Posts Tagged ‘dehydrator’

Beef jerky

February 22, 2011

I had been intending to make some beef jerky as snack-food-on-the-go for ages but found it hard to get organised. I bought an Ezi food dehydrator about two years ago and had only used it for drying fruits (pears, bananas, nectarines) but it can be used for so much more. I should point out here that if you don’t have a dehydrator, an oven can be used to make the jerky (though you won’t get the same cost effectiveness, as the dehydrator is really energy efficient). Just ask Uncle Google for the instructions rather than using the below.

In the end, it was really simple. The book that came with the dehydrator has really straightforward instructions about what type of meats are suitable and how to get the meat cut (cross-wise against the grain and 1cm thick). So, armed with that information, 1kg of topside beef was purchased and prepared initially by the butcher.

Then it was time for a little more prep at home involving me, a mallet, cutting board and a LOT of elbow grease. BANG, BANG, BANG as Mark Ronson would sing. So, I had softened the meat, trimmed the small amount of fat on the meat and then cut it into strips about 1-2cm wide.

After that, I prepared the marinade as per the recipe provided in the book (with a little tweaking):

  • 4tbs tamari sauce
  • 4tbs Worcestorshire sauce*
  • 1tbs tomato sauce**
  • 1/4tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp good fine sea salt
  • 1tbs grated ginger
  • 1tbs curry powder***

The beef was marinaded for about 36 hours in the fridge in a covered glass bowl.

The next step was to place it in the dehydrator:

Beef jerky

Beef jerky in the dehydrator

I checked the jerky after about 6 1/2 hours and most of it was done. I left the thicker pieces for another hour. It ‘s important with dehydrating to ensure that there is no moisture left at all, otherwise it will not keep.

Verdict: Delicious! Admittedly very chewy indeed but really tasty and a great snack to take out.

Beef jerky - the final result

The finished beef jerky

I don’t know why, but when I mentioned beef jerky to people, they had some interesting reactions: “yuk”, “ewww” were just some of them. I don’t really understand that except to assume that people have only ever had bad beef jerky (processed stuff) or don’t like raw beef. Well, if people realised that proscuitto is really not that different, they may change their tune a bit.

Storage: Best stored in a tight glass container in the fridge or freezer. Keeps for 4 weeks.

What’s next?

I’d love to experiment with different marinades and meats, such as game meats. Just need to source a decent butcher first. I also need to hit up some South Africans for their biltong recipes!


* This should be removed from the mix as it’s not Paleo-friendly, however I made the jerky right before I started on the diet. Need to find a replacement, maybe  a little tabasco sauce (not sure that is Paleo friendly but will look into it)

** I need to source a Paleo-friendly tomato sauce, just one without sugar and icky preservatives should be fine

** Important to get a Paleo-friendly curry powder with spices only and no nasties added