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Jerky Tips and Hints

Should you salt your jerky?


• Before embarking on your jerky experiments, familiarize yourself with the recommendations of the Food Safety and Inspection Service to avoid any foodborne illness risks.

• Select only the leanest cuts of meat and remove all visible fat. Fat can become rancid.

• It is advisable to freeze wild game completely to kill any potential parasites in the meat.

• When oven-drying, you can place strips directly on the oven racks, but put a layer of heavy-duty foil on the bottom to catch any drips.

• A cake rack inside a foil-lined cookie sheet will also work, but may require boosted air circulation. A low-speed fan blowing toward the open oven door should do the trick.

• Be sure to allow adequate space in between slices for air circulation. Arrange slices at least 1/2-inch apart.

• Partially frozen meat is easier to slice into thin strips. For old-fashioned chewy jerky, cut strips along the grain. For more tender jerky, slice against the grain.

• Thicker slices will take longer to dry than thin ones. Try to keep your strips as uniform in size as possible for even drying.

• Use paper towels to blot any rising oils from the surface.

• Depending on your drying method, it may be necessary to flip the meat at the halfway point.

• Be sure jerky has completely cooled before storing. Blot away any moisture. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

• Jerky will weigh approximately one-fourth its original raw weight.

• Finished jerky products should be as pliable as a green stick. It should not break cleanly like a dry stick. This doneness test should be performed after the jerky has cooled.

• Salt not only helps pull moisture from the meat, it also acts as a preservative. Jerky using salt will have an appreciably longer shelf-life than that without.

In general, using 1 teaspoon of salt per pound of meat, plus any optional herbs and spices, is considered unsalted jerky.

• Salted jerky is generally brined in a solution using 2-1/2 cups pickling salt per 3 quarts of water, plus any optional herbs and spices. After 1 to 2 days, remove from brine, pat dry, and proceed with drying.

• Most salted jerky can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for 2 to 3 months. Any longer and it deteriorates. Unsalted jerky should be refrigerated and used within 2 weeks.

• When using a marinade, always refrigerate.

• Take a basic jerky recipe and add your favorite herbs, spices, and flavorings in a marinade or dry rub to create your own signature jerky.

Pork Jerky

found on chickensintheroad.com
Farm Bell Recipes

1/3 lb. brown sugar
3 cups soy sauce
½ cup liquid smoke
½ tsp. lemon pepper
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
Lean pork loin or PORK ROUND ROAST sliced 1/8” -1/4" thick x 1” to 2” wide, all fat removed

Mix ingredients in bowl and let stand while you are cutting the meat. Slice pork loin. (Partially frozen is easiest to thinly slice.) Place meat into the bowl of marinade and let stand about 10 minutes after stirring well to cover all pieces equally. Drain briefly in sieve or colander. Place on mesh trays and dehydrate at 155 to 160 degrees. Drying time is about 5 to 8 hours with a motorized-fan dehydrator. Jerky is finished dehydrating when it nearly snaps when bent.