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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We picked up a couple slabs of flank steak today.

Now vacuum marinating. Next stop the dehydrator.
 

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What's ingredients did you use?

What is the reason for vacumme marinating?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What's ingredients did you use?

What is the reason for vacumme marinating?
This is my first attempt so I used the cure & spice packet from the jerky kit.

Vacuum marinating speeds up the process. The marinating was done in 1 hour. You can use vacuum bags or a jar like I did.
 

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I've never liked the outcome of deep marinated beef for jerky. It has always overwhelmed the flavor for me. I like to dip it, let it sit for an hour or two, and dry it - soy sauce or teriyake and maybe a little spice.
 

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My favorite jerky recipie is to get a " meat rub" and sprinkle it on the jerky strips, let it sit for a few hours in the fridge and then smoke in my little chief for about an hour. Then I dehydrate it.

It is amazingly simple and much better than the simple soy/ teriyaki wet brines. If you do wet brines I suggest a bit of liquid smoke in the brine.
 

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My favorite jerky recipie is to get a " meat rub" and sprinkle it on the jerky strips, let it sit for a few hours in the fridge and then smoke in my little chief for about an hour. Then I dehydrate it.

It is amazingly simple and much better than the simple soy/ teriyaki wet brines. If you do wet brines I suggest a bit of liquid smoke in the brine.
I am like you on this one.. I like mine smoked a little too. Hell, I think "smoked" should be it's own food group! Might as well add sour cream too! I even put sour cream on my scrambled eggs/w cheese and some salsa. Hmm, time to get somethin to eat.
 

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I thought I would send a few pics from my recent jerky makings, I have some excess big game meat that I want to clear out before I go hunting this fall and have worked these recipes out over a couple decades. Making jerky is amazingly simple if you have never tried it, it is hard to ruin meat and easy to work up recipes that you like.

When I butcher my elk, deer or antelope I take the meat off the bone in the muscle groups which I refer to as "meat loaves". I'm not really ready to go into the process here but when you take the meat which each piece being an individual muscle you don't get much or any sinew in that particular piece of meat which leads to less grizzle. It isn't always possible to get a reasonable portion per muscle group so sometimes there is a sinew line but in most cases you can get a sinew free piece of meat which is perfect for making jerky, slicing into steaks to grill or a roast. In either case except for the back straps I don't make "elk steaks", I make lots and lots of roast and if I want steaks I take a roast and carve off the thickness I want for my steaks. I hope that makes sense, I will try to remember to take some pictures when butchering my elk this fall.

Anyway using the "loaves" method I take my vacumme packed elk roasts from the freezer, I usually package them in 1.5 to 2 pound packages since that is the most useful size for my current family

Start.JPG

Then I let them thaw for a couple hours. The trick for perfect jerky is to cut the slices while the meat is mostly frozen which makes it easy to get decently thin slices with a knife, I like 3/16" thick which is highly subjective.

Sliced meat.JPG
 

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Now for the hard part, haha

I like use "rib rub" spices to flavor the meat here my favorite:

Grilled Creations.JPG

Since I am always looking for the next best replacement I tried this as well:

Famous Daves.JPG

Whatever you decide to use you really can't go wrong, you may not "like" your choice but it will be edible and better than the NITRATE fortified crap you buy at the local gas stop. I lay the slices on a plate and sprinkle the rub on them:

Plate stacked.JPG

That plate shows a couple of layers of meat then sprinkle, then meat then sprinkle, etc
 

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Now after a day the plate will look like this:

Yum Yum Blood.JPG

From this point all you have to do is dry it to have jerky, here is some pics of just putting it on a dehydrator and getting the moisture out

Dehydrator cured.JPG

The discolored middle parts are a result of the salt in the cures "cooking" the meat chemically and preserving it. Not really a big deal if you plan on either freezing the jerky or consuming it in the next few weeks. If you want long term storage you would want the whole piece of meat cured brownish. The dark crystals on the top are pepper for a spicier taste, more on this later.

Dehydrator loaded.JPG

Trays all loaded up, ready to dry, you could use a fire, or a solar dryer in place of my very energy intensive $24 dehydrator.

and now the finish product after 6 hours in my dry climate it doesn't take long, if you life in more humid conditions maybe another 2-3 hours

Dehydrator done.JPG
 

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More advanced and tasty recipes I use call for some smoking, which could be done over a fire using any type of hardwood like apple, hickory, mesquite, alder, cherry, etc

I will pull out my 30+ year old Little Chief Smoker, I like to point out that you don't need a lot of high tech shit to make decent smoked meat, this was $20 when I purchased it and is now maybe about $100

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Load the racks

Little Chief Rack.JPG

And add some chips, I am a big fan of mesquite, but hickory is always good. The other woods listed above also are good it is a matter of individual taste

Chips.JPG
 

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Wet brines are also a good option, one of my daughters favorites is a teriakki flavor and you can use almost any type of sauce as well as soy sauce as long as it has some kind of sugar or salt in it.

Yoshitas.JPG

You need to dilute the mixture of these types of sauces/marinades by at least 3:1 if you like it REALLY strong and you can easily go 5:1 if you want the flavor but still like to taste the meat, i.e. with a nasty rutting buck go 3:1 and with a spike or a doe you can easily go 5:1 or even more.

Soak the meat overnight and dry on the dehydrator and share with your friends, it really is good.
 

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Last point which I put separately so you won't miss it, if you like "spicy" jerky don't mess around with hot sauce, or exotic peppers in your brines. Just sprinkle regular pepper on them before drying/smoking, heavy for that really good kick or light for a twinge of hotness.

Seriously anything other than regular table pepper will ruin more batches of jerky than it is worth, trust me I've tried. :razz:
 

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Looks great.

You know, the custom on this forum is to hold a drawing for an 8 ounce sample.

Just sayin.
 
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My dad used a Little Chief Smoker while I was growing up, I still drool thinking about it! I just use a dry rub packet, and let the meat refrigerate for a day before dehydrating. I like my jerky pretty darn thin, so I go to my local butcher who cuts it for me. I have cut my own of course, but they have good prices and are a bunch of nice people. I actually just did a batch this afternoon, most of it for my husband to take to his base as a treat for his friends there. I absolutely love making our own jerky, I can't remember the last time I bought it from a store.
 

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Great read and thanks for the tips thinking of buying a dehydration unite as i love jerky and it is so darn expensive in the store... and thanks for the photos us visual learners love pictures..
 
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