Shrink Your Jerky

Making jerky from beef, turkey, game meats, and even salmon is simple and safe with a food dehydrator. Depending on the protein and your dehydrator, it’ll take anywhere from 4 to 24 hours to dry meat to a nice texture. If you don’t have a food dehydrator, check out this Alton Brown method, where you rig one up with a box fan, air conditioner filters, and bungee cords. rld says it’s easy to set up and always yields good results.

The process is simple; the toughest part is slicing the meat very thinly, something your butcher can do. Then let it rest in a cure or marinade for a day before you start the drying process. hi standards warns that you should pull the meat out of the dehydrator while it’s still slightly pliant because as it cools down, it will stiffen up. Let it cool completely, then store in zip-top bags in the fridge. Den likes the jerky cures from Cabela’s.

hi standards makes a maple-cured salmon jerky that her kids call “salmon candy.” Here’s how: With a very sharp knife, slice a cleaned, deboned half or whole salmon on the diagonal into 1/4-inch slices, removing the skin. Make a marinade by whisking together up to 2 cups maple syrup (to taste), 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce, 1/2 cup white or dark balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon hot pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon black pepper, and 1 tablespoon salt. Marinate salmon overnight. Salmon takes only four to six hours to dehydrate.

Board Link: Homemade Jerky

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