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View Full Version : Making jerky? / Drying your own food



spectralshadow
08-05-2009, 04:14 PM
Does anyone do this? I've been thinking about dehydrating some venison and maybe some fruit for a light snack every now and then.

If you do, do you have any special rubs or seasonings that you put on them?

manowar669
08-06-2009, 10:22 AM
Best link everLINK (http://lmgtfy.com/?q=How+do+I+make+jerky%3F)

A dehydrator is the easiest way for jerky or fruit, cost about $30 or so. Oven method for jerky is OK, I just did it last week. I had a dehydrator years ago, and made tons of jerky. Google recipes, there are tons of them. Most involve marinating the sliced meat in soy sauce, pepper, garlic, spices, etc. Another way is to get a jerky factory, which sometimes come with a dehydrator. You mix spices, salt, and sodium nitrate (not good for you) with ground meat, and press out strips like play-doh, then dry in the dehydrator. I reccomend the sliced meat option. Of course, you can do it like your ancestors and just dry it in the sun, which takes all day. Sliced fruit can also be dried in the sun. You may have to dip apples in lemon juice to keep them from browning (oxidation). You will eat it faster than you can make it. Also, google biltong, it's south african jerky, and it's awesome. Lots of recipes and methods, including making a drying box out of wood, with holes drilled in the top and sides, and a lightbulb at the bottom for heat/drying. I haven't tried that.

Dehydrator $39
http://www.cookware.com/asp/superbrowse.asp?clid=823&caid=&sku=RNC1000&refid=XT75-RNC1000

Jerky factory ~$14
http://www.goodmans.net/item_images/ns-bjw-1_FULL.jpg

Homemade biltong box (dehydrator)
http://www.sa-austin.com/other.html

Alton Brown also had a TV episode about jerky, and used paper furnace air filters, taped to a household box fan as a dehydrator. Google it yourself.

Clifford Gillmore
08-06-2009, 10:26 AM
Sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite are indeed lethal, but the amount that is used in the process is minimal. I know a few South Africans that do it in a cardboard box, but I'd do my very best to keep it in an oven - or dryer, where you can regulate tempretures.

Mercuryblade
08-06-2009, 10:47 AM
You don't need to worry about sodium nitrate in jerky, as the meat doesn't reach a high enough temperature during prep for one to have to worry about carcinogens.
Bacon on the other hand...

YoungNoble
08-06-2009, 12:56 PM
You don't need to worry about sodium nitrate in jerky, as the meat doesn't reach a high enough temperature during prep for one to have to worry about carcinogens.
Bacon on the other hand...
so they don't react with stomach acid and other chemicals in the stomach to produce nitrosamines, which have been shown to cause cancer in animals?

Mercuryblade
08-06-2009, 01:19 PM
so they don't react with stomach acid and other chemicals in the stomach to produce nitrosamines, which have been shown to cause cancer in animals?

Looks like we're both wrong.
http://www.medem.com/?q=medlib/article/ZZZ80XEN0IC

spectralshadow
08-06-2009, 07:29 PM
Best link everLINK (http://lmgtfy.com/?q=How+do+I+make+jerky%3F)

A dehydrator is the easiest way for jerky or fruit, cost about $30 or so. Oven method for jerky is OK, I just did it last week. I had a dehydrator years ago, and made tons of jerky. Google recipes, there are tons of them. Most involve marinating the sliced meat in soy sauce, pepper, garlic, spices, etc. Another way is to get a jerky factory, which sometimes come with a dehydrator. You mix spices, salt, and sodium nitrate (not good for you) with ground meat, and press out strips like play-doh, then dry in the dehydrator. I reccomend the sliced meat option. Of course, you can do it like your ancestors and just dry it in the sun, which takes all day. Sliced fruit can also be dried in the sun. You may have to dip apples in lemon juice to keep them from browning (oxidation). You will eat it faster than you can make it. Also, google biltong, it's south african jerky, and it's awesome. Lots of recipes and methods, including making a drying box out of wood, with holes drilled in the top and sides, and a lightbulb at the bottom for heat/drying. I haven't tried that.

Dehydrator $39
http://www.cookware.com/asp/superbrowse.asp?clid=823&caid=&sku=RNC1000&refid=XT75-RNC1000

Jerky factory ~$14
http://www.goodmans.net/item_images/ns-bjw-1_FULL.jpg

Homemade biltong box (dehydrator)
http://www.sa-austin.com/other.html

Alton Brown also had a TV episode about jerky, and used paper furnace air filters, taped to a household box fan as a dehydrator. Google it yourself.


I'm more than aware of how to MAKE jerky.
But thanks for the google link.

I specifically asked if anyone had any rubs or seasonings that they use, because the internet doesn't list every good-tasting recipe known to man.

YoungNoble
08-08-2009, 05:27 PM
Looks like we're both wrong.
http://www.medem.com/?q=medlib/article/ZZZ80XEN0IC


After decades of exhaustive review of studies about the use of sodium nitrite in curing meats, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture believe that nitrite is a safe ingredient and is not associated with cancers in humans at the levels used.
The FDA is a joke. The FDA believes the same thing about aspartame til this day joke. They were shown a multitude of studies regarding aspartame and it's harmful effects and they allowed it into our food supply.

People see what they want to see.

Gadzooks
08-29-2009, 08:15 AM
Last time i made jerky i went against my own intuition and read a recipe that told me to get a skirt steak - It wasnt the worst cut i have used, but it did have a ton of fat that i had to trim off because it freaks me out to see the fat in the jerky. Especially if it doesnt dry out all the way.

Im going to use a london broil style cut next time - Make sure you cut "with" the grain, sorta to make long strings of jerky - if you go against the jerky can come out sorta broken up more when dried.

Now - on to your question about recipe -

I use -

3 pound cut of meat - Sliced into a bit larger than 1/8th inch. Any smaller and it will dry too fast, any larger and it will still be moist i have found.

2 cups of Soy Sauce - Dont go Low sodium.

1/2 cup to 1 cup of Teriyaki Sauce - Depends on flavour you want

** cup salt - I use kosher salt - im not sure if the measurement is dead on, i eyeball the salt - the soy sauce has a lot of salt as well

** Cup Fresh cracked pepper - Youll get in a great forearm workout with the pepper, since i like it as the main flavor i go a little heavier on this than the salt amount.

** About 3/8ths of the small bottle of "liquid Smoke" Prolly around 4-5 tablespoons of the stuff, can add more or less depending on the amount of smokiness you want.



I cut up all the meat, throw in the sauces and then keep in a zip lock bag (placed then inside a bowl to prevent spillage) overnight in the fridge - Now i have marinated it in as little as 2-3 hours since i was in dire need of jerky - But overnight marinating is the best.

The time you put it in the dehydrator is important - Since - If you put it in the dehydrator in the morning before work, it will look great the next morning but just not quite done - So leave it in while you go to work and youll come home to crispy beef ash.

I give my jerky about 30 hours or so in the dehydrator, with the vent wide open - A lot of the time depends on how you place the meat on the racks - if you pack it too tight or close it will take longer to cook and the bottom ones will dry up much faster than the top.

I rotate the jerky as i see fit, every 5-6 hours - the directions in the box show you how to flip the plates around.


a weekend is best to cook it all on until you become really familiar with how long it will cook for, Remember that when you stop the jerky maker the beef will continue to dry out some more. So dont take it out when you think its done to perfection, but rather slightly before it is.



I dunno if this "really" works but what i do when i get my sauce done is - Take 1-2 strips of beef and soak them in the marinade - then throw them in the microwave for like 1 minute. Then taste them. It sorta gives you a preview of what the flavour will be like, then adjust from there - can save you 30 bucks worth of steak if you mix up a bad batch of marinade.




zooks

Gadzooks
08-29-2009, 08:19 AM
Also - off topic a bit, but if you have the "ron popeil" style dehydrator - Do not use heated dry on the dishwasher with the plastic plates. They just break apart and then crack like crazy when you use it the next time.

i got my latest dehydrator at the local K-mart for 30 bucks or so

dxiw
08-29-2009, 01:25 PM
The FDA is a joke. The FDA believes the same thing about aspartame til this day joke. They were shown a multitude of studies regarding aspartame and it's harmful effects and they allowed it into our food supply.

People see what they want to see.

I think this statement highlights your immaturity. No offense dude, but your going to sit here and tell me that you (some random kid) is smarter than long established medically backed organization whose primary purpose is to study food and drugs and their effect on public health. Sure, I dont agree with them on everything, and you are welcome to express disagreement with certain policy, but to come out and call them a joke, seriously devalues the strength of your argument as it makes you look more like an angry 16yr old than somebody with an opinion that should be heard because it is scientifically sound. Just my 2cents.