How To Make Beef Jerky The Old Fashioned Way

Step 1: The Meat

How To Make Beef Jerky The Old Fashioned Way

First and foremost is the choice of the meat used. Ask your butcher for the leanest piece of beef they have available. As opposed to seeking out the best steak, we’re searching for the least amount of fat and ribboning. Usually, a brisket, london broil, or rump roast will be served for this. Other meats that you could use include buffalo (yes, you can legally purchase buffalo in some parts of the country), venison, lamb (mutton), and pretty much any game meat. I would avoid pork. Pork is much more suitable for sausages. Turkey and chicken are acceptable poultry as long as you heat your dehydration process to 160°F (71°C) or bake the jerky for at least 30 minutes at this temperature afterward. For approximately six weeks, any wild game should be frozen below freezing (-16°C) to ensure that any potential diseases have been eradicated from the animal. Fish? Sure. Why not. But Id change the marinade quite a bit. Last week, the local grocery had sirloin steak on sale. It fell under the above qualifications. The dogs would end up eating the majority of it, so it wasn’t worth grilling, but the one I did buy made excellent jerky. This week, I went to purchase some more. Unfortunately, that ultra-tough sirloin wasnt available. This time, they had an amazing boneless rump roast that was nearly fat-free and ribbon-free. The butcher said it was ideal for that when I told him I was making jerky. It’s nice to occasionally run into a like-minded butcher! Every butcher in the past has told me the slicer wouldn’t go that thin! He even offered to slice it for me! If the butcher is unable or unwilling to slice the meat for you, place it in the freezer until slight pressure is applied. You want it firm, but not solid. Next, cut it as thinly as possible against the grain with an electric knife or a good serrated knife. I try for about 1/8th inch. You might want to cut the first piece of meat in half and store the other half in the freezer until you’re ready if you decide to use a serrated knife. By doing this, it won’t thaw too much before you can work with it.

What You’ll Need To Make Homemade Beef Jerky

Jerky ingredients including Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and pepper.When making beef jerky, it’s important to start with a well-trimmed, lean cut of meat, as fat does not dry out and accelerates spoilage. An eye of round roast is ideal; it’s affordable, accessible, lean, and easy to trim. Before slicing, pop it in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours; it will be much easier to cut.

The marinade contains soy sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, seasoning, and unseasoned meat tenderizer. Meat tenderizer contains bromelain, an enzyme that breaks down meat tissue. You can find it in the spice section of your supermarket (I use McCormick).

Being food safe while making jerky

The USDA advises boiling or heating the meat to 160 degrees Fahrenheit to guarantee that any unwanted bugs are eliminated. Without doubt, it’s the most safe method. The issue is that doing so may cause the meat to have an awkwardly crumbly texture. When the dehydration process is almost complete, my favorite method is to simply blast it in a preheated oven (275f) for ten minutes.

If you intend to consume it within a week or so, store it in regular zip-top baggies; if not, vacuum-seal batches and store them in the freezer.

Truly, jerky flavors are limited only by your imagination. I’ve seen spicy chili, teriyaki, sriracha, jerk jerky, and even made a venison version inspired by the bloody mary. It’s all about what you add to the marinade. The recipe below can be used as a starting point; just add more ingredients as needed. Enjoy your experimentation!