Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I've been wanting to make jerky for a long time, ever since I first saw the Good Eats episode a couple years ago. Well now I have a dehydrator and some knowledge of how to do it safely, so on the way home last night I picked up 2lbs of Flank steak and decided to give it a go.

I froze the steak, sliced it thin across the grain, and marinated it using the Good Eats recipe. Then just before bed I poured the marinade into a pot and brought it to a boil, and put a few jerky strips into it at a time, returned it to a boil and pulled them out and let them drain. That's supposed to kill any e.coli on the outside of the meat. Then it goes onto the dehydrator racks. Since the book said 10-12 hours, we let it go overnight.

In the morning I woke up at 5am  and thought I'd check it, and it wasn't quite done, but it had only been 6 hours. I went back to bed and woke up at 9, and by then it had been cooking for 10 hours - the minimum expected time by the book - but it was overdone.

It still tastes fine, just the texture is a little more dried out than I would have liked. And the rumor that you can make jerky cheaper at home? Tillamook Jerky costs $5 for 3.5oz. My jerky cost $11 for the meat, not counting the cost of marinade or electricity to process it, that 2lbs of flank turned into 9oz of jerky! If you divide it out, it's pretty much a wash. The main benefits are knowing what's in it, and flavoring it the way you want to.

It was fun to do for the experience, but for the price I think I'll stick with dehydrating fruits and veg.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oooh! I love jerky! I think it's neat that you tried making it at home. I used to be a nanny years ago for a family that went hunting quite often. They had a huge broken refrigerator they turned into a smoker and they'd smoke and turn everything from turkey, deer, elk, and oryx into jerky. It all tasted so yummy!


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