How to Make Homemade Restructured Jerky - Recipe
How to Make Ground and Formed Jerky at Home.
Learn how to make Ground and Formed Jerky with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
What Is 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.
15 lb of lean beef
First thing you might want to do is to trim off the fat cap, since we are grinding this and then extruding it this is not 100% necessary and is just a personal preference. I am going to grind this meat twice, first through a 3/8 plate and then through a 1/8 inch plate. You could also use already ground beef purchased from a store if you don’t have a grinder. I’ve cut the meat into small pieces for this smaller #8 grinder. Make sure your plates and knives are sharp and well oiled to reduce stress on both the machine and the meat.
Now I am going to mix in the seasoning, cure and Smoked Meat Stabilizer. Smoked Meat Stabilizer should not be used with water, so we did not add any. It will start to gas out almost immediately and this can be very dangerous to breath. With ground and formed jerky some people like to get protein extraction and some do not, I recommend you mix until you have protein extraction for a better texture. So I am using the Weston Meat Mixer.
So now I am going to extrude this using a Waltons 7 lb sausage stuffer with the All Around Jerky Maker attached to it. This comes with a few different types of attachments, for this I am going to use the 2 slot die. As I extrude it the paper which sits underneath the Jerky Maker is going to move down the ramp with it. Now I am just going to keep extruding until I have everything in strips.
Smoked Meat Stabilizer should not be used with water, so we did not add any. It will start to gas out almost immediately and this can be very dangerous to breath.
Thermal Processing & Smoking for Home Smoking
Stage 1 - 130° F 1 Hour with Dampers Wide Open
Stage 2 - 145° F 2 Hours W/ Dampers 2/3rds Closed
Stage 3 - 175° F Until Internal Temp Reaches 160°
Thermal Processing & Smoking for Advanced Smokehouses
Stage 1 - 110° F 10 minutes Relative Humidity (RH) 68
Stage 2 - 130° F 20 Minutes RH 20
Stage 3 - 135° F 90 Minutes RH 30
Stage 4 - 155° F 60 Minutes RH 30
Stage 5 - 155° F 90 Minutes RH 0
Stage 6 - 180° F Until internal temp is 160° RH 0
There is no need to put jerky in an ice bath as it is so dry and thin that it will stop the cooking process quickly enough by itself. It is important to let the jerky sit out at room temperature for about an hour before vac packing to prevent condensation from forming inside the package.
We started out with 15 lb of meat and ended with 8 lb of jerky so that is just about 50% loss so we are right where we would expect to be with the ability to control humidity in our smoker. The All Around Jerky Maker really made this entire process much easier than trying to do this with a Jerky Gun though that will certainly work as well, it will just take longer. The flavor of the Dill Pickle Seasoning is awesome, if you like Dill Pickles, that seems obvious but this does have a strong dill flavor!
- Do not add water if you are using Smoked Meat Stabilizer
- If you do not use Smoked Meat Stabilizer you will want to hold your product overnight to allow the cure to work in the meat
Just to make sure that I put this in here as many times as possible, if you are using the Smoked Meat Stabilizer (which I did) do not add water to your product or it will gas out and create a gas cloud. You don’t need to be scared of this product just be careful with it.
Watch WaltonsTV: Ground and Formed Jerky
I do it all the time. Still remember my mom saying it’s not a good idea. I’m sure if you are buying a nice steak and intend it eat it as a grilled T-bone you might notice some flesh cell break down (texture change). If you are going to use it in sausage you will not notice any difference. Made brats last night. Once frozen pork and elk. Refroze the brats. I do it time and time again.
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.