I'm not a huge jerky fan. Especially the kind of jerky that takes LOTS of chewing.
But jerky is a fun snack to put in your pocket on a hike. And jerky is SO expensive. Plus I like to know what is in my meat.
Since we had just butchered beef last week, I figured it was a good time to see if I could make my own beef jerky. I chose to make the jerky with hamburger so it wouldn't be so tough to chew. I came up with my own seasoning recipe after looking at numerous other recipes. I left out the hotter spices like red pepper flakes so that my children would like it!
I mixed the seasonings with the beef and let it marinade in the fridge overnight.
The next morning, I cut parchment paper to fit the racks of my dehydrator. With my hands, I patted and squashed the meat onto the paper aiming for the meat to be about 1/4 inch thick. I dehydrated the jerky at 155 degrees for about six hours. I flipped the meat over half way through this time and also rotated the racks.
I have heard that you can dehydrate jerky in a low oven but have not tried it. Anyone know how that is done?
When the jerky was dry but not crunchy (it will harden a little as it cools) I took it out and cut it up with kitchen shears.The result was 2 lb of jerky. I figured that was $40 or $50 worth of jerky!
And everyone in the family claimed it was a winner. Guess I'll be making beef jerky again!
Hamburger Beef Jerky
5 lb ground beef
4 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
3 tsp onion powder
3 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cumin
3 T brown sugar
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 T liquid smoke
Mix meat with all the seasonings. Use hands to mix well. Marinade in fridge overnight.
Press onto parchment paper with hands, 1/4 inch thick. (Or use a jerky gun.)
Dry according to your dehydrator's instructions. (I did it at 155 degrees for 6-8 hours.) Flip the meat and rotate the racks halfway through drying time.
Store in freezer for long-term storage.