I've seen this in a couple of other forums and figured I would give it a try. Actually this is a double experiment as both the method and spice mix are something I have not done before. The plan is to make ground beef jerky rounds instead of strips of sticks. Credit to the idea for both goes to Ragweed.
No ground venison and no ground round in the house, but I did pick up some of the 90% lean ground beef from Sam's Club. The primary ingredient in the seasoning a a liquid marinade called "Smoking Gun Jerky Marinade". No one locally carried this, so I had to pay dang near as much in shipping as I did for the gallon of marinade I ordered. But the reviews I found online were good, so I figured might as well get a gallon and pay shipping only once. This stuff smells like a great marinade and has just enough of the hickory smoke aroma.
Ragweed's method used from 8 to 10 ounces (depending on which of his posts I was looking at) in 5 pounds of lean ground meat. The company said to use 3 ounces per pound with ground meat. I split the difference and went with 12 ounces for the 5 pounds.
Here is the rest of what I used:
- 5 pounds of 90% lean ground beef
- 12 ounces of Smoking Gun Jerky Marinade
- 2 tsp of black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes (crushed up a little more in my mortar).
- 1 level tsp of cure #1
I mixed the cure in 1/4 cup of water to get it mostly dissolved and then mixed all the ingredients with the marinade. Poured over the meat and mixed by hand. Then into the fridge overnight to let the cure work and the flavors meld. The next day I divided the meat into two portions and made it into tubes. This is were I vary from Ragweed's version a little. He used 3" casings, but I just formed a rough log on clear food wrap and then rolled it up and spun the ends to form a round tightly packed log a little bigger than 3" in diameter. Into the freezer to firm up for slicing (about 3 to 4 hours).
Something came up and I did not get it slice it as planned so it spent the night in the fridge. Of course it was froze solid the next morning. Tried slicing that and figured I need to let it thaw in the fridge a little to soften up to a soft freeze instead of the rock hard freeze it currently was. So before I went to bed, I moved the logs to the fridge. Next morning, it was ready for slicing.
I tried to keep them about 1/4" thick, but there is some variance. I will probably have some done earlier than others, but I can deal with that.
Going into my 10 tray LEM dehydrator. Starting at 135* and will check after 5 hours. More to follow......