off the finished per/lb price but it wasn’t much at all. If someone gave me some jerky that was homemade and really good I’d consider it but the recipes I have used have been so so , same with the store bought jerky spice kits, none have them have impressed me, I’d put them on par with store bought Jerky. I need a real good recipe and a real smoker, if I could get something that was as good as the stuff I buy from a meat shop then I’d be all over it, that stuff isn’t cheap by any means!


Last time I made it I started with 5 lbs of round roast, super lean, almost no trimming needed but there was still 2-3 oz’s of trim, ended up with final product in the 45% of start weight. I think I got the meat at Costco for around $3.80 a lb, so I ended up at over $8 a lb for the finished jerky and that was just meat, the marinade ingredients easily add up to a couple more bucks for a large batch so you are pushing $10-11 a lb and it takes the better part of a Saturday. I can get a 1 lb bag of Jack-links at Sams club for $12.50 and it’s just as good as what I made, if not better…. and much less work, of course I’ve had jerky that’s way better than Jack Links but it sure wasn’t mine!

Now the 5lbs of venison jerky I get every fall is worth its weight in gold, cold smoked forever, great recipe, but even that I pay $9 a lb for and that’s with FREE meat, good jerky is a labor of love, lots of work.

 
02/25/2014 04:36PM  
I think there's already a lot of great info and recipes here. One thing I'd like to add is to get some oxy-sorb packets to throw in the vacuum bags and wear food handling gloves when removing the meat from the dehydrator after bring the meat up to 165 for a minimum of 5 minutes. This should go a long way in improving your shelf life.

Food longevity is determined by pH, oxygen, moisture, temperature, and time.

You can control the oxygen level with the oxy-sorb and vacuum sealer, the pH can come from the marinade/cure, and you remove the moisture by dehydrating it.

As far as temperature goes anything in the range of 40 to 140 degrees F is conducive to the growth of microorganisms. I don't freeze my jerky because I think it affects the texture, but you can certainly do that if longevity is a higher priority to you. I find I don't have issues with it lasting long enough without freezing.

The last variable is time which we really have no control over.
 
03/04/2014 07:51AM  
quote Ragged: "I’m not sure I’ll ever make Jerky again, maybe someday as a hobby, but it just isn’t very cost effective and the work to do it is immense, I might have shaved $1-2 off the finished per/lb price but it wasn’t much at all. If someone gave me some jerky that was homemade and really good I’d consider it but the recipes I have used have been so so , same with the store bought jerky spice kits, none have them have impressed me, I’d put them on par with store bought Jerky. I need a real good recipe and a real smoker, if I could get something that was as good as the stuff I buy from a meat shop then I’d be all over it, that stuff isn’t cheap by any means!



Last time I made it I started with 5 lbs of round roast, super lean, almost no trimming needed but there was still 2-3 oz’s of trim, ended up with final product in the 45% of start weight. I think I got the meat at Costco for around $3.80 a lb, so I ended up at over $8 a lb for the finished jerky and that was just meat, the marinade ingredients easily add up to a couple more bucks for a large batch so you are pushing $10-11 a lb and it takes the better part of a Saturday. I can get a 1 lb bag of Jack-links at Sams club for $12.50 and it’s just as good as what I made, if not better…. and much less work, of course I’ve had jerky that’s way better than Jack Links but it sure wasn’t mine!


Now the 5lbs of venison jerky I get every fall is worth its weight in gold, cold smoked forever, great recipe, but even that I pay $9 a lb for and that’s with FREE meat, good jerky is a labor of love, lots of work.


"


I would agree with you to a certain extent. My big reason for doing it myself is I can't find anything store bought that doesn't have MSG in it and that stuff gives me gout.
 
03/04/2014 07:53AM  
quote canoepaddle: "I've posted this before in a Excalibur thread here but here it is again. It's been a favorite of everyone who's tried it.


8-10 LBS boneless venison or beef steak 9fat and silver skin removed)
2 cups soy sauce
2 cups Worcestershire sauce
1 cup liquid smoke flavoring
1/2 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons pepper (I like a little more)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon salt.



I usually make half the marinade and put in half the meat cut in 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices(I use a meat slicer) in a gallon freezer zip lock and then make the other half with the rest of the meat in another gallon freezer zip lock. Marinade overnight and then put in my excalibur dehydrator. This last batch was over 9 LBS of sliced steak and it fit on 8 of my dehydrator trays.



canoepaddle "


1 cup of liquid smoke? Is this a typo? That's got to be awfully strong.
 
canoepaddle
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03/04/2014 08:54PM  
No typo, that's the recipe that I've used for the last several years. As I stated, everyone who's had it has loved it.

canoepaddle
 
03/05/2014 12:27PM  
Thanks for clarifying. I just wanted to be sure before I dumped it all in a bowl.
 
canoepaddle
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03/05/2014 10:18PM  
I hope you enjoy it. Please give your review after making.

canoepaddle
 
03/06/2014 07:51PM  
quote canoepaddle: "I hope you enjoy it. Please give your review after making.
canoepaddle"


I will :) It's pretty close to the one I've been using except without the ketchup and smaller amount of liquid smoke. The ketchup has me intrigued. I wonder it has the same effect as the brown sugar I have been adding to counteract the over-drying from too much cure (salt).
 
03/10/2014 11:17AM  
I borrowed my friends jerky gun this weekend and made some out of hamburger. I have to say, I'm not a fan. The process was messy and difficult to get the strips on the trays and I don't care for the texture at all.

I'm personally going to stick with roasts from now on. Just something to throw out there for anyone following this thread and thinking about it.
 
03/10/2014 03:50PM  
quote okinaw55: "I borrowed my friends jerky gun this weekend and made some out of hamburger. I have to say, I'm not a fan. The process was messy and difficult to get the strips on the trays and I don't care for the texture at all.


I'm personally going to stick with roasts from now on. Just something to throw out there for anyone following this thread and thinking about it."

I appreciate the comment- the texture is what I was worried about.
 
03/10/2014 03:50PM  
quote okinaw55: "I borrowed my friends jerky gun this weekend and made some out of hamburger. I have to say, I'm not a fan. The process was messy and difficult to get the strips on the trays and I don't care for the texture at all.


I'm personally going to stick with roasts from now on. Just something to throw out there for anyone following this thread and thinking about it."

I appreciate the comment- the texture is what I was worried about.
 
03/10/2014 05:38PM  
I think that you probably added to much in the line of liquids then if having trouble with the shooter. I mix everything up, I use the flavor packets as well as well as some liquid smoke, and some teriyaki, and let it sit over night.

 
03/10/2014 09:04PM  
quote KevinL: "I think that you probably added to much in the line of liquids then if having trouble with the shooter. I mix everything up, I use the flavor packets as well as well as some liquid smoke, and some teriyaki, and let it sit over night.
"


Yes this is accurate. I added 1/2 cup of soy sauce with onion, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and liquid smoke. This is a recipe I found online so thought I would give it a try.

I knew that it would be 'wet' so I used the add-on trays (smaller holes) with my dehydrator. I don't want to try the packets unless there are some out there that don't contain preservatives and MSG. If anybody knows of any, I would be willing to give them a try.

I also most likely left it in the dehydrator too long. I still am struggling with a comfortable 'its done' time. I have been over drying everything.
 
Swampturtle
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03/11/2014 10:16AM  
okinaw55: I also most likely left it in the dehydrator too long. I still am struggling with a comfortable 'its done' time. I have been over drying everything."

My machine (Nesco American harvest 1000) does not have a timer, so I plug it into a standard wall timer and set it. I cut my meat about 1/8"-1/4" in thickness. I turn the meat after 2 hours & rotate the trays to finish drying. I don't have uneven drying, but I feel since the heat comes from the bottom, it might be slightly cooler towards the top (8 trays). Turning the meat half way thru gives me an idea of how dry it is getting. If you are slicing very thin, you may need less time. You might want to check the meat every hour or half hour depending on how long you are drying. After bagging it up with a desiccant, I find the meat redistributes what's left of the moisture content within the muscle ever so slightly.

I don't care for ground meat/meat gun jerky, I don't like the texture, preferring sliced meat. If that's your thing, enjoy, it is less toothsome than sliced meat jerky. I also understand how people want an all natural jerky. I started out using mixes for fear of spoilage & am just starting to move towards homemade marinades now that I feel more comfortable with the whole process.
 
ECpizza
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03/11/2014 10:29PM  
Not a fan of the shooter.

I bought a cheap meat slicer.

Find out when your market puts out marked down meat. I often get a roast in the last day of it's shelf life very cheap.

Always marinade a bit longer. Knead the bag every few hours.

Salt is a preservative, don't skimp. Salt is "salt", soy sauce, Accent (MSG), seasoned salt, etc.

Don't blot. Let those juices be!

And I usually make mine dryer than anyone else. I like a bit of crunch, and it makes me feel safer (even though I know it is way drier than required).

I make mine how I like it. From the grain I cut to the dryness, I control it all. I don't like store jerky... At all...
 
caribouluvr
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03/13/2014 03:11PM  
quote okinaw55: "I borrowed my friends jerky gun this weekend and made some out of hamburger. I have to say, I'm not a fan. The process was messy and difficult to get the strips on the trays and I don't care for the texture at all.


I'm personally going to stick with roasts from now on. Just something to throw out there for anyone following this thread and thinking about it."

Curious what percentage lean meat did you use? Was it 90-93% lean? I got excited about the jerky gun after reading this thread, and now I'm not so sure...
 
ECpizza
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03/13/2014 10:32PM  
I used the 90% when I tried it. Have tried from others who used ground chuck 75% lean... Yuck.

I have thought some more, and I wonder if a couple extra passes through the grinder at home might help. Maybe add something (I have no idea what) to smooth it out too...
 
Chicagored
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03/15/2014 08:44AM  
You want the meat as lean as possible. I grind my own so I may have a little more control.

If you find that the meat is messy coming out of the jerky gun, your meat might be too wet. Also, I find it easier to start the jerky on the solid plastic inserts for a few hours. Then I turn over the jerky, remove the inserts and continue until dry.
 
03/15/2014 05:54PM  
quote Swampturtle: " okinaw55: I also most likely left it in the dehydrator too long. I still am struggling with a comfortable 'its done' time. I have been over drying everything."


My machine (Nesco American harvest 1000) does not have a timer, so I plug it into a standard wall timer and set it. I cut my meat about 1/8"-1/4" in thickness. I turn the meat after 2 hours & rotate the trays to finish drying. I don't have uneven drying, but I feel since the heat comes from the bottom, it might be slightly cooler towards the top (8 trays). Turning the meat half way thru gives me an idea of how dry it is getting. If you are slicing very thin, you may need less time. You might want to check the meat every hour or half hour depending on how long you are drying. After bagging it up with a desiccant, I find the meat redistributes what's left of the moisture content within the muscle ever so slightly.


I don't care for ground meat/meat gun jerky, I don't like the texture, preferring sliced meat. If that's your thing, enjoy, it is less toothsome than sliced meat jerky. I also understand how people want an all natural jerky. I started out using mixes for fear of spoilage & am just starting to move towards homemade marinades now that I feel more comfortable with the whole process. "


I have a Nesco as well but on mine the heat comes from the top. It has a digital temp and timer but I do check it every hour or so and rotate like you do as I dry stuff. My problem is most likely in my head meaning, I tend to let it run too long because I want to be sure its dried out.

I'm with you and the gun. Didn't like the texture at all. I think cutting roasts against the grain for 'breaking points in the meat' is going to be the best solution.
 
03/15/2014 05:59PM  
quote caribouluvr: "quote okinaw55: "I borrowed my friends jerky gun this weekend and made some out of hamburger. I have to say, I'm not a fan. The process was messy and difficult to get the strips on the trays and I don't care for the texture at all.



I'm personally going to stick with roasts from now on. Just something to throw out there for anyone following this thread and thinking about it."

Curious what percentage lean meat did you use? Was it 90-93% lean? I got excited about the jerky gun after reading this thread, and now I'm not so sure..."


I used 96% hamburger. There was no fat that I could see in it. Maybe a less lean mixture would work out better because its dry as a popcorn fart.
 
03/15/2014 06:06PM  
I think I will just go with roasts / steaks from now on. The first batch was flank steak and it was very good, the second was with a bottom round roast and while it was tasty it was a bit more chewier. The hamburger experiment was a disaster.

I think I will try eye of round roast next, everything I've read claims this is the best bang for your buck.

This has been a great thread and a lot of good information here. I know I'm not the original poster but I've learned a lot and I appreciate everyone's input.
 
wingnut
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03/17/2014 12:07PM  
I'm going to try the eye of round next myself. I have been using the upper round and bottom round roast's but you can't tell what the roast is going to look like on the Inside. I try to pick out the leanest looking cuts but after It's sliced, It's hard to believe all of the fat that was inside.
 
Swampturtle
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03/17/2014 09:27PM  
I have a Nesco as well but on mine the heat comes from the top. It has a digital temp and timer but I do check it every hour or so and rotate like you do as I dry stuff. My problem is most likely in my head meaning, I tend to let it run too long because I want to be sure its dried out.

I'm with you and the gun. Didn't like the texture at all. I think cutting roasts against the grain for 'breaking points in the meat' is going to be the best solution."


Okinaw55...You sound like you have a great handle on what you're doing there and have a great machine to do it with. I'm following the notes here on the cuts of meat people are picking up. When I run out of venison, I'll look for an eye of round...unless I see it on sale before that happens. Let us know how you like it. A meat slicer might be next on my list of kitchen gadgets, I successfully avoided it thus far, I but the gear junkie in me wants to put it to use.
 
caribouluvr
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03/18/2014 11:52PM  
I just finished my first batch of jerky using 93% lean ground beef and the Nesco jerky gun. I am very happy with how it turned out! Very easy and it didn't make a huge mess. I confess that I copped out and used the original seasoning packet along with cure that Nesco ships with the unit. But it tastes great. 5 hours in my Nesco dehydrator and it was perfect. The house smells like a meat processing store, but it's a good/bad sort of thing.
 
03/19/2014 08:54AM  
quote caribouluvr: "I just finished my first batch of jerky using 93% lean ground beef and the Nesco jerky gun. I am very happy with how it turned out! Very easy and it didn't make a huge mess. I confess that I copped out and used the original seasoning packet along with cure that Nesco ships with the unit. But it tastes great. 5 hours in my Nesco dehydrator and it was perfect. The house smells like a meat processing store, but it's a good/bad sort of thing."

Haha, yeah the smell sure does get around the house. It drives my dogs wild. I'm glad that the gun worked out for you. I may try again with spices instead of liquid. Never hurts to try over and over, I know the dogs will eat anything I mess up.
 
Chicagored
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04/07/2014 08:27AM  
I just tried this recipe from an old issue of Backpacker magazine. I thought it was very simple and very tasty.

I used ground venison. The other thing I usually do is I blend all the spices in about 1/4 cup of cold water first before I mix them into the meat. I marinated about 14 hours before loading the jerky gun and making the strips. I put the jerky on fruit leather trays for about two hours. Then I turned the jerky over directly on the racks and dried overnight. I find that doing this prevents the jerky from molding around the racks.



RECIPE: SPICY TERIYAKI ELK JERKY
________________________________________
Calories 150
Fat 2 g
Carbs 5 g
Protein 28 g
2 pounds elk (or venison) steaks or roast
1/4 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
At Home
Starting with the steaks or roast slightly frozen (firm, but easy to slice), cut meat cross-grain (across the long fibers) into 1/8-inch-thick strips. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl and add meat strips; cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours, stirring occasionally. Dry 7 to 12 hours in a dehydrator set to 140°F (or until strips break when bent). Cool completely before storing in a zip-top bag. Note: Jerky can also be dried in an oven on the "warm" setting.
Prep time: 8.5 hours

Dry time: 7-12 hours

Price $1 per serving

Weight 1 ounce per 3-strip serving

Makes 30 strips

Dry It
If you only occasionally make DIY jerky, then oven-drying is your best bet. But if you plan to dry your own meat (or fruit, veggies, and pasta sauces) more than a couple of times per year, a dehydrator (we like American Harvest; $49-$150, nesco.com) will quickly pay for itself. These appliances use less power than an oven, dry your food evenly, and let you dehydrate much bigger batches than can fit in a conventional oven.
 
Clo-z-nuff
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04/08/2014 11:57AM  
I have only made venison whole muscle (not ground, from a gun, etc) but I've made a lot of it over the years. I gave up on homemade recipes after starting to use High Mountain Jerky seasonings a few years ago. They are ALL good IMO, super simple to use, and store well without getting a funky texture that the brine type seasonings seem to give. I will follow the High Mountain instructions/quantities, smoke for 45 minutes (for flavor only) and finish in an Excalibur (or make of your choice) dehydrator. I'm not doing anything magical but almost everyone that tries it says it's better than any store bought jerky they've ever tried. I have to agree. I'm not sure if it's the fact that it's a dry rub or just the seasonings High Mountain uses but it flat out works. I will vacuum seal and store in the freezer and it's awesome a year later.
 
Saberboys
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04/16/2014 01:30PM  
This forum encouraged me to try making jerky for the first time!

I used one of the recipes from above with a few modifications and two pounds of ground venison. I didn't have a jerky gun, so I laid out some wax paper, and placed two wooden paint stir sticks at either end to use as a thickness guide. On top of that went the ground venison and another layer of wax paper. Then I used a rolling pin to flatten it out to the thickness of the stir sticks. I flopped that onto a grate and put it in the oven at 170 for 4-5 hours. One batch turned out pretty good, the other was hard and dry and is now being used as dog treats!

 
05/25/2014 10:47PM  
quote Saberboys: "This forum encouraged me to try making jerky for the first time!


I used one of the recipes from above with a few modifications and two pounds of ground venison. I didn't have a jerky gun, so I laid out some wax paper, and placed two wooden paint stir sticks at either end to use as a thickness guide. On top of that went the ground venison and another layer of wax paper. Then I used a rolling pin to flatten it out to the thickness of the stir sticks. I flopped that onto a grate and put it in the oven at 170 for 4-5 hours. One batch turned out pretty good, the other was hard and dry and is now being used as dog treats!


"


Glad you jumped in and tried it! As long as you have dogs, you can never have a batch that goes to complete waste. :)
 
Sconnie
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06/01/2014 04:12PM  
½ -¾ cup brown sugar
2 tsp. Garlic powder
2 tsp. Onion powder
2 tsp. Black pepper
2 tsp. Smoked paprika
2 Tbsp. Lowery's seasoning salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper (+1 tsp. more for extra spicy)
1 Tsp Red pepper (+1 Tsp. more for extra spicy)
1 Tbsp Sriracha (+1 Tsp. more for extra spicy)
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
½ cup Soy sauce
2 tsp. Liquid smoke
4 pounds venison

Cut meat into ¼ slices (cut meat while partially frozen)
Let the meat completely thaw before adding brine
Put the meat and brine in a ziploc bag and let stand in the fridge for 24 hours.
Place meat on paper towels to absorb excess moisture prior to placing on dehydrator racks. Dehydrate for 7-11 hours.
 
520eek
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06/16/2014 12:31AM  
It's been awhile...however someone I know in the Midwest smokes their jerky and other meats with apple wood. I have done this a couple of times and the results are super....just have to commit some time to do it right. I remember coming back home on airplane with a good 30 lbs of this smoked jerky on my carry on the first time I made any. The plane smelled of smoke from that batch! It was really wrapped up good too! I like the results, very flavorful and very soft to chew...almost melts in your mouth. My friends keep bugging me to make some more sometime!
 
yogi59weedr
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06/16/2014 08:09PM  
Got a batch drying up right now. Cant beat the high mountain product. Too easy. I have read it lasts better in a plastic jar with lid instead of zip locks . I personally use a little hand pump to vaccume seal pretty slick.
 
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