A great jerky is appreciated by just about everyone. The jerky should be hard but is should not be so tough that it will break your teeth. There are some tips to making a jerky that anyone can enjoy.
It does not matter what protein that you use for your jerky. You can use anything from beef to elk. Even caribou makes a great jerky. I find that the more exotic the meat is the better the jerky becomes. Make sure the cut is lean. If there is fat it needs to be trimmed off to keep the jerky from going bad. Once you select your meat cut it into thin strips. It is easier to cut against the grain.
Once you have the meat cut it is important to marinate it. One of the best marinades is a combination of liquid smoke, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce. You can add a touch of brown sugar if you do not like spicy foods. I also like to add garlic powder and sliced hot peppers to my marinade. Allow the meat to marinade overnight then dry it off. Give the meat a generous coating of salt and pepper to keep in the flavor.
No matter what kind of meat you are using it is important to remove all of the moisture from it. It is best to use a dehydrator. Be sure to leave enough space between the meat strips so that air can get around it.
Jerky can take anywhere between eight to twelve to cook depending on the type of meat that you are using. It needs to be dry. Check the meat after 3 hours to see if it is the consistency that you like. This will help you determine how much longer it has to cook. The meat needs to be dried but still chewy. You want the jerky to be hard but you do not want it to break off your teeth when you bite into it. If you do not have a dehydrator you can put it in a 165 degree oven and check it every 90 minutes to make sure it is cooking properly.
Once the jerky is done you can go ahead and enjoy it. When making jerky you can make a large amount at one time. The storage of the jerky is very important so that it does not spoil. It is best to keep the jerky in mason jars. They are able to keep the air out. It should be then placed in a refrigerator or even the freezer until you are ready to eat it. The jerky is best when eaten in a two week period after being made. It can last up to three months. If you do not think you are going to be able to eat all of the jerky share some with your friends. This makes a great snack and gives you something full of protein and flavor.