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Jug Jerky

Jug Jerky! One of the MAngband teams Jerky Recipes

Originally inspired by Warrior's first (hot) Jerky attempt! (but this isn't hot) I prefer a not-at-all-hot, tough and chewy jerky, so this is what I'm aiming for here. A man's jerky. For woman's jerky see Warrior page.

Jug Jerky - Version 1

I am slightly more food safety conscious than Warrior and his "eat it raw" approach! ;) So I'm going to use higher temperatures as recommended by government websites. See Jerky Safety

The Basic Ingredients (Version 1)

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds (700-900g) beef
  • 2/3 cup (150ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 2/3 cup (150ml) soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

Ingredients

Other Equipment

  • Oven thermometer

Thermometer

Costs

Is making your own jerky cost effective? I dunno, but let's work it out. I'm in the UK so these prices are in Pounds Sterling. In my last jerky order from www.wildwestjerky.co.uk it cost (on average) 5.33 per 100g for jerky, so this is what I have to beat.

One off items:

  • Oven thermometer (4.99)

Long lasting items:

  • Onion powder (1.08)
  • Black Peppercorn refill (ready for grinding) (1.25)
  • Honey (0.99)

Giving a total setup cost of 8.31. The pepper, honey and onion powder and going to last for many, many jerky making sessions.

These things we need each time we make jerky:

  • 150ml Soy Sauce (0.99) (Kikkoman brand)
  • 150ml Worcester Sauce (1.16)
  • 830g of beef (4.96)

Giving a total (per jerky batch) cost of 7.11.

If we say that the onion power etc will last for at least 20 batches we get average cost of: 1.75 per 100g! That's three times cheaper than store brought jerky!

Preparation

Before doing anything throw the meat in the freezer for a couple of hours. This makes it more firm and makes it easier to cut into strips. I have great trouble carving a roast chicken but had no problems with this ever-so-slightly frozen beef.

Whilst the meat is in the freezer we can make the marinade. This is simple, just throw everything other than the meat into a jug and stir well. With the measurements requiring a "teaspoon" I use flat level teaspoons, not great big mountains.


Level teaspoons

Completed marinade - chef must drink beer whilst making!

After two hours has passed grab the meat from the freezer. Trim the excess fat (this can make the jerky spoil apparently). Then simply cut it into slices about 1/4 inch (6-7mm) thick. I cut mine so the grain runs along the strip, the direction of the cut apparently effects how chewy the final jerky is. Make the strips about 1 inch (2cm) wide.


The meat!

The meat trimmed of fat!

Once the meat is cut lay it in a dish, cover with the marinade and pop it in the fridge overnight.


In the dish

Marinating meat!

Drying

OK, so the meat has been marinating overnight. I left mine for 14 hours.

Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess liquid. Then your meat is ready for drying.


Marinated meat ready for drying

Preheat the oven to 70 degrees C (as recommended by the USDA) leaving the door of the oven slightly open. I have a fan assisted oven so this should improve my drying time overall.

Line the bottom of the oven with tin foil to catch any drips, although there shouldn't be any if you've patted it dry properly with the paper towels. In my picture below you can see a plate, my tin foil was being blown around by the fan in the oven so this is just holding it in place.


Meat in the oven

Oven door slightly open

Leave the meat in the oven with the door slightly open at 70 degrees C for 4 hours. Check occasionally to make sure your still at the right temperature.

Then leave at 50 degrees C until dried to your liking.

Opinion on Version 1

Overall, it was good, but not great. It seemed to me to be a bit... cooked, rather than dried. A consequence of the 4 hours at 70 degrees C I suppose. It was also much too thick, not at all like shop brought jerky. Also the flavour was not quite to my liking, I think it was a bit too much Worcester sauce, which I've learned I don't really like too much.

It did last well, I kept it in an airtight container in a cupboard and I munched the last bit two months later. I'm still alive!

Jug Jerky - Version 2

The goal here is to learn from the lessons of Version 1. So I'm aiming for a better flavour, thinner strips and less heat to dry it.

Taking an idea from Warrior I went for two different marinades this time, and divided the meat between them. I got the idea for pineapple juice from somewhere on the Internet.

Marinade #1

  • 75ml soy sauce
  • 25ml Worcester sauce
  • 25ml pineapple juice (squeezed)
  • 3g garlic powder
  • 2g onion power
  • 0.5g black pepper
  • 110g light brown sugar (yes, a lot!)

Marinade #2

  • 75ml teriyaki sauce
  • 35ml pineapple juice
  • a splash of soy sauce
  • 5g salt
  • 0.5g black pepper
  • 1 large desert spoon of honey
  • 20g light brown sugar

Also 700g of beef, the same type as Jug Jerky Version 1.

Preparation

Same as version 1 except thiner slices and I used zip lock bags (another idea from Warrior) instead of a big dish to soak the beef.

Marinated for 36 hours, given a good mix around every 12 hours or so.

Tried less time at 70C this time, trying to avoid the "cooked" taste. Only 30 minutes at 70C and the rest of the drying time (10 hours) at 50C.

Jug Jerky - Version 3

  • 850g beef
  • 150ml teriyaki
  • 70ml pineapple juice
  • Splash of soy sauce
  • 10g salt
  • 1g pepper
  • 20g light brown sugar

Pretty thin strips. Marinated in zip-lock bag for 48 hours. 30 mins at 70 degrees C and then about 14 hours between 40-50 degrees C.

Best jerky yet. :)

Jug Jerky - Version 4

(16th June 2013)

Having recently seen Warrior's outrageous Whale jerky, I was inspired to do another batch of my own. Was exactly the same as Version 3, except it was marinated for 8 days. Yup, 8 days.

It's pretty salty, let's see if I'm still breathing in a few days...