This is one of the first recipes I created solely on my own, one that I took the time to measure out, write down and follow precisely… after several failed attempts when trying to perfect the ratios, this is pure perfection!! And to be completely honest, it’s maybe the hardest recipe for me to share – it’s one of those recipes that I’ve held secret from the rest of the world – so you really need to know how much I appreciate all of you 🙂 I try to avoid telling stories, I hate long-drawn out posts.. but this is a good one 🙂 Back in 2000 when I met my hubby, I tried to make him & his friends jerky to take with them on a hunting trip. I was still at my mom’s house, just 23 years old and I tried to dry it in the oven.. HUGE disaster. It’s amazing no one got sick – it was disgustingly salty and nearly RAW. Looking back it’s funny to all of us.. oh how far I’ve come! There are 3 components to making jerky: Meat, Marinade & Dehydrator
- MEAT: We, typically, make our jerky from wild, local venison (elk works great too).. my hubby is an avid hunter and around “these parts” deer jerky is a common winter time snack! And before you ask what cuts of venison we use for jerky, I’ll tell you I’m not 100% sure 🙂 We butcher/cut up our own venison and use all different parts for jerky, little bits & pieces, stuff that just looks good.. the key is to making sure the venison is free of fat, then we just cut it into jerky slices (and we like our a little thick) And for those of you who don’t have access to venison, beef works great too! We’ve splurged and made a few batches with grass fed beef and it’s excellent! I recommend asking your farmer/butcher what cut of meat they recommend for jerky.. they know better than me!!!
- MARINADE: I’ve taken the guess work out of it for you! Feel free to play with the hot sauce, my basic recipe is mild, if you want hotter add more hot sauce! and Recently I’ve tried adding a bottle of teriyaki sauce and some sesame seeds, it turned out really good too! I recommend allowing your meat to marinade 48 hours, however we don’t let ours go that long since we marinate ours under a vacuum.. we use our vacuum sealer’s large container to pull a vacuum which removes the air from the container/meat and allows the marinade to get into the meat quicker! (Click HERE for the vacuum sealer we have and click HERE for the container)
- DEHYDRATOR: I have a inexpensive dehydrator and it works great! (Click HERE for the Dehydrator we have) But hopefully we’ll be upgrading to a better one soon, since we use our so much for other things… homemade dog treats, dried herbs & spices, dried mushrooms, etc (Click HERE for the Dehydrator that’s on my wish list). You can also use the oven, but since I’ve only attempted it once 13 years ago that was a failure.. I’m not the person to ask for direction… but generally speaking you’ll want hang them from toothpicks in your oven at about 175-200 degrees until dry.