Jerky is a popular snack that is made by drying meat in order to preserve it. The process of making jerky is relatively simple, but it does require some time and patience.
Steps to follow
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make jerky at home.
Choose your meat
The most popular meats used for jerky are beef, venison, and turkey. You can also use pork, fish, or other meats, but these are the most common choices. Select a lean cut of meat, as the fat will not dry properly and can cause the jerky to spoil.
Prepare the meat
Before you begin making the jerky, you will need to prepare the meat by slicing it into thin strips. The strips should be about 1/4 inch thick and no more than 2 inches wide. You can use a sharp knife or a meat slicer to do this.
Marinate the meat
Once the meat is sliced, you can marinate it in a mixture of your choice. This can include soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, brown sugar, and spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Marinating the meat will help to add flavour and tenderize the meat.
Dry the meat
After the meat has marinated, it is ready to be dried. There are a few different methods you can use to dry the meat, including:
- Dehydrator: This is the easiest method, as you simply place the meat in the dehydrator and turn it on. The dehydrator will dry the meat evenly and consistently.
- Oven: If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can dry the jerky in the oven. Set the oven to the lowest temperature possible (usually around 150°F) and place the meat on a wire rack set on top of a baking sheet. Keep the door of the oven slightly open to allow the moisture to escape.
- Sun-drying: In warm, dry climates, you can dry the meat in the sun. Place the meat on a rack or screen in a sunny spot, and turn it occasionally to ensure that it dries evenly.
Check for doneness
The drying process can take anywhere from several hours to a day or more, depending on the method you use and the thickness of the meat. To check if the jerky is done, bend a piece of it. It should be dry and somewhat brittle, but still pliable. If it’s still moist or flexible, it needs more time to dry.
Store the jerky
Once the jerky is done, allow it to cool completely. Then store it in an airtight container or plastic bag. It will keep for several weeks if stored properly.
Jerky is a great snack that can be enjoyed on the go, and making it at home can be a fun and rewarding experience. With this step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to make delicious jerky in no time. Just remember to be patient, as the drying process can take several hours or even a day or more.