First time jerky making prep

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Oct 14, 2013
Hey guys/gals I have been using my smoker (MES 30) a ton over the past few months and loving some of the delicious snacks I have made on it 3-2-1 spare ribs, ABT's and beer can chicken. I am now going to try some beef jerky (which is really more of a summer sausage) on my dehydrator. I bought a dehydrator and a GB gun for this next experiment. I have seen a few recipes that look like I will have to try but I do still remain a bit unsure on how much of my prague powder #1 cure to add to ground meats. I am going to use about 5 pounds of mixed ground turkey and ground turkey sausage (part of this is for the fiancee and I to eat some healthier snacks). Could I get some input on your suggestions for this and I also want to avoid too salty of a taste as I'd like the other spices to be tasted more so than the salt. I appreciate any input!
Don't wanna steer ya wrong as I'am not sure. If you hang out some of the other folks will be around to help ya I'am sure. I think Bearcarver or DaveOmak and a few of the other folks will be happy to tell ya the correct way. Sorry I'am not much help. WHB
Around 1 gram of Cure #1 for each pound of meat is what the book calls for.

But, you state turkey sausage will be used, has it already had a cure added to it?  You'll need to take this into consideration if so.

I'm thinking there is no cure on it, the packaging says

Turkey, Contains 2% or less seasoning (salt, dextrose, spice, spice extractives, hydrolyzed corn protein, bha, bht, citric acid), natural flavoring

I'm just not comfortable advising for this one....

My recommendation would be to use the turkey sausage as it was designed and use fresh ground turkey for the jerky.

There are too many unknowns here for me to have a feel good recommendation...  Hope you understand.

I completely understand and thanks for the input I will stick to just the ground turkey for my run tomorrow. Thanks man!
I sent him a PM so hopefully I will hear back in the mean time I added cure and seasoning (dry rub I make that I use on about everything, a little extra cayenne pepper and coarse black pepper) to 2 pounds of ground turkey that I am going to let sit for 48 hours and will then dehydrate Sunday evening. I'm excited for my first try at this.
Actually I just read a usda article yesterday about shelf stable meat and found this on jerky and they recommend to cook meat to 160 and 165 for poultry then dehydrate.. I would add cure as you did if your not pre cooking to 165.....

Illnesses due to Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 from homemade jerky raise questions about the safety of traditional drying methods for making beef and venison jerky. The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline's current recommendation for making jerky safely is to heat meat to 160 °F and poultry to 165 °F before the dehydrating process. This step assures that any bacteria present will be destroyed by wet heat. But most dehydrator instructions do not include this step, and a dehydrator may not reach temperatures high enough to heat meat to 160 °F or 165 °F.

After heating to 160 °F or 165 °F, maintaining a constant dehydrator temperature of 130 to 140 °F during the drying process is important because:
  • the process must be fast enough to dry food before it spoils; and
  • it must remove enough water that microorganisms are unable to grow.
Why is it a food safety concern to dry meat without first heating it to 160 °F?
The danger in dehydrating meat and poultry without cooking it to a safe temperature first is that the appliance will not heat the meat to 160 °F and poultry to 165 °F — temperatures at which bacteria are destroyed — before the dehydrating process. After drying, bacteria become much more heat resistant.

Within a dehydrator or low-temperature oven, evaporating moisture absorbs most of the heat. Thus, the meat itself does not begin to rise in temperature until most of the moisture has evaporated. Therefore, when the dried meat temperature finally begins to rise, the bacteria have become more heat resistant and are more likely to survive. If these surviving bacteria are pathogenic, they can cause foodborne illness to those consuming the jerky.

Here's the full article
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Hmmmm well the meat is already curing now, thanks for the info as I want to keep everyone safe with the jerky. Will put some pics up once it's all done.
Would you recommend I use the sausage jerky and if so should I add cure to it as well?
I've got 2 pounds of ground turkey with cure and marinate waiting now and will make 2 pounds of ground turkey sausage this upcoming week, thanks for all of the info!
I have never heard of sausage or ground beef jerky. How do you make it so it sticks together like a piece of beef jerky would ?
It's pressed out through something similar to a caulking gun and forms either meat strips or meat sticks (depending on end used on it) that can either be dehydrated. smoked or both is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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