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Authentic Western Jerky

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I don't know if this is a redundant post, or not; if so, I apologize.  Over my many years, I've made hundreds  (literally) of pounds of jerky.  I also did significant research into the origins, and the methods from yesteryear.  It seems original jerky was made from any portion of the animal, sliced to the makers' liking, stretched sharply (jerked to break the fibers)  and heavily salted to facilitate air drying in the southwestern sun at 90-120 deg. F.  Occasionally, dried pepper (always red, as black wasn't around out there) was applied to keep the bugs and critters away.  The finished product had the consistency of wood, but kept nearly indefinitely.  I tried that and the salt was overpowering, however, mild salting, pepper (either black or red), and air drying at not more than 110 deg F produces an outstanding product, with true beef flavor.  Although authentic jerky was rarely a smoked product, I have air dried it my forced draft cold smoker and it was outrageous!  If you want to know what real jerky is supposed to taste like, forget the soy, garlic, worchestshire, etc., and give this a try.

Frank

post #2 of 2

I've made jerky several times.  This sounds like a pretty rustic, true to the original, method.

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