How to Make Beef Jerky: Step by Step
Beef Jerky is one of America's favorite snack. Not only is jerky delicious but it is also nutritious and has a long shelf life. Dense in protein and light in calories this snack is a hit amongst meat eaters. Have you ever wondered how Beef Jerky is made? Let's take a closer look how this snack is made step by step.
Beef and Curing:
When it comes to making premium beef jerky a producer must select choice quality beef as a base. Seasoning is extremely important in the process but will not mean much if handling a low quality beef cut. The two most common types of beef used for beef jerky is lean flank steak (preferably), and ground beef. Pork and turkey are two other popular types of jerky. Curing beef allows for long shelf life and is packed full of seasoning that gives jerky its distinct taste. The curing brine typically consists of a variety of seasonings, salts and spices. Since jerky can be hard to chew many producers add enzymes to help tenderize the beef. Common ingredients include: onion salt, worcestershire sauce, teriyaki, lemon juice, pepper and much much more. There are over 100 recorded flavors of beef jerky produced for commercial use.
- Meat prep: use a quality meat, make sure to remove all bones. Remove fat and any potential foreign bodies. Some producers use water separation to remove unwanted bodies.
- Curing: Use the frozen meat method, once frozen dip and leave meat submerged into the curing solution. Place on tray and heat to 160. Slowly lower heat down to 90 degrees. The 12 hour cook helps release moisture from the jerky.
- Packaging: To keep beef jerky preserved use a vacuum sealed bag. Its important to remove all oxidation to keep from spoiling. Most manufactures use a zip lock bag feature as most jerky isnt eaten in one sitting.
- Logistics: Once your product is complete its time to box and palletize your product. Work with various distributors to get the product put on store shelves.
The Future of Beef Jerky:
Beef jerky popularity has been on an upward trend the last 5 years. As manufacturers roll out new brands with flashy packaging and innovative flavors jerky will is predicted to remain a billion dollar industry for the foreseeable future. Innovations in its production are predicted to also be more widespread as more artisan mom & pop brands continue to arrive on the beef jerky scene. Enjoy a bag of freedom jerky premium beef jerky as a snack anytime!