Since the dawn of time meat has been a part of our diet, but for thousands of years we didn’t have many ways of preserving it. We had no freezers or fridges to keep our meat cold and safe, instead we had to preserve it using salt. Today we don’t need to preserve our meat this way, we can get fresh at any grocery store around but jerky is still a delicious treat. Making jerky at home is easier than you think let us show you how.
Salt and Spices
Even today salt is still one of the best ways to preserve meat and make jerky. Salt works to prevent the growth of bacteria until your meat reaches that “cooked” stage. Spices like pepper or garlic can be used to enhance the flavors. You can take your spices and make a dry rub and let it sit at least overnight in a container. Your dry rub should be made of mostly salt, if you are making barbecue then you can use less but for jerky you are going to need lots of salt. This will work for up to 10 pound of meat. Then you can put your meat into a dehydrator for the length of time recommended based on the weight.
Smoking meat is another old way to preserve to meat, smoke is acidic and it will prevent bacteria from growing and spoiling the meat. On top of that smoked jerky tastes absolutely incredible. While we started smoking meat to preserve it for the winter today we do it strictly because it is delicious. You can make jerky in a smoker over low heat and experiment with different types of wood to enhance the flavor. Hickory is always a favorite but you can try others like apple wood. Here are some different woods you can try in your smoker.
Whether you want to smoke your meat to enjoy that day or you want to preserve it for winter you still need to make sure that the meat it is safe. Meat needs to be at least 150 degrees to kill bacteria and keep it from spoiling. You can use a smoker or dehydrator and there will be no problem. If not then you may want to precook your meat first and then dry it out.
Making jerky is a great way to preserve meat and it also makes a great snack you can enjoy anytime.