Beef Jerky

This post is part of my ongoing charcuterie project. See my original writeup for further background.

With the exception of salt pork, beef jerky is probably the most straight-forward thing I’ve made as part of this project so far. One would assume I would be immune to screwing this one up. Noooooope.

jerky ingredients

The instructions said to dry the beef in your oven for at 90 degrees F for 16-20 hours. My oven doesn’t come close to going that low and it was summer and hot and I didn’t want to run the oven for 20 hours with the door propped open. What I did have though was a pretty sophisticated smoking setup with precision temperature control, so I tried to be smart and use it to hold the temperature steady at 90.

The Russians used pencil.

The problem was, being summer in the midwest it was also quite humid which isn’t ideal if you are trying to dry something. Even more of a problem if that something is meat. 24 hours in and it wasn’t close to being finished and it was starting to develop a tinge of rancidness. Instead of drying it I was rotting it. Missed that by a lot. I ended up finishing it in the oven and brought it up to a safe temperature. The damage was done, but he dog didn’t seem to mind.


The next week I borrowed my mom’s food dehydrator.

The second batch was fine, though I’ve had better. It was seasoned with garlic powder and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Personally I prefer a bit more heat on my jerky than this recipe provided, but whatever. I’m just glad this one is done.

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