The preparation process behind beef jerky
Beef jerky is a type of meat whose fat gets trimmed of, cut into strips and then dried for preservation. The whole process involves various activities with the predominant ones being salting and drying the meat either directly or through preservatives, to kill bacteria. Drying is essential as it eliminates moisture that may potentially decay the meat. Beef jerky is broadly associated with high provisions of protein. It is used as a snack that entirely depends on the number of nutrients being taken in; where a jerk contains 10-15 g of protein, fat content being at 1 g, while carbohydrate content at 0-2gms.
Preparing beef jerky is done through various techniques depending on the country. There is no established and preferred recipe, but what is certain is that it is becoming even more popular across most states. In turn, the beef is now sold online, in supermarket outlets, and retail stores. This article attempts to highlight the procedure behind this pocket-friendly snack that is increasingly gaining ground across the United States.
Getting to choose the proper beef is critical as it entails identifying the right meat with the optimal conditions. Moreover, since beef jerky is expensive and often sold for profit, selecting the right one needs to be conducted in a way that suits a selected purpose. This can best be achieved by selecting meat that appears lean, and with less fat. In other words, there should be little or no fat at all. To improve the quality of the chosen meat, different cooks prefer adding different types of flavor to give it a competitive advantage. In Texas, for instance, it is easy to come across locals applying marbled addictions or coriander to make it prime and perhaps foster rancid tenderizing softness.
Flash freeze beef sliced thinly
Beef is later sliced into smaller and thin slices and strips of preference. The process takes around 30-45 minutes before placing the sliced meat into a freezer. Flash freeze after the cutting process is vital as it promotes immediate tenderizing as opposed to freezing the beef slices after freezing them. Additionally, the beef jerky is then sliced into 1/8 inch slices that promote even further tenderization into a texture that is suitable and softer. It should be noted that the thickness per slice should not be a worry since slicing varies depending on sleekness or thickness preferences of the cook.
Marinating entails adding various flavors that one may need. Here, ingredients like free-soy sauce, sodium Roy sauce, herbs, species, coconut amino, and Worcestershire sauce are widely preferred. Other ingredients like red pepper flakes, paprika honey, garlic powder, and onion powder may be used as well. All ingredients used should be allowed a minimum of at least 45 minutes to marinate with the beef. For a better mixture, a cook can either decide to initially mix all the supplements before marinating or rather, marinate the slices with individual supplements after the other.
Racking up the beef
Racking up simply means placing the marinated beef jerky on a baking sheet that has a rack to allow the meat to drip and dry. In other words, the beef strips drip the excess marinated juice from the ingredients then later, naturally drying up the meat. This technique eliminates all moisture within the meat, especially the moisture absorbed during the marinating process.
Baking the beef
Baking of the jerky is critical – it is what allows the marinating spices and the ingredients to be incorporated more in-depth into the beef slices. The process comes immediately after racking and drying up the slices. It is best achieved by placing the beef jerky into an oven and allowing the beef to cook for around 3 to 4 hours within a temperature range of 175-178 degrees. Some cooks, however, choose to bake the meat for 2 to 3 hours, but under the same temperatures and still achieve desirable outcomes.
Checking up the beef
For the beef to fit the perfect room temperatures, they are easily preserved without worrying. Once cooked, the beef is removed from the oven and later allowed to cool. It would be appropriate to at least take a piece of beef jerky and taste it to check, not only its texture but also how the ingredients blend. Moreover, if the meat is extremely soft, it should be subjected back to the oven. If the texture is optimal, however, the meat is left at room temperature for a few days. This allows for additional drying of the beef jerky before it is finally stored.
To promote a longer-life, cooks often store the jerky for longer to give it a longer storage life. However, extremity during drying should be controlled, extreme storage time makes the beef chewier, which is now what beef jerky is all about.
Storing the jerky
The jerky is stored in clean, airtight cans to prevent moisture from contaminating the beef. This is triggered by cooling the meet before repackaging them into plastic or vacuum packs. To prevent air from entering the storage cans during the sealing process, cooks often adopt oxygen absorbers. This is essential as it prevents oxidation of any content of fat that may be present on the meat.
Additionally, a refrigerator may be used to maintain zero temperatures. As a consequence, this reduces the chances of the potential damages caused by moisture. However, storage, on the grounds of duration, broadly depends on two critical methods. Firstly, the beef may be stored
for a period ranging from one to three months. Secondly, the beef may as well be stored for more than six months. Both duration methods require unique and differing storage techniques.
Temperature control and moisture control is critical during preparation and storage of beef jerky. It is vital to locate a storage facility that is not widely affected by both nature and moisture. In other words, the ultimate storage facility should be devoid of any potential threats that may harm the beef jerky.