I make most of my dishes from scratch, including Jerky. However, there are commercial products out there that are of a high quality and give a great result. Hi Mountain Jerky mixes are one of those products.
Using their kit does speed up the process and even I get lazy sometime. When you add to that the fact that I really like every one of their jerky flavours, I find myself buying their kits and making some mighty fine jerky.
The kits are even more appealing to a beginner. You don’t have to buy any curing salts and all the ingredients are in the box.
I will advise that I have received no consideration from Hi Mountain for this review. I bought the kit myself.
On this occasion, I made their Bourbon BBQ Blend Jerky which I hadn’t tried before.
The kits tell you how much meat they are designed for. I used eye of the round beef as it is lean and I don’t like fat in my jerky. You could use pork, turkey, game or hamburger. This kit called for 4 pounds but they give you the measurements for doing partial amounts.
One of my complaints is they don’t give metric equivalents but they are from the US. Us Canadians are flexible and I had no problem with their measures. I also like to make up the full amount they call for so no measurements are required.
I cut as much fat as I could off the beef. I cut it into 1/4 inch slices and cut those slices into strips about 1 1/2 inch wide.
I spread the meat in a single layer on trays.
Their seasonings come in two packs. One is a curing mix and the other is seasoning. I mixed the two together and put it in a shaker bottle.
I sprinkled 1/2 of the mixture over the meat, turned it and sprinkled with the other 1/2.
I put the meat in a nonreactive (nonmetallic) bowl. They tell you to let it sit for 24 hours. I find I get a better cure if I let it sit in the fridge for 2 days and stir it around a couple of times.
I preheated my smoker to 200 F. You can do them in a 200 F oven but I really like some smoke on the jerky. The meat can be laid on racks but you can fit a lot more in if you skewer one end of several strips and hang the meat between the racks of the smoker.
I smoked for 2 hours and tested the jerky. Just bend it and if the surface is dry and cracks a bit, it is fine. You can check the internal temperature to make sure it is over 160 F.
I take it off and let it sit on the counter for a couple of hours. I freeze any I won’t eat in the next week.
As I said, Hi Mountain makes a great product. They have a nice cure that gives a great red colour, the seasoning gives a great tasting jerky and I love the texture.
The jerky is not totally dried like some jerky. It relies on the curing to keep it safe instead. This makes a wonderful chewy texture.
As for the Bourbon BBQ Blend, it was delicious. I prefer their original and jalapeno but this was still a delicious jerky.
The only knock is that the kits are more expensive than making jerky from scratch but not terribly so.
I will continue to us Hi Mountain kits.
The Old Fat Guy