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Old 10-12-2006, 12:04 PM   #11
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I've made mine in the oven many times and everyone has loved it. It does take a bit more of attention that way though, constantly checking on it to make sure it is drying and not cooking. If it starts to get a little too warm, prop the door open for a bit. Make sure to pat dry after taking out of the marinade. You don't want it too wet going into the oven.

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Old 01-30-2007, 11:56 AM   #12
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another thing that might help is using egg crates (? not sure what they are actually called.. the cardboard things that hold eggs in industrial sized egg cases) or porous cardboard at any rate.. since paper/cardboard won't combust 'til 451 degrees, it works really well for pulling humidity out of your oven (I've never used it for meat drying.. but it works extremely well for drying peppers/fruit and herbs.

actually that's what what brought me to this site.. I have an older Hobart Warming cabinet (work was throwing it out... and well.. I am a bit of a packrat) and was poking around to see if it could be used for that purpose.. as it seems that it's be a fairly easy way to make extra money (and have a metric bleep-ton of jerky around the house).

anywhoo, some jerky recipes/flavors I've been thinking about...

caribean (sp?) jerked jerky
wild mushroom, rosemary, garlic (or shallot) jerky
mustard/bacon (or smoke) turkey jerky
blackened (without the searing) flavour
bbq flavoured (using chef dans bbq rub)

anyway.. I guess I don't really have anything to say.. heh..

halve your cake and eat it too... problem sloved! now for my next trick! the sound of one hand clapping! *audience goes wild*
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Old 01-30-2007, 12:38 PM   #13
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I`ve made similar to jerky here many times (as well as a few bad experiments), I cut the beef thinly and rub with a little sugar and salt, I hang this over a drainer for a day to get rid of much of the moisture.
then I prep a deep plastic container with a layer of smoked salt and lay the meat 1 layer thick on top of it then more salt (you want a good 1.5cms between layers and meat slices) and keep doing that untill full, cover with plenty salt.

leave it in a cool dark place for a week, then take it out, skewer the lot at one end and hang it in a very dry area, mean while redry your salt in the oven at a high temp for an hour or so until it`s back to a powder and no clumps will form (you can re-use it).

when the "jerky" is dry, put it in a paper bag with a handfull of the smoked salt and wrap it up, then put is in a plastic container with an airtight lid, it will keep for Years! :)
So long and Thanks for all the Fish ;)

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Old 01-30-2007, 04:37 PM   #14
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I usually use a London broil for the meat. Marinate in a teriyaki or other soy based marinade. Slice the meat across the grain in thin slices. Drape on a cookie cooling rack and sprinkle with coarse pepper. Dry in the oven at 180* until leathery. I always store mine in the fridge for longer storage. It will be OK out for a number of days, but it may mold if just left out "permanently". Vacuum sealing is another good way to store.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:41 PM   #15
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We've tossed this around several times in here and in the "Beef" forum (if you click on the Search button at the top right of the page and enter jerkey as the keyword you will find all of our jerkey discussions) - but here are the key things to consider:

1) Temperature - You want to dehydrate the meat without cooking it. The ideal temperature for making jerkey is between 98-120 F (36-49 C). That is why you will see "oven" instructions saying to use the lowest setting and leave the door ajar. If using higher temperatures the meat begins to cook and then needs to be stored under refrigeration. Alton Brown's "cold dehydration" method works just fine if you want to go that route.

2) Meat Selection - regardless of the cut, you want the leanest possible. Buffalo and game meats are lean enough - for beef you want to look for a "cheaper" grade - like USDA Select grade which has less fat and marbeling than Choice or Prime grades. Added bonus - Select grade is cheaper.

3) Slicing - the meat should be cut 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick across (aka against) the grain. If I'm using a thin piece of meat I might cut it on the bias (45 angle) to make each slice a little wider (about 40% wider). If where you buy your meat has a real butcher he can slice this for you. If not, bring your hunk-o-cow home, trim off all visable fat, slice it into strips the width you want (add about 25-50% for shrinkage), freeze until the meat is firm, then roll over on the side and cut your slices (across the grain) to the thickness you want.

4) Seasonings - there are several marinade recipes - just pick one that sounds right to you. We had a thread on this last year in this forum: Beef jerky seasoning Since the meat is already sliced thin before going into the marinade it really doesn't take that long to marinate - usually 2-4 hours is sufficient althoug some people like to go 8-24 hours (refrigerated).

5) Dehydrating - If you are using a food dehydrator you want to use the lowest setting, if using a smoker you have to really take care to keep the temp down below 120F/49C - this is easier on some smoker models (fire box on one and and an offset smoke box on the other) than others. If you saw Alton Brown smoke a salmon in a cardboard box ... you could use that method, too. If you are going to use a smoker method you want to use a marinade that does not contain "liquid smoke".

I use the oven. Place both oven racks in the center of the oven and turn it on to preheat while you prepare your meat. Remove the meat from the marinade and blot dry with paper towels. Then lay the strips on the oven racks to that they are not touching or overlaping. If I am making more than will fit on the racks this way - I use wooden skewers to skewer one end of the meat and hang it from the oven racks - leaving 1/4 -1/2 inch between each strip for air circulation. If you are going to use the oven, one thing that you really want to do is line the bottom of the oven with aluminum foil to catch any drips. At the proper temp there is no need to oil the racks, and the skewers will not catch fire. Well, I never had a problem with either of those things.

It will take 6-8 hours to be done. You can tell when it is done when you can bend a piece and it just cracks. If you can bend a piece in half and it doesn't crack - it's still too wet. If you bend a piece and it breaks - it's really dried ... officially one step over the line - but still good.

6) Storage - When your jerky is done, let it cool completely. If you have kept the temp below 120F - you can store in zip-lock bags (or some other air-tight container) on the counter for a week or two- although keeping it in the refrigerator will prolong it's shelf life. If properly made and you vacuum package it - the unrefrigerated shelf life goes up to 6 months to a year. If you have followed one of the other sites that suggest 140F - it must be kept under refrigeration since it is on the edge of the cooking temperature.

Making jerkey is not that hard to do - it's just a matter of working up the courage to try something new.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 02-17-2007, 08:48 AM   #16
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I marinate at least overnight, sliced lean beef in tamari or soy sauce with hot pepper sauce, 1T colemans mustard, 1T wasabi powder, a splash of brewed coffee, whole black red and white peppercorns, and a slpash of liquid smoke. Sometimes i will sprinkle in some dried chipolte pepper bits. It may sound weird but the taste is quite good. After removing the beef from the marinade and spreading it on paper towels to pat dry, I grind black pepper on one side of the jerky. I use a dehydrator and it usually takes between 4 and 8 hours depending on thickness of the meat, humidity, etc. I've never had a mold problem storing in a sealed bag or container but it doesn't really last that long.
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Old 02-28-2007, 02:50 PM   #17
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Here's a few tips and suggestions for making homemade beef jerkey
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Old 03-27-2007, 11:25 PM   #18
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The topic has been pretty well covered already. Just dropping in to mention two things. First, IMHO, the best cut for beef jerky is eye of round. (As distinguished from top round, which is probably what folks above are referring to, depending on their local butchers, as London Broil.) Very lean, not tough and nice flavor. Second, the OP mentioned turkey and other jerkies, on which I don't think anyone has commented. Yeah, I've tried them and was disappointed. Be aware that turkey needs to be cooked before jerking, so if you want to give it a shot be sure you have a recipe.
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Old 03-28-2007, 03:27 AM   #19
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check this out also: My Jerky Experiment(s)

So long and Thanks for all the Fish ;)

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