Homemade Jerky Done Right

With this guide, unlock the secrets of homemade jerky and buying prepackaged will be a thing of the past.

| April 2016

DIY Jerky

Making homemade jerky is great for meats that are more difficult to cook traditionally.

Photo courtesy Countryman Press

Jerky Everything (Countryman Press, 2015) by Pamela Braun is an easy to understand book filled with thorough instructions on how to make your own homemade jerky. Recipes range from beef to poultry, fish to fruit and even several vegetables. Wild game is no exception. With an exhaustive list of instructions on how to properly prepare meats as well as a myriad of recipes to try; Braun details how anyone can make the perfect jerky in the comfort of their own kitchen.

Buy this book from the Capper's Farmer store: Jerky Everything

DIY Jerky

Old jerky is bad, just bad. I’m talking about old school jerky, the kind that our forefathers (let’s face it, the men may have started it ... but it was the women who actually ended up making it) gnawed on. It was created as something to help with survival as people made their way out west or went about their workday out in the fields and riding the range, so flavor wasn’t really much of a must-have when the process of jerky making was undertaken.

Fast-forward to a time when dried meat wasn’t a necessity to keep us alive, but more something to chew on to keep the hunger pangs at bay and to keep us from losing our mind to boredom while cruising across the country via a four-wheeled horse. Again, flavor was not of utmost importance, but the meat was expected to be at least a step above the flavor of the rubber wheels taking us to our destination.

The Egyptians took the time and effort to chisel the virtues of dried meat into stone walls, between the portraits of their beloved cats and ankhs. Seafarers pickled strips of meat, packed them in barrels, and nibbled on the strips as they crossed the vast oceans (and now you know why they were so aggressive ... all that meat consumption can bind a pirate up). African folklore has herders placing strips of meat under their horses’ saddles to help tenderize the meat, It is said that the sweat of the horse gave the meat the flavor it needed. (If it was so good, I’m wondering where that sweat spice blend is in today’s supermarket.)

From seafarers to cowboys, jerky has been a source of sustenance for centuries — a simple food source created out of the necessity for explorers to eat and a way to safely preserve food in the days prior to refrigeration.

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