Feb 2, 2011

Tyler’s Tasty Time

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog to bring you…..

A guest blog. Wait wait don’t close out the blog just yet!

Xtina has been nice enough to relinquish her Kung-Fu grip off the keyboard and allow me to write yall. Only reason being… I know more about Jerky then her. Yes that’s right when it comes to meat sometimes guys do know more.

So when talking about Jerky its all about getting the right flavors. Some like it hot, some like it tangy, some just want food. The great thing about Jerky is the cornucopia of options. You can use different kinds of meat all with their own unique flavors and textures. If I'm honest the best meat to make into jerky would be Venison, but seeing as how we had no deer we decided to go with beef. Well Seeing as how Xtina had never experienced how to properly make this delicacy we decided to set forth on the adventure of a day or two.

First we choose our flavors. For us it was classic Teriyaki and Southern BBQ Buffalo. Next we went shopping for our meat. Now when picking the meat you really want lean cuts, because trust me you don’t want to see what dehydrated fat looks like. Flank steak a great option but Round steak is also acceptable. If your meat is fattier than you prefer then just trim it off. Once you get home stick the meat the freezer for about an hour. This will allow for the meat to firm prior to cutting. While waiting it’s a perfect time to make your marinade.

Teriyaki Jerky:

  • 2 lbs. of lean meat (round or flank steak works best)
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tbsp. of salt
  • 1 tbsp. of ground ginger root
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Southern BBQ Buffalo Jerky:

  • 2 lbs. of lean meat
  • 8 tbsp. of soy sauce
  • 8 tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. of ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. of onion salt
  • 1 tsp. of salt (optional, because lets be honest soy sauce has plenty)

After an hour in the freezer you’re ready to cut your meat into 1/4-1/2 inch thick strips. DSC_2138DSC_2144DSC_2139I prefer shorter strips as opposed to long, but it’s really personal preference. Then, season the meat with your dry ingredients. Note: don’t not rub them on, this is not a rub because there simply isn't enough to cover all the meat. DSC_2140DSC_2141For the liquid ingredients, just mix them in a bowl. If the recipe calls for honey (which ours doesn’t) or brown sugar (which our does.. YAY), then place them in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the meat is seasoned, place it in a large zip lock bag and pour the marinate in the bag as well. DSC_2145DSC_2146If you’re doing two different flavors it’s best to label the bags. Allow your meat to marinade for at least 6 hours -- the longer you let it sit the better it will taste! After you are satisfied with the lengthy bath of flavor. it’s time to turn on your dehydrator. There is usually a meat temperature already on the machine to make it fool-proof. Place the meat on the trays and leave it for 5 hours! DSC00145This is where you really have to experiment. Some like their jerky very dry, while others prefer to have some moisture left in. Obviously the longer you let it, sit the drier it becomes. I usually start checking around 4 and 1/2 hrs. Now depending on the size of the strips it may take more or less time. After you are salivating for hours because your house smells of jerky (and trust me it will) let the jerky sit for about 15 min before putting it into a container. DON’T put it in a zip lock bag right away because it will regain moisture – reversing part of your dehydration process. CONGRATS, you have made jerky! DSC00148Not only is it delicious but it is also good for you. Lots of protein very little fat… the perfect snack.  If you don’t have a dehydrator then there is another option involving air filters and a box fan. Google it if you prefer.

I hope yall enjoyed this blog as much as I enjoyed writing it. Who knows maybe in the future Xtina will be passed out from too much eating and I will steal her computer and write another one. But until then… happy eats!

P.S.: A big thanks goes to Chooch for the recipes and dehydrator.