January 10, 2016


Here's the article that inspired Meade: "How to Make Your Own Beef Jerky."


David Begley said...

Need to sell the jerky on the blog.


Althouse + Meade® Jerky

Other ideas?

Ann Althouse said...

That's $28.50 worth of ingredients... for what begins as 2 pounds of meat. I don't think it's a very cost-effective way to go about eating meat.

Ann Althouse said...

Assuming the cooked weight is the same -- which isn't true -- that's 89¢ an ounce. The cut of meat was round.

I'm seeing on line $12 for a 2-ounce portion of high-quality jerky made with filet mignon (a cut of meat that's probably twice as expensive as round). So maybe $3 an ounce for our high quality jerky, and we'd have more than a 200% mark up from the price of the ingredients.

Ann Althouse said...

More math. The final weight of the jerky will probably only be a third of what we started with.

Original Mike said...

I made up 7 lbs of salmon jerky for gifts this Christmas. The marinade is just soy sauce, molasses, and liquid smoke. Delicious. It's become a much anticipated Christmas tradition for us.

Bob R said...

I make jerky for snacks and when we go camping. The key is to wait for sales on the meat. If the market has a lot of round, sirloin, or London broil in, I pay attention to expiration dates and go a day or two before to look for manager's specials.

The foundation recipe is 20gm of salt per kilo of raw meat. I use Morton's Kosher. Add whatever spices are in your cupboard.

When we redid our kitchen, we got a warming drawer below the oven. Used it a couple of times per year before we started making jerky. Works great for jerky, but the smell tortures the dog.

Bob R said...

Final weight depends on how much you dry it. Chewy is about 45% of original weight. Crunchy (max shelf stable) about 35%.

AllenS said...

My new neighbor's dad makes venison jerky. It's not like the stuff I learned how to make. He slices the meat very thin, then dehydrates it before doing the oven thing. It tastes like liver. The worst beef jerky is produced by people who cover the meat in liquid wood smoke. That tastes like what I smell when I clean my stove pipes for the wood burners.

dbp said...

I've made jerky a number of times and have two suggestions:

1. Use flank steak, cut along the grain rather than across.

2. Hang the meat using the top oven rack (hang each piece across two bars so that air can circulate on both sides of the meat) You can do much more jerky per batch this way. Line the bottom rack with foil to catch the drippings, otherwise major mess in the oven. Also, 200F seems a little high--I set mine to whatever the lowest setting is.

Mine never needed refrigeration but I would eat it all within a couple of months.

Rusty said...

"How do you know how to make beef jerky?"
Our native anerican brothers and sisters would build a fire and make a rack out of green boughs and jerk their freshly killed or stolen meat. Am I the only person who has read our native american history?

Ann Althouse said...

"cut along the grain rather than across"

The butcher (at Whole Foods) asked whether we wanted it cut across or along the grain. When we started to go for across, he deftly caused us to understand that the right answer was along.

Meade said...

"Am I the only person who has read our native american history? "

Of course not. Who hasn't read Our Native American History by the world-famous historian — Elizabeth Warren.

Ann Althouse said...

"Our native anerican brothers and sisters would build a fire and make a rack out of green boughs and jerk their freshly killed or stolen meat. Am I the only person who has read our native american history?"

We jerked the well-wrapped meat out of the hand of the Whole Foods butcher.

(Written before I knew Meade, who's at least as Native American as Elizabeth Warren, was responding to the same quote.)

Original Mike said...

If you're going to make jerky routinely, get a meat slicer and dehydrator. The dehydrator is better for controlling the low temperatures used. I do salmon at 140-degrees, venison at 155-deg.

Rusty said...

Yeah. Well. I shot a deer.

Rusty said...

Use cheaper cuts of beef. Like flank steak. mmarinate in milk first and then in brine.

David Begley said...

If you aren't selling it, then why make it?

Something wrong with your freezer?

And by the way meat is WAY cheaper at Hy-Vee. Bonus: Hy-Vee sponsors the Iowa v. Nebraska football game.

AllenS said...

The only proper way to make jerky is to have a smoker. I used to have an old refrigerator that was round on the top that I gutted the inside and put a stove pipe on top with a damper. For heat I used an electric heating element. Any tin pan on the top of the heat is where you put moist wood chips. Yes, cut along the grain. Soak the meat for 24 hours in water and brine. You'll have the right mixture when you can float an egg.

AllenS said...

Hit enter too fast. I used one front leg off of a deer for smoking.

Fritz said...

Since I'm pretty sure the statute of limitations has passed, once upon a time back in Oregon, my brother's dog caught a deer by the throat out of season, and my brother shot the deer. It was skinny, and had knobby knees, so it probably wasn't going to live through the winter. We turned it into jerky. It was acceptable.

That was a lot of chewing.

Leigh said...

I see your point about price, although I imagine home-made is much tastier. The best jerky I've found (without added nitrites/nitrates) is Oberto's. You can get it on Amazon -- 10 ounces for roughly $13.00. It's delicious and great for airplane trips -- where there is always a realistic concern you will get stuck on the plane indefinitely and starve -- though it does, @Bob R, tend to torture your hungry fellow passengers.


What did Meade marinate the meat in? What kind of meat did he use? The coffee recipe in the article sounded a bit weird, but the ginger marinade sounded good.

Please do report back on the results.

SayAahh said...

OK Meade, here is SayAahhs definitive non-metrosexual's beef jerky recipe:

1.5 lb flank steak but Venison (properly cared for) is authentic and excellent
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. MSG
1/3 tsp. pepper freshly ground
1/3 tsp. salt

Trim off all fat and sinew from the flank steak then cut into 1/4" strips along the grain. Chilling the meat until 3/4 frozen makes for easier slicing.

Put the strips of meat into a sauce pan. Mix all marinade ingredients and then pour
over and cover pan. Refrigerate for 24 hours turning pan occasionally so that the meat absorbs all of the marinade thoroughly.

Place strips of meat on a paper towel to absorb excess marinade. Then place the strips on oven racks over a drip pan. Do NOT bake the meat but slowly dry it out by having the oven at the lowest possible setting and the oven door slightly open. Let it dry to the texture you desire....from chewy to crunchy. I prefer tough/chewy.

Meade, from one dog lover to another, I am inclined to believe that Barak Obama has the canine version of this recipe on file.

Livermoron said...

Been making my own jerky, sausages, charcuterie, for years.
My favorite way to make jerky is to buy London broil or rump roast, trim it up, grind it, mix in my flavorings and preservative (salt), and then let it rest at least 4 hours or so in the fridge.

I then roll it out into sheets that will fit on the racks in my smoker. I can vary the juiciness/tenderness and degree of desiccation by altering the thickness of the rolled-out sheets and drying/smoking times. When done, I take scissors and slice the sheets into strips.

This method gives me tons of control on the final product and a very professional looking/tasting jerky.

My current favorite is Korean BBQ Bulgogi flavor. Don't confuse 'bulgogi' with that other Korean treat 'bulldogi'.

My USAF son is coming home on leave in a couple weeks...time to make a bunch. Thanks for the reminder.

Perhaps you should sponsor a competition amongst your readers. Call it the 'Althouse Big Jerk-Off' or some other permutation on that theme.

Do you ever help Meade jerk his meat? I'm sure he'd be happy to have an extra hand!

David Begley said...

Everyone is missing the main point.

Food is WAY cheaper at the Hy-Vee and it is not the WMT food stamp crowd.

Althouse + Meade could go on a cruise with money saved by NOT shopping at WFM.

Original Mike said...

"Everyone is missing the main point.

Food is WAY cheaper at the Hy-Vee and it is not the WMT food stamp crowd."

I think the point missed (and Althouse kicked it off) is that homemade jerky is good.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Don't see how you can have a post on making jerky without linking to this blast from the past:

Is my caveman a murderer?

David Begley said...

Original Mike

Maybe jerky is fun to make and good, but Althouse is already bringing up the cost.

If you live in Madison and have been shopping at WFM, switch to Hy-Vee.


And you can use the money you save to go on a cruise when it is 2 degrees in Madison.

I kid you not.

Original Mike said...

"And you can use the money you save to go on a cruise when it is 2 degrees in Madison."

We don't like going to warm places in the depths of winter. Greeting winter is fine when you slide into it. It is not fine stepping off a plane.

jaed said...

Two words for Meade:

Bacon jerky.

Original Mike said...

"Bacon jerky."

Cold bacon? Count me skeptical.