Sunday, April 11, 2010

More Hamburger Jerky

I really liked the hamburger jerky I made a few weeks ago, and I wanted to make some more.  But I'm too cheap to want to keep buying the packaged spices for making jerky.  So I Googled "hamburger jerkey recipe" and found several recipes on the Internet.

One website I found had easy instructions.  Basically, they said to add 1 tsp. curing salt and 1/4 cup teriyaki or BBQ sauce to every pound of hamburger.  How can it get any easier?

So I ran to the store and picked up a package of Morton's Tender Quick Home Meat Cure and a bottle of Teriyaki sauce.  Then I grabbed a thawed-out pound of hamburger, mixed it with the Meat Cure and teriyake sauce, and pressed out strips of hamburger on my dehydrator trays.  I dehydrated it for several hours, then cooked in the oven at about 200° for an hour.

The jerky wasn't very flavorful.  I'm not entirely sure the Morton's was what they meant when they said "curing salt."  Maybe I shouldn't have gotten the cheap teriyaki sauce.  Next time, I'm going to try 2 tsp of the Morton's with 1/4 BBQ sauce and see how that goes.

Also, the hamburger I had in the freezer was 80% fat free--which means it was 20% fat.  That's fine for making spaghetti sauce, but was too much for jerky.  My hands were covered with grease by the time I finished mixing in the salt and sauce.  Next time I'll use the lowest percentage of fat I can find, like I did the first time.

Maybe I'll try 1 1/2 tsps Morton's before I go all the way to 2 tsp.

While poking around on the Internet I discovered that you don't need to get a jerky gun to make hamburger jerky.  After mixing in the curing salt and seasonings, you can put the hamburger between two layers of Seran Wrap (or equivalent) and roll it out with a rolling pin.  Then cut strips with a kitchen knife.  I'll bet that would get you more even strips that what I've been doing with the jerky gun.

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