When I heard I’d be trying out the new Hamilton Beach Food Dehydrator this month, I really turned into a jerk (y).
From my friend Wikipedia: Jerky is lean meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips, and then dried to prevent spoilage. Normally, this drying includes the addition of salt, to prevent bacteria from developing on the meat before sufficient moisture has been removed. The word “jerky” derived from the Quechua word ch’arki which means “dried, salted meat”.
All I know is that jerky is deliciously salty and addictive and I haven’t had a good supplier of homemade jerky in a couple of years, and the store-bought stuff just doesn’t cut it – plus it’s full of scary things I can’t pronounce. Let’s hop to it!
The user’s guide and recipe booklet that comes with the dehydrator has a few fantastic sounding jerky recipes, along with many tips and tricks on making sure your meat jerkies are safe, but I came up with this really basic mini-recipe on my own – I was afraid to have too much jerky on hand at once, hehe. This fall though, I plan on doing up a couple large batches to hopefully get us through the winter.
Heather’s Small Batch Jerky
- 1 lb lean steak, any excess fat removed (think eye of round, etc). Slice it into 1/4 inch thick slices (having the meat half frozen and using my Hamilton Beach Electric Knife made short work of this)
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp Maggi Sauce (or can substitute soy sauce)
- 1 tsp packed brown sugar
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- dash black pepper
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Combine marinade ingredients and add the beef strips. I have a vacuum sealer with a marinating attachment, so I was able to complete the whole marinating process in half an hour. Otherwise, you should really let this set in the fridge 8 hours or overnight.
Once the meat was marinated, I blotted the strips with a paper towel and laid them out on the trays. Because this was such a small batch, there was no issues with space, but if you were making a huge batch, you just want to leave them with a bit of room so that they are not overlapping. I let them go for about 4.5 hours at 160 degrees (they weren’t large strips) and my jerky came out absolutely perfect.
Jerky is a great lunch-box treat as it needs no refrigeration and is a great source of protein. My co-ambassadors also came up with great easily packable treats such as dried fruit, fruit leather, and sweet potato chips with olive oil and salt. Those ladies also are each giving one of these fantastic dehydrators away right now, so make sure to check them out.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hamilton Beach Canada. In exchange this review, I have received special perks in the form of products and compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.