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  1. #1
    sapphire_chan's Avatar
    sapphire_chan is offline Senior Member
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    Jerky making options?

    Finally in a position to get a freezer and order a side of beef (grass fed and finished ~$5/lb worst case, HAPPY!!!). /background

    We want to process part of it into jerky. Willing to spend a bit of money on a machine to let us be lazy-asses especially if it'll make tender jerky without risking burning the meat.

    Anyone got a technique they love? Idiot proof=good. As I can, and have, burn hardboiled eggs.

  2. #2
    Digby's Avatar
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    Many people find this device easiest: Amazon.com: Weston Original Jerky Gun: Kitchen & Dining
    This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
    Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism

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    sapphire_chan's Avatar
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    Thanks! I hadn't even thought about shaping the jerky.

    Anyone have a dehydrating/other preparation suggestion?

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    I was wondering the same thing. I put a Nesco/American Harvest FD-80 Square-Shaped Dehydrator on my Amazon wish list yesterday. $63, adjustable theromostat, 4 trays (doesn't look expandable) and got pretty good reviews, but I have no clue since I haven't tried making jerky at all yet.

    Amazon.com: Nesco/American Harvest FD-80 Square-Shaped Dehydrator: Kitchen & Dining
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    SugarBaby's Avatar
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    I have used the oven method, and a meat slicer to the the slices thin, but I'm going to the jerky gun for a more consistent product. I plan to get a dehydrator one of these days, but the oven works.
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    Daria's Avatar
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    I am getting ready to make jerky for the first time myself. I had a question about the shelf life though. I just bought a vacuum sealer. I was hoping to be able to make a bunch of jerky and vaccum seal it for a longer shelf life, would that work? Do I still have to refrigerate it?

  7. #7
    Daria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
    Finally in a position to get a freezer and order a side of beef (grass fed and finished ~$5/lb worst case, HAPPY!!!). /background

    We want to process part of it into jerky. Willing to spend a bit of money on a machine to let us be lazy-asses especially if it'll make tender jerky without risking burning the meat.

    Anyone got a technique they love? Idiot proof=good. As I can, and have, burn hardboiled eggs.
    Also Sapphire I just looked at Alton Brown's recipe and he suggests drying the meat between air filters and using a fan. There is no heat involved, but then of course you have to have a fan or buy one and filters aren't cheap. The only other methods I've read about have been using a dehydrator or the oven.

  8. #8
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    I have a Nesco dehydrator and it works great for jerky. They are expandale (you can buy more trays). The worst that can happen is your meat can get super crispy if you leave it in a long time, but I like mine like that (plus it keeps longer). You can also go the DIY route and use cardboard boxes + incandescent bulbs.

  9. #9
    Daemonized's Avatar
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    I make jerky as well. I marinate over night in a blend of salt and spices without any sugar or soy. Then I cut the meat into sections and I use an Excalibur dehydrator to dehydrate it.

  10. #10
    JeffC's Avatar
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    I've made dozens of batches with a Nesco dehydrator and a jerky gun from Bass Pro shops. I find that with 5 trays on my Nesco I can do about 3.5lbs of raw ground meat which takes about 6.5 hours to dehydrate. I put it into smaller zip lock baggies inside a larger 2 gallon bag and then put that in the freezer and take out a baggie the day when I plan to consume. I've had my batches in the freezer for several weeks with no decline in quality. Since the Nesco goes up to 160F, I've never used cure and my jerky has been fine.

    I've never made it any other way, I think where you slice it and then marinate there is a lot more work and mess. The hardest part of my method is hand mixing in the spices. It takes a few minutes and is messy and it is hard to get the spices consistent but since it is dry, if the meat is lean it will often dehydrate with no mess at all and no cleaning of the trays needed.

    Get a dehydrator and jerky gun, it is so easy and will pay for itself quickly compared with store bought jerky.

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