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Anything is good, in moderation. I cook because I love to and because I can share with those around me. I crochet for the same reason.

Do what you want to do, enjoy what you do and use it to touch those around you.

Dec 4, 2011

Homemade Jerky

Making jerky at home is easy and so much tastier than what you can purchase - plus you can control what is in the jerky.  The recipe below lists beef but it works just as well with venison.  These instructions are for sliced beef.  I have not made the extruded type of jerky (done by mixing ground beef with spices and then drying).  I prefer this method as there is less chance of contamination than working with ground meat. 

Purchase a roast - your choice of what you want to use is fine - you want at least 2 pounds.  Just anything that does not have a bone or has a bone that is easy to remove.  Partially freeze the roast until it is firm enough to slice easily without compressing.  Using a sharp knife (or a slicer), cut evenly sliced pieces from 1/8 to 1/4 inches thick.  Place in a bowl large enough to hold all of the meat with at least 2 inches to spare.

Mix the following and pour over the meat slices. 

  2 Tsp Chili Powder                                                                  
  2 Tsp Garlic Powder                                                                
  1 Tsp Brown Sugar                                                                  
  1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper                                                          
  2 Tsp Pepper     
  2 Tbl Salt 
  1 C Water 

This recipe makes enough to cover 2 lbs - you can make more as needed.  This does not need to completely submerge the meat - you will have some juices coming off.  Cover the bowl and allow to marinade for at least  8 hours.  I usually put it on to marinade in the evening, stir before bed and, if not starting to dry first thing in the morning, stir again in the morning.

Layer the pieces of meat evenly on the racks of your food dryer.  Start the dryer at the temperature recommended by the manufacturer for drying of meat.  Check after 8 hours and remove as the pieces are dry.  You don't want them crunchy, but you don't want to see any red when you bend a piece.  This can be done in your oven, if you don't have a food dehydrator, but be aware that there is a mess and I suggest covering an oven rack with foil and putting it in the bottom of your oven to catch drippings.  Turn your oven as low as it will go OR 150 degrees.  Layer the meat on your oven rack and place in the oven.  Keep the door cracked slightly to allow for air flow.  This will most likely go faster as it will be warmer than a food dehydrator, so start checking your jerky at 6 hours.    

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