I’ve made the following using our Cabela’s “10 tray dehydrator with acrylic door feature” dehydrator, and have not yet died or become ill. Nor has the Wayward Pilgrim, or our dogs. We have even avoided food poisoning or worse at our Tiny Cabin; so we must be doing something right!
Please follow food guides/common sense when working with any food, at home, off the grid, bbqing, at the lake, camping, dehydrating, etc. Seriously, poor food health management takes a toll. If you are new to something such as Dehydrating, as I am, do your homework. Google and YouTube are great teachers. Just to be safe, if you want to dehydrate something, verify the method and outcomes by at least three (3) different websites/YouTube videos. Always read the comments, see what other people have learned before you try. Trust me, there are some Completely Useless “professionals” out there, and people Love Them. More on that later, in another blog!
If you Dehydrate anything following these recipes, and get sick or die, you fucked up; not me, so don’t go complaining about lawyers and such (see first paragraph – I’m not Blogging from beyond the grave – hell, I finally got schooled about blogging, so I’m not about to clock out. I have so much to share. And bitch about.).
JERKY (Marinade and Dry Rub):
- Meat Used: Sirloin Tip from Costco (a fair amount of marbling/thick strips of fat).
- Slicing: 1/4 inch, give or take (after freezing meat for 1-2 hours – helps with slicing).
- Marinade: Whatever I had in the fridge; Gluten Free Soy Sauce, HP Sauce, Keen’s Mustard, lemon juice, salad dressing, BBQ sauce, etc. You get the drift. If it tastes good, add it.
- Dry Rub: Smokehouse is what I have used so far (Red Pepper, and it packs a hell of a nice punch). I picked up a Smokehouse Original pack today (both from Cabela’s), but have not used it yet (review to come!).
Okay, common dog here, but just to be sure:
- NEVER dehydrate raw meat. Some folks debate this, but most, according to Google and YouTube, agree. Safety First.
- If you use a home marinade (let it sit, covered, in the fridge from 4-24 hrs), put it in the oven and let it bake, at low temp (160-180 f) until the internal temp hits 160 f. Google food guidelines if you do not understand.
- Smokehouse (and other companies/brands) rubs/cures include NITRITES Not NITRATES; different beast altogether), which replace the baking/cooking of the meat till the internal temp reaches 160 f. To be honest, I put the dry rub meat in a different pan and throw it in the oven as well, to be safe. Hell, I’m learning, right?!!
- MOISTURE IS THE ENEMY. If it sweats after dehydrating, refrigerate it; eat sooner than later (a week), but after that, I’d bin it. Don’t store it for “the future”. It’ll likely kill you. Don’t confuse marble-rich dehydrated meat with frothing meat.
- (Meat/Any) FAT does NOT dehydrate. If you want a beautiful steak, marbling is brilliant. If you want to dehydrate meat that will last a fair while, the LESS FAT/MARBLING, THE BETTER.
- Depending on the fat content/marbling, jerky can be stored in the pantry, out of the sun/heat for a week or more (common dog). I’ve made split batches; one small batch in cupboard, one in fridge. Learn your meat. Freezing and vacuum sealing is the best way to go (I don’t have a vacuum sealer, yet). Another Blog to come!
- Freezing Jerky is not a bad thing at all. In fact, it helps you enjoy it much longer (I know there is some sort of split infinitive/grammar faux-pas in that last line, and I apologize).
- 160 f for minimum 6 hours in the dehydrator. Make sure to rotate racks, and when the jerky bends, semi-stiffly, it’s damn near perfect.
- Google further questions! Verify with other dehydrating sites!!!! Let me know what I missed!
- Be warned, cutting Bell Peppers is both an ass pain and boring as hell. Worse than watching paint dry.
- For Bell Peppers, cut the top and bottom off. Remove seeds as best as possible (good luck). The bottoms, along with top rings, can be cut and dehydrated, but in a separate session, as they are thicker (another blog to come).
- Remove the meaty veins from inside the peppers, discard or dry then shave to become seasoning.
- Cut the remaining peppers into 1/4 thick sticks, place on trays and dehydrate for 4-6 hours at 135-140 F (or by your dehydrator manual – I’m not Dog; this is a learning process, and all machines are different). The more you put in, the longer it takes (learned that on 14/15 Jan 17).
More to follow, but it’s just past midnight, and I had time to kill before I put the last batch of peppers in to dry overnight. I’m new at Dehydrating, and don’t want anyone to get sick or croak. Just sharing what I have learned thusfar. Check, and check again. 2 is one, 1 is none.