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To Beef Jerky or Not to Beef Jerkey

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  • To Beef Jerky or Not to Beef Jerkey

    Love beef jerky! What a great snack. I mostly eat it while driving home after a long day at work, which means I get the kind they sell in gas stations. It's very high in protein, very low in carb; seemingly a perfect PB food.
    But then what to do about the nitric acid? How bad is it, really? Can I chuck it to the 20% of edible sins that I allow myself (the famous 80/20), or am I deluding myself, risking some preservatives OD? I tried getting the no-nitric-acid kind, but it only sells online, and doesn't survive well without refrigeration.
    Anybody has a fact-based opinion?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Fleshetarian View Post
    Anybody has a fact-based opinion?
    I am also a beef jerky fan, but the stuff at the gas station is loaded up with preservatives and is processed well past anything you could really consider meat. Also, even out at Trader Joe's (where I got some wonderful grass-fed beef), the second ingredient in the beef jerky is sugar. Don't get me wrong -- I love the slim jims, especially the thick-cut kind -- But it's crazy-processed. I wouldn't eat it, but I ain't you.

    Emmett

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    • #3
      I didn't realize it was something I should be worried about. I make my own, but so far not from my dwindling grass-fed stash. Make your own, would be my advice, but would like to hear what others have to say on the topic. Would home-made have nitric acid in it? Is that from curing, or from non-organic/feedlot meats in general?

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      • #4
        im also wondering about this. i saw that the stuff i got from TJs has sugar in it, and the local farm also makes it themselves from their own grass fed/finished beef which is amazing, but im pretty sure they put some sugar-contiaining flavor thing on it. i havent eaten nitrites or MSG or anything like that in about a million years, so my tongue is so sensitive to it- i like the taste of the gas station stuff initially, but the chemical aftertaste is intolerable to me. how do you make your own? in the oven, or a dehydrator? what cut of beef do you use? what is the shelf life on the finished product, and can it be frozen to extend it at all? thanks.

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        • #5
          I love jerky. Dear god if it were legal I would marry a piece of jerky and have little jerky kids.

          I make my own. At first I used an oven but I went out and bought a dehydrator. I use topside as my cut of choice but really, any lean cut is great. If you cut off a majority of the fat it will last forever.

          Quick Recipe.
          Get a cut of Topside and have your butcher cut some super thin pieces. Slice in strips. Rub favourites spices (Curry powder, salt, pepper, cumin are my favourites) onto it and then chuck in your oven at super low heat with the door ajar. Keep for about 8 hours.

          You can google jerky recipes and find heaps of awesome dry rub combinations and marinades.
          - Follow me on Twitter | Read my blog! - www.PaleOZ.com -

          Free Robb Wolf Paleo Meal Generator for iPhone
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          • #6
            awesome- thanks, rob. i hope those jerkey kids dont give you too much trouble!

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            • #7
              Jerky is EASY to make, probably cheaper then pre-made and you can avoid all the nasty ingredients and sugar.

              You can make it in an oven, you just use a very low temp and prop the door open a crack for the moisture to escape. But it is even easier with a dehydrator.

              Basically to make jerky you buy a lean cut of meat (fat does NOT dehydrate well), slice it thin, marinade it in whatever flavors you like (and there are TONS of recipes online although you may have to modify them depending on your strictness to PB), then lay the strips out and dry it. It doesn't last as long as the store bought stuff and WILL keep better if you throw it in the fridge or freezer but I always eat mine up much faster then it can go bad in the cupboard anyway!

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              • #8
                I make my own and I smoke it (which is, as I understand it, a natural way of adding nitrates, which I am not overly concerned about). I have a little back-yard smoker unit that cost about $50 and was worth every penny. My jerky is fantabulous.

                I marinate it for 8-12 hours in tamari sauce and a bit of maple syrup, then dry it in the fridge so it's sticky, not slimy, and then put it in the smoker til it's dry. It may not be purely PB, but the amount of maple syrup in the finished product is fairly minimal and it's soooooo good. Problem is my husband likes it a bit too much, so I have to divide each batch so he can gobble his as fast as he wants and I savour mine for longer. Now the child has decided it's HER favourite thing ever too, so next batch is getting divided into 3. Note to self: buy bigger roasts.

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                • #9
                  Make your own jerky

                  http://www.traditionaltx.us/images/J...structions.pdf

                  The construction is really simple - still planning to do this once I can get my hands on the right meat.

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                  • #10
                    Here's Alton Brown's take on how to to make jerky: http://www.foodnetwork.com/videos/the-jerky/48723.html

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by spughy View Post
                      I make my own and I smoke it (which is, as I understand it, a natural way of adding nitrates, which I am not overly concerned about). I have a little back-yard smoker unit that cost about $50 and was worth every penny. My jerky is fantabulous.

                      I marinate it for 8-12 hours in tamari sauce and a bit of maple syrup, then dry it in the fridge so it's sticky, not slimy, and then put it in the smoker til it's dry. It may not be purely PB, but the amount of maple syrup in the finished product is fairly minimal and it's soooooo good. Problem is my husband likes it a bit too much, so I have to divide each batch so he can gobble his as fast as he wants and I savour mine for longer. Now the child has decided it's HER favourite thing ever too, so next batch is getting divided into 3. Note to self: buy bigger roasts.
                      I have to try making mine in a smoker. Just one thing to note if you have gluten/wheat sensitivities. Most Tamari sauce I have looked at hast wheat as an ingredient, make sure you are buying the gluten free/wheat free tamari if you go that route.
                      "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

                      People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.

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                      • #12
                        My tamari doesn't have wheat in it - I thought most didn't? Regular soy sauce usually does though. I forgot to add that my jerky DOES keep indefinitely. For that to happen some usually has to fall out of the bag into the bottom of the box-o-dry-goods and stay lost - doesn't usually happen.

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                        • #13
                          I had a tough time finding Tamari at my local Whole Foods without wheat in it. Even under the gluten free category the ingredients still read that it had wheat in it. I had to call over the store manager to change the labels because of it and of the 5 Tamari sauces only 1 of them did not contain wheat in it. But yeah, soy sauce is a definite no-no for me although I used to love it.
                          "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

                          People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.

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                          • #14
                            Amano brand is the one I have - it's wheat free. But it's not a health-food-store thing, I buy it at my regular grocery. There's an organic version too but it's too pricey to justify.

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                            • #15
                              Make pemmican. Mmmmm.

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