Friday, September 28, 2012

Beef Jerky in the Dehydrator

A few days ago, Mr. F came in in a huff about the price of beef jerky escalating to over $8.00 a bag.  I don't know where he was buying it or how much was in the bag he wanted, I just know he was upset as he considers jerky and sugar to be his only vices.  I won't comment on that....but anyway, I surmised it was time to break out the dehydrator again.

So, after buying some, lean, pre-sliced, over-priced beef from Walmart, I asked Mr. F what flavor he'd like, to which he responded: teriyaki. Lucky for him, I happen to have some excellent teriyaki sauce in my fridge right now--found it at Costco not too long ago.

I proceeded to follow the instructions in Mary Bell's "Complete Dehydrator Cookbook" and sliced the meat in one inch pieces, removed any fat visible and marinated it in teriyaki sauce, along with a little salt, pepper and powdered garlic. I chose to marinate the meat for 24 hours in the refrigerator, of course.
The next day I put the beef strips in the dehydrator at it's highest setting, which for my Excalibur is 155 degrees. I only made enough for a little more than two racks of jerky, I'm sure I'll be making more next time. To avoid drips in the bottom of the dehydrator I put a rack on the bottom slot with a fruit leather maker thingy on it.

After 24 hours and quite a bit of interest from both my dog and my daughter's boyfriend, the meat had become jerky. At this point, I put it on a jelly roll pan and put it in the oven at 175 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes, because I am paranoid about food poisoning.  Food science researchers maintain that microorganisms are effectively killed when meat reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes, or 167 degrees F. for 20 minutes or 200 degrees F. for 15 minutes. I don't care.  If the internal temperature of meat has not reached 165 degrees, I am not touching it to my lips.  No, I don't do sushi.   
Next I put the jerky in air tight storage. I had a stroke of...I don't know if you'd call it genius....I guess, a good idea popped into my head as I was getting ready to put the jerky into Food Saver bags. I was wishing I had some of those silicon packets they use for moisture control when I thought--RICE! We used rice just the other day to dry out my daughter's cell phone after she had dropped it in the toilet. I've also used it to keep salt from clumping together in the salt shaker during high humidity and it works wonderfully. I added a little less than a teaspoon of rice to each little bag I filled with jerky.  I ended up with four bags which I stashed in the freezer where they will be good for at least 6 months, probably longer, but I'm sure they'll be eaten long before then.  Homemade jerky can be kept in airtight containers at room temperature for about one month.  

No comments:

Post a Comment