• I used some Sure Gel in my last batch of ground venison jerky and it really helped. The jerky stayed much more flexible, like commercial jerky, instead of being rock hard. Loved it. I want to make some more today, but found I’m out of Sure Gel. I do have carrot fiber. Has anyone tried that? I do realize that it’s not required.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Kentucky Fisherman It might work against you or it might be fine! Basically, Carrot Fiber is just binding more water into your product. When used in snack sticks or summer sausage it can have a tendency to increase cook times as it is holding more water and therefore increasing the stall. With ground jerky, I’d imagine it would do the same. Now, there are lots and lots of people on here who use carrot fiber in their snack sticks or summer sausage and love it, so you could be fine!

    My guess would be that it is going to give you a better product than using nothing but not as good as sure gel. There certainly isn’t any reason to absolutely not use it.


  • We would sure like to hear your results if you give it a try.


  • Well, my first attempt at using carrot fiber in ground venison jerky didn’t turn out too well. I made one 2-pound batch using breakfast sausage spice mix (Southern), cure, and the appropriate amount of carrot fiber by weight. That batch went into my dehydrator at 160 degrees. The other 2-pound batch got teriyaki flavoring, cure, and about half the carrot fiber called for. That batch went into my electric smoker, but got finished in the oven because of a smoker glitch.

    The dehydrator batch is pretty acceptable, still a little flexible and not hard to chew. Not overcooked/overdried, which I think is the key.

    The smoker/oven batch came out overdried, hard, and crumbly in the mouth rather than having a nice chew. Just the opposite of the tender jerky I was hoping to get via the carrot fiber. In all fairness, the fault may be mine for not checking this batch often enough and pulling it earlier. I may sprinkle this batch with some soy or Worcestershire, seal it in a Zip-Loc and see if I can plump it up a little. Can’t hurt, I figure.

    So, for me, the jury is still out on whether carrot fiber can be used to hold moisture and get a ground jerky that’s tender and has a nice chew. I’ll definitely try it again, trying to make the extruded product a little thicker, and checking more closely during the thermal processing. I will mention here that I don’t think the carrot fiber affected the flavor at all; seems to be pretty neutral in that regard.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Kentucky Fisherman You used a breakfast pss seasoning to make jerky? Interesting, I have never known of anyone doing that before. Salt content might be super low which is bad for jerky, whether it is ground and formed or whole muscle. If you’re looking for a tender jerky we have done a bunch on it, just search tender jerky and there are 3-4 videos and there will be another coming out shortly. We played around with our recipe and process and we finally got it pretty much perfect! Good lcuk, tender jerky is totally worth doing but dont get shocked at the sugar content!


  • Hmm, so you’re saying using cure in ground jerky may not be enough for safety, that a high salt content is needed as well? I’m not shooting for "shelf stable at room temp for six months, " as I keep jerky in the fridge or frozen. I’ll check out those videos for sure. I made a recent batch of teriyaki jerky that was real good, mostly I think because I extruded it a little thicker and didn’t cook it bone hard.

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