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Poor-man's jerky recipes/tips?

 
pollinator
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I do not have a dehydrator (have an oven), and am wondering if I can basically take some terriyaki sauce and ground beef, spread them thin on a cookie sheet, turn the oven on all day and have jerky.

Is this is bad idea?
 
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That will probably work. On the other hand, you can make a dehydrator for basically free. I made a YouTube video about how to do it:


 
Suzy Bean
pollinator
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I like your set-up, Tamo. Since I would have to have the jerky for something tomorrow night I won't do that this time.

Looks like I am going to try this, more or less, (from cooks.com):

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. extra lean ground beef
1/3 c. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar

Mix all ingredients together in a good sized mixing bowl. Use your hands to make sure the seasonings are evenly distributed throughout the meat. Refrigerate the mixture for at least a couple of hours or up to 24 hours for a stronger flavor. Roll the meat out in strips or patties and dry in 150 degree oven with the door ajar for 4 to 8 hours.
Drying time will vary depending on humidity and the fat content of the meat. Once removed from the oven jerky is cooled and stored in an open container to allow drying to continue. Seal the container to prevent further drying. Store in refrigerator or freezer.
 
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If you're a baker and happen to have a spritz cookie press, they work okay for forming ground beef jerky stuff.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_nr_n_5?rh=n%3A1055398%2Cn%3A!1063498%2Cn%3A284507%2Cn%3A289668%2Cn%3A289719%2Cn%3A678530011&bbn=289719&ie=UTF8&qid=1311886965&rnid=289719
 
steward
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For me, the long, stringy texture of the intact muscle is what makes jerky, jerky.
Well, I'm familiar with South African biltong anyway and always assumed that they are the same thing: lots of SA folks over here drying out various bits of various animals...but it's always cut from an actual piece of meat.
I imagine it being weird, but I'd love to hear otherwise!
Suzy, please report back
 
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I also objct to dried ground beef being called jerky

jerky is supposed to be something you spend a bit of time chewing on it takes you mind off your sore feet 20 miles into a 30 mile hike
 
Suzy Bean
pollinator
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Thanks folks, and you're right that it's different than traditional jerky!

Here's how it went. Found out the oven only went down as low as 250, so I put in some thinly smashed rows of the marinated ground beef, and left the oven door open. It was done in 2 hours! I scraped/flipped each piece and put it back in for 15 for good measure. They are crispy, but thanks to the marinade I used ( Black Horse bbq sauce--the apricot one) they are tasty and fit the ticket Working on batch 2, which I am making a tiny bit thicker.
 
steward
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My uncle makes a type of summer sausage out of hamburger. Might not store as long, but his is quite yummy!
 
Suzy Bean
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Nice! Any simple trick to it?
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Hm, I don't know, Suzy. I'm sure there's a recipe...I'll see if I can get him to share it.
 
Suzy Bean
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So I've had the request of making the "jerky" again but not so crispy dry. Does anyone know any safety protocol? My concern is that if is any more "burgery" it will spoil--get bacteria etc. Is a spicy, salty marinade the key to safety, or making thicker strips that cook longer and they will dry but more chewy?
 
Neal McSpadden
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Chewiness comes from moisture content. If that's what you're after, biltong is probably safer.
 
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box fan.
two corregated cellulose furnace filters that are about the size of said fan.
Bungee cords.

You now have a way to air dry the meat with no heat.

As for a recipe, I go by something akin to equal parts Worcestershire sauce & soy sauce, about half teaspoon of garlic and onion powders each, black pepper to taste, a pinch of cayenne and about 1.5 tablespoons of honey. Cut meat into strips, soak in the marinade for at least 8 hours. Dry off strips on paper towels before laying them in the grooves of a filter. When that "tray" is loaded, slap on the other filter and bungie cord the filters to the front of the box fan. Plug in, and in 12 hours you have preserved numminess. (found this method from a Good Eats episode.)
 
Neal McSpadden
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I saw that on Alton Brown's show, but I never could get past the meat-resting-on-fiberglass issue. Maybe it's all in my head.

tamo42
The Primal Prepper
 
Seren Manda
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It's not fiberglass, it's cellulose.
 
Suzy Bean
pollinator
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Wow Seren, that recipe sounds like the next I will try:)
 
Seren Manda
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the bonus is the scent of meaty goodness permeating the air.


Doesn't taste the same as regular jerky since there's no heat, but it's very tasty. My kids love it so much we can't call it Jerky. We have to refer to it as "marinated dehydrated bovine bits" on the sly.
 
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Alton Brown, FTW.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIK4DVLHf7Y

It works. It's simple. It's delicious.
 
gardener
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My father-in-law makes biltong - basically the South African version of jerky, if you've not heard of it before.  I enjoy both, and I suspect if you liked jerky, you'd like biltong - it's a bit like different beers are quite different, but really they're all quite similar compared to other sorts of drinks.

Anyway, he has a thin plywood box with a 60w light bulb in the bottom, and some wire strung across near the top to hang the strips of meat from.  He just marinades or dry seasons the meat, hangs it in there for a couple of days (I think - there'll be recipes on the web).  Honestly you could make one of these from a cardboard box and some twigs or bamboo skewers - there's almost no heat involved, so it's not like there's a risk of fire.

Hope that gives you something to think about.

EDIT: And after posting this, I clicked on the youtube link in second post and saw exactly what I was imagining... I'll say "great minds think alike!"
 
Neal McSpadden
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Biltong is awesome. That is all .
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Jerky usually has sugar, and biltong usually doesn't so I've had a huge interest in biltong. I thought we had a thread about a guy who built his own plywood biltong drying box and I can't seem to find it. If anyone knows where it is, I'd love a link!

My interest in this space was renewed by buying a crazy expense package of bison bites (dried meat without sugar, sort of like like biltong). I told someone about it, a single mom who told me her son wants Perky Jerky in his lunch every day. At $5 per package! She told him no. So I wanted to find out what it would cost to make at home.

My quick Google search found this article on such a simple jerky method that I thought it worth sharing here:  Homemade Plastic-Free Beef Jerky.

.

It looks amazingly easy!!

I wonder if my stainless steel skewers would work to string the meat pieces above the oven rack instead of toothpicks. But I digress.

I did a little math based on this article and e-mailed my estimates to the mom for her to share with her teenaged son.

The author bought London broil / top round - 3 pounds for $20 or about $6.67 per pound. I bet you could find something similar for less, but I'm going with that price to include the cost of any flavors or marinade. So...let's see how much cheaper it might be to make your own. Or for Ian to make his own!

From this https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/32213/ I'm going to estimate 50-60% weight reduction in drying.

So, 3 pounds becomes maybe 1.2 pounds or so. (Does that sound accurate or does the marinading add in weight?) That reduction makes it a steep $16.67 per pound when dried!

Perky Jerky (beef) is 2.2 oz. per package.

So 1.2 pounds = 19.2 ounces. 19.2 / 2.2 = 8.72 packages!!
$20 divided by 8.72 servings = $2.29 for an equivalent serving or package size. AND, you could use reusable containers. Less than half the cost, (the son) could adjust the marinade flavors to his liking, and less garbage in the house.


By the by, my permies.com searching for other beef jerky and biltong threads came up with:
Biltong making in a pinch
Dry meat without:  dehydrator, oven, or smoker?
beef jerky ideas

I've inspired myself! Anyone else have additional tips or tricks?

 
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