We all know and love jerky. They are fat-free meats that are in the form of strips and dried with salt. Since there is no water content in the meat, they do not spoil for a long time.
Making jerky might sound a bit difficult. But it is a lot easy than you think it is. It can actually be like a good jerky that you buy in a store. Here are a few tips to make a perfect jerky.
Pick out leanest cut you can find
If you are smoking the meat or making a barbecue, you can opt for the meat that contains some fat content because the fat contributes to the taste. But that is not the case when it comes to making jerky. It is important that you chose the ones with low fat. Some of the exceptional jerkies can be made with lean meats such as venison and elk. Some of the most popular lean cuts for making good jerky are the eye of the round, bottom round or flank steaks.
One of the most important things that one needs to know for making a good jerky is meat preparation. The preparation should start as soon the meat is taken out of the fridge. It is because when the meat is in cold temperature, it is easy to get thin slices. Start from the sides as you need to make very thin cuts up of ¼ inch thick. Make sure to remove as much fat as possible. Marinate the cut slices of meat overnight. Use ingredients like ginger, mirin, Cajun and lime. These are just the basic ingredients. You experiment with the marination process as it can give different flavors.
Dry the meat
Drying the cut meat is one of the most important parts of the jerky making process. As mentioned earlier one of the main reasons why a jerky remains unspoiled for a long time is because the presence of water is eliminated completely. Many might say to dry in the natural sunlight. But it will take a long time you cannot be sure whether the meat is completely dry. To avoid all these things it is better to hook the meat strips to the smoker and dry it at 140 degrees.
After the drying process is complete, you can start with the smoking process. While smoking, you can add briquettes like apple, cherry, hickory, and Mesquite. Now the temperature has to the rise the temperature to 165 degrees. The smoking needs to be done for at least two to three hours. If it starts to fray when you bend it, you will know that the jerky is ready.
No matter how much you smoke, there will be some amount of water present in the meat. So remember to store them in the fridge. By doing this, it will last for a long time, and you can use it when you need it.