Jerky 102 - Equipment Needed To Make Jerky
Jerky 102 - Equipment Needed To Make Jerky
Attend this entry-level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!
What is the Most Important Piece of Equipment?
Whether you are making whole muscle meat or restructured you need a way to thermal process it. If you want to go the dehydrator route then you really do need one that will run at least 160° for food safety. The Weston 80L or 160L Pro Series Dehydrator are both great dehydrators that will allow you to fully cook and dehydrate it at the same time. However, this will not add any smoke flavor to you Jerky, which we like. When we make Jerky here we are lucky enough to use our Pro Smoker 500T HVE Smokehouse but this is simply not going to be an option for most people. With some experimentation, you can get similar results with a Pro-Smoker PK-100 and controlling the dampers.
Do You Need A Slicer?
When making Whole Muscle Jerky one of the most important things you can do is to cut it all to a uniform thickness as this will help cook and dry at an even rate. The slicer we use is the Weston 10" Slicer but you absolutely can get by without one, IF you have steady hands. Both the Precise Slice Adjustable Knife and the Weston Jerky Slicing Board and Knife Set can give you uniform slices of meat.
Do You Need A Stuffer?
If you are going to make restructured jerky then you need some way to extrude it into strips or sticks. I would recommend a Sausage Stuffer and an All-Around Jerky Maker as this will give you the ability to make many types of sausage as well! You can get similar results Dakotah Sausage Stuffer or a Jerky Gun though.
Best Dehydrator For Beginners
The Weston 6 Tray Digital Dehydrator is an inexpensive ($80) dehydrator that will get up to 160° and can run for over 24 hours at a time. This should give you all the functionality you need to make quality jerky.
$500 Budget for Equipment
In my opinion, I would spend the majority of my budget on a slicer the Weston 10" Slicer has a hefty price tag of $400 but it will cut evenly and can also be used for so much more than just jerky. Then I would spend the remaining amount on the 6 Tray Digital Dehydrator. Now, another, and equally valid way to go would be to spend the bulk of your money on a Weston 80L Pro Series Dehydrator ($350) and then buying a Weston 9" Slicer, don’t let the 1 " difference between these slicers confuse you though, the 10" is extremely well built and could be used in a semi-commercial environment whereas the 9" is only for home use.
Other Equipment Or Supplies
- A Smokehouse will give you a lot more versatility and can obviously be used for so much more than jerky.
Cooked a batch of summmer in PK 100 casings are 1 7/8 by 12 cooked at 120 for one hour then 140 two hours then 180 tell internal of 152 but when I went to pull them the fat had liquefied any ideas
Tom T from Boise, ID
Oh… I ground the pork fat and the venison at the same time. 2 chunks of venison, 1 chunk of pork, back and forth…
Yes… sure cure and sure gel binder. The venison and pork fat were both still partially frozen when I ground them. First through the large course plate, then again through the small plate. (Not sure of sizes, but these are the plates i normally use for summer sausage). I probably should have put the meat back in the freezer before seasoning but i was pressed for time. I mixed by hand for 14 or 15 minutes. I also think I might have added to much water. The video said 2 quarts for wild game 2 pints for fatty pork. I put in 1 quart and about another cup. I mixed until it got tacky and then mixed some more. The meat seemed soupy to me but the video said that would be ok.
The shriveling occurred before I bumped the temp up. I was using a digital thermometer with a probe, when the temp stalled for a couple hours, I suspected the temp might be reading inaccurately so I opened the door to confirm with a dial thermometer. The digital was accurate but the sausage was already shriveling.
Another thing that bothered me was the casings… these had perforations for some reason. I e never used perforated casings before and seemed like I was losing a pot of moisture through them. Did I have the wrong casings? The other fibrous casings in the catalog said you were supposed to poke them anyway.