As promised, here's the jerky recipe I'm (loosely) following. I looked around for ground meat jerky recipes after I read that commercial jerky is often made with ground meat. We knew that jerky was pretty soft, and we thought it would work better for the people in my family that have teeth issues… sensitive teeth or braces. (I'm sorry, Dr. Price, but we learned about you too late.)
The great thing is I have used this jerky on pizza as pepperoni. It is already pretty soft, but during the pizza baking, it absorbed liquid from the tomato sauce and turned out soft and chewy. I think I should have done a thinner batch of jerky for it to be really pepperoni-like, though.
Tender Ground Meat Jerky
- 3 pounds grass-fed ground beef or venison, or lamb, or buffalo...
- 1/4 pound ground liver optional
- 2 teaspoons sea salt use 2 tablespoons for longer-term keeping
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder or granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin or more!
- pinch ground cayenne pepper
Blend all the ingredients together in a big bowl. Use clean hands.
You could also use a rolling pin to spread it out, but I find I can never get the thickness consistent, so I prefer to take extra time and press the balls out into a sheet myself.
When a sheet is full, square up the edges to your liking, using your fingers.
Then use a butter knife to score the meat into jerky-size pieces. Don’t use a sharp knife or you’ll cut through parchment paper or Paraflexx sheets!
Transfer the whole shebang to a dehydrator tray and put the tray in/on your dehydrator.
Repeat until you’ve spread out all your meat mixture.
This recipe fills 4 to 5 trays of my 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator, depending on the thickness I achieve.
Or use a jerky gun to make sticks!
Set the dehydrator’s temperature to 145 or 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Depending on thickness, expect total drying time to be 12 to 18 hours.
Flip over mid-way, which is usually when the jerky is curling up from the bottom and not sticking to the tray’s liner any more.
You have to play with how much it “cooks” — and keep in mind that coming out of the dehydrator it is going to be much softer than it will be when it cools. I look for no more pink and try to get it out of the dehydrator while it is still really soft. It always surprises me how much it hardens up once it is out.
Tear apart the pieces and put them in a bowl or tray to cool fully.
Then store in a cool, dark place in an airtight container. Or in the refrigerator if not using up within 2 weeks.
Don't Have A Dehydrator?
If you don't have a dehydrator, you can use the oven instead.
- Follow the directions above, yet lay out strips of meat on baking trays.
- Set oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, or as low as your oven will go (propping the door open with a wooden spoon if necessary).
- Turn the tray multiple times until jerky is dry, with no pink in the middle and desired texture.
So, there you have it. What spices did you add to this jerky recipe? If you make it, be sure to come back and let me know what you did!
Looking for more ways to use ground meat? Check out 25+ Healthy Ground Beef Recipes for Easy Meals.
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