Soft Beef Jerky without Sugar

  • Walton's Employee

    @smcneese @21cedar So out of the three batches I did the best one from a taste standpoint was the one where I used 30% of the weight of the meat in glycerin. The 40% gave us the least amount of product loss, all of them were shelf stable from a water activity standpoint but was just a little bit too sweet for me.

    All in all I would say it worked well. I am going to wait for our application specialist to be back from vacation but I absolutely think this is a viable option for a replacement for sugar!

  • Walton's Employee

    1 more note on this, my water activity meter readings are coming back amazing, the water activity on the one we used the least amount of glycerin (20% of the products weight) was .631, the one we used 30% was .571 and the 40% was .56. Those are at a low enough water activity that you could leave them out in the air for a long time before anything happened to them. And the taste is pretty good and they did not stiffen up overnight.

    Next test (which will have a video) will be trying this without a vacuum tumbler.

  • @jonathon Holy cow, you guys work fast! That’s great news. Glad to hear it worked out. Is the taste identical to the sugar-based equivalent?

  • @jonathon that was quick! Thanks for the feedback. Was this the marinade used in the previous video just replacing the brown sugar with glycerol?

  • Regular Contributors

    @jonathon That’s exciting news!

  • So I am going to give this a shot. I make my marinade from spices vs using a cure/spice pack. I plan on adding the 30% starting weight of Glycerol as @jonathan mentioned. I usually use my Power Airfryer dehydration mode that I can set to 160 degrees for the entire process. However, I might try an approach of smoking first on my smoker and then finishing in the dehydrator. I have a full size wood offset wood smoker I use for smoking brisket, ribs, chicken, etc but I have never thought to use it for jerky. What wood do you smoke with for jerky? Mesquite or milder woods?

  • Walton's Employee

    @21cedar Not quite identical but very close, out of the entire Walton’s office I did not get one single negative comment which rarely happens, someone’s always got something to say! @smcneese Yes, it was the same recipe and smoke schedule and everything just replaced the 18% Brown Sugar and 20% water with 30% glycerin.

    One thing i noticed was that the meat was a beautiful deep red, almost a dark maroon or mahogany. Im not sure if that was the glycerin or something else but it is very good looking whole muscle jerky!

  • @jonathon So I made a batch of this and it turned out very good. Like yours, the jerky was pliable, tender and a dark maroon/mahogany color. However it was just too sweet for my liking. The good new is the process works so now I just need to adjust the amount of glycerin to cut back the sweetness to my liking but this was great info! Thank you very much for working on this and sharing your results.

  • Walton's Employee

    @smcneese What seasoning did you use? I used Walton’s Bold as the base, I wonder if other seasonings would give less of a sweet taste?

  • Regular Contributors

    @jonathon I was going to start my glycerine jerky project today and just wanted to make sure I had the right process. I was planning on using the teriyaki seasoning and recommended sure cure. Do I simply go with a 30% by weight addition of the glycerine with no added water?

  • Regular Contributors

    @joe-hell I didn’t take an exact measurement but I figure I used about 80 grams of glycerine per pound of meat. The results were outstanding. As others mentioned I ended up with a beautiful deep red color and a perfectly chewy product.


  • Regular Contributors

  • Walton's Employee

    @Joe-Hell That looks awesome! I loved the dark red color it gave and the taste was pretty excellent as well. Were yours sticky at all? I felt like they were less sticky when I was using the glycerin then when I used the sugar, wondering if you thin the same?

  • Regular Contributors

    @jonathon I don’t have anything to compare it to other than the previous batch where I didn’t add any sugar or glycerine. The first batch was a very dry traditional style where this one mimicked the softer store bought stuff. I didn’t find it overly sticky by any means…it wasn’t “messy” when packaging. At the rate I added the glycerine it didn’t have an overly sweet taste by any means and there wasn’t much liquid left over. The final product was just as good as any jerky I’ve ever had…maybe better. This process has me very excited as I try to avoid any unnecessary sugar. Store bought jerky is often full of it.

  • Walton's Employee

    @joe-hell It’s all about pickup. The more things you can do to get your jerky to retain more of the solution from the marinating process the better off you will be. Obviously, keep us up to date on how experiments go!

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    Hey y’all checking in from Greensboro, NC. I have been making kielbasa and summer sausage for about 24 years and smoking of course. Just built a curing chamber and am always looking for new things to make! Canning ,pickling, curing, smoking, you name it!

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