How To Make Perfect Beef Jerky For Prepping & Survival
Jerky has been making a resurgence lately.
Whether it’s due to the maker movement, or the popularity of low-carb diets, this tasty snack has made a comeback.
For prepping and survival, Jerky is a very good food to have with you and knowing how to make the perfect beef jerky is an added bonus.
Which makes you wonder why it was ever relegated to the category of petrol station snacks.
Having a snack that you can eat on the go and is also rich in protein is at the top of many people’s lists these days, not just those who like to hunt or spend time outdoors.
The only downside to eating jerky is that it can be very high in sodium, so why not try making your own at home, where you can control the additives that go into it.
Jerky can be made from almost any type of meat (although for poultry, pork, or wild game, different standards for drying and handling the meat may apply).
Beef is definitely one of the most popular offering superb taste and texture. As well as a go-to snack for anyone out and about it makes for one of the best survival and preppers foods you can buy.
Longevity and taste are paramount, so within that category, opt for leaner cuts of beef, as too much fat tends to spoil.
Cuts such as top or bottom round, flank steak, or sirloin are going to be the favourite and work very well, producing some superb flavours.
Freeze meat for between 30 minutes and an hour, to make slicing easier. Remove from freezer and slice meat into strips, against the grain for tender jerky, or with the grain for tougher jerky.
Next, marinate the beef for 8 to 48 hours. The graphic below is from Steven Raichlen, author of The Barbecue Bible, and shows a beef jerky marinade recipe that’s an instant classic.
Source: Fix.com Blog
Good quality, tasty beef jerky is very easy to make at home
and all ingredients are readily available online:
Source: Fix.com Blog
As for actually drying the beef jerky, there are a few different methods you can use such as a dehydrator or smoker.
If this is your first foray into jerky and you have neither of those, you can still make jerky at home!
Luckily, you can use the oven to get a feel for it, then decide if you want to invest in either a dehydrator or smoker.
Oven drying: oven should be set to the lowest setting possible.
Leave the door open a crack by propping it open with a wooden spoon.
Thread a toothpick through each piece of beef and suspend them from the oven racks, or lay the beef strips flat on a wire rack placed over a baking sheet covered in aluminium foil.
As you progress is worth considering buying a dehydrator. They will make things a lot more straightforward and frees up you oven. The dehydrator I use is the Andrew James Premium Digital Food Dehydrator, and it has been worth every penny.
This is a batch of jerky I made, and as you can see it is very compact and a tidy way to produce some nice jerky.
Regardless of how you make your jerky, it is best to try and make a batch at one time, as it will keep for a long time.
Essentially by using a dehydrator, you are removing all the moisture content from the meat. As bacteria cannot survive without moisture, it can't grow and spoil the food.
By cutting into bit sized pieces and bagging up the jerky, using a vacuum sealer, the shelf life of your food can be years.
Additional article on prepping equipment for storage here: The Food Dehydrator and Sealer
Surviving is all about being ready for any situation - making, preserving and storing jerky is the the perfect food for survival.
This article, how to make perfect beef jerky, has been edited from tips on homemade beef jerky, from Steven Raichlen’s article on Fix.com.
Happy Prepping Folks.
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