Jerky beef is really a fun snack; however, it is a more flexible food than you might think. Think of homemade beef jerky as low-fat bacon. Also, it is a lot healthier than you imagine. Begin by checking at the ingredient list of a jerky bag in shops.
Jerky beef is dried meat which keeps most of fresh meat’s nutritional value; however, weighs less than half. Also, it takes less space. These days, people eat it as a treat but in the period before refrigeration, it was an essential protein source.
Historians say that jerky has been in the world since ancient Egypt. Nomadic and hunter-gatherer tribes made jerky from animals which were quite big to consume all at once. Perhaps it was only think strips of sun dried meat. Over the years, the process of manufacturing jerky has been reinvented in order to improve shelf life, safety and flavor. The majority of store-bought jerky is leathery and dry as it is salt cured, treated or smoked with liquid smoke, chemically preserved and processed in order to meet the standards set by the USDA for room temperature storage.
Jerky made at home can taste better. Below are some of the methods of making jerky.
- Dry cured-This is a conventional and classic cowboy jerky and jerky survivalists and elitists will only tolerate this approach. When properly done, the product is salty, tasty and has at least one-year shelf life. Such method is perfect for commercial producers as the meat is not cooked and pathogens can be harbored when not handled the proper way.
- Wet cured-Some elitists consider this method a short cut. This involves slicing and soaking the meat in concentrated salty brine which has been flavored with a sweetener such as honey, molasses and sugar and spices. The process commonly adds liquid smoke. A cold smoke, oven or dehydrator is used for drying the meat. Commercial producers prefer to use fast-curing products.
- Marinated– This is an easy, flavorful and safe method. This is comparable to wet cured, only the salt concentration is lower, no preservatives and involves more intense flavorings. While marinated jerks need to be refrigerated for a long-term storage, it is possible to take them out to accompany people to concerts, games or camping trips.
About the Beef
As fat tends not to dehydrate and gets funky with age, well-trimmed lean muscles are the best meat. Round, bottom round or top round is recommended. Don’t use ground beef. Choose something that is on sale. Also, this is good use for meat hunks which have been preserved in the freezer for some time. As they defrost, they will provide plenty of moisture making them less desirable than fresh meat.
Those who prefer to make been jerky at home, should follow steps such as slicing the meat, marinating, cooking, smoking and killing the bugs as well as drying. But people who want the convenience of consuming jerky right away can buy beef jerky online.