Beef Jerky is Primal Man’s go to snack of choice. I make up a batch most weeks. Here’s how I made beef jerky from some slices of rump steak that I bought from Reynolds in Poole Street Market.
First I trimmed the meat of all visible fat. Not because natural fat is evil (it isn’t) but because fatty meat spoils quickly (not that Beef Jerky lasts long enough to spoil around here!).
The trimmed meat was put into the freezer for an hour or so to allow it to harden. The meat is much easier to slice when it’s partially frozen.
The meat was sliced thinly and put into a marinade for an hour or so. I’m currently addicted to this marinade from Robb Wolf. I use ordinary sea salt and substitute honey for the maple syrup. I use organic, fermented, wheat free Tamari soy sauce to minimise poisons. There are lots of recipes for marinades and dry rubs on the web and you can make up your own. I find that marinated meat makes for more tender jerky.
Don’t forget to refrigerate or cover your meat to keep the beasties off.
Next the slices of steak were spread out onto dehydrator trays and put in the dehydrator at 155°F for 4 – 5 hours. While other recipes use lower temperatures The Excalibur Guide to Food Dehydration says to use a temperature of 155°F . Apparently the temperature will fluctuate around 155°F and will hit 160°F which is the temperature the USDA recommends for making jerky safely.
The jerky is done when a cooled piece cracks but doesn’t break.
When the jerky was done I let it cool, popped it in a ziplock bag and put it in the fridge. It isn’t necessary to keep it in the fridge but there is no harm in doing so. The jerky will keep for months… unless you have a fridge-raider in the house.