Venison or Beef Jerky
from Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas
• 3 lbs. lean beef or venison
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. Insta Cure No. 1
• 1 tsp. onion powder
• 1 tsp. garlic powder
• 1 tsp. ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup soy sauce
• 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
Jerky can be made from beef or venison as well as from a variety of game meats such as moose, elk or antelope. You should never use pork as it may contain the trichinae parasite.
Make the meat as lean as possible while removing all fat, sinew and gristle. Too much fat in the jerky can cause it to go rancid. The meat should then be cut into strips about 1/4" - 1/2" thick and 1/2" - 3/4" wide. Mix the other ingredients together and pour the mixture over the meat. Gently mix the meat to evenly distribute the sauce. Let meat marinate in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours. During this period, meat should be turned over once or twice.
Using a food dehydrator, the meat will be dried to give it a leathery texture. When dehydrating meat for jerky, it is important to remember that there are no exact rules that apply to food dehydration because your results can be effected by room temperature, relative humidity and moisture levels in the food. To become proficient, it will be necessary to experiment with your drying techniques. If you use too much heat, food may harden on the outside while still being moist on the inside. On the other hand, with too little heat, your drying times will be very long. Also, overloading the shelves will result in long drying times.
As a starting point, dry meat for 3-4 hours. The temperature of the meat should reach 145-150° F. Meat will be pliable when thoroughly dried, yet when a piece is bent and torn there should be no internal moisture.