Jerky

Howdy Folks.  Today, I want to discuss turning something that is not considered storable into something that can be stored for a long period of time....Meat.   In this presentation I am going to turn a rather tough, unappetizing chuck roast into some delectable jerky.  I took advantage of the Texas drought to buy quite a few lbs of meat, including some chicken (good for feeding the dogs) some bacon and pork, and some beef.  This roast was part of that purchase.

Step number one: Remove the bone and any fat in the meat. 

Step Number Two: After deboning the roast or other meat, put the thinly sliced pieces in a small bucket or bowl.  Save those bones and scrap meat!!!   It is great for making a stock or just making a fat sandwich. 

Step number three: The only needed spice is salt, however times are not too tough so I will use some other seasonings and spices, including Garlic powder, hot pepper, black pepper, liquid smoke, and worchestershire sauce.   I used a great 2 gallon food grade bucket, added a some water and plenty of salt.  You cannot really add too much salt.   Let this mixture cure overnight in a bucket.  Many will claim that it must be refrigerated.  I let it marinate at room temperature.  Remember, if you use liquid smoke, use it sparingly.   It is powerful.  Make sure there is enough liquid to barely cover the meat, and shake or stir the bucket every so often.

After the meat has been soaked for 24 hours or so, dry it out.  I used my Excalibur 3900 to do the job, but you can use an oven at the lowest setting, or even use an outside table or clothesline.   Any meat can be used, but the key is to slice it thin and remove as much fat as you can.  This batch took 8 hours to dry, but West Texas is very dry.  This should store forever if kept dry.  Of course, a vac sealer can help with the storage needs.   You can also use whatever spices you wish, but I would avoid sugary substances such as honey and syrups. They can mold. Dried spices tend to work best, such as garlic powder, dried hot pepper, and dried onions.    I have done this process with Beef, Pork, Deer, Elk, Bear, Rabbit, and Dove.  I have tried lamb, but it tends to be too fatty.  The salt will kill any and all microscopic critters that can harm you.  It has been used for thousands of years to store meats and fish.  Meat is cheap right now due to the lack of feed and the ranchers selling off their herds.  It will not be so in a few months.  Make your Jerky now while you can afford it.

Remember, prepping is about knowledge, not just storing food. 

Adios.

Rusty Shakelford