How To Prepare Whole-Muscle Jerky
1. Select a fresh cut of meat with minimal marbling. Flank steak, top round or bottom round are good choices.x
2. Remove all visible fat from the surface of the meat as it has a tendency to turn rancid during long term storage.
|3. Wrap the meat in cellophane and place in your freezer for an hour or so until it’s firm enough for easy slicing.||4. For a chewier, more traditional jerky, slice the meat with the grain as shown in the adjoining photo. |
|5. Slice the meat across the grain as you would when carving a roast if you prefer a less chewy jerky.||6. You can leave the slabs as is or slice them 1/4" (0.65 cm) thick x 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) wide x 6-10" x (15-25 cm) long. |
|7. It’s important to cut the meat to a uniform thickness so it will finish drying at about the same time. || ||8. Combine marinade ingredients with meat strips; making sure they are covered with liquid; refrigerate overnight.|
|9. Next day, arrange the meat strips on drying racks, leaving enough space to allow sufficient air circulation. ||10. Dry meat strips at 145°F (63°C) for 7-12 hours. The finished jerky should bend or crack but not break when bent. |
| ||11. The hard work is done and it’s time to enjoy the finished product with your family and friends.|
| ||12. Store jerky in clean jars or plastic bags, checking frequently for mold. Or vacuum seal and freeze up to 1 year.|
Safe handling Tips
a growing interest in home jerky making, it becomes increasing
important to practice precautionary safety measures . As previously
stated, the hot pickle preparation method of precooking the meat to a
temperature of 160° F (70°C) prior to drying, helps to provide
protection against the survival of harmful bacteria.
there’s also a number of other important safe handling and preparation
practices you should be aware of as you enter into the exciting business
of home jerky making. By adhering to these eight simple guidelines, you
will have a leg up about the concerns of food safety, and know that the
product you produce will be safe enough for your family and friends.
Prior to making jerky, mix one tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of
cold water. Sanitize the entire work area (all surfaces that will come
in contact with the meat), including bowls, tubs, measuring utensils,
knives and cutting boards with the bleach mixture. Allow all working
surfaces and equipment to air dry before using.
(2) Wash your hands in hot soapy water before and after handling any raw meat.
Raw jerky meat should be stored at 36-40°F (2-4°C) prior to it being
processed. Furthermore, double check the cooling unit to make certain it
maintains a steady 36-40°F (2-4°C).
Given the fact that bacteria grows rapidly above 40°F (4°C), frozen
meat should be thawed slowly in a refrigerator or cooler and not at room
you marinade jerky meat it should be done in a controlled cooler or
refrigerator between 36-40°F (2-4°C). Do not save or reuse jerky
marinade once it has been used, doing so could prove deadly.
To avoid food-borne illnesses, caused by Salmonella and E-coli
bacteria, it’s important to cook, or dry, all jerky and snack stick
products to 160°F (70°C). This includes wild game (deer, elk, moose,
antelope, caribou and bear) as well as domestic meats such as beef,
pork, lamb, poultry, etc.
Make sure to use a reliable thermometer throughout the heating/drying
process to ensure the meat reaches the correct internal temperature. The
USDA recommends 160°F (70°C).
The use of curing salt is vital to jerky making because it changes the
osmotic pressure in the meat batter, which in turn inhibits the growth
of harmful bacteria. See more about cures on pages 44-46.