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The Ultimate Jerky?

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The Ultimate Jerky?

Postby maverick » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:42 pm

I have tried several brands of jerky, beef, turkey, antelope, and a few others
and several flavors, but have yet to have one that blows me away with it's flavor
and/or consistency.
I am tired of the old grocery store brands, there all the same, none stands out.
Have any of you tasted a brand and/or flavor that you have been impressed with, not
just okay with?



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Re: The Ultimate Jerky?

Postby copeg » Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:13 pm

Almost always been a bit dissatisfied with store bought jerky, save for the few elite types that are too expensive to stock up on for backpacking. I bought some Oberto last minute for my last trip, and comparatively it seemed pretty good. Usually if I have time I'll make my own. Marinate overnight in a concotion including terryaki sauce, water, sugar, salt, and other spices or something similar with liquid smoke in place of terryaki - depending upon your preference. Then dry/dehydrate during the day. I've probably had the best jerky of my life this way.
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Re: The Ultimate Jerky?

Postby ERIC » Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:29 am

I either smoke my own, or buy from Ravens Brand Products & Deli in Armona, CA (off of SR 198). :yummy:
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Re: The Ultimate Jerky?

Postby Rosabella » Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:10 pm

I have a questions for those of you that make your own jerky.... either in a smoker or dehydrator - is there any concern over your jerky not being refrigerated for any length of time? When I have purchased jerky from good delis they always recommend refrigeration, but I've wondered if they’re just being over-cautious.

I’d rather have a more “natural” jerky than the commercial stuff that’s loaded with preservatives, I’ve just always worried about “pack life”. What is the longest that you’ve taken your jerky out unrefrigerated… or do you have to refrigerate at all? Was there ever a point that you were concerned about food safety?
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Re: The Ultimate Jerky?

Postby rayfound » Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:51 pm

I've kept homemade jerky for a long time. The trick is to avoid fatty meat. Fat will turn rancid, but lean mean when jerkied will stay pretty good for a long time.

I'm curious what cuts of beef do you use?

I've always used London Broil as its super cheap and ultra lean.
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Re: The Ultimate Jerky?

Postby cgundersen » Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:28 pm

I'd overlooked this board until I got snuffed by my usual jerky source. For my taste, Meadow Farms in Bishop (north end of town on the main drag) has a very decent product. They have a range of jerkies from a variety of critters (and other sausages, etc), and my favorite is the so-called cowboy jerky: with huge flavor (perhaps too salty on occasion, but the flavor is always there), it comes in ~1/4-1/3" thick slabs. Of course, the other jerky I really like from Meadow Farms is the long thin strips of "Indian" jerky. However, the flavor of the Indian jerky is more variable among batches, so if you are used to buying on-line (or by phone) you may hit sub-par batches. I like to taste the stuff at the shop before springing for a pile of it. Anyway, for our last trip, I'd planned to order cowboy/indian jerky, but there was no cowboy to be had. We went with tuna jerky (from Whole Foods), instead, and it was OK, but not great. I've made jerky (from lean brisket), but my wife think that it makes a mess of the oven. I'm hoping for a comeback by the cowboys!
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Re: The Ultimate Jerky?

Postby ERIC » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:04 pm

rayfound wrote:I've kept homemade jerky for a long time. The trick is to avoid fatty meat. Fat will turn rancid, but lean mean when jerkied will stay pretty good for a long time.

I'm curious what cuts of beef do you use?

I've always used London Broil as its super cheap and ultra lean.


I usually use whatever's on sale, but for the reason you point out, do a fair amount of trimming prior to throwing the meat in the smoker.
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Re: The Ultimate Jerky?

Postby JMat » Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:54 pm

cgundersen wrote: For my taste, Meadow Farms in Bishop (north end of town on the main drag) has a very decent product. They have a range of jerkies from a variety of critters (and other sausages, etc), and my favorite is the so-called cowboy jerky: with huge flavor (perhaps too salty on occasion, but the flavor is always there), it comes in ~1/4-1/3" thick slabs.

I have to agree with you about Meadow Farms. I always pick up some of there bacon when I'm in the area and have also bought a few of their hams(awesome) Cowboy Jerky is like a tastey dehydrated steak and you can chew on it for a long time... May not sound too tastey but it really is and it lasts a long time on the trail.

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Re: The Ultimate Jerky?

Postby cgundersen » Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:24 am

I just checked Meadow Farms webpage, and cowboy jerky is still not listed. I've encouraged them to bring it back, as it's the best commercial product I've found. But, if they don't do it, then it'll be time to experiment in the kitchen....shucks!
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Re: The Ultimate Jerky?

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:38 pm

Interesting thread.....I hate store bought jerky. I figure make your own. Its much more cost efficient to buy or gather your own meat, cut it, stick it in a dehydrator, smoker, or low heat oven. There are several inexpensive cures on the market to suit your taste. My jerky can last from a week to years depending on how I prepare it. If I want it to last for a long time, I will trade taste for preservation. I preserve my meat by smoking. The longer I smoke the more preserved it is. If I just want a quick batch for the trail, I’ll set some in the oven at 175 to 200 degrees until it looks jerked.
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Re: The Ultimate Jerky?

Postby obiwan canoli » Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:32 pm

I've made plenty of jerky at home in my dehydrator, but have a smoker, too, and may give that a whirl next time around...

I wonder, though... has anyone tried to make a dried meat like the Jack Links? Not the jerky, but the bite-sized pieces? Expensive as hell to buy, but could probably be made cheaply enough (for backpacker's tastes) at home... just not sure how to begin... or is this another case for home experimentation?
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Re: The Ultimate Jerky?

Postby ERIC » Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:51 pm

obiwan canoli wrote:I wonder, though... has anyone tried to make a dried meat like the Jack Links? Not the jerky, but the bite-sized pieces? Expensive as hell to buy, but could probably be made cheaply enough (for backpacker's tastes) at home... just not sure how to begin... or is this another case for home experimentation?


Now there's an idea! I'm going to have to give that idea a go. Probably not until this winter, but I'll try it using both the smoker and the dehydrator to see if one works better then the other.
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