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We The People
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Discussion Starter #1
I love beef jerky, and you probably do as well. Only problem is it is so expensive. You usually pay at least $5 for a bag at the store, and it's often gone rather quickly. Well I got tired of this and asked my parents to get me a dehydrator for Christmas so I can make my own. Don't worry though - you can make beef jerky with just an oven. It's a lot of fun to experiment with new flavors, and it's convenient to have for a quick snack. Here's how to make it....

First, start with some 95% lean hamburger, or a lean cut of meat, such as sirloin, top round, etc. The less fat the better.




For measuring purposes I use a small scale to weigh the meat. Tare out your scale for the bowl you will be using.




I like to make my jerky in 1lb increments or less. This is partially because my small scale only goes up to 16oz, but also because working with small amounts (such as 1/2lb or 1/4lb) allows me to experiment without wasting much meat (if it's gross).




Next, pick out your seasoning. McCormick makes this Montreal Steak seasoning that is great for beef jerky, especially if you don't want to mess around with experimenting or a lot of ingredients. You can use almost anything in your jerky though, and there are a ton of recipes online. I've made spicy beef jerky with Frank's Red Hot, I've made sweeter beef jerky (did not like how it tasted though), I've made teriyaki beef jerky - the limitations are endless.



For this recipe though, I used 2 tablespoons (TBSP) per 1 pound of beef.




Mix it all together very thoroughly:




Now you have to form it into strips. You can use a meat gun that will extrude the meat into a strip, or if you're cheap you can just use your hands, like me. Since the shape doesn't have any real impact on how the jerky tastes, this method works well. Obviously you want to wash your hands first.


Be sure to make the jerky VERY thin. It will take longer to dry if it's thicker, and plus have a different texture. Some may like it a bit thicker, but I personally do not.



You will want to coat your hands in a bit of cooking oil, to help prevent the jerky from sticking to you. This works pretty well, actually.






Lay the strips on the racks of the dehydrator (as you can see in the picture above).

This is the dehydrator I have. It's a very basic, cheap model (probably $30) and only has two modes - on and off. It's a bit loud, but I usually just leave it plugged in while I sleep, so it's not noticeable (to me, at least).





If you're using an oven, preheat the oven to 150*F. Put it on a wire rack.

Depending on the recipe, dehydrator/oven, thickness of meat, amount of meat, etc. the time for the jerky to cure can vary.
I've found that it usually takes at least 6-7 hours until it's done, but could take up to 10-12 hours.

When it's done, it should look like this:






Again, I find it fun to experiment, so don't be afraid to try different recipes. As I said though, I suggest using smaller measurements of meat so you don't waste a lot if it comes out bad.


IMPORTANT: Please note that the jerky you buy in the store contains PRESERVATIVES! This does NOT. That means you MUST eat this jerky in a short time frame (few days), or else REFRIGERATE it. You can also freeze it and then store it for a few months.

-Jin
 

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Dude I've been wondering about this forever. I hate paying $5 for a little bit of jerky...

I will do this soon. WIN
 
D

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lol I noticed the jerky in the pic of your room in the other thread.

**** I love jerkie.
 

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We The People
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Discussion Starter #12
I prefer to use thinly sliced eye of round, and let it cure in Dale's Seasoning for about a day before dehydrating.
Interesting, as I've been wanting to try some other cuts of meat, and I happen to have a bottle of Dale's Seasoning that my sister brought up from Tennessee a few years ago. I wonder if it's still any good? Oh, and venison jerky > any other type of jerky I've had.

Glad you guys like the thread. I, too, was ignorant in the ways of the Jerky until a co-worker showed me the dehydrator. I realized how easy it was, and that you could use an oven, and my life has been Jerk-filled ever since.

I'm mad though because I lost my list of jerky recipes that I made last month. Otherwise I would have a lot more flavors for you guys to try out.

-Jin
 

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We The People
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Discussion Starter #14
do you think they allow dehydrators in dorm rooms? or is it a big fire hazard?
I'm not sure. They are a bit on the loud side, sort of like a small vacuum, so you might have a problem if someone complains after 6-9 hours of constant noise. They do get quite warm, but not really hot - you can definitely still touch it and pick it up.

If your RA says anything, just bribe them with jerky. :dodgy:

-Jin
 

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Interesting, as I've been wanting to try some other cuts of meat, and I happen to have a bottle of Dale's Seasoning that my sister brought up from Tennessee a few years ago. I wonder if it's still any good? Oh, and venison jerky > any other type of jerky I've had.
-Jin
Your dale's should be just fine, it's soy sauce-based and should have a decent shelf life provided it is either unopened or refrigerated.

Any cut of roast typically will work for jerky, but eye of round is my favorite as it is easy to come by, very lean, and has a nice grain. I usually cut it lengthwise with the grain to separate the roast in half, then cut it against the grain, making semicircular-ish strips about 1/8" thick. Takes around 8 hours to fully dehydrate after curing.

Venison jerky is very good but can be hard to come by. Most deer processors (at least around here) will usually charge extra to have the roasts and hams preserved and packaged. They usually will grind these cuts into sausage.
 

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Wow, this thread is amazing. You just might be my hero Jin, in more than just this Jerky aspect. I think we can all learn from this man. I mean you're at one of the best schools for information technology in the nation, you're balanced a relationship with a terrible distance between you and your lady, and you are now making beef jerky. Might I ad you have one bad-ass vehicle.

Much respect.
 

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I live off cans of beans (75 cents), mild sauce(free), and occasionally I'll actually go to Taco Bell(people buy my food if I drive them).
 
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