Today’s Mouthwatering Monday is jerky made without a dehydrator. Many people think they can’t make jerky, because they don’t have the correct tools, but it is actually really simple to do with things you have around your house. No need to buy extra items to let the jerky “cure,” and it will still last a good 6 months or so in the refrigerator.
What you need:
Ground meat (I chose to use venison, but you can make yours with beef, pork, chicken, turkey, etc.)
Seasoning packets (I chose to use to use the Nesco brand, but you can mix your own. Nesco’s original mix, in my opinion, is the best there is. We’ve tried many many jerky recipes, marinades, and spice mixes over the years, and Nesco remains at the top. Their ingredients are as follows: DEXTROSE, SUGAR, SALT, SPICES, NATURAL SMOKE FLAVOR, HYDROLYZED SOY PROTEIN, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, DEHYDRATED ONION, DEHYDRATED GARLIC, LESS THAN 2% OF CARAMEL COLOR, SILICON DIOXIDE (ANTICAKING), CALCIUM SILICATE (ANTICAKING). You could easily make your own seasoning using these ingredients as a base, or you could use another combination of seasonings. I find that a brine works better if you are doing solid strips of meat, but when using ground meat the powder packets are the best.
Stacking oven racks OR a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
Oven set at 170 degrees F
Jerky gun OR rolling pin and pizza cutter
Mixer OR your hands
First, heat your oven to 170 degrees.
Next, take the ground mean and add seasoning packet. We use 1 packet of seasoning for every 3/4 of a pound. The directions on the packets will tell you to add 1 packet to every 1 pound, but this is never strong enough.
If you want your jerky spicy, you can add some crushed cayanne pepper.
Thoroughly mix meat and seasoning packet in mixer, or in large bowl with your hands.
Next, if you have a jerky gun (we got ours on sale at Cabelas), use the flat nozzle or double flat nozzle, pack the meat into the gun, and then line it on your rack a few centimeters apart. If you are doing this without a jerky gun, you can roll out your meat very thin on a cutting board or mat, and use a pizza cutter to make strips. Then space the strips a few centimeters apart when placing them on your cookie sheet or oven racks.
Place in the oven for roughly 10 hours. If you like it chewier, cook it for an hour or two longer.