Friday, June 19, 2009

Making beef jerky at home

jerkyOff.jpgA few of my more amusing workmates last week held a "jerky off" where they brought in home made beef jerky flavoured in different ways and we tasted them all.

I've tried to make jerky at home in the oven but it wasn't very successful and no doubt burnt a lot of electricity.

The secret is to get a food dehydrator. I paid $54 (plus $20 postage) for one on eBay and it arrived promptly.

It's a nifty device with a fan forced heater in the bottom that blows hot air up through the drying racks so that it exits via little vents in the lid.

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Bought some beef stir fry strips, nothing special and a bottle of honey soy marinade and left the beef to marinate in the fridge over night.

In to the dehydrator first thing in the morning and six hours later we gobbled up excellent beef jerky. This thing will pay for itself after about ten batches I figure.

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The only drawback is the mess to clean up afterwards. I think next time I'll put aluminium foil at the bottom of the dryer.

That dried marinade cooked on to the base is hard to remove.

Spurred on by this initial success, my daughter has now made dried apple:

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and yummy dried banana:

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5 comments:

geo said...

thats not a food dehydrator, it's a disk pack from the 1970's.

Bradley said...

Hi,

I really enjoyed reading the story about the Jerky! When I went to America with my family back in 1998 (we were there for 15 months in Kemmerer, Wyoming) and during our time there), we all tried Jerky for the first time (I don't know what type) and it wad delicious! In fact, that is one of the things I miss about living in America. I don't know if Australia has Jerky, but if we did, I'd want to try it! I like the sound of that dryer as well and how it dries all the food up!

Once again, thanks for a gret post!

Alan Yates said...

I love jerky, but it costs a ridiculous amount here in AU. DIY sounds like the way to go, and I could make it as spicy as I wanted...

Now if only I had room in my tiny kitchen for yet another appliance.

Peter B Marks said...

First batch was great.

On the second batch we got carried away with the soy and left it drying for 12 hours. The end result was super salty charcoal.

There's another batch on now but the meat is a bit fatty - which doesn't go well with jerky.

Gomisan said...

Nothing like chewing on a good batch of beef jerky. I'm curious, do you prefer it chewy or dry and almost crumbly? How does the home made compare with something like Territory Jerky?

I've just started up an Australian Beef Jerky site myself, http://www.jerkyreport.com and wouldn't mind trying some homemade jerky to compare to the commercial offerings.

Are you still making jerky? Have you tried any new techniques or flavours?