Beef Jerky is made form a fresh beef cut, flank steak and top round are generally used, that has gone through a drying process. It does not need refrigeration, this makes it an ideal food for hikers, campers or anybody who does not have refrigeration available. Various seasonings and/or marinades can be used to flavor jerky, this is a personal choice, it takes experience to arrive at desired effect.
Make small amounts until you get experience.
In different parts of the world “dried meat” takes various forms, in Africa it is known as “biltong”.
Native Americans ground it after drying and mixed it with animal fat to make “pemmican”.
It is generally recognized as the oldest method of preserving meat.
The dehydrating process must be done properly to prevent salmonella and or e-coli.
A food dehydrator is the preferred method to make jerky, a warm oven can also be used.
Meat must be roasted, steamed or otherwise cooked to 160°F, this destroys any bacteria present.
Use a good meat thermometer…DON’T GUESS!
This must be done BEFORE the dehydrating process starts.
After meat cooked to 160°F and placed in dehydrator, or oven, a constant temperature of 135°F to 140°F must be maintained during drying. A DEHYDRATOR alone can not heat meat to the necessary 160°F before dehydrating.
Meat can be marinated in refrigerator overnight before cooking and dehydrating.
Clean hands and equipment with soap and hot water is a must before starting.
Keep home made jerky for no more than 2 months.