it's not as imposing as it looks, a lot of it is charts and examples. However, it IS significantly different than what you commonly see espoused by non-commercial folks here and other forums. The key difference being FSIS requires the jerky to have its pathogen lethality treatment, i.e. cooking, happen FIRST and while moist, and THEN be dried. Basically if bacterial spores are dried first as happens in a low temp dehydrator
, they form a shell that allows them to survive the heat treatments even above 160f.
For venison jerky, both stick stuff the size of your finger and reformed as you make, I haven't liked the texture as much when I cook it to 160 moist first and then dry. So here is what I've been doing that complies with FSIS jerky and meat cooking guidelines:
1. Stuff raw ground jerky/sausage farce into vacuum seal bags and flatten out so whole thing is about 1 to 1.5 inches thick. Vacuum seal bags.
2. Toss bags into Sous Vide at 140 to 145f. Sealed bags in SV comply with their cooking method 4, if you get wondering. You need 135 min at 137f, 12 min at 140f, 4 min at 145f, or 1 second at 160f, to get log7 pathogen reduction from charts. I let it go an hour to be sure, but a rule of thumb is 1 min per mm thickness.
Pick what you want to use depending on how cooked you like the jerky. I have found 140 to 145 nice.
3. Stick a digital thermometer in there to be sure of center IT, use time/temp tables from Appendix A booklet if more temps needed.
4. Take meat out of bags. Slice it 1/4" thick or as desired. Dry on wire screens in oven, or smoker, or dehydrator
, anything so long as the temperature is held ABOVE 130f so germs don't grow.
5. If you want smoke flavor, you can add liquid or powder smoke and never use smoker, most commercial do this. If you want smoker smoke, you then it picks up more if just sous vided to 135 or so... but 140 to 145 has been a nice smoke flavor for me when I used smoker too, so I don't find the smoke uptake vs. Meat temp thing to matter much.
Hope that all helps ;)