5 quick tips for making great Homemade Jerky


  • Walton's Employee

    Properly Made Jerky

    5 quick tips for making great Homemade Jerky

    Hey guys it’s Jon from Meatgistics. Jerky, whether it’s made from beef, venison or any other type of wild game, is a great way to make sure you always have a healthy snack around. Read this article to see 5 easy tips to make sure your homemade Jerky comes out amazing!

    Freshly Sliced Meat

    #1 Make sure your equipment is clean
    This is an obvious one but it is one that many people overlook and is especially true if you are using wild game. If you have dirty equipment or a processing area bacteria will grow on it. Bacteria then gets into your meat and starts spoiling it, you can kill the bacteria but you can not fix spoiled meat by cooking it. Some of the bacteria associated with spoiled meat can reproduce incredibly quickly, doubling their numbers in under an hour.

    Jerky Grain

    # 2 Cut Cold and Against the Grain
    If you have ever tried to slice warm, uncooked meat thin then you will appreciate the necessity of slicing your jerky meat when it is still a little frozen, if it has some ice crystals in it that is still better than trying to cut it when it is warm. Also cut against the grain, this will make for a much easier to chew finished jerky which will in turn feel more tender. Aim for pieces around 1/4" thick, if you have a good deli slicer this is the perfect time to use it.

    # 3 Air flow is very important
    If you don’t have a dehydrator then you can dehydrate your jerky in the oven but you need to make sure it has the correct amount of air flow. The easiest way to do this is just to crack the door. We recommend using a combination of an over and a dehydrator, start it off in the oven and then move to the dehydrator once the meat has reached 160°F. Most dehydrators will not get your meat to 160°.

    # 4 Use a pre-packaged seasoning
    I know a lot of people want to use the family recipe but companies like Excalibur are around for a reason. They spend years perfecting their seasoning and spice blends to ensure that it has the correct amount of salt, spices and cures to give you the best possible product. They have a large variety of jerky seasonings with everything from the classics like Colorado Jerky seasoning to Habanero Lime!

    # 5 Marinate overnight or vacuum tumble for 30 minutes
    Once you have sliced your jerky and used the correct amount of seasoning you need to make sure that you let it marinate for the appropriate amount of time. Usually 12 hours or overnight will allow the cure to penetrate and keep the meat safe through the dehydrating process. If you have a access to a vacuum tumbler then you only need to let it vacuum tumble for about 30 minutes, this is because the combination of being under a vacuum and the impact energy from the tumbler will pull the muscle fibers apart and let the cure penetrate much faster.

    So there are 5 good tips to keep in mind when making Jerky. If you have questions on what might be causing a specific problem for you leave us a comment and we will get back to you, or you can always follow me on here and send me a private chat if you’d prefer to not post your question so everyone can see it!

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Dehydrators

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    Excalibur's Colorado Spicy Jerky

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Recent Posts

  • B

    Hey folks,

    New to the forum and excited to learn! Looking to smoke my first batch of summers on my smoker. I noticed they have strings for hanging, but my smoker is set up more like a traditional barrel grill.

    Questions: If I lay my summers on the grate of the smoker, will the casings burst/burn?

    Thanks in advance!

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  • D

    The article does not cover when to cold smoke a cured ham. I have 16 wild hog hams in brine as of last night. I need to know at what point do I put them in the smoke house for this phase of the process.

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  • @woodduck
    A cure should be used. We’ve updated the recipe above to reflect that.
    @Jonathon was probably just sleeping when he posted this one… haha!

    For this version of Landjaeger, we did actually cook it. It could be made differently, but for our entry level MeatgisticsU course, it’s easier and safer to give instructions on doing a proper thermal processing. (Someday we will have to try to get to doing a completely traditional dry cured version.)

    Smoked Meat Stabilizer and Sodium Erythorbate are similar to each other, but definitely not a replacement for a real cure, like Sure Cure. They simply act as cure accelerators, speeding up the conversion of nitrite in sausage during thermal processing. Using an accelerator (like one of these, or Encapsulated Citric Acid) allows you to skip the holding stage after stuffing and go straight into the smokehouse.

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  • W

    In the ‘Meat Block’ you don’t list using a cure. The packet of Landjaeger seasoning I purchased came with a packet of Cure.

    As this is a sausage that is ment to be consumed without cooking shouldn’t a cure be used. I know you put in the wrap up about using Smoked Meat Stabilizer or Sodium Erythorbate are they equivalent to using a true cure.

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  • @tswohl6
    You shouldn’t have a noticeable difference in stuffing based upon the difference of using a grinder or a bowl chopper.
    Your biggest help in making stuffing easier will be using plenty of water. At least 1 quart per 25 lb meat block, but up to 2 quarts is even better. And, your lean to fat ratio will make a difference. Leaner meat will be harder to stuff while a higher fat content will make things easier. Keep the meat as cold as possible too and that will help make things a little easier to stuff as well.

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  • I would continue to use the grinder and just add a little more water to the mixture and make sure you lube the gasket and you should be good to go. Although you could definitely use the Buffalo chopper and just add ice instead of straight water and that should help.

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