1. Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Difference in making "Jerky" or "Dried Beef" ?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by fpmich, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    What is the difference between making "Dried Beef" and "Jerky", other than size of meat cut?

    Yes they dry differently and temps can vary, but it seems to be the same process.  Cure/flavor & dry.

    Jerky can be dried without as much heat, but dried beef should be brought to safe temp. (I do both with either.)  I imagine it is because of it's thickness.

    The cures are similar and texture is similar.  So what is the differences, other than jerky can be chewier, or drier?

    This may be a newbie question, but SMF search, nor Google, was able to give me any info as to differences.

    AND... if there any reason not to use a more marbled meat (cheaper than eye of round) for either, if you aren't planning on storing for long time without freezing or eating in a couple weeks with refrigeration?

    Thanks for your input.  I appreciate it.
  2. humdinger

    humdinger Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bump....I'm also curious if there are any folks who can answer this...
  3. biteme7951

    biteme7951 Smoking Fanatic

    My impression would be both processes are similar. Jerky is made in single serving portions and can have more spices infused into it for the burst of flavors and tends to be drier. It is more chewy so you don't eat it so fast! . Dried beef is done in the whole muscle and thinly sliced for sandwiches and snacking with crackers or used as a wrap and is more tender (think ham or Canadian bacon, only made with beef).

    Just my opinion.

  4. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    I am wondering about using less lean meats, such as bottom round for making jerky, or dried beef.  Is it almost as good as eye of round.

    I know fats cause rancidity (is that a word?), but I doubt it would be a problem is used with in a couple of weeks in fridge, or over months in freezer.  Fat could add flavor to the SOS made from it.

    I'm new to all of this, so that's way I keep posting goofy questions.

    Does fat go rancid after 3-6 months in freezer?  Or after 3-4 weeks in fridge?  My guess is no, but we all know what my guess is worth.  LOL

    If I have a 90% chance of guessing right, I have a 85% chance of choosing wrong.  That's why I haven't won the lottery yet.
    That is my thoughts too Barry.
  5. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I thought jerky is dried beef,chicken,pork, turkey.etc.
  6. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    HI fpmich,

    I have made Dried Beef from Eye round and Bottom Round (after removing the fat cap), and if I gave you some of each, you couldn't tell the difference. Venison Dried Beef is just as good, and is also hard to tell the difference from the Beef, if done properly.

    I have raw Standing Rib in my freezer , with lots of fat (vacuum packed) for over 2 years @ Zero degrees, and it looks & tastes just like it was only in there for a month. I also have some finished Bacon, CB, and Dried Beef in there for over 2 years, and everything is fine.

    As for the fridge, I don't keep any meat in there for over a week, because I prefer not to test it.

    As for "SOS"----In the Army, That is generally made with Ground Beef (Terrible stuff). The stuff made with dried beef is properly called "Creamed Dried Beef on Toast"

    I hope this answers some of your questions.

  7. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    I don't know why I wrote 3-4 weeks in fridge Bear.  Nothing lasts that long around here if it's any good at all.  LOL  I'll lay it off to typo, drunken fingers, or maybe I was thinking of after curing & drying.   But again.... It just don't survive that long without consuming in my fridge.  I'm learning not to worry to much about storage times anymore.  It's not a problem at this house.  Keeping it in stock is a problem.

    I've already figured out that I don't need to worry too much about cuts of beef, other than not to use really fatty meat for jerky or dried beef.

    For long term storage, then I guess I would stick to leanest possible.  But unless you are making 20-50 lb. at a time, I guess it don't matter.

    I usually only do 2 - 4 lb. of it at a time, and it get eaten pretty quick.  LOL

    Going to keep eye out for cheap lean beef, regardless of cut, from now on.   But buyer beware!

    Saw a Kroger add for buy one, get one deal, on bottom round.  Only thing was, they were selling bottom round for 5.99 "with card" and higher without it!  Also had a LOT of fat on it!

    I went to another store and bought eye of round trimmed pretty well for 3.99.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014