Ground chuck jerky possible? and any jerky gun tips?

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by jbomx363, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. I've only made 2 batches of ground venison jerky with the jerky gun.

    I have a few questions. I use a nesco dehydrator (the square one).

    When I ground the venison and seasoned it, chilled it in the fridge, then stuffed the cannon and shot it on the trays.... it was a little on the too thin side when it was layed out. Tasted great though!!

    So..when using the gun, how do ya'll lay out the ground jerky so as to not have it too thin? As in... maybe double layer it or make little "waves" or ??

    I'm out of venison... so I thought of just using ground chuck at 80%. Is this lean enough? Should I regrind what I get from Sams? (I'm going to buy by the case at about $1.50/# in those long chubs) Should I get eye of round  and grind it instead?

    Any tips or tricks using the jerky gun would be great.


    Forgot to it possible to use the tip for snack sticks to make jerky out of by dehydrating or is that strictly to be put in casings?
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  2. bilder

    bilder Fire Starter

    The snack stick tip will work just fine without casings.

    I usually use whole muscle, but when I do ground meat jerky I prefer the snack stick over the flat jerky tip.
  3. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    You can do it either way just be sure you have cure in it. I prefer no casing's myself so I get the smoke in it.
  4. So ground chuck is fine then?
  5. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    If you were going to make jerky out of chuck roast. I would recommend ditching the gun and then just put the roast into the freezer for maybe a half an hour or so and then when it's fairly stiff cut it into about 1/4" slices and then put it into the dehydrator
  6. That's fine and all.. but the family and friends wants ground only. Reason? Beats me. [​IMG]   Guess I'll just give it a go and see what happens.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you're grinding it, Chuck would be good.

    Eye round would be too lean---You'd have to add some fat.

    Around here, Chuck is much cheaper anyway.

  8. Well that was an eye opener. Went back to Sams today... 2 weeks ago, the case ground chuck was $1.57/#.... todays price? $2.24/#!!!

    So no case... just got a chub from wally world. Will make it tomorrow and we'll see how it is. I'll try sticks and strips.
  9. bobthesmoker

    bobthesmoker Newbie

    I make a lot of jerky and I believe the leaner the better; fat will go rancid.  For sausage you need fat but for jerky I go for as little fat as possible.  The last batch I made I used 93/7 ground beef;  it turned out very good.  I prefer sliced meat jerky but my wife likes the ground beef jerky; it is softer like Slim Jerky Jerky (not slim jim sticks - different product).  Eye of round or Top/Bottom Round, well trimmed, make good jerky.  Eye of round is often expensive but I get the top or bottom round on sale at $1.99 lb and can either slice it for sliced jerky or grind it for ground jerky.  As for the thickness; I find that how fast you move the jerky gun when pushing out your jerky will have some effect on the thickness; move it fast and the meat stretches and make thin jerky, go slow and it is a little thicker.  Also, when I take the jerky out of the dehydrator I place the strips on paper towels and roll it up and wrap it with a couple of rubber bands.  The jerky will have some oil/fat on it and this will absorb the liquid fat.  Let it sit overnight in the paper towels and then package in ziplock bags.  I store it is the refrigerator; I use cure but still store it in the fridge.  Good luck.     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    A lot of stuff is up in price around here this week too!!!!

    It seems to me, instead of having big sales to get people to come in and buy, they are instead raising the prices because they know people are going to come in & buy stuff for the Super Bowl parties !!!!

  11. Just got done with the ground chuck snack sticks. Took a lot longer than regular jerky strips! 13hours for 5#'s vs. 5 hours for jerky strips. I may have let the oil fool me into thinking it needed more drying time than necessary. There was quite a bit of oil in the bottom of the dehydrator too.

    As BobTheSmoker said.. I've rolled it in paper towels and will let sit overnight to absorb the oil. They look great and I only used a Cabelas Hickory jerky mix instead of snack stick mix, so I'm not sure if that was a wise thing to do or not. Find out tomorrow.

    Thanks for the help and tips.
  12. jonboat

    jonboat Smoke Blower

    Bob hit the nail right on the head, regarding how to not make them so thin, and using leaner ground meat because fat can make it go rancid. The wrapping in paper towels, or at least patting the strips down with paper towels to get the oil off is something I do as well.  There is, however one more thing I do in the name of food safety...  since dehydrators don't get hot enough to cook the meat and kill off bacteria (thinking of the e-coli outbreaks in ground beef of recent years), I like to preheat the oven to 165 and put my jerky in for 30 minutes to finish it off.
  13. I'm with Bob on the leaner-the-better.  Made tons of ground beef jerky (my family prefers it) and try to never use less than 90/10.  

    Also, if it's thin try letting it set in the fridge overnight after adding your cure and seasoning.  Juts wrap it tightly in some plastic wrap.  I have the Lem jerky "cannon", but I'm guessing the gun works the same way.

    Blotting with paper towels is also important.  I also have a Nesco and blot twice in the drying process.  First time about half-way through, and then I flip over each piece to finish the rest of the drying.  Then blot again.  
  14. azhunter80

    azhunter80 Fire Starter

    Leaner meat is the only way to go. I have never used a jerky gun...I use a pastry bag and tip. works fine, cheap and reusable as well.
  15. graniteman

    graniteman Smoke Blower

    I make a lot of hambuger jerky, the guys at work love it.  I use LEM equipment, Jerky Cannon, large stainless dehydrator, tube style mixer.  I am really into it  . Use a very lean burger, otherwise you will have a lot of grease dripping.  use a old heavy bath towel to dry off your jerky.  i have found so far that lem spices seem to wok the best.  other spices don't seem to have the binders to hold the together.  If you have spices you like add soy protein as a binder works great.  thin jerky may be the speed you draw the jerky or it can be the size of the tip of your jerky gun. has some very good videos on line that will really help in using a jerky gun.

    Have fun I do,

    the graniteman
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This is about the most Jerky thread I've seen for awhile!

    Sorry guys---couldn't resist! [​IMG]

  17. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Ya but you can't say you have a jerky gun. [​IMG]
  18. Thanks... I made snack sticks only this time with the snack stick tip. I use the Cabelas jerky cannon.

    The sticks were "slim jim" like. The taste wasn't spiced enough (very mild flavor), which may be because I used cabelas hickory jerky spice instead of a snack stick spice? Still.. was good and a good experiment for a newbie.

    I'll try jerky the next go around and move the gun slower and/or add a second layer to the initial strip. Experiment and see what happens.
  19. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I think he plans on making Jerky.

    Leaner the better
  20. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Sorry jbom, my old brain shifted to snack sticks.

    Thanks Sqwib,


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