Jerky 102 - Equipment Needed To Make Jerky


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    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!

    Slicer
    Slicer

    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.

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