- Food and Cooking
3 Jerky Recipes Beef Jerky Deer Jerky and Turkey Jerky
Jerky 3 Ways
I love jerky and I have found ground meat is easier to use, prepare and chew compared to other meat cuts like roast or steak. This is my own personal recipe. I tend to add more pepper than what this recipe calls for. You can always stick to the recipe and sprinkle some pepper on the strips just before you start dehydrating the meat.
The seasoning and ingredients apply to all three; deer, beef and turkey. With turkey, I recommend adding a little celery salt to enhance that turkey flavor. Use the garlic and pepper jerky box mix, or pick other flavors you may prefer more or try different ones when you make a new batch.
When you use game meats, allow the meat to stay in the freezer 8 weeks (some sites say only four, I feel better with two months) to ensure any bacteria will die in the freezer making the meat it safe for you to consume.
This recipe is based on 3 pounds of ground meat (a little more or little less, will not need any adjustments) and 3 pounds fit into the 4 trays that come with the dehydrator. I recommend when you can, to purchase some additional trays and mesh sheets so you can do larger batches such as for summer snacks and for holiday gifts. This was a favorite gift last Christmas to our family members. They all loved and appreciated it tremendously!
Before I purchased a dehydrator, I looked at reviews, talked to a few people that have used the dehydration process a long time and decided on the Bass Pro store's Open Country Garden Master brand. Wait till it is on sale! Buy some extra Mesh sheet inserts and if you can, a few extra drying trays. I believe you can go as high as 25 trays, "Wow!"
STORING the jerky. Fresh jerky doesn't contain any preservatives. For immediate consumption and up to 5-7 days you can store it in a sealed bag or tightly sealed container in your refrigerator. The rest you should place in ziplock freezer bags and store in the freezer. I put 10-15 peaces in each bag.
MOLD. Since no preservatives are present, you must watch for mold. If you see any at all, throw the whole bag away. If you gift jerky to anyone, make sure they understand the storing and mold guidelines to keep them healthy too.
Disclaimer and Lower Sodium Option: This is a high sodium snack. You can reduce the salt/sodium levels by leaving out the Worcestershire sauce and replacing Montreal steak seasoning with "NO SALT" brand seasoning and regular pepper.
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How to Make Jerky
- 3 pounds Ground Meat, Deer (Venison) or Beef or Turkey - Your choice
- 3 Tablespoons Cure, from the packet in the Seasoning kit
- 2 Tablespoons + 1 1/2 teaspoons Pepper/Garlic Seasoning, from the packet in the Seasoning kit
- 3/4 cup cold water, 1/4 cup per pound
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Montreal Steak Seasoning, or to reduce sodium, use No Salt and regular Pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Emeril's Original Essence
- 1/4 teaspoon Celery Salt Seasoning, ONLY FOR TURKEY and is optional
Preparing and Dehydrating the Jerky
- Use a large mixing bowl. Add the fresh ground meat
- From your Jerky Seasoning Mix Box, add the cure and Pepper/Garlic Seasonings from each envelop - on top of the meat. Mix well with your hand. Alternately, you can use a food processor with the cutting blade at the bottom and pulse it around to mix.
- Add 1/4 cup of the water and the Worcestershire Sauce. Add the all the seasonings now and Mix very well.
- Add the rest of the water in and mix again until the water and seasonings are fully incorporated into the meat.
- Thoughouly wash your hands. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator to let the seasoning settle in. A minimum of 24 hours and 48 hours is even better; especially for deer meat.
- After the 24 hours or 48 hours in the refrigerator, load up your jerky gun (like a caulk gun). Make sure you have a butter knife near you to cut the ends of the meat as you despense the strips out.
- Insert the mesh trays on each drying tray. Start with the bottom tray that sits directly on top of the dehydrator machine. Despense the strips close together (if you just have 4 trays, there can be a little gap if you have more than 4 trays for 3 pounds of meat)
- Cut the end of the strip with the butter knife (nothing too sharp, you don't want to cut into your mesh sheets)
- If you like a lot of pepper flavor, you can sprinkle more on top of the strips once the tray is covered with the meat strips.
- Repeat till the trays are full or you run out of the meat. Add the cover that sits on top of the dehydrator.
- Set the temperature to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. You have to determine yourself exactly how long to dry them on the dehydrator. The directions in the seasoning packet and instructions that come with your dehydrater will give you some idea. I do mine 3 to 3 and 1/2 hours. (this batch was 3 1/2 hours)
- I turn the strips over every hour.
- When they are done, place them in a large container lined with paper towels and let them remain there for 3 hours. Dab any shiny grease spots off the meat.
- You can now seal them in freezer bags and keep most of them stored in the freezer till you are ready to eat them. Keep one bag in the refrigerator and eat immediately and up till 5-7 days. No preservatives so it is important to keep them cool and watch for any mold growth. Throw the whole bag away if you ever see even a tiny amount of mold in the bag.
How to Make Jerky and Simple Jerky Recipes By Brenda Green
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