To jerk meat means
to preserve it by cutting it into long thin slices and drying it in the
sun, in an oven or in a microwave oven. Meat Jerky may also be made
venison, moose, elk, antelope and other game animals. It is important
know that the fat in meat goes rancid and will spoil the jerky fast.
using beef, use only the leaner cuts such as the round and chuck roast.
Wild game animals are typically very lean, so this is less of a
Trim off all of the fat and membrane that you can as you cut up the
When making jerky
cleanliness and sanitation are of utmost importance. Be sure all work
surfaces, equipment and hands are thoroughly clean.
Drying jerky in the sun takes a long period of time and is not very
Jerked meat is roughly one-fourth the weight of its fresh raw state.
very lean flank steak that is partially frozen so it will be easier to
cut. The thinner the strips are, the quicker it will dry. Cut the meat
into thin strips 1/4" thick and 6" long. For better taste it is a good
idea to dip the strips in Teriyaki sauce, in soy or Worcestershire
brush with liquid smoke, or sprinkle with garlic powder or seasoned
Arrange the seasoned
strips of meat in a single layer on wire racks (cake-cooling or oven
and do not allow the pieces to touch. The meat will drip, especially if
marinated, so you need to place a piece of aluminum foil (or a tray)
the meat to catch drippings. Space it as far underneath the meat as
(or on the bottom of the oven) to avoid restricting the air flow.
the oven to 150 degrees F and then turn the heat back to the 140
Place the meat in the oven, leaving the oven door open at the first
After four or five hours, turn the strips over and continue drying at
same temperature for an additional four or five hours.
Note: If you
have more racks do not place racks so that one layer can drip on
When thoroughly dry
the jerky is shriveled and black, and is brittle when cooled. Remember
that too much moisture left in the meat will cause mold.
Store jerky after
well cooled, because putting it away while warm will cause sweating
the container. No matter how well you make jerky, consider its shelf
short, and keep it in sealed plastic container, plastic bags or
jars, so it will not absorb moisture. Store the containers in the
or freezer for maximum safe storage. Eat the jerky within 6 months.
|Did You Know?
| The "open-kettle," or
"hot-pack," method was the oldest canning
method. It was
largely used during the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The
food was completely cooked in
the preserving kettle, and it was then packed into hot, sterilized
jars, after which the jars were sealed. As the packing into the jar was
done after the sterilization has been completed, there was always
a possibility of bacteria and spores entering the jar with the
cooked food and the air. Fruits can be handled successfully in this
way, but this method cannot be used for vegetables, greens and
meats. It is a very laborious, hot and hard way to can. Modern
housewives were discarding this old canning method and don't use it any
more. Modern women place their trust in the newer and far more
methods of canning and food preserving.
The "intermittent," or
fractional sterilization, method is still
beloved by some people who cling to the sure and hate to venture
into the new. Fruits were handled by this method, but it is not safe
for vegetables and meats. The another objection to this method of
canning is that it requires three
periods of sterilization on three different days and three liftings
of jars in and out of the sterilizer.
What is sometimes called the "cold-water" method of canning
should not be confused with the "cold-pack" method. The
"cold-water" is often used in connection with the canning of
rhubarb, green gooseberries and a comparatively few other sour
berry fruits. If the "cold-water" method is used we would suggest
that the product be thoroughly washed, placed in a strainer,
scalding water poured over it, and the product then packed at once,
in practically a fresh state, in the jars, and clean, cold water
applied until the jars are filled. If these steps are taken
carefully and quickly the method in most cases will be successful
with some acid products. As the products will have
to be cooked before they can be used many housewives do not
consider it any saving of time or labor to follow this method.