February 10, 2006

Jerkin' meat

Ye ol’ dehydrator has been loaded with meat products and is drying. It’s been approximately three hours since I started. I’ve wiped the excess grease off of the meat a couple of times now. The directions say to do so, since I’ve never made my own jerky before, I thought I better just do it unquestioningly.

I’ve checked the dryness of the meat a couple of times now. It’s still pretty pliable and “moist”. Like moister then Slim Jim beef jerky. Which is way too moist for my liking. Looking at it, I figure I have another hour or two left before it’s done. I’m afraid if it goes too long I’ll make roofing shingles.

Now, a friend of mine’s mother makes her own jerky. It’s some real good stuff. A couple of months ago she over dehydrated it and it was crispy. Yes, crispy. It was like biting into a thick meat potato chip. Now, the taste wasn’t bad, actually it tasted pretty dang good. It was just interesting to eat meat that crunched.

After this batch, I’ve got some pepperoni flavored curing right now. I’ll keep you updated as things progress through out the day.

UPDATE 17:52: Okay, the meat has been drying for almost 6 hours now. It is still way too moist. I will continue drying.

UPDATE 20:08: About 20 minutes ago I pulled off the trays, it is done. It took about 8 hours to get the texture that I like. I'm trying again tomorrow with a second batch. Some things I've learned from this first experiment. When checking the dryness I need to check every tray. Apparently the trays to the bottom dry faster then the ones on top. Drying meat is greasy, I actually did wipe down the excess grease but dang! I have enough rendered fat here to make historically accurate soap! As for the taste, not bad. I think it needs more garlic, either that or diced jalepanos.

Posted by Contagion in General at February 10, 2006 03:14 PM | TrackBack

Post a piece of it and I'll tell you if it's ready!!!

Posted by: jimmyb at February 10, 2006 04:33 PM

Wal-Mart used to sell a great seasoning pack for beef jerky. I haven't made it in years so I'm not sure if they still do. But, you mix it with 98% lean ground beef and press them into strips. It doesn't have near the grease and turns out wonderful.

Wish I had gotten custody of my dehydrator. Now you have me wanting homemade jerky again.

Posted by: Sticks at February 11, 2006 09:22 PM

"I've wiped the excess grease off the meat"

There is something dirty about that sentence.

Posted by: Machelle at February 13, 2006 09:19 AM

I want some.

Posted by: Tige at February 13, 2006 10:38 AM

The trick is to use extremely lean meat AND trim the fat from it. You want no fat at all if it is possible. It really messes up the taste. For a really interesting flavor take some onion and garlic and puree it (very well) in a blender. Just brush it on the meat when you start drying.

Posted by: Titan Mk 6B at February 13, 2006 12:46 PM

I *really* tried to read this post as it was intended, but the SUV of my thoughts kept swerving into the gutter.

Anyway, Machelle should get some Clan Points for pointing out how dirty this post is :-)

Posted by: Harvey at February 13, 2006 02:42 PM