Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Who ya callin' jerky, jerky - Part 2

The process of drying meats goes back for centuries. Cured preserved meat, also called jerky was a food of the American Indians as a means of survival. It’s lean, loaded with protein . . . a very good source of energy.  You can use almost any kind of meat to make jerky - beef, turkey, chicken, hare, pork, deer, bison, buffalo and even fish can be made into jerky – but it must be lean or it will go rancid in long term storage.

Previously, I showed you how to make jerky from strips of lean meat.  Now I’m going to show you how to make jerky from ground meat.

Making jerky from ground meat means no marinating, no slicing, no fuss, no muss.  All it takes is very lean ground meat and time.

To make it easier I have a Nesco Beef Jerky Factory.  It’s basically a device to extrude the ground meat into strips or sticks.
You can get pre-packaged flavorings for your jerky or you can make your own.

The following recipe is a basic flavor jerky, which it can be used as a guide to experiment with your own seasoning.

Things You'll Need:
  • 5 Pounds  Ground Lean Meat  (At Least 95% Lean)
  • 2 Tablespoons Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Curing Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons Black Pepper, Or 1/4 Teaspoons Freshly Ground
  • 2 Teaspoons Curry Powder

Mix and knead well.

If you are making the jerky by hand, form meatballs to the size of a golf ball until you finished using up all the ground meat.  Flatten the balls between two pieces of waxed paper with a rolling pin.  Cut them into strips or squares.

I use a Nesco dehydrator.  But if you’re using an oven, place the strips on a cookie sheet.  Set oven at lowest temperature setting. Leave the oven door open slightly to allow moisture/vapor to escape. "Dry-heat" the jerky until desired dryness is reached, and ready to eat; (about 4 to 12 hours, depending on the meat moisture).

Store the jerky in an air-tight container and place it in the fridge up to one week. Jerky is good up to 1 year if stored in the freezer.

Experiment with different flavors:

Substitute for the seasoning ingredients in the "Things You'll Need" list, except for the 5 pound ground meat.

  • Teriyaki jerky: 1 cup Worcestershire sauce, 2 cups soy sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 2 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoons onion powder.
  • Pepper jerky: 1 teaspoon curing salt, 2 tablespoons table salt, 2 tablespoons white pepper, 2 tablespoons freshly grind black pepper, 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1/2 cup non-fat dry milk powder, 2 teaspoons liquid hickory smoke, 2 cups cold water.
  • Hot and spicy jerky: 1 teaspoon curing salt, 2 tablespoons salt, 2 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers, 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 2 teaspoons liquid hickory smoke, 2 cups cold water.
  • Honey and brown sugar jerky: 1 teaspoon curing salt, 2 tablespoons salt, 2 teaspoons white pepper, 3/4 cup honey, 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 2 tablespoons ground mustard seed


  1. Looks good. Remind me to send you a real teriyaki recipe. The one you have posted needs help :)

  2. I think I'm gonna need a dehydrator.

    I see a lot of jerky in my future.