Jack Links soft jerky
Looking for a recipe for the thicker cut soft Jack Links style jerky. I’m assuming it’s some type of sugar cure and spice then it’s slightly dried but doesn’t look like it’s smoked or dehydrated. I have a good cured and smoked venison recipe. But I’ve never tried the thinker style any insight as to the process would be helpful Thanks
I’m not 100% positive on this, but this is what I’d suggest for getting a close variant.
Do remember, anything we make at home or in small batches without the same equipment and exact process might not be identical to the large scale and commercial products you can find else wise. That said…this is what I think…
Start out with a thicker cut of meat sliced about 3/8" thick. It’s been awhile since I’ve had jack links jerky, so I couldn’t tell you if they are cutting with or against the grain though.
The sliced pieces of jerky should also be cut in smaller chunks and not long, large, and wide slices. The smaller pieces, but thicker cut, will help attribute to the texture, softness and style you are looking for.
The jerky will probably have the best results if you use some sort of seasoning that is composed of a lot of sugar. The sugar will help bind with the water and meat, allowing the jerky to stay more moist while still having a low water activity typical for jerky. My recommendation for the seasoning would be either Sweet Teriyaki Jerky Seasoning or BBQ Jerky Seasoning. Both of which are very high is sugar content.
If you can, vacuum tumble the meat, seasoning, cure, and water. If you don’t have a small tumbler, go with mixing it all together and putting into vacuum pouches. If you cannot vacuum seal, just use a ziploc bag, but you’ll want to let it marinade for quite a while and no vacuum may make it hard to pick up all the water and seasoning completely. Either way, I’d let it sit for 24 hours to really let the water and sugar soak into everything. I do think Sugar is a key point in how this product is expected to turn out.
When you go to cook the jerky, whether you smoke it or not shouldn’t make a big difference in your product besides whether you add smoke flavor or not in this case. You will not want to dry it out as much as normal jerky though. You still will want to hit an internal temp of 160 and have some drying time, but it’s does not seem to be as dried as other jerky and what is typically made at home. It should end up being a moister product, but hopefully using a lot of sugar will help with binding water so that even if the product is moister, you will still end up with a low water activity typical for jerky and help with your shelf stability and longevity.
If you have other questions, let me know if I can help or clarify. These are at least some initial thoughts, comments, and ideas…
dennishoddy last edited by
How do you vacuum seal the meat/marinade without freezing it first?
I’ve tried that method before, with moisture being leached from the meat and cooling off the sealing area to the point it won’t seal.
@dennishoddy The easiest way is with a chambered vacuum sealer. Not everybody has one or can get one of the chambered sealers though. If you are using a non-chambered vac sealer, there’s a couple other things to try. First, keep the package of meat/marinade below the vacuum sealer. If they are laying flat on a counter, it can be easy for the liquid to run back up into the seal bar and vacuum area, so just prop up the vac sealer a couple inches to keep the bag of meat further below it. Then you can also try using the manual vacuum/seal process. Most vac sealers have a manual method to start/stop so you can vacuum just long enough to where the liquid starts to move back up the package towards the seal bar. Or, you also try to add a barrier between the meat and seal bar, like a paper towel in the package so the liquid has a harder time making its way back up into the seal bar and vacuum area. You may not get a full vacuum with liquid in the package and using the manual vacuum/seal mode, but at least some vacuum will be better than nothing.
My summer sausage is sticking to the casings
@srtcanopy Out of all the imitation we made I think Turkey was my favorite in that it was unique, the ham and beef tasted VERY close to normal bacon, the turkey tasted like something else. I really liked it…speaking of that I have some in my freezer!
@gadahl SHHH dont tell anyone I have too much time on my hands, ESPECIALLY Austin, as far as he is concerned I am 100% busy at ALL TIMES!
I actually just made some dry rubbed bacon for our Cured Whole Muscle Section of the new Meatgistics University! Videos for all the Meatgistics University classes are going live this Monday around 4 pm CST. If you are free join us at waltonsinc.com/live for a live stream where we will being giving away a stuffer, some Waltons hats, some discount codes and we will also be giving out a coupon code so everyone gets something!
@Paynester We did both at basically the same time last year and I absolutely thought the one that we injected with a soluble cure was better. However, I just did a dry rubbed belly and it came out different then how I remember it from last year (less salty and I even said it tasted exactly like normal store bought bacon) so it might have been something I did differently.
Can you give me some more information on your process for the dry rubbed? Did you use the Excalibur Dry Rub Cure or something else? How long did you hold it, how much cure did you use, did you rub the fat cap and remove the skin? More information the better!
@21cedar That’s a great question on the phospshates, I have never thought of that. Let me talk to some people next week and see if there is a scientific reason behind it. I’ll warn you though it probably wont be until later in the week. We are working around the clock to get Meatgistics University ready for our 4 PM (CST) live time on Monday! We’ll have it all ready, just don’t be surprised if you tune in to our live stream at waltonsinc.com/live and Austin and I look a little haggard!
@stan I did a video where I went over how to use a grinder as a stuffer (you can view it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPIsG8Fp6bw) and some of the disadvantages of it. There are three disadvantages I can think of off of the top of my head right now, it will be a lot slower doing it this way, you won’t be able to stuff really small diameter casings and I dont think it pushes the meat down consistently enough to fill the casings as well as a hand crank stuffer will do.
Those are my thoughts, anyone got a differing opinion or another reason a stuffer is superior?