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As requested - my ground meat jerky method

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    As requested - my ground meat jerky method

    A while back, I started a thread about making ground meat jerky. During the discussion, someone asked how I did mine. Well, months later, I had some time this weekend and got to make a batch.

    I should start by saying that I am in no way an expert on this. I'm just some schlub that's made a lot of jerky over the years. This is not the definitive way, just the way that works for me. And no one has died from eating my jerky, so there's that anyway.

    If I'm feeling energetic, I'll buy some top or bottom round and grind it myself. I'll cut the fat off pretty aggressivly before I grind it. If I'm feeling lazy, my local butcher makes a lot of jerky and has meat for it all the time. He's happy to grind it for me for an extra $1 a pound. This time, I got him to grind it and brought home five pounds.

    Again, if I'm energetic, I'll make up the cure (there's a million recipes online), or, if lazy, I'll just use one of the High Mountain packages from Cabela's and other places. I've never had any problem with the jerky they turn out, and they have a lot of flavors. This batch was made with High Mountain Cracked Pepper & Garlic - my personal favorite.

    When mixing the meat, it can be done by hand, but you'll work for it. A five pound batch like I did could take up to 10 minutes by hand. You want to make sure it is thoroughly mixed (don't forget any liquids) and you want to mix it until it starts to feel "sticky". I use the paddle attachment on a stand mixer for a few minutes, keep scraping it down until its well mixed. If you have a meat mixer, even better. Make sure its properly mixed - that's important for the cure to penetrate all the meat.

    After its mixed, cover it and stash it in the fridge for at least four hours, or overnight. When it comes out in the morning, it smells awesome. Its also a dark brown or black color (depending on the cure/marinade you used). That color should be uniform all through the meat - there should be no red patches. The picture below doesn't really show how dark the color of the meat is when it comes out of the fridge.

    You can roll it out and cut strips, or use an extruder. I like the round sticks as they are totally dried out, but still tender enough that you can take a bite without ripping your teeth out.

    To meet government guidelines, you should dehydrate for the first five hours at 165F to pasteurize it. Then lower the temp to 130-140F for the remainder. Usually after about three or four hours, I roll the pieces a little to make sure they're not stuck to the trays, and I blot them with paper towel a bit - if there was some fat in the meat

    How long will it take? I can't really say, because its always different. But its going to be at least 8 hours. That's when I start checking about every hour. To check, cut a small piece off and let it cool for five minutes. then try it. When its as dry as you like it - its done.

    I vacuum bag it and store it in the fridge.

    Hope this helps.

    Here's a couple of pictures I took:

    My setup.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	setup.jpg Views:	0 Size:	2.17 MB ID:	955654

    All done

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Done.jpg Views:	0 Size:	2.95 MB ID:	955655

    Thank you for sharing your method. I processed 2 deer last week and have 6 5# bags of clean venison ready to grind. Stored in the freezer for now and looking for recipes.


      I've made a lot of jerky, but never with ground meat. This looks intriguing. Thanks for sharing!


        Jerky and Pepperoni, Me do like. You Done Good!
        I can see my wife and I sitting out back snacking and sipping--Jerky, Pepperoni, and PBR.



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