The meat should be boneless and trimmed., lean (as fat and
gristle will make the jerky too greasy and may tend to turn
rancid if kept for a long time). Section the meat into one inch
slabs. Partially freeze the slabs, if possible, to firm up the
meat to allow thin slicing without effort. Use a sharp knife and
slice the meat into thin strips (about 1/8 inch thick). Put the
strips one layer at a time, in a glass, pottery, or ceramic bowl
or deep dish. On each layer, using a pastry brush, dab a few
drops of liquid smoke on the exposed side. Next shake the
seasoning powder over the layer. Sparingly shake the sugar
evenly over the layer. Lastly apply the pepper. Proceed with
the next layers, duplicating the process until the bowl is filled.
Cover and let stand to soak in its juices a minimum of 5 hours,
maximum of 12 hours.
Using the racks from your kitchen oven, place the strips of
meat across the racks. The strips may be placed close
together, adjoining but not overlapping. Put the racks back
into the oven, allowing space on both top and bottom for free
circulation of air. It's most important that the oven
temperature NOT EXCEED 150º F. Any tem between 100º
and 150º F is okay, but not over. A higher temp will cook the
meat (not dry it). If yours is a gas stove, the following applies:
the oven need not be turned on at all; merely have the pilot
light on the medium bright (you can check with a manual
thermometer). Allow the meat to dry approx. 12 to 14 hours.
(Overnight is convenient to do this). If you prefer the jerky
less chewy and more brittle, then allow more drying time. You
cannot hurt or spoil the jerky if you dry it for as much as 20
use 3 oz. liquid smoke for 6 to 8 lbs of meat
shrinkage will run approx 50-58%.....10 lbs of fresh meat will
net 4 or 5 lbs of jerky. cheap cut lean beef makes excellent
jerky. the 1st time, do not over season. Adjust the amount of
seasoning to your individual taste. the average oven rack will
hold approx. 2 1/2 lbs of fresh meat. Fish jerky requires less
drying time. Approx 6 to 8 hours. With fish, remove all bones,
slice and proceed as above. Thicker than 1/8 inch meat
slices may required more drying time. If you cannot regulate
the temp to 150 or lower, set it for the lowest possible temp
and prop the oven door open.
Happy munching...Don't forget to save some for me!