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Beef jerky is a salty snack that is enjoyed in many different cultures. Although its origins are unknown, it is believed that it has been around for centuries. Learning how to make beef jerky is a great way to put leftover meat to good use. It is low in calories, loaded with nutrients and can hold hunger back until your next meal.
Nutrients in Beef Jerky
Beef jerky is mostly made from beef in the United States. However, other countries use pork, turkey and even game. Being a beef by-product, this snack is rich in iron and protein. Phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc and copper are also found in jerky. This means it is very healthy for those suffering from high blood pressure, weak muscle and bone and fatigue. Please note that beef jerky can be very salty and usually contains a lot of sodium.
How to Make Beef Jerky at Home
Learning how to make beef jerky is a fun process. You can use a dehydrator if you have one. If not, dry meat the old-fashioned way in the oven or in the sun. Don’t be timid about your seasoning. Experiment with different spices to make great flavors.
Choose a steak cut or large piece of meat of your choice. Carefully remove as much fat as possible from the meat.
Cut your meat into thin 1/20-inch slices or strips. Because this can be a challenging task, it is best for beginners to ask a butcher to do this.
Create a seasoning or marinade for your beef jerky. Season your meat strips and leave inside the fridge for 12-24 hours. To make a Filipino version, try using our marinade for beef tapa.
Once the seasoning has sunk into the meat, place meat strips in a dehydrator. Alternatively, dry meat in an oven set at 165 F. If you’re using a dehydrator, dry the meat for 2-6 hours. If you’re using the oven, it should be dried in 1-3 hours.
When meat is dried to your liking, store it in the fridge or in vacuum-sealed bags to enjoy in your own time.
Beef Jerky Tips and Tricks
Removing fat off the meat is crucial. The more fat there is on meat, the faster the beef jerky will spoil. To get as much fat off as possible, try freezing the meat beforehand. Frozen fat is easier to trim and makes cutting meat into strips a lot simpler too.
Beef jerky can be seasoned with a variety of marinades and ingredients. Salt, pepper, chili peppers, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and barbeque spice are just a few seasoning suggestions you can try. For those who prefer sweet beef jerky, you can marinate meat in honey and even brown sugar. Keep in mind that the longer your meat is marinated, the longer it will take to dry.
Learning how to make beef jerky is a great skill to acquire. Beef jerky is a low-calorie snack that offers many nutrients in small bites. You can make it within hours in your kitchen, and try delicious seasonings to find your favorite.