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Are home-made jerky safe?

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  • Are home-made jerky safe?

    Hey everybody, I have been reading about home-made beef jerky on this site and on the web quite a lot and, since I recently got a dehydrator, I decided to give it a try. I just have some concerns about safety... I know that, as somebody posted in the forum, there is no reason to worry when using high-quality meat, but I would still like to be on the safe side

    I read the tip from Mark and from other sources to boil the strips in marinade for a couple mins before drying them (I think it is easier than heating them in the oven), but is this enough? Will all bacteria get killed? And is boling in just water the same?
    Or would it make sense to cook the meat like it was a steak and then dry it? Or does freezing the meat beforehand already solve the issue with bacteria?
    Other ideas?

    Thanks for your tips and opinions!

  • #2
    I'm curious as well, but I'm guessing the prolonged low temperature (180-190) is enough to do it? Not sure, though.
    Liberalism: ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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    • #3
      no you will die, do not attempt.

      if you have to ask, then you risk death with anything that you will do yourself, so you should always spend top dollar on having someone else do it for you, in every aspect of life, even changing a light bulb or tying your shoes.

      because when you are tying your laces, you might fall over and hit your head, and die. so it's not safe.

      you spit on grok with questions like this. where is your life? do you have some life left in you?

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      • #4
        I marinate my venison jerky raw overnight and dehydrate at 150F. When its done I keep it in a large ziploc bag in the ice box. Even the biggest batch I can make in my 6 tray dehydrator gets ate well before it could ever "go bad". I eat my steaks very rare with no ill effects so I've never been that concerned about jerky to begin with.
        That might be completely terrible reasoning comparing jerky with steak but I've never had a problem with either.

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        • #5
          I've dehydrated for the last 15 years, but I am no expert. My dehydrator goes to 165F which is what the local health department wants meat cooked to. I believe dehydrating creates an environment where most of the organisms that make us sick cannot survive. It dries the germs out too and creates an inhospitable environment for them. I've been told that beef and fish are safe to dehydrate raw, but that pork(trichinosis) and chicken need to be cooked first. Most wild game I think would be safe like deer and elk, but others like bear I would think need to be cooked.

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          • #6
            I made jerky myself for the first time not long ago. Although, I don't have a dehydrator. I found a recipe online, to marinate the meat for 8+ hrs then cook at like 175 degrees in the oven, flipping every couple of hrs until it is completely dry. It's supposed to last in the fridge for at least 2 weeks- yummy!

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            • #7
              I've never "cooked" meat for making jerky, traditionally it's made with raw meat. If used to make pemmican it's supposed it won't last very long (but that's what I've read; never tried it).

              Meat safer for jerky comes from ruminants (beef, deer, elk, bison, etc...); omnivorous and some carnivorous animals (pig, bear, dogs, cats...) can carry trichinosis and other parasites that are unusual on ruminants.

              Now, E.coli in raw beef... I've been using the peroxide/vinegar mix:

              Science News Online - Food for Thought - 9/28/96

              "The solutions represent an adaptation of a chlorinefree disinfection scheme she had been working on for red meat, and which turned out to be effective for decontaminating carcasses. In the course of her more recent studies, Sumner found that vegetables not only tend to come from the garden or farm bearing far more germs than red meat does, but they also hold onto germs more tenaciously
              ."


              Although most commonly used for produce, it was concocted for meat. So I usually buy a big chunk of meat, disinfect the outside with peroxide/vinegar, wait a minute or so then wash with water and begin cutting strips. Then I cover with lime or lemon juice (acid to slow down bacterial growth), salt, pepper and red chili flakes and dehydrate.


              Hope it helps make you feel safer

              Rubén

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dado View Post
                no you will die, do not attempt.

                if you have to ask, then you risk death with anything that you will do yourself, so you should always spend top dollar on having someone else do it for you, in every aspect of life, even changing a light bulb or tying your shoes.

                because when you are tying your laces, you might fall over and hit your head, and die. so it's not safe.

                you spit on grok with questions like this. where is your life? do you have some life left in you?
                There are some real, rude arseholes around here... Ignore them. They are small brained, dickless tryhards.

                Good luck with the jerky, I've been thinking a bout making my own too, but havent yet. Let us know how your attempt goes.
                SW: 68 kg. * CW: 61.5 kg. * GW: 60 kg or less...
                “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” ~ Buddha

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                • #9
                  Yes, I've made a few batches (the kids love it). I just marinate the meat overnight then dehydrate 8 or so hours at whatever temp the recipe recommends (can't recall off hand). No-one has died yet. Oh, I make a biggish batch and keep one container in the fridge for the kids to help themselves and the rest in the freezer until required.
                  Lost the weight using CW. Now I just want to be healthier.
                  Lisa's primal-ish when she feels like it journal.
                  Feel free to read and/or comment, but don't expect me to listen.
                  Distance walked 2012: 321 kms as of June 15.

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                  • #10
                    You do not need to cook your jerky. Do a search for Biltong for an idea of the preparation method.

                    My marinade process is more jerky style, but I dry without heat. The salty, low moisture environment is what discourages bacterial growth. Prosciutto is cured without cooking too, pork at that.

                    I get the meat guy to slice some London Broil into 1/4" thick slices, put them in a ziplock freezer bag full of marinade for at least 24 hours. I take the meat out and pat it all dry, maybe rub it with a little more salt and rub dry again, then lay it all out on cookie drying sheets, stick them in the oven and put a floor fan on the open door blowing in. Flip them occasionally and in ~12 hrs you'll have jerky.

                    I've done the same process with fish too.

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                    • #11
                      Has anyone tried drying meat in the sun, or by using a very very low heat BBQ?

                      I don't have an oven, so these two are really my only options. But would love to try and make some too.
                      SW: 68 kg. * CW: 61.5 kg. * GW: 60 kg or less...
                      “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” ~ Buddha

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                      • #12
                        My homemade dehydrator only gets to about 90 degrees, so the meat is still pretty raw. And that's intentional to keep the enzymes and vitamins as intact as possible.
                        http://www.theprimalprepper.com - preparing for life's worst while living for the best

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                        • #13
                          Meh, my dehydrator only goes up to 60 c / 140 f. I don't cool my jerky in any way before I dry it either.
                          If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

                          Originally posted by tfarny
                          If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/

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                          • #14
                            hey thanks everybody for the tips!
                            i am not sure about the temperature of my dehydrator (need to check) but at least for my first attempts i would like to follow mark's tip to boil the jerky before drying them, but boiling in the marinade will not work fi it is just a dry marinade or if there isnt much liquid in it... How does this sound: boiling the beef strips in plain water for a couple mins and then marinating them overnight before drying them the next day??

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                            • #15
                              I wouldn't boil it in water -- you will cook out the good stuff (nutrients & flavor). I've made jerky for years -- never had a problem. I saw several other who posted the same. Do a google search on making jerky at home....you will get lots of input that will support that it is safe.

                              John K.
                              North East Ohio -- "Cleveland Groks!"

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