I traveled to a big American city to see our local hockey team play. There was a Cabelas there and they had a variety jerky mix on sale so I picked it up.
I have made jerky from lean ground beef and from inside or outside round. I always suspected that I like the round better than the ground beef but wasn't sure if it was because of the seasoning or individual smoke. So, I decided to do 1/2 of the Cabelas original jerky spice as ground beef and 1/2 as sliced round so I could see which I liked better.
I started with the ground beef. I bought extra lean ground beef and and mixed half the cure and spices by weight with 1/4 cup of water. I mixed it very thoroughly by hand.
I put 1/4 of the beef on a sheet of wax paper, covered it with another sheet of wax paper and rolled it to 1/4 inch thick. I removed the top sheet and cut the beef to serving size. I put the tray from my dehydrator on the beef and turned it over. I removed the second sheet of wax paper.
I put it in my dehydrator at its highest setting for an hour. Then I put the jerky in my Bradley smoker for an hour set at 180 F with hickory pucks. I don't like a lot of smoke in my jerky so I took it out of the smoker and finished the drying in my dehydrator.
While the ground beef was drying, I sliced the round steak. I had put it in the freezer for 2 hours to make it easier to cut. I cut it to about 1/8 inch thick. I added 1/4 cup water and the remaining cure and seasoning. I mixed well and put it in the fridge overnight.
The next day, I gave it 1 hour in the dehydrator. I put it in the Bradley at 180 F for an hour with hickory pucks running. Then, back in the dehydrator to finish drying.
First I will comment on the Cabelas mix as it is the first time I've used it. It gives a nice basic jerky with not too much salt. It is not the best jerky I have ever had but it is very good and is so easy to use I will likely try it again.
The hamburger jerky had a good texture and a nice chew. I do like the slightly thicker jerky pieces.
The beef round slices had a great chew. I like to have to chew my jerky.
The taste of both was similar but the slices make a better jerky in my opinion. However, the extra lean ground beef is considerably cheaper.
So, the slices are better but I will occasionally make the hamburger jerky because I a cheap old guy.