MAKING JERKY: MEAT PREPARATION

You can use any type of meat to make jerky, as long as it is lean. Poultry jerky is the simplest to prepare because it has a naturally lower fat content but beef is the most popular choice for flavour and texture.  Whichever meat you choose from the list below, ensure it is the best quality: free from steroids, growth hormones, preservatives and MSG. This gives you greater control over what chemicals (if any) are added to your jerky. 
 
ALPACA  
BEEF  
BOAR WILD 
BUFFALO  
CAMEL  
CHICKEN  
CROCODILE/ALLIGATOR  
DUCK  
EMU  
FISH  
KANGAROO  
OSTRICH  
PORK  
SALMON  
SNAKE  
TROUT  
TUNA  
TURKEY  
VENISON  
YAK 
 
BEFORE YOU START: Sterilise all of your equipment in hot, soapy water and rinse well before use. 
 
Once you have chosen your meat, place it into the freezer for around 30 minutes or until firm enough to cut. For whole meat cuts (i.e. roasts), slice into steaks and discard any fat. The fat does not render down during the dehydrating step, so the moisture in fatty jerky can easily spoil.  
 
IMPORTANT: Store meat in the refrigerator in a covered dish during preparation, taking some out to cut as required and returning the meat to the refrigerator as quickly as possible to limit bacterial growth.   
  
SOFT JERKY: CUT ACROSS THE GRAIN 
CHEWY JERKY: CUT WITH THE GRAIN 
 
Slice lean meat steaks into pieces as long and thick as you like (5mm thick is a good starting width). Ensure all pieces are the same thickness so they dry at the same time – thicker pieces won’t be dry enough and pieces cut too thin than others will become tough and brittle.  
 
Making jerky sticks and/or straps?  
Mince your lean meat on medium then fine. 
 
PET TREATS: Dry unseasoned, plain strips of lean meat i.e. beef, chicken, duck, lamb, rabbit, salmon, trout, tuna, turkey or venison for pets. 

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