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Beef Jerky HELP!!!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ok here is my dilemma. I want to make beef jerky but after reading some things online I’m not sure if it’s a good idea. I mean it seems like if you don’t cut off enough fat. You will get sick! And I mean really sick!
If its too thick you will get sick, if the temp in the dehydrator is too low you will get sick. It seems that the ailments vary from upset stomach to convulsions and death!!! DEATH!!! Geesh! :eek: :eek: :confused:
post #2 of 18
Do you have a recipe you trust, that has really clear, complete instructions? Do you have a dehydrator that works well? Do you have a source of reliable, clean meat? Do you practice good sanitation in the kitchen?

If yes, then go for it! :D

There's always a possibility with anything you cook that something could go wrong and make you sick. Then too, you could walk out of your house and get hit on the head by a falling piano. :eek: As long as you're careful and work clean, you minimize the risks; you can never completely eliminate them. But what fun is it to avoid all risks? :confused: Not much. :p

And anyway, if at the end of the process you are not completely sure that what you've got is safe to eat, well, then don't eat it. Use it to bait mousetraps, or some such. But also try to figure out what you did wrong, and try to do better the next time.

And while you're at it, please post about how you're making the jerky. :D I for one would be very interested to hear what you do. (I love the stuff, and think it would be great to have homemade, without all the chemicals that may be used in the packaged stuff.)
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #3 of 18
We've made beef jerky many times. We use thin sliced top round steak sliced by the friendly butcher. I use a recipe that includes marinating in soy sauce, worcestershire, fresh gingeroot, pepper, cayenne, brown sugar, salt, and garlic. We use a Garden Harvester 1000 watt dehydrator, and the only reason we get sick from this jerky is because we eat so dam much of it!

doc
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

hm

:confused: Well the jerky I have made has been in the dryer for about 20 hours I did look at it but it seems I may have cut some pieaces too thick, since when I broke them in half they were pink.. So I cut those pieces in half and put them back on the dryer. Looks like the first batch tastes so so. But I do not mind its my first shot at it. I will have to get a meat cutter though or see if the butcher can cut these thin. :cry:
post #5 of 18
I use the 95% lean ground beef, mix it with a lot of salt and roll it out very thin.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

wow.

1000W dehydrator? man mine is only 165W its a small table top version according to the manual it dries at about 150 deg F.
post #7 of 18
Hey Doc:

May I recommend adding Ceylon Cinnamon to your jerky spice mix. It adds a full slightly lemony flavor to all beef dishes and can be gotten at Penzey's Spices. I also add it to beef braises and stews. Please trust me on this one. I live in Valdosta, GA. Perhaps we can meet down south sometime.

-T

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-T

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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post #8 of 18
The pink could be from your marinating mixture. Some cures make meat stay pink although they are fully cooked.

What recipe did you use??
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post #9 of 18
I make jerky all the time. I agree with a previous poster in that there's a risk of getting sick with just about anything you prepare. If you don't trust your dehydrator, you can even make jerky in your oven at a really low temp. I've done this before as well, and it's turned out great. Good luck.
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Is there such a thing as Queen
of the Grill? Why do men only
get a royal title over the
barbeque? I should be queen.
Girls like to play with fire too.
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post #10 of 18
Jenni -- at what temperature, and for how long? Pretty please? :D
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #11 of 18
Yes, tell us! :bounce: I have a convection oven but was never sure what temperature to use.
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post #12 of 18
Well, it depends on what type of jerky you're doing. I usually do like a round steak cut into thin strips. I'll marinate it first for at least 24 hours in a mix of soy sauce, liquid smoke, worcestershire and black pepper. I have a lot of those 99 cent wire baking racks from wallymart that I bought specifically for jerky because it makes a mess. And make sure to use ratty old cooking sheets or line your good ones with foil because you will never get them clean. Anyway, the meat I cut into strips about 1/8" slices. I dry the beef in an 180° degree oven until it looks dark and dry. It usually takes anywhere from 10-24 hours, depending on how big of a batch I do. You can experiment with different temps and times. I know of some people that do their jerky in a 150° oven for 10-24 hours.

Does that help? I would think in a convection oven you could cut that drying time down. You'll have to try it and let us know Mezzaluna!
Is there such a thing as Queen
of the Grill? Why do men only
get a royal title over the
barbeque? I should be queen.
Girls like to play with fire too.
Reply
Is there such a thing as Queen
of the Grill? Why do men only
get a royal title over the
barbeque? I should be queen.
Girls like to play with fire too.
Reply
post #13 of 18
According to Deanna Delong, How To Dry Foods:

How to Dry Meat for Jerky

Place the meat on drying racks. Do not overlap the strips to ensure good air circulation.

Dehydrator Drying
Use a temperature of 140 F to 160 F for the first 3-4 hours. The temperature may be reduced to as low as 130 F after 4 hours until dry, if desired. Occasionally blot the jerky with a paper towel as it dries to remove beads of oil.

Oven Drying
The temperature should be 140F - 160 F for the first 8-10 hours. After that it may be lowered to 130F until dry. Place aluminum foil or a baking sheet underneath the drying tray to catch the drippings. Occasionally blot the jerky with paper towels as it dries to remove beads of oil.

AND from Nesco's American Harvest Food Dehydrator and Jerky Maker

Drying Meats
Meats should be dried at 155 F and depending on how thick the meat is, how heavily the dehydrator is loaded and the humidity, drying may take from 4-15 hours to dry. Wrap jerky when you take it out of the dehydrator in paper towels for a couple of hours to absorb oil and improve shelf life.

Heres the recipe that I use for beef jerky using top round thin sliced meat:

4 TBSP Soy Sauce (Kikkoman regular)
4 TBSP Worcestershire (Lea and Perrins)
1 TBSP Tomato sauce (home canned from paste tomatoes)
1 Heaping TBSP fresh minced ginger root
1/2 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp Curing salt (salt and Sodium Nitrite)
1 TBSP Brown Sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne

I make enough marinade depending on how many lbs. of strips I have so that they get a good soaking, but there isn't a lot of marinade leftover (I like the ginger and garlic bits to stick to the meat surface!) Marinate for at least 6 hours. Dry in dehydrator until it is stiff but can be bent without cracking. Um Um good!

doc
post #14 of 18
Doc, is the curing salt marketed as "tender quick"? And does it leave the meat pink or reddish?
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post #15 of 18
The Nesco brand calls itself "Beef Jerky Cure" and the ingredients are labeled as "Salt, Sodium Nitrite".

It is also referred to as "Curing Spice" elsewhere, but the ingredients remain the same.

It does not leave the meat pink in any fashion whatsoever. The resultant jerky looks just like commercial beef jerky that comes 4 oz. to a package.

doc
post #16 of 18

Beef Jerky Recipes

I agree with Deltadoc...cut it thin.

Cut it real thin the first time you make it until you get comfortable with how to do it the way you want it.
post #17 of 18
Sodium Nitrate is used in combo with other goodies (Nitrites) to cure corned beefs , frankfurters etc. It used to be called Dynamite and years ago was added to ground meat for color, It took the place of chicken or beef blood called in them days Wine. I believe both are illegal now. If used incorrectly it will form a pink, red or a rainbow in some meats. I do not know of anyone who got sick from eating .
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post #18 of 18
Morton Tender Quick is a curing salt that contains sodium nitrate. The meat will retain a pink color after being dried. I like my jerky simple, salt, lots of black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, maybe a bit of liquid smoke if I am making it in the middle of winter and don't want to freeze keeping the big pit fire going (I use all wood, no charcoal, have to feed the fire every 20-30 minutes).
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