I know I’ve blogged about it before here. But, I recently made more beef jerky. Since I’ve become pregnant I’ve really had a diminished taste for things like salt and sugar. Most potato chips are too salty for me. So everything I make lately has a lot less sugar and salt in it. Now jerky is one of those things that you must have salt for. It preserves the meat. Below is the modified recipe. I ran out of cumin so mine didn’t have any but you should add it because it’s smart. I had smoky paprika instead of regular. I think it makes for a great smoky flavor with out the added chemicals of the liquid smoke.
1 lb of lean beef
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin (I forgot to get more but it’s good in the mix)
1/8 cup of soy sauce (use fancy tamari for gluten-free)
I’m going to try to play around with different flavors because I think I’d like to offer it for sale. This time around I attempted to run a cost comparison on the meat vs the final product. I think I can produce this at a reasonable rate.
For those that wish to make it themselves above is the recipe I recently used (notice the smaller amounts of salt and soy sauce). I think it gives plenty of great flavor without so much salt. Also no sugar! I don’t understand why all jerky contains sugar, drives me crazy. If you’re looking to save money get a larger lean roast. Partially freeze it, and cut it by hand. You need a pretty steady hand and a very sharp knife. Make sure to trim all the fat.
I saved my trimming for adding to ground meat or maybe awesome dog treats. Our local HEB sells very thin top round and Milanese style cuts of beef that are perfect for jerky if you don’t want to hand cut it. It does make life easier but you pay more for the precut meat. Mix seasoning well and pour into a zip bag with your meat. Make sure all the pieces are covered with the seasoning, then refrigerate over night.
The time varies greatly on how long it takes to full dry. The thickness of the meat, the ambient humidity, and your dehydrator will all play a factor in this. If you check it every 1-2 hours your first time you’ll have a better idea how well your unit runs.
The thinnest pieces will be finished at 4 hours the thicker ones at 8. I make sure to rotate the trays to allow for even flow of air every two hours. When I rotate I check the pieces for dryness. I also live in a very humid place so my times maybe longer than yours.
For storage we prefer to vacuum seal the meat into snack size bags. In a regular zipper top plastic bag, in our climate, the meat lasts around 2 months. (I found some in the back of the cabinet that had gone bad, so sad) but the vacuum sealed bags lasts longer than that.
I still have yet to find how long that is. The only preservative is salt so there will be a shelf life. But, if you’re stocking up for Armageddon, might I suggest vacuum sealing and then freezing? Otherwise for normal consumption a batch like this is fine in your cabinet until consumed.
T has taken to cutting it up and adding it to the homemade trail mix. Great clean energy all day long!