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What Is Jerky And How To Make It

Feb 8th 2015 at 2:54 PM

Often, you will hear most people ask what is jerky. Jerky is lean meat which has been trimmed free from fat, made into strips, & then dried to avoid spoilage. Usually, drying includes adding of salt to avoid bacteria and other pathogens from growing on the meat prior to the moisture being removed. What is basically needed to prepare and produce jerky is a good cut of meat (beef, buffalo, turkey, chicken), low temperature drying methods & salt to hinder bacterial growth.

How Jerky Is Manufactured

Current manufactured jerky foods are usually marinated in seasoned spice rub or liquid for 4 to 8 hours. It is then dried, smoked or dehydrated for 4 to 15 hours with low heat around 160 degrees. Some product manufacturers thoroughly grind meat, add in seasonings, & press the resulting paste into flat shapes prior to drying.

The resultant jerky from this method would be salty and savory snack. Nevertheless, often a semi sweet to sweet recipe is employed, with sugar serving as the major ingredient. Jerky does not require addition preparation as it’s eaten in that form. Jerky can be stored for longer time without refrigeration and still retain the useful nutrients in the particular meat. When the moisture to protein content ratio is balanced correctly, the resultant meat is cured and preserved.

Store Bought Vs Homemade

There are various jerky products in the stores sold as jerky which is made up of highly processed, chopped & formed meat, in place of traditional cut, whole muscle meat. Though these products might contain more fat, the moisture content, similar to whole muscle product, ought to meet a 1-0.75 protein to moisture ratio. Chemical preservatives may be used to avoid oxidative wastage, but the protein to moisture ratio averts microbial spoilage via low water activity. Most jerky products are rich in sugar & are often sweet, unlike biltong, which hardly contains added sugars.

Typically a 30g share of fresh jerky has 10 to 15 grams of protein, 2-3 grams of carbs, and 1-2 grams of fat. As traditional jerky recipes uses a plain salt cure, sodium may be a worry for some individuals. A 30g portion of jerky may contain more than 600 mg of sodium, equivalent to 30 percentage, USRDA recommended. You can find some that do minimum processing that has about 300 mg of sodium. You marinate the meat for 6-8 hrs or overnight and then start the drying process.

Best Way To Prepare Jerky

Any specific preparation and recipe for jerky usually uses one type of meat. All over the world, meat from wild and domestic animals is used in jerky preparation. To prepare jerky, most of the fat needs to be trimmed off before drying the meat. Fat does not dry and exposes the jerky to spoilage since fats becomes rancid.

The meat ought to be dried for 4 to 15 hours at a minimun temperature of 160 degrees to avert bacterial growth throughout the critical period when meat isn't dry yet. Meat is thinly sliced and pressed thinly in the case of ground meat into strips. These strips are dried out at low temperatures around 160 degrees to prevent cooking it and overdrying at the point it becomes brittle. Following these instructions will have you on the way to making your jerky.

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