Jerky is one of the most effective ways to reserve left-over meat in good condition for a long time. Jerky simply is a result of a dehydrating process in which moisture and fat contained inside meat is got rid of, hence it is very good for your health. There are many types of jerky around the world, however, I think that beef jerky is the most popular and delicious. Normally, there are some ways to dry beef into jerky, but in this article, I will give you the easiest way for using a food dehydrator.
SELECTING A CUT OF MEAT
Only choose a good quality lean cut with clear muscle grain, especially if you want to make tearing beef jerky. This kind of meat prevents your jerky from shredding after being torn. You can also slice the meat with the grain to make chewy beef jerky if you want.
REMOVING EXCESS FAT AND SLICING THIN
Excess fat enclosed will not only make the dehydrator process become longer but also your jerky spoils faster. All of them have to be removed. After cleaning carefully with water, you slice the meat into long pieces and each of them should not thicker than 0.7 cm. You can cut the meat with or against the grain, depend on what kind of jerky you want to make: the later slice style makes the jerky easier to chew. If you are a fresher in the kitchen and can’t do like this, you can ask a butcher do it for you with a small extra fee. Keeping your beef in the refrigerator for a while in order to make it easier for you to cut.
MARINATING THE PIECES OF MEAT
You can use whatever recipe which is appropriate to your desire flavor of jerky. You can find them everywhere, from the internet to the recipe books. After marinating the pieces of meat, you have to wrap them tightly and put in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours for seasoning being absorbed deeply into the meat.
COOKING THE MEAT
Put your well-seasoned pieces of beef into a pot with a cover. Cook them in high temperature for about 2 minutes then flip them so that the outside of meat is cooked well-done. Next, you have to lower the temperature and cook continuously for about 20 minutes. If the meat seems to be dry, you can add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water. After that, you have to turn off the fire and let the meat get cold.
THRASHING THE MEAT
Using a pestle to thrash the pieces of meat, then make them become softer. If you want to make chewy beef jerky, you can skip this part.
DEHYDRATING THE MEAT
Now the important process is the state of starting your dehydrator to illustrate, this is a main role in the cooking process. And of course, the main objective in this part is to get rid of all the moisture from these slices of beef. Firstly, you have to arrange all the beef pieces into trays. Remember to leave enough room between each piece of meat because the air which contains evaporated moisture need space for air circulation process. As you know, the faster air current, the faster the food reaches to dehydrating state. Then, you turn on the food dehydrator, set the temperature to maximum, normally around 155 Fahrenheit degrees. Because the humidify level of beef jerky and the thickness of each slice vary, depend on what recipe you follow. Hence, there is no particular time setting for the dehydrating process. However, in this case, you can set the appropriate time for about 6 hours. And you have to remember to check the humidity of the beef jerky frequently after 2 hours, and every 30 minutes from then on until the jerky satisfies your requirement. After the process is done, you should also cut through some pieces of beef jerky to make sure that there is no raw meet inside. Although meat is cooked before, but carrying a careful check is necessary to prevent any harm for your health. At last, the finished product should have a deep brown or burgundy color.
Dehydrator is a convenient device to dry food. It makes this process become easier and more interesting. By following all these steps mentioned above, I hope that all of you can make your desired home-made beef jerky. Good luck!