Beef Jerky

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Homemade Beef Jerky 101 Hints and Help For Homemade Beef Jerky

Homemade Beef Jerky 101
Everything you need to know about homemade jerky!
One of the main reasons people seek out homemade beef jerky is because it is often cheaper, and a lot healthier. You can also add your own flavors and prepare the jerky in your very own marinade and cook it however you want. You can bake, grill or even smoke beef jerky but no matter how you prepare it always taste delicious. Hopefully this information helps you out as it will cover tips to making your own beef jerky as well as a recipe for you to try yourself at home. Always know that there are tons of recipes out there that call for dehydrator so if you do not have access to one, find a recipe that does not require you to dehydrate your meat first.
Everyone prepares and marinates their beef jerky differently so know that these tips are merely suggestions based off what has worked for others. Even if you are preparing turkey jerky or really any kind of meat you would prepare is the same. The only thing that may differ is the cooking time and ingredient portions.
·         Picking out lean meat with little to not fat will make for the best beef jerky. You can trim the fat yourself but try to stay away from cuts like gristle, connective tissue and tendon.
·         Always freeze your meat for 30 to 60 minutes before cutting it because it makes it easier; just be careful not to freeze it hard.
·         Quite a few of beef jerky makers prefer to get the cuts of meat with grains present. These are the lines that run through the meat and if you cut through them it can make it easier for you to chew up the jerky. After all, we know how hard some jerky can be to chew.
·         When you go to cut your strips, try to keep them at ¼ of an inch. You also don’t want to make the strips too long either because you have to remember that the bigger the piece of meat, the longer it will take to marinate.
·         Always put marinating meat in the refrigerator because leaving it out will ruin the whole batch. Bacteria will start to build up on the meat and in the marinade once its temperature begins to rise.
·         If your meat is marinating for more than 4 hours, flip your bag here and there just to make sure every piece of meat is getting enough juice.
·         For those choosing to use a dehydrator remember not to go above 140 F (60 C) which is perfect for eliminating threats like salmonella.
·         Always, always, always allow your jerky to cool before consuming. People underestimate just how hot the meat is after smoking, baking, grilling or dehydrating so just let it cool off first.
Homemade Beef Jerky Recipes
There are all kinds of ways to prepare your beef jerky at home but here are a couple easy, and quick recipes you can start off with.
First off, a dehydrator is not needed for this recipe as you are simply baking it in the oven. It will take about 15 minutes to prep the beef and 4 to 4.5 hours to cook thoroughly. You are going to need the following ingredients to do fulfill this recipe:
·         One Pound London Broil (trim off fat or buy without it) or any kind of top round steak
·         ½ tsp onion powder
·         ¼ cup liquid smoke - optional
·         ½ tsp garlic powder
·         1 to 1 ½ tsp Kosher salt
·         ½ soy sauce (any brand you prefer)
·         1 tsp ground black pepper (the fresher the better)
·         ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
·         Plastic wrap
·         Knife or meat cutter
ü  Take the plastic and wrap the beef and place in your freezer for 30 minutes to an hour, just make sure you do not freeze it rock hard
ü  Preheat your oven to 250 F
ü  After removing the beef, thinly slice it into strips about ¼ inch thick
ü  Take your garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, pepper, onion powder and liquid smoke (if you use it) and put it into a bag to mix it all together.
ü  Place the strips of beef into the bag with the peppers and sauces.
ü  After you drain all the air out of that bag, place it into your freezer for 12 hours – overnight is the best.
ü  Drain the beef strips and pat them dry with a paper towel after they have been in the bag overnight.
If you want some beef jerky with a little more kick you can always add some chili pepper, sauce or increase the amount of black pepper too. This will help give it some more spice and lock in the flavor for a longer amount of time. Now that you know all about homemade beef jerky you can move forward with making your own. They make great snacks for yourself or you can even prepare beef jerky gift baskets for family and friends! However you decide to eat or share the jerky, making it yourself just makes it taste that much sweeter. 

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