Jerky 104 - Whole Muscle Jerky Basics
Jerky 104 - Whole Muscle Jerky Basics
Attend this entry-level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!
What Is Jerky?
Simply put Jerky is a meat product that has been processed, seasoned, cured and then cooked or dried.
10 lb of Eye of the Round
1 Bag of Sweet Chipotle Jerky Seasoning
1 Bag of Sure Cure (Included with purchase)
20 oz of water (Just enough to cover the meat)
The first thing we are going to do is remove all the fat that we can with a knife. Get as little meat as possible when doing this but don’t stress if some meat comes off with the fat. Since we want to have as little fast as possible in this meat, deer and other wild game are great choices for making jerky.
Then we are going to want to cut our jerky into strips between 1/4 and 3/8" thick. We are going to do this with the Weston Pro-320 slicer but it can also be done with a Precise Slice Adjustable Knife, the Weston Jerky Board, and Slicer Kit or a regular slicing knife if you have a very steady hand. Uniformity is important here as we want all of the slices to be the same thickness so they can cook at the same rate.
Then mix the cure with the jerky seasoning until it is evenly distributed. Now either coat both sides of each slice of meat by sprinkling it on or drag slices through until they are coated.
Place all jerky in a food safe poly bag and add enough water so that all the jerky is completely covered by water and hold for 12 hours to allow the cure to work. If you do not want to hold this overnight then you need to use a Cure Acclerator to speed up the curing process. If you use one of these you can go directly to the smoking or cooking process.
The next step is to smoke or cook the jerky, remember simply using a dehydrator (unless it will get to over 160°) is not recommended. Lay all strips down on smoke screens or jerky screens and set the temperature to 130° and let it cook for an hour with the dampers open to allow for some drying, if you are using an oven you can use something to prop you oven open slightly.
If your jerky is too thin to inject a probe thermometer you can fold over a piece of jerky and place a probe thermometer in between the fold to get a fairly accurate reading.
Thermal Processing & Smoking
1 Hour at 130° with dampers wide open
2 Hours at 145° with dampers closed 2/3rds of the way
Cook at 175° until internal temperature reaches 160°
Finally, we will hold the jerky at room temperature for 1-2 hours at room temperature before moving them to the refrigerator or the freezer before vac packing.
Whole Muscle Jerky is a very simple thing to make, it might take some practice to perfect but the major points to focus on are to cut the muscle into even strips, use just enough water to make sure all of the meat is covered when holding it overnight and have your dampers wide open for the first hour of thermal processing to assist in drying the product.
- To increase the shelf life of your product make sure everything that will come into contact with your meat has been sanitized, we spray everything down with Hard Surface Sanitizer
You can use snack stick or summer sausage seasoning to make whole muscle jerky if you want to try different flavors.
Watch WaltonsTV: Whole Muscle Jerky Basics
Jonathon would bottom round be a suitable substitute for eye of round?
Tex_77 I’ve used that cut recently and it turned out great. As long as your meat block is as lean as possible any cut should do
Joe Hell great, there is a good sale on it, so I’m going to try it out.
Tex_77 Yeah you can use bottom round for sure, just trim it up
Does this look like it it’s cooking, anyone? I had smoker set to 170 degrees F with door closed. Do I crack door open or is it fine?
I take you are thinking you are running hot and actually cooking it, verses dehydrating it? The piece on the right, looks to me like it might be cooking a bit. What kind of cooker are you running?
Tex_77 A 30" smoke hollow. Its only been running for 20 minutes. Are they salvageable?
Tex_77 I just read online that some people actually cook their jerky before drying it to kill bacteria. It changes the texture and maybe appearance but I’m guessing it’s not ideal to the experts. But as Abraham Lincoln once said, “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet”
I got my smoker for a good deal last year So I am still learning! I used to make my jerky in the oven or dehydrator
JerkyIsMySalad I’ve always used a dehydrator.
JerkyIsMySalad I haven’t found that to be the case. I bring mine to temp as quickly as possible in the smoker or oven and finish in the dehydrator. People rave about our jerky at the shop and can barely keep up with demand.
Joe Hell when you do that, does it give off a pinkish color like mine did? I ended up smoking them for an hour and they’re now in the oven at 170° with the door cracked for air flow. So far they look great! I guess I panicked because they never look like that in the oven or dehydrator.
JerkyIsMySalad Yup…it comes out of the oven quite pink but after drying looks ‘normal’
JerkyIsMySalad Sorry, been in the test kitchen. How are they looking now? I assume they are done. What seasoning did you use and how did you marinate. They don’t look good when they are in the smoker and while those look pretty pink I am betting part of that is the camera picking the color from the screen a little. Like Joe Hell says, they darken up as they dehydrate for sure. Why did you start at 170°?
Yep! They look great! I just read some blogs where many people have done a steady 170 to 200 degrees and thats what I do in the oven, so I figured that it would work.
Jonathon Yep! They look great! I just read some blogs where many people have done a steady 170 to 200 degrees and thats what I do in the oven, so I figured that it would work
That’s looking better. Taste and texture?
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