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What is jerked meat ?

Jerked meat is meat that has rapidly cured with salt, rubbed to hold up spoilage and then slowly dried. There are a number of conventional recipes for jerking meat, and variations of this commonly preserved meat can be found all over the world. It is quite easy to jerk meat at home, but you do need to be very careful about spoilage, as badly made jerky can be unsafe to eat. If you do not have an accurate thermometer and the right tools, do should not try to do meat jerking at home. You may also want to take some lessons in meat preservation and butchery that will develop your skills and confidence.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, meat must be heated to a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit or 73 degrees Celsius before jerking to eliminate any pathogens in the meat and reduce the possibility of making bad jerky. During the curing procedure, the jerky should be at 130 degrees Fahrenheit at all times, and the humidity should be very low. Before you make your mind up on jerking meat, make sure to have the drying materials.

There are numerous ways to dehydrate meat for jerky. The conventional method involves sun drying in a windy, dry location, but this can gather pathogens. If you want to try making more conventional jerky, try building a jerked meat cabinet with screens so that the meat can be exposed to breezes as it dries, and control the heat with a charcoal pile or a small fire. A dehydrator can also be used to jerk meat; this equipment is ideal for the purpose, since it is designed to hold the needed temperature to make jerky. Some cooks just use a conventional oven to jerk meat, using a thermometer to monitor the temperature.

In jerking meat, begin by picking out a lean cut of meat, which is as fresh as possible. Tidy all of the fat from the meat, as fat can cause the jerky to go sour. Cut the meat into consistently sized strips, and cure them in a salt cure, dry rub, or marinade of your desire. A salt cure is conventional, and it will help fight putrescence. Leave the meat curing for 24 hours under refrigeration, heat it quickly to the USDA temperature, and then place it in the drying place of your choice. When the jerky turns dark black and breakable, it is finished. In dehydrator or an oven, this can take as few as eight hours, depending on how thick the meat is, while outdoor drying may take longer.

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