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Thread: Making beef jerky

  1. #1

    Default Making beef jerky

    While waiting for our piece of hurricane Ian I thought Id make beef jerky. Im making it in the smoker and found a marinade recipe on line. I hope it tastes as good as it smelled.


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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I'm sure it will be great. Haven't found a bad recipe for it yet. Rick had a pretty good one, but the problem with his is that the jerky was gone too fast.
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    We have made jerky in the oven as we don't have a dehydrator.

    We've tried a few different recipes and some are very good and others are OK. The Pitt bulls love all our experiments more than we do.

    I'm curious about sun dried beef jerky same as Native Americans made theirs and haven't found a recipe that doesn't mention frying or baking it.

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    Beef Jerky
    2 lbs. of flank steak
    2/3 cup of soy sauce
    2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    2 teaspoons of seasoning salt(recommend Lawry's)
    Slice flank steak diagonally with the grain of the meat into very thin slices (If slightly frozen it slices more easily). Combine ingredients and marinate meat overnight or 12hours. Be sure all pieces are covered (coated) with marinade. Drain excess marinade. Place meat on paper towels to soak up marinade. Meat should be squeezed as dry as possible in paper towels. Place individual pieces of meat on rack in oven at 140 to 160 degrees for seven to 12 hours, or until meat is dry throughout. Leave oven door ajar (slightly open) during the drying process. Meat can also be hung in the oven by placing a wooden toothpick in each piece and strung from the rack. Store finished jerky in an airtight container. It keeps for several months, but it is likely that it will be consumed by the master hunter, kids, or the cook within a few days.

    I've used the oven and an Excalibur Dehydrator and both work equally well.
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    That's the recipe. I've used it in the oven, dehydrator and homemade, primitive smoker. I found that the final product doesn't last long, no matter how you make it.
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VnVet View Post
    We have made jerky in the oven as we don't have a dehydrator.

    We've tried a few different recipes and some are very good and others are OK. The Pitt bulls love all our experiments more than we do.

    I'm curious about sun dried beef jerky same as Native Americans made theirs and haven't found a recipe that doesn't mention frying or baking it.
    I posted one three weeks ago VNVET. Instead of using the grid made of wood you can use any rack of grill you have. Keep the fire low and smoky. And the native Americans did not go in for marinating and seasoning. Mostly it was pure meat with perhaps a little salt if they had it. They used the wood smoke as their added flavor.

    Some of the plains Indians dispensed with the fire entirely due to not having anything to burn but buffalo chips. I don't know how that would work for flavor. The plains climate was so hot, dry, and windy that a single day in the sun and wind would usually do the job.

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    Last edited by kyratshooter; 10-02-2022 at 01:05 AM.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

  7. #7

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    The recipe I used was similar to Ricks with the addition of 1/4 cup of honey and 1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper. The recipe I followed said to keep the smoke going. Well, I did and it was too smoky for my liking. Eatable but smoky. The dogs like it. Next time less smoke and it should be alright.

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    I read your post and to be honest, there was nothing I could add.

    We've made beef and venison jerky in the oven and a smoker. My pellet smoker with a temperature control that makes smoking a lot easier. In addition, during the summer months, less heat inside the house.

    The East coast Cherokee smoked jerky over fires and I believe the west coast smoked salmon.
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    One tip Rick mentioned slicing semi frozen meat; I've found it works well. The same applies to our homemade sausage made with pork seasoned with fennel etc. Slicing it before it is completely unfrozen works a lot better.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Just playing in my backyard a few years ago. My belly couldn't tell the difference.

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    Wow, that is fantastic and thanks for sharing the pictures.

    IMO, your "teepee" smoker is exactly what the Native Americans did.


    Edit:
    I have a pellet grill/smoker and some hungry raccoons decided pellets are good to eat.

    raccoons.jpg

    When wet, pellets expand, but in one's stomach. I cleaned up and left the bag by the shed hoping they'd return. As they haven't, they got the message.
    Last edited by VnVet; 10-03-2022 at 09:19 AM.

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    Might be an unknown bit of history but drying racks have a special place in the French discovery of the new world.

    There is documentation of Basque/French fishermen reaching the Grand Banks as early as the 1200s and landing in Newfoundland and along the coast of Labrador and building huge drying racks for the catches of cod they took. We are talking about tons of fish! Europe was on a fish diet every Friday and on most holy days as well as all through Lent. They were eating fish two or three days a week and most of it was either dried or salted. Fishing was big business.

    It took acres of racks to dry the huge catches they made and that was their only method of preservation because there was no way they could carry enough salt to preserve the take.

    Each year they had to rebuild the racks because the Native Americans would take them apart for firewood through the winter.

    The old journals state that some of the ships, and we are talking about small fleets of fishing boats, started leaving volunteers, usually young unmarried men, to guard the racks. They left them with trade goods as a payoff. The best way to insure the racks were protected was to stay with the tribe, do some trading and charm the young ladies, and eliminate the need to work for two or three weeks each year rebuilding the drying racks.

    This custom went on for a couple of centuries. And when Jocques Cartier arrived on the Canadian coast Indians came out to the ship with canoes loaded with furs expecting to trade the instant they saw the boat. Cartier wrote that he was amazed at the number of Indians loaded with trade goods, and they knew exactly what the items were worth, exactly what they wanted, and struck hard bargains. It was obvious to him that someone had been there before he arrived.

    Just goes to show that you never tell anyone where your best fishing spot is! But it is difficult to keep a good spot secret. Eventually someone gets drunk in a bar and lets it slip.

    BTW, Christopher Columbus (he has a holiday next week) started his career at sea working on cargo ships that hauled shiploads of that fish up and down the coast of Europe.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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    I made some deer jerky many years ago. Only young teeth could chew that stuff. I soaked it in brine then shook it in a bag of course ground black pepper ran a cotton string through it and strung it up in the smokehouse till it was dry. A little bit went a long way.

    Alan

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    There was a place in Sweeney Switch, Texas that sold some jerky that was more like what I guess biltong is like. It was a big thick strip of beef that appeared to have actually been "jerked" and dried. It was the best ever. There was no eating it without cutting a thin cross section off and then chewing on that for a while.

    Alan

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    I've never tried drying fish. Just never had the inclination to do that.

    Alan

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    kyratshooter,
    Thank you, that was both very interesting and informative.

    It appears the both the French/Basque fishermen and the Vikings (L'Anse aux Meadows) were here long before Columbus.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alan R McDaniel Jr View Post
    I made some deer jerky many years ago. Only young teeth could chew that stuff. I soaked it in brine then shook it in a bag of course ground black pepper ran a cotton string through it and strung it up in the smokehouse till it was dry. A little bit went a long way.

    Alan
    Possibly, it could be the difference between commercial turkey, free range turkey and wild turkey. To us, commercially raised turkey meat is soft or not much muscle, free range store bought turkey is a lot firmer and wild turkey is all muscle..
    My wife firmly believes domestic rabbit flesh and taste is very different than a wild rabbit's.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    My Grandfather was a fishing boat Captain in Canada. Over his career he had a few boats, all large, three masted schooners. I remember seeing pictures of salted fish drying in the sun on racks that stretched as far as the eye could see. They also pickled a lot of herring. That dish was called Solomon Gundy. Didn't care for it as a kid, but have since had it and liked it.
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    I looked it up. It's cut up herring pickled with onion. I doubt I would have cared for it as a kid; but as a grownup, I like it..

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I think that the pattern we see forming here is that since the stone age humans have been drying meat in the sun, probably picking the preservation method up after seeing some dead critter on the African velt fall down and dry up before their eyes.

    The trick when working with meats for jerky is to use lean meat and slice it across the grain.

    Fish you just split down the middle and leave the two halves attached at the tail to hang them over the rack.

    I must have made and shipped a thousand pounds of jerky to Iraq when my boys were over there. I had one or the other of them deployed for a full 4 years and the one thing they always wanted in their care packages was home made jerky.

    The jerky of the pioneer era was not like the grocery store snack strips we are used too today. It was cut thick, at least a quarter inch thick, and about the size of a man's hand. When you dry it there is a 1/3 weight loss, so when you eat it, then drink some water, it fills you up real quick.

    It was said that a man could travel all day on a couple of strips of jerky and a hand full of "nocake" during the early colonial era. No-cake was very coarsely ground corn meal mixed with nuts and berries. Sort of like frontier trail mix. They would eat it dry, or stir it into a cup of water, or boil it to mush if they had time.

    May sound strange but I have a couple of favorite foods that died with my grandmother. One of them was "leather jackets". She would string green beans on a thread and hang them upstairs to dry. She would put enough on each string of thread to make a "mess" for supper. They shriveled up to feel like leather when properly dry. She would simmer those beans all day with a strip of salt pork. One of the best things I ever ate. I have not had any leather jackets since she passed away 30 years ago.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

  19. #19

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    I've made a bunch of jerky using a Walmart dehydrator I got about 20 years ago. Used all kinds of recipes. To me the best way is to keep it simple. My go to is to marinate in Dales and use red pepper flakes for heat. Usually do half hot, half not. Let's the taste of the meat come through.
    As Rick said easier to slice up if still half frozen.
    Only have 3 trays so like Crash said I usually eat the first batch while waiting for the rest to dry. Doesn't last long.
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    As the dogs drool for jerky, it doesn't last long.

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