Jerky Recipes and the Meat Dehydrator
One of the earliest methods of food preservation was drying. Early hunters didn't have jerky recipes for a dehydrator, but they needed a way of preventing spoilage. They figured out that if they got all the water out of it, it'd last a lot longer.
Nowadays, home cooks can have their own personal jerky machine in the kitchen. The most popular recipes for food dehydrators are for jerky. Beef is the most commonly used meat, but venison and turkey are used a lot too.
Storage is easy. They don't need refrigeration. Just throw them in Tupperware or a large Ziploc, and put that in a dry, cool place.
Most people want to know how long to dehydrate their meat. That depends on your meat dehydrator. It can take between 6 and 24 hours. I can tell you that on the Excalibur, it's on the low end of that range. These machines, like Crock-Pots, use little electricity, so don't worry about running it all day.
Easy jerky recipe
- Choose a meat:
- Trim as much fat off as you can. The fatty oils will go rancid and make the jerky feel and taste bad.
- Slice thinly. It might be easier if you put the meat in the freezer first, to firm it up a little.
- Choose a marinade:
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Soy Sauce
- Teriyaki Sauce
- Barbeque Sauce
- Add seasonings to taste: salt, pepper, garlic powder, sugar, etc. Experiment!
- Marinate overnight for heavy meats, 2-4 hours for turkey, fish, etc.
- Drain meat. Use paper towels to pat it dry.
- Dehydrate. You want the meat to be dry, but not brittle.
The average yield is 30%, so use that as a guide when you start.
Variations on the traditional jerky
Shred it. If you don't like strips, consider shredding the meat instead of slicing it. You can eat shredded jerky as is, or use it to top off soups or other dishes.
You can also try making it with ground meats. Don't marinate this though. Instead, mix in some herbs and spices. And make sure the meat is the leanest available. Remember, fat ruins jerky. There is something called a jerky gun for ground meat jerky.
Prevent spoilage, eat healthy, save money
It's simple making jerky with a meat dehydrator. Prepping the meat is easy, drying it is even easier, and the result is a high-quality, nutritious snack. Plus, you'll save a ton of money making it yourself.