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Been working today on a batch to send to a Navy family member and an Army friend....3 different flavors, regular, Cajun, and hot and spicy Cajun. :)
hey...what about your family and friend in wv? i like jerky too...a lot!
 

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Just saw this thread. Lots of good ideas. May try and do some in the near future.

And, of course, many thanks to all those who have relatives serving and for keeping them happy from home.

Only saw two people volunteer to be judges so far. Unfair to have a tie. I'll be the third (LOL).

Vaughn
 

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We've been making a lot of beef jerky for a couple years and probably the biggest problems encountered so far is trying to get all of the meat sliced to the same thickness so that it finishes dehydrating at the same time. A month or so ago, we got a meat slicer - the spinning disk kind that are used in a deli to slice lunch meat to an even and consistent thickness. This was a model designed for home use. It works great and all of our jerky is at the same thickness now, cutting the slabs of top round steak or London broil goes very quickly, and we can take all of the meat out of the dehydrator at the same time.

G'day,

Vinish
 

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Well...???

How'd it turn out?
It turned out really well for my first batch. The only issue I ran into was the thickness of the meat not being equal. so some of the meat got a bit crispy.

We've been making a lot of beef jerky for a couple years and probably the biggest problems encountered so far is trying to get all of the meat sliced to the same thickness so that it finishes dehydrating at the same time. A month or so ago, we got a meat slicer - the spinning disk kind that are used in a deli to slice lunch meat to an even and consistent thickness. This was a model designed for home use. It works great and all of our jerky is at the same thickness now, cutting the slabs of top round steak or London broil goes very quickly, and we can take all of the meat out of the dehydrator at the same time.

G'day,

Vinish
I plan on going to a butcher down the road from us, they have top round for 2.99lb, so I will have them slice it all for me. I ordered some mixes and plan on making a bunch over break
 

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Beriah,

There are also some excellent small recipe books full of meat marinades. These are tastier than most "mixes" and vastly cheaper. Many of the recipes contain a lot of spices, soy sauce, and worcestire (sp?) sauce. If you buy these at a Costco or Sam's in the jumbo size, they are dirt cheap.

G'day,

Vinish
 

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Beriah,

There are also some excellent small recipe books full of meat marinades. These are tastier than most "mixes" and vastly cheaper. Many of the recipes contain a lot of spices, soy sauce, and worcestire (sp?) sauce. If you buy these at a Costco or Sam's in the jumbo size, they are dirt cheap.

G'day,

Vinish
I will look for those, Thanks Jim
 

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Got 4 lbs of meat marinating right now. Excited for tomorrow morning.

Now a few questions

-if you make your own marinade, do you have to add salt for the curing?
-when you pull the meat out of the marinade, do you allow it to dry before you put it in the dehydrator
-about how long do you dehydrate for?
-do you notice a difference if marinading it for 12 hrs vs 24 hrs?
 

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Got 4 lbs of meat marinating right now. Excited for tomorrow morning.

Now a few questions

-if you make your own marinade, do you have to add salt for the curing?
-when you pull the meat out of the marinade, do you allow it to dry before you put it in the dehydrator
-about how long do you dehydrate for?
-do you notice a difference if marinading it for 12 hrs vs 24 hrs?
Here are the answers based on what we do. You are not salt curing your meat. You are drying/dehydrating it. Hence, addition of salt is for taste not for curing. Add salt only if you want that flavor. Personally, I recommend using a minimum of salt. There are lots better flavors out there. Absolutely do NOT let the meat dry before putting it in the dehydrator. That would risk bacterial growth. Take the meat out of the marinade and put it into a large collander. Drain the excess marinate out using the collander - move the meat around in the collander a bit to get out most of the loose liquid. Then put the strips into the collander and begin the dehydration process. Duration of dehydrating is dependent primarily on the thickness at which you cut the meat. The thicker the cut, the longer is the dehydration period. I do not recommend a specific duration. Rather, monitor the pieces and nibble a few after about 4 hrs and see how they are. It is better to err on a shorter duration rather than a longer duration. At longer dehydration times, the meat gets too dry and becomes crunchy. Duration for pieces about 1/8" to 5/16" thick is 4-6 hrs at 155 to 160 F. Rotate the trays every 1 hr. Move the top tray to the bottom and restart the dehydration process. We have not studied the impact of marination period in any thorough manner. We have marinaded for 12 hrs and for 18 hrs and seen no difference. Our typical process is to:
1) Buy meat - usually top round or London broil steaks
2) Bring meat home, trim off any large pieces of fat, and put meat steaks on a thin plastic cutting tray and put them in the freezer for about 1 hr. This firms up the meat and makes it much easier to cut evenly.
3) Remove meat from freezer and cut into even slices about 1/8 to 5/16" thick.
4) Put 12-16 oz of store-bought marinade and meat in a large ziploc bag. Add about 4-8 oz of water. If making marinade from a recipe, add more water to make it a little more liquid than called for in the recipe
5) Marinade the meat overnight in the fridge (CRITICAL - do this ONLY in the fridge not on the counter). This will be 12-18 hrs.
6) Drain meat, put the meat in the dehydrator, and dehydrate for 4-6 hrs. Rotate trays every hour by putting top tray of the four trays into the bottom position.
7) Remove meat, look for any especially thicker slices and leave these dehydrating for 30-60 minutes longer
8) Put all dried meat into cleaned and dried ziploc from step 4 and put ziploc into fridge
9) Eat jerky, share with others, and enjoy

G'day,

Vinish
 

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So I got another 4.5 lbs in the fridge ready to go on later today. mixed up 5 different marinades, to find out what I really like. Will let you know how it all turns out.
 

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So I got another 4.5 lbs in the fridge ready to go on later today. mixed up 5 different marinades, to find out what I really like. Will let you know how it all turns out.
Sounds awesome. We have a batch in the dehydrator right now. Will be ready early this afternoon.

G'day,

Vinish
 

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It's bad enough I have to get mod ideas off this forum, not I have guys helping me spend money on food :swear:
I think I'll read the beer thread........something good to go along with jerky.........
 

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I went and got a jerky gun for my birthday and started to make snack sticks and jerky out of ground beef. The snack sticks are amazing, will keep those up. The jerky was great at first, but began to taste bland as I went on. Now I have also expanded my dehydrating abilities and have made banana chips, dried apples, dried pineapple, and strawberries. Some good stuff there.
 

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Before drying the apple chips, sprinkle some cinnamon on them. Makes the house smell good and flavors the chips. Try tomatos. I did not care for them but my wife loved them.

G'day,

Vinish
 
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