Monday, January 14, 2008

The mechanics of jerkymaking

There are as many recipes as you want to look for on AlGore's intertubes.

I usually use a cheap brisket because I'm making it to chew on, not enter into some gourmet jerky contest.

Whatever kind of meat you use, there are two ways to slice it, depending on how chewy/ hard you want it. Cutting on a short bias (across) the grain will make it easier to bite and chew, while cutting with the grain will give you a chewier piece.

Putting the meat in the freezer until it's semi-frozen will make it easier to slice thinly (1/8"- 1/4").

While you're freezing the meat is a good time to make the marinade of your choice, from sweet and sour all the way to burn-your-tongue-off hot. Just find (or create) a recipe you like.

Slice your meat and put into a container that you can refrigerate without too much hassle.
I like to use 1 gal. freezer bags because they can seal the air out.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours- more for stronger flavor- I usually toss mine in the fridge overnight.

To jerkify, I use the oven- set at about 180 for four hours or so.
Put the bottom rack on the bottom position and use foil for a drip catcher.
Skewer your meat with shish-ka-bob skewers and let hang from the top rack set on the top position.

When finished to your liking (soft, brittle chewy, etc,,,) let cool and put into a clean freezer bag, and refrigerate because ALL the responsible site tell you too. Me, I just throw it in the truck and snack till it's gone. The original purpose of jerky was to preserve meat for a long time....

Hope that helped, Vern.

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