Jerky is an awesome protein snack that is just way too expensive for the amount you get from the store. Making your own jerky is easy and can be incredibly inexpensive. This isn’t some super secret jerky recipe. It’s called Dan’s jerky recipe because Dan is my name and I am making it. When you make this it might be Jack’s beef jerky recipe or Ashli’s Turkey jerky recipe. The point of Dan’s jerky recipe is to make it your own. I am just here to give you the guidelines to keep you safe.
Rule 1 to jerky: You have to select a lean cut of meat with as little fat as possible. Jerky when made properly should last months. Fat is your worst enemy with jerky. If there is any fat on your meat it will shorten the shelf of it to 1-2 weeks. Chicken and turkey are naturally low in fat so you don’t have to worry about this. Beef on the other hand can be either extremely lean or extremely fatty. I recommend 1 of 2 cuts of beef, the flank or eye of round. They are both lean and require very little effort to remove the fat.
Rule 2 to jerky: your salt ratio is key. Salt is going to be what actually preserves your jerky from going bad. Salt does a couple things. It actually draws moisture out of the meat. Moisture is one of the components for bacterial growth. So if salt draws the moisture out that means you eliminate the breeding ground for bacteria to grow. Salt, like I said, also preserves your jerky so it can last 2-3 months. Your salt to liquid ratio should be 1 to 3. This will be discussed in the recipe section.
Rule 3 to jerky: If you follow the first two rules the sky’s the limit. This means you can flavor your jerky however you want. Here are a few different types of jerky I have made: Mango, teriyaki, cracked pepper and spicy to name a few.
Rule 4 to jerky: Have fun with it
1lb of meat of your choice.
1 cup of salt
3 cups water
Whatever flavors you would like to add
- Remove any fat from the outside of the meat of choice.
- Place in the freezer until outside of the meat feels firm (30-60 minutes)
- Make your marinade with your 1 to 3 salt ratio and additional flavors.
- Slice your meat as evenly as possible at an ⅛ to ¼ inch thickness.
- Remove any additional fat from the meat you find as you are slicing.
- Place your meat in the marinade making sure that you have enough liquid to cover the top. It’s okay to add more water. Just make sure you add more salt.
- Marinade in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees or prepare your food dehydrator on high.
- Place jerky strips on a wire rack over a pan or in the food dehydrator grates removing as much access liquid as you can.
- Place jerky in the oven or in the food dehydrator for 4-6 hours.
- It is done when it is dry to the touch, looks like leather, it is chewy but tender.
Jerky can be stored in a container either at room temp or in the refrigerator. Have fun with it but start simple. Start with flavors you like and build off them to create a jerky that’s all your own. Dan’s jerky recipe is my favorite but I am slightly biased.
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