Ground and Formed Jerky and Himalayan Salt Grilling Slabs
Weekly Blog Post - Ground and Formed Jerky and Himalayan Salt Grilling Slabs
Find out what's going on at Walton's and Meatgistics this week. We will have a loose schedule for soon to be released videos, what we are working on long term and maybe a few quick tips and tricks that are on our mind!
What Videos are being released soon?
Himalayan Salt Grilling Slabs - Salt is a key ingredient in almost any meat recipe. It improves the general flavor of almost any meat and has many other benefits as well. What happens when instead of putting salt on your steak you put steak on your salt? Himalayan Salt Blocks Like this one from Cameron’s have been increasing in popularity as a cooking and grilling surface. The Camerons Himalayan Salt Slab is 8" x 8" and is 1.5 inches thick.
Ground and Formed Jerky - The simplest definition of Jerky is just meat that has been cured and dried. There are many different ways to make and process jerky the most common being sliced whole muscle or restructured jerky. I am going to be making a restructured jerky using the Weston #8 Black Series Grinder, a meat mixer, a Walton’s Stuffer with the All-Around Jerky Maker and a smoker to cook and dehydrate it.
What Projects are we looking ahead at?
We are putting together a chart for Jerky, Snack Stick and all types of Sausage Seasonings that will give the weight and measurements such as Cups, Tablespoons and Teaspoons for 1 lb and 5 lb batches. This way if you are not making the entire batch you can quickly reference this chart and even if you don’t have a scale that will measure in fractions of ounces you will know how much seasoning to use. We chose 1 and 5 lb sizes to allow people to find any amount easily, if you are making a 12 lb batch just use 2 of the 5 lb and 2 of the 1 lb amounts!
What’s on our Mind?
As I am measuring out all these seasonings it has reminded that we have a crazy amount of variety of flavors for Brats and Snack Sticks. One question we get asked often is if it is okay to use a Brat or Snack Stick seasoning to make Jerky or vice versa and the answer is pretty much always yes! There are two things to keep in mind though, if you are using a Bratwurst Seasoning to make Jerky then you need to purchase extra cure as the Bratwurst Seasoning will not include the necessary package of sure cure. The same is true the other way around, if you are making a Brat from a jerky seasoning then you do not need to add the sure cure package. The second thing to know is if you are using a Brat, Summer Sausage or Snack Stick seasoning as a jerky seasoning it is going to have a stronger taste than you might be used to.
The Weston Tomato Strainer is an interesting product that I am excited to get to start playing with more often here. The Salsa we made with it was awesome but I am really looking forward to trying out some different recipes, specifically I want to use this to make a paste of blackberries and then a dehydrate that to make fruit roll ups. If it works well (and maybe even if it doesn’t, you guys deserve to laugh at us occasionally) I will make a video on that.
Here is a link to a website that has a handy Excel spreadsheet. It is, as it says a free non-commercial site.
As for Waltons dropping the ball, I vote they are doing a great job.
I think for all of us there are general guidelines, but unless you have a temperature and humidity controlled environment, both for the preparation, cooking (if you cook them) smoking, hanging etc, the results are bound to vary from batch to batch.
Personally, I am searching how to get my home made smoked and dry cured pepperoni to the exact texture and firmness of Margarita pepperoni from the store.
Through trial and error I have the flavor where I want it, but not the texture or firmness. I know time, temperature and humidity are all crucial, but the best I can do is in the basement and then subject to the environment that is there.
I figure as long as I am not killing anyone or making anyone sick I am making progress. Thanks Waltons for all of the great information so far.
Having said that, it would be nice to have your chart in an Excel spreadsheet.
Thanks Jonathon! One question tho! You eluded to 178 being high for a temp! Don’t you guys recommend setting the temp at 175 during the final stage to completion to internal temp? Three degrees shouldn’t make that much difference should it??
Sounds reasonable. Thanks for your input. Pulling the meat at 152 will make a big difference I bet! Thanks again.
@Kinger Thanks for the information. Your process, other than going to 178, is on in my mind. The only thing I do differently is an ice bath for 20 minutes. Showering for 10 minutes, if you are running a cycle and a fan in your smoker can work, but I still think an ice bath would bring it down faster and more. Last time I did thick summer sausage it was down to 110 in 20 minutes, I also tried showering it at 2 minutes on 2 minutes off for 20 minutes and it was only down to 136 (ish) but i did not have a fan running on them.
One more thing you might want to try, if you are stalled towards the end you can finish them up by putting them in a vacuum bag (I have done then hot, right from the smoker, some condensation in the bag but it still gets a good vac) and get some water going at around 165, it should get up to temp in under an hour depending on the thickness.
@Newbe There might be some breaking down of the meat but this shouldnt cause you too many issues. I have bought pork butts fresh, then froze them then processed and froze the product again. The taste might not be the BEST possible but it certainly wont be bad.