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Making Jerky Pt. 2

After you have accomplished all the steps outlined so far, grab your dehydrator and place it on the counter. Remember to plug it in and then turn the switch to “On.” Remove the bowl of marinated meat from the fridge and then deftly lay out each strip of meat on the trays, leaving enough room between them for proper air circulation. 

Dehydrate until they are dehydrated, but not to the point of being dessicated. None of that “The Mummy Returns” stuff here. Avoiding that means you will have to check them every now and again, rotating the trays as necessary. Sample as needed when they look about done.

Continued from Part 1: You have purchased a roast and either sliced it, by hand or with your own meat slicer, which may be the best option if you have half a cow or a whole deer in the freezer. You can also have the butcher at XYZ slice a roast purchased at XYZ, which they gladly do for free.
After that exercise has been accomplished, go to the aisle with the Soy Sauce and grab a jug, then stroll over to the next aisle for some Worcestershire sauce, and then saunter on over to the herbs and seasonings aisle and get yourself some “Liquid Smoke” if you are going to use a dehydrator instead of a smoker like old Billy Bob has. Not unlike Billy Bob’s jerky, Liquid Smoke comes in several flavorings, and lucky you, using that stuff not only adds some real cool flavors but it also adds unpronouncable government -approved chemicals to your “food” just like Billy Bob does. Naturally, this makes your jerky all “down home” and “authentic” just like the “store-bought” stuff! While you are there trying to figure out how they stuffed a bunch of smoke into a bottle and made it smell good and look like dirty water all at the same time, grab some garlic powder and onion powder too. You’re the chef and it’s time to experiment!

You arrive home with your pile of evenly sliced meat, and as mentioned above, now it’s time to “trim, trim, and trim” the fat and gristle off. Your dogs and cats will love you for it. Now what? Open your cupboard door, the one with your mixing bowls in it. Look over at your pile of meat and then back at the bowls and then make a judgment on the relationship between the bowl capacities and the size of the meat pile combined with a liquid concoction you have to add to marinate the meat in. Remove the proper bowl from the cupboard and place it on the counter. Better too big a bowl than that too small, so don’t be stingy. Picking the right bowl is the cheapest part of this operation, so just go ahead and splurge. Grab the bigger one because I will guarantee you that if you don’t you will wish you had.

Next, grab that jug of Soy Sauce and pour some into the bowl, sort of guesstimating the amount it will take to completely cover the meat. Yes, you will be putting the meat into the bowl. Next, add some Liquid Smoke, and that old saying, “A little dash will do you” comes into play here. Maybe two dashes depending on taste. Then dribble in a bit of Worcestershire sauce and then dribble in some more. Toss in some salt, giving due consideration to your heart the same way “Food Incorporated” does, but remember, in this case the salt is acting as a preservative of sorts rather than simply for flavoring or as cheap filler to add weight and profits as well as making your heart surgeon even more fabulously wealthy than he already is. Then if you wish, add some of that garlic and onion powder.

Stir thoroughly.

Now comes the complicated part. Pick up the pile of meat, dump it into the bowl and sort of spread it around, making certain that it is completely covered by your concoction. Wash your hands when you are finished with this part. Cover the bowl and stick it into the fridge. Oh, and by the way, this little upcoming detail is really important. Right before you pick up the bowl to put it in the fridge, make sure you made room in the refrigerator beforehand or you will find yourself standing there stupidly in front of a seemingly full refrigerator holding a huge bowl full of sloshing liquid and meat wondering why you didn’t rearrange everything on the second shelf ahead of time. See? This part is complicated and obviously requires some forethought.

Let sit for 6-12 hours or so, depending on how busy you are.

After you have accomplished all the steps outlined so far, grab your dehydrator and place it on the counter. Remember to plug it in and then turn the switch to “On.” Remove the bowl of marinated meat from the fridge and then deftly lay out each strip of meat on the trays, leaving enough room between them for proper air circulation. Dehydrate until they are dehydrated, but not to the point of being dessicated. None of that “The Mummy Returns” stuff here. Avoiding that means you will have to check them every now and again, rotating the trays as necessary. Sample as needed when they look about done.

When they are all finished, stuff the jerky into some “Baggies” or their local supermarket generic equivalent. Toss some into the fridge for near-time consumption and put the rest into the freezer for later enjoyment. You are now an official “I make my own darn jerky!” person, and all your friends shall be humbled before you. Best yet, you probably made the stuff for four bucks a pound instead of four bucks per ounce.

Want  make it really cheap but not from China? Like at half the price of the above delicacy? Buy a “Jerky Gun.” No, you don’t need a permit or register it or take a special class to shoot it or anything like that. A “Jerky Gun” looks a lot like a caulking gun, except that it is transparent plastic and squeezes out marinated ground beef, or elk, or bison, venison, pork, or turkey. Probably even fish. The Jerky Gun comes with different tips kind of like one of those cake decorating things has, but for the “Jerky Gun” they only come in “flat” or “round.”

Maybe down the road they’ll be some sort of “As Seen On T.V. Pastry Decorating With Jerky” competition that becomes all popular and that Simon Cowell guy and two other deservedly out of work famous people will be sitting there judging the competition. Once that happens, and it probably will in this “Reality World” of unreal stupidity, we’ll probably have a thousand different tip designs. Since the future is still out there, as of right now we’ve only got a couple gun tips available, and that’s a good thing. After all, we’re just jerking meat here. You know, we’re “Keeping it simple, stupid – ‘Billy Bob’ style.”

More on jerky from a gun in the next post!

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