Beef jerky is a variety of snack made by curing beef in a pickling mixture and dehydrating it. Red meat preserved with this approach show prolonged shelf life and a distinctivetaste. The development of this meat treatingskill is credited to Native Americans who dried meat with the use of smoke to sustain it.The secret to making this snack is beef jerky seasoning.
Steps of preparation
- Slicing: The meat needs to be cut into thin strips. This is best done when the meat is taken out from the refrigerator, cold.
- Curing solution: Sauces, beef jerky seasoning like pepper, garlic, salt, and onion are combined to make the incredible curing solution for the meat to marinate in.
- Marination: This step is carried out in a metal pan that would not react. The meat is immersed in the curing solution and refrigerated for over 8 hours. This can be stored inside a plastic zip-lock bag too.
- Draining: Take a flat-surfaced pan and spread tissue papers on it covering the entire surface. The meat taken out from the marinade is put on this pan to remove excess liquid.
- Smoke-dry: The pan-paper-meat set-up is smoked for the next 3 hours at a temperature below 140 degrees Celsius. After 3 hours, check the state of the meat. If satisfactory, turn off the smoker.
- Bagging: Soon after taking the meat out of the smoker, transfer it to a plastic bag. Pop open a tiny opening inside for the vapour from the hot meat to escape.
- Storage and use: The bagged jerky is stored in the freezer and used as per requirement.
The quality of beef jerky varies with the quality of meat used in the preparation. Less fat is preferred because otherwise, chances for rancidity is more. When choosing beef, pick a bright red one devoid of spots and scars. The flavour can vary with the smoke as well. Charcoal gives a different flavour than that of electric smokers.