Jerky problem

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blissful

Master Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
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I was going to ask for help from 'jerky people' = 'people who know jerky', but, wasn't sure anyone would think that was funny. I personally think it is funny, because you are all so nice.

Well, I blew it, I overdried my jerky last night--it's crisp. Are there methods you think that might help in partially RE-hydrating it so it's a little tender?

It is venison jerky, marinated for a few hours, then dried in a dehydrator - convection oven, at about 140 degrees F overnight. I usually pay good attention and it doesn't over-dry during the night. Usually I just start the dehydrate cycle up again in the morning because it is not dry enough in just one night.

Ideas? Thank you in advance!
 
I just read about spritzing with water and covering with wrap until the water absorbs. I don't know if it really works.
 
Fiona, I'm thinking the same thing. I put it in a zip lock bag w/water--now I'm overthinking that it might be at the wrong temperature for spoilage to occur. I wonder if it should be in the refrigerator during the rehydration?
Thank you for your thoughts!
 
I would just wet it, not soak it and put it in the fridge. Happy to help! I love jerky!
 
I love the Jerky people joke :LOL:

I would think either wetting it or soaking it would have the same effect depending on how long you keep it wet. I would absolutely do it in the fridge though. Just get moisture on it however you like and check every hour or so until you get it to the right consistency. After you hit that point though you will need to dry it again. The trick will be to dry it so the surface is dry, but not so much that you get back to where you were. You will just need to watch it very carefully.
 
even though i love jerky, im no expert, but it sounds to me as though your jerky has cooked as much as it has dried....140* overnight would certainly cook a thin piece of meat - that seems to be an issue with most consumer dehydrators....anyway, if it is cooked, im not sure that adding water will have much effect
 
GB, oh good, I thought I might be the only 'jerky person'......now I can smile.

I put a little water in the bag, just put it in the fridge, and I think you are right, I'll have to 're-dry' it. It's not particularly thin--I like a bite of meat when I have jerky.

I ran into a lovely 'kippered beef' last month---moister than jerky--and enjoyed that too. I haven't seen recipes for kippered meat.

Thank you all for help and hope to hear from more of my jerky friends.
 
Fiona, thanks!

I will follow up with you all--on what happens next.

The next episode of 'the jerky people'.....stay tuned.
 
It's been less than 2 hours and they are becoming pliable. I'm going to leave them a few more hours and then re-dry. I want to make sure they are pliable consistently throughout.
 
The final analysis:
I let it sit for one day in the refrigerator with a little water--it was still crunchy on the interior 'cells' and wet on the outside.
I let it go another day, and it softened up on the interior too.
Dried it today in the dehydrator and it's perfect. Just a half hour and it was done. Chewy, no crunchiness, flavor is good and I'd say a success.
We love this jerky so much it usually disappears within the first day :(
So now I know it's not a total loss if it gets crisp.
Thanks for helping.
 
I have to tell you all, 'they', the eaters of the jerky, told me it was the best jerky I've ever made, and it's gone of course.
In the marinade, with soy sauce, salt, pepper, garlic, and I was out of worchestershire sauce, I put in anchovy paste, THAT I think was the best 'secret' ingredient. SHHHHH don't tell. (they don't like anchovies!)
 
What a great tip. I will have to try anchovy paste next time, unless someone has thrown mine out. No one in my family (myself included) likes anchovies, but I keep trying to use them because I always here that they can really add something special without tasting overtly like anchovies if done right. As of yet I have not been able to do it right.
 
Thanks GB,
In the past, the soy flavor seemed to overwhelm the flavor profile of the jerky, the anchovy paste (1 tablespoon for 3 lbs of meat) moved the profile to a different taste (but they don't know what it is). I hear that there is fish sauce in worchestershire sauce, and just thought anchovy would help out in that area.
The other place I use the anchovy paste is in green godess dressing, it's undetectable but it makes it better.
They don't let me use it on pizza. :mad:
 
Thanks GB,
In the past, the soy flavor seemed to overwhelm the flavor profile of the jerky, the anchovy paste (1 tablespoon for 3 lbs of meat) moved the profile to a different taste (but they don't know what it is). I hear that there is fish sauce in worchestershire sauce, and just thought anchovy would help out in that area.
The other place I use the anchovy paste is in green godess dressing, it's undetectable but it makes it better.
They don't let me use it on pizza. :mad:

There is anchovy in most Worchestershire sauce. I don't remember who makes a vegetarian one, but somebody does.

I think anchovy is a standard part of green goddess dressing. It does a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. I wouldn't dream of leaving it out of my husband's garlic dressing of doom, which everyone loves.
 
I've seen a bunch of YouTube jerky making videos where they add an entire bottle of liquid smoke into the bowl with the jerky meat. An entire bottle? That seems like it would be totally overpowered with smoke flavor.
 

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