Well, my first attempt at using carrot fiber in ground venison jerky didn’t turn out too well. I made one 2-pound batch using breakfast sausage spice mix (Southern), cure, and the appropriate amount of carrot fiber by weight. That batch went into my dehydrator at 160 degrees. The other 2-pound batch got teriyaki flavoring, cure, and about half the carrot fiber called for. That batch went into my electric smoker, but got finished in the oven because of a smoker glitch.
The dehydrator batch is pretty acceptable, still a little flexible and not hard to chew. Not overcooked/overdried, which I think is the key.
The smoker/oven batch came out overdried, hard, and crumbly in the mouth rather than having a nice chew. Just the opposite of the tender jerky I was hoping to get via the carrot fiber. In all fairness, the fault may be mine for not checking this batch often enough and pulling it earlier. I may sprinkle this batch with some soy or Worcestershire, seal it in a Zip-Loc and see if I can plump it up a little. Can’t hurt, I figure.
So, for me, the jury is still out on whether carrot fiber can be used to hold moisture and get a ground jerky that’s tender and has a nice chew. I’ll definitely try it again, trying to make the extruded product a little thicker, and checking more closely during the thermal processing. I will mention here that I don’t think the carrot fiber affected the flavor at all; seems to be pretty neutral in that regard.