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our house jerky recipes for venison or beef

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 06 December 2011 at 10:16
here are some jerky recipes that have really served us well over the years. we use them for venison, but feel free to try them with beef.
 
note: some have cure in the recipe, and some don't. cure can be added to any recipe as per your preference, but you may need to adjust for salt....
 
Quote Mike's Jerky Recipe

we got this one from a guy who used to work with my dad.

  • 2 pkgs teriyaki marinade mix
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 4 tbsp original tabasco sauce
  • 1 tbsp cavender's greek seasoning
  • 1 tbsp meat tenderizer
  • 2 tbsp A1 sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
mix ingredients together well. add enough thin strips of meat OR ground meat to fill gallon jar, then just enough spring water or apple cider to cover meat. mix everything well.

marinate overnight-to-two days; no longer than three. mix or stir OFTEN to distribue flavor and curing agents.

lay strips out on dehydrator trays or cookie sheets in single layers. if ground meat, flatten between wax paper and cut into strips, or shoot out of a jerky gun.

dehydrate at 140-145 degrees or dry in oven at NO MORE THAN 200 degrees, at least until leathery, then as long as you want after.

some people store jerky in airtight bags or containers; however, i prefer to store it in jars with a few small holes punched in the lids. a vacuum sealer can be used for long-term storage in the freezer.
 
Quote Lowen Family Jerky Recipe 
 
The Lowens were friends of my parents, and we've been using this recipe of theirs for well over 20 years, at LEAST since i was in the 6th grade (1982!). 
 
1/4 cup Morton Tender-Quik (or 1.5 teaspoons per pound of meat)
1 tsp Alpine Touch (www.alpinetouch.com)
2 tbsp sugar (I use dark brown sugar)
1 tbsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp garlic salt (I use garlic powder)
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
 
Mix ingredients together well. Add enough thin strips of meat OR ground meat to fill gallon jar or other large container, then just enough spring water or apple cider to cover meat. Mix everything well.
 
Marinate overnight-to-two days; no longer than three. Mix or stir OFTEN to distribute flavor and curing agents.
 
Lay strips out on dehydrator trays or cookie sheets in single layers. If ground meat, flatten between wax paper and cut into strips, or shoot out of a jerky gun. 
 
Dehydrate at 140-145 degrees or dry in oven at NO MORE THAN 200 degrees, or use smoker according to manufacturer's instructions; at least until leathery, then as long as you want after.
 
Some people store jerky in airtight bags or containers; however, i prefer to store it in jars with a few small holes punched in the lids. a vacuum sealer can be used for long-term storage in the freezer.
 
Quote I'll BE DAM'd Jerky

("BE DAM'd" stands for Buffalo, Elk, Deer, Antelope or Moose)

this recipe was a result of an autumn of experimentation when i was living in spearfish, south dakota.

mix ingredients together well. add enough thin strips of meat OR ground meat to fill gallon jar, then just enough spring water or apple cider to cover meat. mix everything well.

marinate overnight-to-two days; no longer than three. mix or stir OFTEN to distribue flavor and curing agents.

lay strips out on dehydrator trays or cookie sheets in single layers. if ground meat, flatten between wax paper and cut into strips, or shoot out of a jerky gun.

dehydrate at 140-145 degrees or dry in oven at NO MORE THAN 200 degrees, at least until leathery, then as long as you want after.

Some people store jerky in airtight bags or containers; however, i prefer to store it in jars with a few small holes punched in the lids. a vacuum sealer can be used for long-term storage in the freezer.
 
Quote i have one more that i whipped up over a weekend. this was made with 3 lbs. of meat, half antelope and half deer. the meat was ground together and the results were good. i was not expecting much, as i didn't have the ingredients i wanted, but overall am satisfied enough to post the recipe here.

3 lbs meat (ground or strips)
4.5 teaspoons morton's tender quick
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp onion powder
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp pepper
*liquid smoke to your taste (start with a tbsp, then move up. if you are
drying jerky in a smoker, skip this step)
*i didn't think of it at the time, but a splash or two of tabasco would have
been good.
* some sweet would have been good, too ~ perhaps brown sugar, molasses or apple juice?
 
mix ingredients together well. add enough thin strips of meat OR ground meat to fill gallon jar, then just enough spring water or apple cider to cover meat. mix everything well.

marinate overnight-to-two days; no longer than three. mix or stir OFTEN to distribue flavor and curing agents.

lay strips out on dehydrator trays or cookie sheets in single layers. if ground meat, flatten between wax paper and cut into strips, or shoot out of a jerky gun.

dehydrate at 140-145 degrees or dry in oven at NO MORE THAN 200 degrees, at least until leathery, then as long as you want after.

Some people store jerky in airtight bags or containers; however, i prefer to store it in jars with a few small holes punched in the lids. a vacuum sealer can be used for long-term storage in the freezer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 December 2011 at 10:26
here are some tips and guidelines for jerky in general that i wrote some time ago, including some guidelines for coming up with your own favourite jerky recipe:
 
Quote there are a million good jerky recipes. i can give you a few basics and from there, you can branch out on your own and do some experimenting!

first above all - jerky is DRYING meat, not COOKING meat. keep your "jerky-making temperatures below 200 degrees if possible, closer to 140 would be even better. to make it in an oven, simply set your oven on the "warm setting.

second, at the very least, you want a good balance of salt/sweet and spicy. keep in mind that these flavours can come from a lot of sources. here are a few examples:

salt: salt, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce etc.

sweet: sugar, molasses, apple juice etc.

spicy: black pepper, red pepper, garlic, onion, tabasco etc.

third, a cure - some people say you HAVE to have a cure; others say you don't HAVE to have a cure. i lean on the side that says you don't HAVE to have one. between the salt content and the fact that, at the very least, the outside of the jerky is going to be dry and hard as a rock, you are not going to have any bacterial issues. the fact is that after being salted and dried, there's nothing that's going to live in that environment. this is why slicing thinly, salting and drying was the method of preserving meat for thousands of years before refrigeration came along. caveat: if for some reason, you don't prepare it right, used spoiled meat to begin with, or if you have really thick jerky that did not get dried properly, then there is SOME chance of SOME sort of food danger - but considering the salt content etc., it is unlikely. having said that, if you are unsure of this, or if you plan to make jerky that is not very dry (more like "kippered" meat), then by all means use a cure. Morton's Tenderquick seems, in my opinion, the be the most available and easiest to use, but there are other options. if you do use it, use it according to the package directions.

fourth - dry or wet brine? the purpose of jerky is to get moisture out of meat - to that end, i am lately interested mostly in the dry "brines" where you season the meat evenly and let the salt draw the moisture out. other times, such as when using juice and/or things like soy sauce, there is naturally going to be some moisture. still other times a recipe will call for some water in order to help evenly distribute the brine and flavours. none of these is wrong, but it is up to you to decide what you prefer. no matter what, be sure to mix your meat around while it is soaking in all those flavours!

smoke - to me, jerky needs smoke flavour, whether it comes from a few spashes of liquid smoke added to the brine, or is acquired naturally during thedrying process in a smoker, you need to have some smoke. wrights makes a great liquid smoke, but for a very small investment you can get yourself a smoker (for jerky, i recommend the little or big chief, but there are dozens of choices - you can even build your own easily) and have more options than simply "hickory" flavour. cherry, apple, maple and alder are all good choices, and there are many more. never use pine or evergreen wood for smoke flavour - you will get sick!
 
thickness of cuts - this is a personal perefernce. if you stick to the findamentals above you can go anywhere from a 1/16- to 1/2-inch thick and still have some good stuff. technically, i suppose you could even go thicker than that, but what you will end up with is will be closer to south african biltong or romanian pastramă, (not pastrami!) than jerky. start with something in the 3/8- to 1/4-inch range and then adjust according to your tastes.
 
my basic procedure: basically, cut the meat, put it in some sort of container (i use a gallon jar) with your spices/cure/seasonings etc., let it sit in the container overnight (24 hours if possible). mix the meat around to evenly distribute the flavour. over time, the meat will release a lot of moisture, then should soak a lot of it back up and swell up some. instead of putting it in a container, some folks lay it out and sprinkle stuff on both sides, but i don't - just personal preference and also so that all the flavours etc. can be distributed fore sure.
 
the next day, remove it from the fridge and lay it out on whatever you're drying it on (racks or somethying with an "open" bottom) in single layers. some people rinse it off in cold water first, to eliminate extra salt. this isn't a bad idea. if you want to add any red or black pepper, this is the time to sprinkle it on. i normally don't, since i put it all in the brine, but you can.
 
leave it to sit and start to dry a bit in order to form a "pellicle," which is just a fancy name for the shiny, tacky surface that develops. this helps a lot with good smoke penetration and better final product. you can also let it sit on the racks overnight in a refrigerator to develop the pellicle.
 
then simply smoke/dry it at least until the outside is dry and leathery and you can't squeeze any moisture out of it, then after that as long as you want to until it reaches desired "done-ness."if using an oven, set it to the lowest setting and crack the door open. it should be dry and kind of crack when you twist it, but it shouldn't be brittle and break your teeth.
 
lots of theories on how to store it, from vacuum sealing to freezing. all i ever do is put it in a cake pan or jar with holes in the lid, up safe where the kids can't find or reach it.
 
hopefully these fundamentals will get you on a good path. as for a specific recipe, someone somewhere will come along with one, or hopefully the information provided will give you some ideas to try on your own!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2014 at 12:29
The Lowen Family Jerky Recipe (listed above) really is my "go-to" recipe for jerky; in all the years since I've first had it, I really haven't found one that surpasses it - in fact, I'm making some of this today, using ground venison (it works for meat strips, too).

This recipe is good for probably 4 to 6 pounds of jerky, with 5 pounds as a good average. We'd always just use a gallon jar and fil it up with sliced strips of venison. A person can add a little pepper if s/he chooses, but it really isn't necessary.

Quote
1/4 cup Morton Tender-Quik (or 1.5 teaspoons per pound of meat)
1 tsp Alpine Touch (www.alpinetouch.com)
2 tbsp sugar (I use dark brown sugar)
1 tbsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp garlic salt (I use garlic powder)
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce


For those of you who aren't lucky enough to have Alpine touch in your area, a very reasonable clone can be made thusly:

Quote
3 tbsp canning or pickling salt
1.5 tsp onion powder
2 tsp "Accent" or MSG (optional)
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
*1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground juniper berries (the original Alpine Touch had this, but the new stuff doesn't)

I mix this up and put in shaker - yields about 1/3 cup.


Enjoy ~
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 November 2017 at 10:01
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:

The Lowen Family Jerky Recipe (listed above) really is my "go-to" recipe for jerky; in all the years since I've first had it, I really haven't found one that surpasses it - in fact, I'm making some of this today, using ground venison (it works for meat strips, too).

This recipe is good for probably 4 to 6 pounds of jerky, with 5 pounds as a good average. We'd always just use a gallon jar and fil it up with sliced strips of venison. A person can add a little pepper if s/he chooses, but it really isn't necessary.

Quote
1/4 cup Morton Tender-Quik (or 1.5 teaspoons per pound of meat)
1 tsp Alpine Touch (www.alpinetouch.com)
2 tbsp sugar (I use dark brown sugar)
1 tbsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp garlic salt (I use garlic powder)
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce


For those of you who aren't lucky enough to have Alpine touch in your area, a very reasonable clone can be made thusly:

Quote
3 tbsp canning or pickling salt
1.5 tsp onion powder
2 tsp "Accent" or MSG (optional)
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
*1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground juniper berries (the original Alpine Touch had this, but the new stuff doesn't)

I mix this up and put in shaker - yields about 1/3 cup.


Enjoy ~



I made a batch of this over the weekend, using 3 pounds of venison from the hind quarter; this venison was from previous years, but was still quite fresh in appearance and aroma. In fact, I kind of regretted using such good roasts for mere jerky, but I wanted to teach my youngest son, Roger, this recipe, which brings back a lot of treasured memories for me when I was his age. Good son that he is, he humored me and sat there while I prepared it; he even had a couple of suggestions where the recipe does allow a little bit of latitude and/or interpretation.

For the TenderQuick, I used the amount for 3 pounds, rounded up to the nearest teaspoon; this totaled 5 teaspoons of TQ.

For the Alpine Touch, I used some that I got from the store; however, I am sorely tempted to make my own from scratch, so that I can add the juniper berries that are found in the old, original version of this beloved seasoning.

For the sugar, I used maple sugar, which I have never used before with jerky. I am expecting good things!

For the liquid smoke, Roger wanted to try "apple-flavored" liquid smoke, so I used that; before, I've only used hickory, but I am sure that the apple will be fine. If I were going to smoke this in my smoker, I would have omitted the liquid smoke; however, I have learned that the liquid makes a fine substitute, when used judiciously.

Once I mixed all of the ingredients and added the thinly-sliced venison, I added 1/4 cup per pound of liquid (3/4 cup total for this batch) in the form of some home-made apple cider. Previously, I've only used water or apple juice for this step, but I decided...why not?

The jerky is sitting in a half-gallon jar in the refrigerator, curing and going through the various changes that result from the process. I have been stirring and mixing the meat every 12 hours or so, and will do so again when I get home from work.

I prefer jerky that is dried in the oven, rather than the dehydrator; to me, it has a better quality to it that I cannot describe...it simply tastes more like I want it to taste, rather than like something made in a factory. However, the lowest setting on our oven is 170 degrees, which is at least 10 (and probably 20 or 30) degrees too hot, so I might have to use the dehydrator after all. If I can find a way to keep the oven a bit cooler, I will; another option might be to use my Little Chief smoker (without the smoke) as a drying chamber. The heat there is not as high, but I have never measured it to find out exactly what it is. I'll decide when the time comes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 November 2017 at 11:43
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:

another option might be to use my Little Chief smoker (without the smoke) as a drying chamber. The heat there is not as high, but I have never measured it to find out exactly what it is. I'll decide when the time comes.


It's been a while since I saw this information so I could be way off, and really it depends a lot on ambient temp and especially wind, but I thought I saw somewhere a list that showed the temp of the little chief under ideal conditions is about 165 and the big chief runs about 210. So really, the little chief isn't that far off from your oven
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 November 2017 at 11:47
Hi, Mike-

that sounds about right; when I read your post it kind of rang a bell, so I must have read the same information somewhere.

I might be able to bring temperature down a bit by using it outside at night up here in Siberia, Montana; but then again, that might be just as well as using the dehydrator.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 November 2017 at 12:18
I still don't understand the use of cure, Ron.

Jerky, by definition, is preserved meat. Until such time as it is rehydrated, there is no way pathogens can grow. Even air drying alone, without the use of salt, will do the job.

If I remember correctly (and we never want to depend on that), drying to a moisture content of 7% of less is all it takes.    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 November 2017 at 14:55
Originally posted by HistoricFoodie HistoricFoodie wrote:

I still don't understand the use of cure, Ron.

Jerky, by definition, is preserved meat. Until such time as it is rehydrated, there is no way pathogens can grow. Even air drying alone, without the use of salt, will do the job.

If I remember correctly (and we never want to depend on that), drying to a moisture content of 7% of less is all it takes.    


I believe, and very well could be wrong, that it's to prevent a build up of toxins during the time it is drying out but still above 7%. Wouldn't C. Botulinum still be producing toxins in the conditions where jerky is being dried? And if it takes more than 4 hours to get it down to the correct water content, couldn't that add up to a toxic dose? That seems to make sense to me, but I'm genuinely curious.
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With this particular recipe (the Lowen one that I made over the weekend), I use the TQ because of the characteristic colour and flavor that it gives, both of which seem (to me) to be perfect for the flavor profile of this recipe.

The jerky recipes that I post on forums usually have it, whether I actually use it or not; but with this one, I like what it does. Most of the time, though, I don't really concern myself with it...at least with cuts of deer and beef.
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Originally posted by HistoricFoodie HistoricFoodie wrote:

I still don't understand the use of cure, Ron.

Jerky, by definition, is preserved meat. Until such time as it is rehydrated, there is no way pathogens can grow. Even air drying alone, without the use of salt, will do the job.

If I remember correctly (and we never want to depend on that), drying to a moisture content of 7% of less is all it takes.    

Curing, specifically, involves the use of sodium nitrite. Its primary purpose is for preservation, and it also kills a certain kind of bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. This is why Italian and French meats can be eaten after drying, without being cooked.

Reducing moisture content (which both nitrates and dehydration accomplish) will help prevent general bacteria growth, as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2018 at 04:15
Ahhhh, once again we raise the botulisim straw-man.

C. botulinum is an anaerobic bacteria that grows (and produces toxins) in a low-oxygen environment.

It's remotely possible that air-drying meat which has been ground could be a problem. But it is not, and never has been, a problem with strips of meat.

Air drying of fish and meat---with and without salt (although salt is better, for various reasons) has been carried on for, literally, thousands of years.
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