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Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by spectra, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. spectra

    spectra The Couve Moderator Staff Member

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    Ok there are enough culinary experts here:laugh: Am wondering how you go about ? Post some recipes and what your process is. I have been reading up on it and am just rying to see who does what.

  2. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    First you need a food dehydrater, second a big enough glass or plastic bowl to fit the pounds of meat you plan on processing. If you are doing beef go to the store and buy eye of round for a sliced style and ask the butcher to slice it at 3/16" thick,usually done for free. If doing a strip type just buy some cheap on sale or clearence steaks, If doing chunks buy the stew meat.

    Sliced can be done as a layered or a tumbled brine process. Layered is by shaking the seasoning on it while laying flat then add a layer shake and so on. Brine type is to use more liquid and tumble it to evenly distribute the spices.strip type uses the tumble method as well.

    You can go to BiMart and get the "High Mountain" seasonings which is what I use mostly or make your own to taste. It is more fun to try out different recipies of your own or build off of someone elses to fit your taste.

    If doing your own recipe you will need cure. This could be sugar cure from Morton or maple cure, I use modern cure because it does not add sweetness.
    Rule of thumb is max amount of modern cure is 0.125# per 50# meat. Anymore than that and you are over curing and can make someone sick.
    If you plan on keeping it in the fridge or eating it fast enough you dont need it as the smoke will cure it enough for a short storage.

    If you dont have a smoker you can use liquid smoke but use sparingly and with water as it is CONSENTRATED. I use liquids from Red Arrow but only in snack sausage. The smoke in most stores is one that is generally used to give a hickory flavor.

    Make sure that meat sits in containers in fridge at least 24hrs as cure takes that long to penetrate 1/4" If brining or tumbling stir it at least every 8 hrs to keep it evenly coated.

    After brining you then place in smoker if available and smoke for about 1 hr with a good heavy smoke. You can use alder for a smoked fish type flavor, hickory for a basic, Mesquite, apple etc. you will end up with a preference.
    after smoking you can let it sit on racks while burner keeps heating until dry or transfer to a dehydrator to finish it. There are racks available for the oven to do this also but the house does get a little aromatic. Do not dry to the point it is brittle but just to the point that when you bite into it it is not wet feeling or pull a piece when you think its done and let it cool then see how dry it is. You will get the knack for knowing when it is done.

    You can let it cool when done and use whatever bags or jars for storage or most likely it will be gone by the end of the day especially when doing small batches and just getting started.

    At work we used to finish it at a .850 AW which is below the .900 that is the border for mold or bacteria growth. But that is for commercial packaging.

    There are plenty of books out there for recipes and you know what you like so the best thing to dois buy a book and start playing.

    Any questions PM me.
  3. stitchclimber

    stitchclimber St. Louis Active Member

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    Here's the recipe my dad and I used growing up. This is for some old school style jerky.

    Thaw a roast of venison, cut it into strips and layer it in a glass brownie pan... Every layer of meat sprinkle with pepper, season salt, and liquid smoke. Cover, place in fridge over night...

    The next day, place strips of meat in the oven, and leaving the oven door open a crack, turn oven on lowest heat possible, let meat dry for 3-7hrs depending on oven and meat.

  4. ZachS

    ZachS Eugene/PDX Active Member

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    Yep, the easiest way to get started is to use your favorite seasonings/marinade and your oven on the lowest setting. You can put th' meat strips directly on the oven rack if you want.

    People have probably been making jerky for the last 100,000 years or so. Not rocket science.
  5. stitchclimber

    stitchclimber St. Louis Active Member

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    I've also seen peeps run toothpics through the meet and actually hanging it in the oven.
  6. TAT2D

    TAT2D Portland Member

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    We used to always use 'flank steak'. The critical detail I remember was that you always sliced it *with* the grain to preserve the long fibers. I never tried it across the grain 'cause mom always said "If you do that, you get sawdust."

    Has anyone tried biltong? The TSP guy absolutely gushed over it on one of his podcasts. You can google for recipes.


  7. kentsboots

    kentsboots Oregon Member

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    so how long could you store it for without refrigeration or freezing? Will it last a year if sealed air tight? maybe vacuum sealed?
  8. Yankeefan

    Yankeefan Southern Oregon Member

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    I just go to the butcher and get what ever cut of beef that I feel like getting; usually a roast. I then ask the butcher to slice thin for me and make sure to tell them that it is for making jerky.

    Then I marinade the beef 24 hours in a marinade I put together on my own. For the marinade I use: Kikkoman Teriyaki, Worcestershire sauce, a cup or more of brown sugar, meat tenderizer, garlic salt, dice up 8-10 cloves of garlic, a uple table spoons of crushed red pepper flakes, and serveral shakes of the tabassco bottle.

    After the meat is done marinading I got out to my home built 55gallon drum smoker, light the fire using mesquite lump charcoal with chunks of apple wood on top. I then let the meat smoke for 6-8 hours depending on how well I control the temp.

    The key thing I have found with this method is to let the jerky sit and cool before storage and then let it sit another day before you start eating it. For some reason it tastes better to me after it has sat for a day or so.