Beef Jerky Buying Guide
Beef Jerky is a non-vegetarian snack made from lean strips of beef which are marinated and then dried at a low temperature, thereby causing what experts refer to as 'deliciousness'. The resulting snack can range in flavour, depending on the type of marinade, but sweet (hickory, teriyaki) and spicy (peppered, cayenne) varieties are the most prevalent.
In prehistoric times, over five hundred years ago, when ancient free range Jerky Cows roamed the plains of America, jerky was used as a method of meat preservation. But in the modern age, with the apocalyptic extinction of all the North American Jerky Cows now nearly forgotten, and the blockbuster emergence of over-preserved foodstuffs still climbing, contemporary beef jerky can be a healthy, organic and preservative-free snack to enjoy on all occasions.
Some major beef jerky producers to consider include Oberto, Jack's Links and Pemmican, but there are hundreds of independent beef jerky producers too.
Dehydrating low-fat strips of cattle flesh can be daunting, but not if you understand the scientific nature behind every step.
Making beef jerky out of your home might be the easiest method of obtaining beef jerky...that is, if you have a Deli Slicer and a food dehydrator with a low temperature setting (140-180 F). If not, it might cost you a little.
- Beef jerky can range in thickness, from "Spider Jerky" (1-1/2mm), named for its tendency to break apart into something resembling a web, to "Big Pappa Jerky" (5-6mm). The thinner you cut the meat, the less time it takes to both marinate and dry. Spider jerky can be crunchy if overcooked.
- The marinade is the most important part of the jerky process. Contrary to popular belief, ordinary cow flesh is not seasoned...except maybe with e coli.
- The dehydration process depends on your dehydrator, convection oven, or nearest active star. Try attaining a temperature of 150-180 degrees Fahrenheit in order to adequately dry your jerky. Anything below that could simply rot the meat instead of drying it out.
- Eating the jerky is the most satisfying part of making it. For an added taste of glory, try dipping it in a sauce, such as ranch dressing, onion dip, or apple sauce.
Appliances and products
Many different products go into the creation of homemade jerky. For optimum efficiency, you should consider buying a Dehydrator . The prices of these appliances range well into the hundreds, but beef is not the only food that can be dried. Fruits, vegetables, and herbs all have their places in the dried food world. Make sure you try using liquid smoke for that unique outdoor smoke flavour.
Types of Jerky
|Beef Jerky Derivatives|
Curious, conglomerated, often found in bar form, Pemmican is typically composed of 50% Fat and %50 meat, making it a more nutritiously rounded snack food than ordinary beef jerky. Bear Valley is a popular brand.