Experimenting with jerky
First off, what is your favorite cut of beef to use with jerky?
Also, what are some interesting ways of changing up jerky? I'm thinking of marinating, smoking for 4 hrs, and then rehydrating in the marinate for an hour or two, and then throw it in the dehydrator for a couple hours.
Or maybe reduce the marinate and brush the jerky midway through dehydrating?
How about dehydrating, boiling it in reduced marinate and then dehydrating?
Keep jerkey simple. Lean top sirloin or eye-round cut into 1/2 inch strips, dry rub + liquid smoke + low-sodium teriyaki or Worcestershire-soy marinade, overnight marinade in fridge. Dehydrate in oven or using dehydrator.
Boiling meat, even after dehydration and in a reduced marinade, is going to do strange things to texture and taste.
Experiment more with the dry rub and marinade and perfect the dehydration. Nothing else matters. Not even so much the meat if it's lean. Fat does not dehydrate well and will cause jerky to spoil/go rancid pretty quickly.
I think the meat has to be very lean, or it can turn rancid quickly. I prefer London broil, rump or eye round. For huge flavor, I like a liquid marinade with very little added water, sliced just under 1/4" thick and marinated for at least 8-10 hours before it hits the dehydrator. Also, I typically let it hang out in the smoker after dehydrating. I may be wrong, but I believe dry meat sucks up the smoke better. Now I'm salivating.
I use a well trimmed brisket flat, sliced thin across the grain.
Marinate overnight in my mom's seasoning salt, (paprika based), soy sauce, red pepper flakes.
Lay them flat on paper towels and daub dry and then apply a liberal amount of coarse black pepper.
Into the dehydrator and voila.
(I may have to do this over the weekend.)
I've used London Broil. I think that's from the Round. It's very lean (a little fat cap along the edges) and no gristle so there's a high utilization rate. Also, London Broil is often a sales item so you save a few bucks.
As to your multi-step approach, it depends upon what you're looking for in the final product. A glazed jerky?
Personally, I like to keep it straightforward where I marinade and dehydrate. I like the jerky fairly dry to the touch.
i made jerky once for my sister to take to camp
1 1/2 to 2 pounds flank steak
2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
hung it tooth picks and sllllllooow cooked it in the oven at 200 for something like 8 hours over a foil pan to catch the drippings
Thanks guys. I've just wondering how it is to get a maximally flavorful jerky!
I'm thinking of leave it in the fridge overnight, to make the meat nice and dry and ready to absorb the marinade.
Smoke for 4 hrs on low heat.
Transfer to dehydrator.
I'll save a slab that I'll remarinate after smoking and see what happens!
Not over complicating it am I?
Hmm different meats is a great idea! Will definitely try! Guess I'm getting too enthused with this project of mine. I don't get much time to be creative anymore. I think the one variable I'll play around with this time is marinate time. One set I'll marinate for 1 day, and I'll compare with a 2 day marinaded jerky set.
i just look for a cheap lean cut with little or no marbling. lately that is london broil and the grocery meat dept will slice it up for free. tell them what you want it for. i use any fatty edges for stir fry.
to me using top sirloin, flank or brisket is kind of a waste. i was just at costco and whole briskets in cryovac were over $4/lb. meat shrinks way down so i don't think you are saving over the commercial product but you do wind up with a superior custom product with no chemically taste.
vietnamese sweet jerky is good and unusual and what i make lately.
biltong i think is much bigger and thicker than jerky, less spiced.
incidentally i had a kindle fire problem and was talking to an indian guy. he transfered me to a women, turned out she was in south africa. love that accent.