Old fashion jerky help

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Original poster
Dec 11, 2013
Some years ago an old family friend showed my father and I how to make what he called jerky. It was delicious, and I've seen it at gun shows and an occasional meat market, but I can't find any recipes to follow to make it. The jerky was far from what I'd call normal jerky. First the meat was cut in very thick pieces, about 1 in square along the grain. I remember soaking it in a brine and then rolling it in a thick coat of black pepper. beyond that I don't remember anything about the proccess and would like to recreate the jerky. Does anyone know anything about making jerky this way?
This biltong seems pretty close, but the recipes really don't talk about the brine and how long to soak and how much salt to use. Maybe a better question would be, does anyone know the right way to salt cure meat for preservation. I think I can handle the rolling the meat in pepper and smoking it. Although smoking meat can be pretty tough, its a pain in the rear to keep lit!
I have a recipe for biltong

2.2 lbs  beef (london Broil)

4tsp  salt (non iodized)

1 tsp cure#1 (pink cure)

2 tsp brown sugar

3tsp black pepper

5 tsp ground coriander

 soak the strips in   vinegar for 2 hours remove and pat dry. 

 mix all ingredients together

 sprinkle mixture evenly on both sides then rub into the meat.

 place strips in ziplock bag or sealed container 

 place container in your refrigerator for 12 hours

 remove from fridge and dry  like regular jerky ( air / dehydrator)
I've never made it my self, but several people say once you eat biltong you wont go back to jerky again. If I did that I'd have to change my screen name
  I have a good jerky recipe for sliced meat and have a hard time not making it that way.
Mickey, it's being used in a dry rub so the values change.

mixing with ground meat-  1tsp.  /  5 Lbs. meat

Dry curing/ rub -  4 tsp. / 5 Lbs. Meat
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Isn't that too much Cure #1? 5lbs/1tsp is usually quoted.

4 tsp cure #1 per 5 #'s of meat is usually reserved for dry curing where the meat is hung in a cooler for months.... the cure is usually added in intervals.. divide all the seasonings, spices, salt and cure into 3 equal packets.... rub into the meat at 10-15 day intervals.... so this process takes 20-30 days or so... As the nitrite dissipates, new nitrite is added to prevent bacterial spoilage along with the effects the salt has... Then the meat continues to hang in the cooler for the designated time duration.... this is a specific method that most of us don't use.. and 625 Ppm nitrite is the max allowed for the above method....
For the smaller cuts of meat like jerky/biltong, where the meat is less than 1" thick, and the curing time is less than 7 days, due to the thickness of the meat, I would stick with 1 tsp. / 5 #'s.....
Nitrite does dissipate over time, and temperatures above 130 ish degrees has a dissipating or reducing effect on the nitrite... Don't know how much, how fast or any of those parameters.... Just read it somewhere and there were no specifics...

To help us all out here..... The terminology used for curing meats etc. is, and can be, VERY confusing.... At times, it's difficult to tell which method is being discussed..... At least this old brain has some difficulty, separating the various methods, when they are being discussed....

 Dave, with all due respect,  This is not a personal recipe . This is a recipe straight out of a very reputable book  home production of quality meats and sausages.  So I would stick to the recipe.

  1 tsp of cure # 1  per 2.2 Lbs is still less than the ratio of 4 tsp/ 5 Lbs for dry curing at the max of 625 ppm. 
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Thanks for the info guys; I'll ponder this. I've typically used a dry rub for my jerky and have been concerned about even distribution of cure/spices with hand mixing.
I know what you mean Mickey, when you look at 1tsp. of cure going into 5 lbs of ground meat makes me wonder too. That's why we should let things cure over night, mix everything well by hand and give osmosis a chance to do the rest.
 Dave, with all due respect,  This is not a personal recipe . This is a recipe straight out of a very reputable book  home production of quality meats and sausages.  So I would stick to the recipe.

  1 tsp of cure # 1  per 2.2 Lbs is still less than the ratio of 4 tsp/ 5 Lbs for dry curing at the max of 625 ppm.

Jerky nut, morning...... Please open your book and read page 38 on Basic rules for applying dry cure.... "1 oz. Cure #1 per 25 #'s of meat is recommended.... that is 156 Ppm nitrite.... when curing times are short, up to 14 days....." That is a reasonable facsimile or a "Quote" from the book you cited...

I'm not trying to be an a-hole here..... It's just, "Providing accurate and safe information to our members" is very important to me.... I do make mistakes.... have before and probably will again....

If I have misrepresented this discussion somehow, let me know and I will do some further research....

I want you to be safe when using cures also.... this curing stuff is confusing at best... I get confused trying to sort through the myriad of writings......

And a Merry Christmas to you Dave,  I'm not trying to be a A hole either.  I agree this is a very confusing topic, especially when you can make jerky by  using all three process.  

( Marinating,comminuted and dry rub curing). each process involves differing amounts of cure#1 considering the process.  comminuted meat  1oz cure#1 or 5 tsp. per 25 Lbs . Yes you are right Dave, but also if you look at page 39 it states  Meat for dry curing.  4 oz cure #1 or 20 tsp. per 25#'s of meat.  The book goes on to say dry cured meat are prepared from a single piece of meat and the curing ingredients are rubbed into the surface of the meat.  You will see that the  maximum limit for dry cured products is 4 times more than comminuted or ground meat.
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jerky nut,
Your definition of dry curing and the definition used in the manual (which isn't intended for home curing, buy-the-way) are completely different...it's a common mistake.
Folks must be very careful when using that guide because the definitions used within don't match commonly used definitions.
I started a thread relating to the confusion....
Confusing dry curing with dry curing.......http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/124452/confusing-dry-curing-with-dry-curing
The dry cured limits in the guide are not to be used with jerky.
No more than 156 ppm nitrite should be used....actually...120ppm nitirite is more than enough because jerky is cured and dried so quickly.

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