OFG Jerky

I love jerky. It is so handy to have around for golf games, road trips or just snacking. I have been working on my jerky making and have tried several different methods and seasonings. I have finally settled on my go to base recipe and this is it. So, I have dubbed it OFG Jerky!

I start with eye of the round roast. You can use any lean cut like sirloin tip or outside round but you are looking for lean meat with no fat. I find the eye of the round has little fat and it is easy to trim any fat off.

Trim any fat or silverskin coating off the beef. I find it easier to cut in slices if I cut the roast in half lengthwise.

Weigh the meat after trimming as the amount of spices will vary based on the amount of meat you use.

There are arguments about whether to slice against or with the grain. Against is a little less chewy but I like both. I cut across the grain for the wider part of the roast and with the grain for the narrower end.

Another choice in making jerky is whether to use curing salts. Curing salts are a combination of salt and nitrites. They are what give ham, bacon, pastrami and other dishes the distinct red colour and cured taste.

I like that cured taste. Also, the jerky keeps longer if cured. So, I choose to cure.

If you are going to use curing salts you need to know some things. The curing salts you are looking for can be called, Prague Powder #1, Pink Salt #1, Instacure #1 or a myriad of other names. You are looking for a product that is 6.25 % sodium nitrite and 93.75% salt. There are other curing products that have different ratios. You can not use them in this recipe.

You also want to stay away from the same products ending in #2. They have nitrates and are used for different processes.

You can not use too much curing salt. High level of nitrites are bad for you. You have to use the exact amount called for in the recipe. If you double the recipe, you have to double the curing salt.

If you use too little curing salt, you won’t get the preservative benefits and the cured taste.

So, use the exact amount called for in the recipe.

Slice the meat with a sharp slicing knife to just less than 1/4 inch slices. You can put the meat in the freezer for an hour or so but I don’t have any problem with sharp knife.

Lay the meat out in one layer on trays.

I mixed up my seasoning blend. Put the following into an empty spice bottle, for each kilogram of beef:

  • 15 ml kosher salt
  • 10 ml garlic powder
  • 10 ml onion powder
  • 10 ml ground dried chipotle
  • 5 ml coarse pepper
  • 10 ml sugar
  • 5 ml ground coriander
  • 3 grams (2.2 ml) Prague powder #1

If you are still in the dark ages or one of my American neighbours, for each pound of beef:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried chipotle
  • 5 ml sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/5 teaspoon (0.048 oz) Prague powder #1

Sprinkle 1/2 the spice mixture over the beef. Turn the beef and sprinkle the remaining spice mixture over the meat. Put the meat in a nonreactive container and scrape any spice mix from the trays into the meat.

Toss the meat to even out the coating. Cover and refrigerate between 24 and 48 hours, tossing the meat three or four times.

Preheat your smoker to 200 F.  Alternatively, the jerky can be cooked on a rack in a 200 F oven but it won’t have any smoke taste.

To get more meat in my pellet smoker, I thread a bamboo skewer through the end of 8 pieces of meat. I lower a strip between the racks of my upper shelf so they hang down between the racks.

I smoke for about 2 hours. I check to make sure the meat cracks when bent. You can use an instant read thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is over 155 F.

Let it cool and freeze any that won’t be used in a week.

The Verdict

The reason this has become my go to method is the jerky has a better texture than drying it at lower temperatures in a smoker or dehydrator. It has a nice chew but isn’t leathery.

The taste is just what I wanted. A nice cured saltiness with some follow up heat that doesn’t burn your mouth but gives a nice warmth. The onion and garlic flavours aren’t pronounced, they just add a lot of flavour to the beef. The kiss of smoke makes it perfect!

If you are a jerky fan, give this a try!

The Old Fat Guy

OFG Jerky

OFG Jerky

Ingredients

  • lean beef trimmed of fat (eye of the round recommended)
  • For each KG of beef
  • 15 ml kosher salt
  • 10 ml garlic powder
  • 10 ml onion powder
  • 10 ml ground dried chipotle
  • 5 ml coarse pepper
  • 10 ml sugar
  • 5 ml ground coriander
  • 3 grams (2.2 ml) Prague powder #1
  • For each pound of beef:
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried chipotle
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/5 teaspoon (0.048 oz) Prague powder #1

Instructions

  1. Slice beef to just less than 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Spread the beef out on trays in a single layer.
  3. Mix the remaining ingredients in an empty spice bottle.
  4. Sprinkle 1/2 of the spices over the meat slices.
  5. Turn the meat and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 of the spices over the other side of the meat.
  6. Put the meat in a non reactive container and scrape any spices off the trays onto the meat.
  7. Stir the slices.
  8. Cover and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours, stirring three or four times.
  9. Smoke at 200 F or put on racks in a 200 F oven until the meat is dried and leathery but not totally brittle. You can check the internal temperature is over 155 F.
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