Why would you want to make your own jerky when you can buy it at ANY convenience store, gas station or grocery store? When you make homemade jerky, you select the quality of meat, what kind of seasonings and flavorings AND NO NASTY PRESERVATIVES!
A single ounce of commercial jerky costs $1-2 an ounce. Thats $16-32 a pound! Whats the cost of homemade? A pound of fresh, lean meat costs $2-3, a cup of teriyaki sauce (50 cents) and a few pennies of electricity will give you 6-8 ounces of fresh, homemade jerky.
Jerky is a convenient source of protein that you can take anywhere. I really didnt know how easy the process of making jerky was, especially with an electric dehydrator like the Nesco FD-75PR.
To make my jerky, I start with organically grown beef. I buy a ½ a cow at a time from a local farmer. You need very lean cuts, evenly and thinly sliced, and marinated overnight. Even though the Nesco FD-75PR comes with seasoning packets, I found a GREAT store bought alternative: Kikkoman Roasted Garlic Teriyaki Marinade and Soy sauce. You can find this in just about any grocery store, or in Wal-Mart.
Every time I make this roasted garlic teriyaki jerky, the whole house smells wonderful! Be prepared for salivating dogs (and humans) that are unwilling to leave the kitchen. This fresh, warm jerky blows store bought stuff out of the kitchen!
Our first attempt at making jerky was a success! 3 pounds of organic, marinated beef took ONLY ABOUT FOUR HOURS! It was fantastic, and the family was hooked!
Using the Nesco FD-75PR 700-Watt Food Dehydrator:
Jerky making Tips:
1. Start with the leanest cuts of meat, eye of round roast is best. Partially frozen meat is easier to slice and keep the cuts the same thickness.
2. Marinate in the fridge for 24 hours. Since you are only getting the beef up to 155-160 degrees, marinating in a salty solution will help kill any bacteria on the meat.
3. Rotation of the trays is not required, but I discovered that the top trays get a little drier than the bottom trays. I sometimes rotate the top trays down to ensure even drying. If you do over dry it, put the jerky in a gallon zip lock bag along with a piece or two of bread and store in the fridge.
This is one kitchen appliance that DOES NOT collect dust on a shelf. Sunday is homemade jerky day. Start it at 10 am, turn on football, and by halftime you have fresh, homemade out of this world jerky! Jerky, beer and football ..only in America!
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