Question regarding Making Jerky

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by exhaustedspark, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. While reading the usda standards for making jerky they want to cook first to 160 and then dry.

    Has any one done that?

     I myself have only done in a ronco or used the sun or even a light bulb and cardboard box. Never have i or anyone i no of cooked the meat first.

  2. Did the USDA say if it was cured or not? If it doesn't have any cure in it then I can see why you would want to take it to 160.
  3. It's the government "here to help you". They almost have to stress the 160 for doneness to protect the idiots from poisoning themselves. That's one reason salumi importation is so restricted and creation of charcuterie products is almost a cottage industry here in the US.

    This is my opinion and YMMV!!

    I usually hot smoke/dry my jerky even when using cure. But that't just the way I do it.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  4. None cured. but i have never used cure for Jerky.

    And Sun dried Jerky is the best i have ever tasted. Even if you look up recipes on the net  and the dehydrators i have not found any one using cure. To clarify i do not consider salt to be cure and some times i find people calling it cure. Most recipes i find now have to do with soy sauce and no cure.

  5. This is what the USDA says. Yes i confirmed it is for raw meat.


    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.

    After heating, maintain 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.
  6. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You know I'm gonna get flack for this.

    I used to marinate hang in a grill and keep the heat as low as possible, no cure, however some of the ingredients vinegar, worcestershire salt, etc.. acts as a cure IMHO.

    I have been enjoying jerky for 30 years and never ate any with cure, everyone I knew made it with the typical marinade recipe and dried it out in the oven BELOW 160°

    I have never gotten sick.

    However, after quite a bit of research I opted to use tenderquick in my jerky.

    In the future will I make it without tenderquick or cure? probably, but I will not tell someone else to do it, although I think they would be fine.

    I have made Biltong and that's just a hunk of meat marinated and hung in a box at room temperature.
  7. Biltong. That sounds interesting.

    Yep i have never heard of cooking the meat first. I have cooked beef sticks on the grill but i never called it jerky. Kind of like the bbq boys did on their vidio. But it does not come out like Jerky to me even though it is good. I think the first Jerkey was with a lite bulb and card board box. I was maybe 12???

    Well over 40 yrs ago.

  8. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I make it the same cures until a little recently...

    Made a lot of jerky thru the years with my trusty round dehydrator sickness ever...

  9. Ditto here craig.

    Just went through my Eldon's and my Rytek Books and both say to use cure on whole muscle and restructured. I do not know how i have managed to  live so long. Did not wear seat belts and road in the back of a pick up truck and now this. Just lucky i guess.[​IMG]

    I guess learn something every day.

  10. With beef and the short marinade, cure, and dry/cook time I don't think crawlies are that big of an issue. I use cure because that's the way I started doing jerky. I think it "helps" the texture some. A buddy make fantastic jerky and uses a hot pepper/soy marinade. He then smokes in his FEC100 to get some color and smoke. He then uses his Excalibur dehydrator to get it where he likes it. He and I both refrigerate our finished product. Cure is probably most important if your trying for "shelf stable" jerky.
  11. [​IMG] X2
  12. I think the key there is with cure. I am getting a Lem patty/jerky maker and it will be here Monday. It is for reconstituted Jerky and i cant wait. The joys of living in the boon docks. It is in Spokane as we speak and has to go to Colville which is on the north side by 30 miles and then come back to us to deliver. I will be using cure from now on. I love doing jerky and sausage and etc etc.

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  13. Karl, Just my 2 bits worth, I do not use any cure in my jerky, I marinade it for up to 24 to 36 hrs, lay the slices out on my smoker racks, sprinkle on some Johnnys seasoning salt and black pepper and it the smoker it goes not to exceed 150 degrees smoker temp.

    I leave it in untill it feels and tastes like I want it to and then it comes out to cool to room temp. After it has cooled to room temp, I cover it with a towel, set it in the fridge, and then vacume seal what I don't keep out to eat.

    I know I have made close to 150 pounds of jerky since Christmas, I have given it to friends and mailed it to relatives in Utah, to this date, the worst report I got from anyone was my son who ate so much so fast his gout kicked up and he had to deal with that.

    Cure if you want to, I never will.

  14. Wow 150lbs. Do you need my mailing address?/

    Yes i have never used cure. I was curious as to how many actually did fallow the USDA standards.

    I have not found any yet.

    I do a lot of Reconstituted jerky and have never used cure.

    Thank you for the input.

  15. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's how I do biltong
  16. After all I've been reading here I may not quit curing my jerky all together but I may try probably cutting it in half. I use TQ so it would lower the salt a bunch too. I only cure it for 1 day anyhow.
  17. sunman76

    sunman76 Master of the Pit

    I never used any cure "yet" [​IMG]
  18. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've never seen a "Jerky Seasoning Kit" that does not contain a package of cure

    You may find various recipes that do not contain cure, but are they safe?

    You may also just be be lucky not to get sick, or worse, get others sick.

    If you "Dry" at low temps, you've got a perfect petri dish for growing bacteria

    I've experienced the direct effects of Ecoli, and do not want to go down that path again...EVER!

    I will always err on the side of caution!

    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011

  19. You are correct Todd i have never seen a kit that did not use cure and also the 2 books on jerky and sausage making both use cure. However I just have never know anyone until i started using kits that used cure. I have never used a kit for jerky.

    Also remember the majority of ecoli cases in the USA have come from salads. ( this was in a news article by the USDA when we had the big lettuce /Spinach scare)

    The instructions and the question is not about using cure it is about following USDA standards for at home not kit raw jerky making. So i am wondering if anyone ever did cook jerky first and then dry. I may try it because i am wondering about the texture etc etc.

  20. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My dehydrator goes to 160° and that's where I set it, so no need to "Precook"

    I also have never made jerky without using cure.


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