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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never done ground jerky before, but some other threads have gotten me interested in trying some this weekend. Here's the recipe I found that looked pretty good to me:

5 pounds ground deer meat
4 teaspoons canning salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Tender Quick®
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
1 tablespoon white pepper

I don't have a shooter, so my procedure would be like this:

1) Mix all ingredients, and let sit overnight in fridge
2) Roll out mix onto wax paper to about 1/4 inch thick
3) Transfer rolled mix onto wire rack on cookie sheet
4) Bake at 200 deg with door cracked 2 hours
5) Remove from oven and use pizza cutter to cut into 1in strips
6) Return to oven same temp to finish drying (2-4 hours).

I do have a dehydrator, but I'm not thrilled with the way it eats electricity for 4-6 hours. Plus I'm not confident it gets hot enough to do jerky safely. I could do first 2 hours in oven, then 2 hours in dehydrator, if someone is convinced I'd get a better result.
 

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pretty close to mine...it's tasty.

you don't have to get it HOT, you are CURING the meat, not cooking it. A dehydrator removes moisure, and the tenderquick inhibits the little nasties that can kill us. I just run with the dehydrator and we've never gotten sick or had the poops from mine.

I also like to add some red pepper flakes.

if you live near a Trader Horn or if you get down to butler (i know there's one in butler) you can get a shooter there (a good LEM one) for 15 bucks. I love mine and use it ALOT. I've converted about 45 lbs of ground to jerky this past year using the shooter and a cheap ronco dehydrator that I added a small PC muffin fan to.
 

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I use the jerky shooter and it is important that the meat is cool so it is easier to work without tears.
 

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strange...mine always seems to pipe out better and smoother if i let it come up a bit from fridge temp. :shrug: I do have a fairly wet mix when it hits the shooter though, maybe that's the reason i'm usually able to get it to come out smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input on the dehydrator.

Funny thing is I used to have a shooter and hated it so I sold it at a garage sale. I never used it for ground jerky like this though, and now I see the value. Since I don't have a shooter I think I'm going to roll it out on wax paper. Then I'll see how tough it would be to slice and transfer the raw slices to the dehydrator. If the raw slices are crumbling I'm going to oven bake it for 2 hours to firm it up, then slice and run it through the dehydrator to finish.
 

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wanted to share a tip i figured out last year. if you over dry the jerky and you think its ruined... ITS NOT! put it in a large ziplock, throw in a piece of bread, seal it up and wait a day. next day remove the bread and toss it in the garbage, it will feel like a cruton and your jerky will be good to go. this also works with cookies, you can make a chips o hoy soft doing this. if you dont believe me, ask your wife then try it in your jerky.
 

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I tried doing the ground jerky myself, twice. I used the hinds and it tasted like something out of the hind end. I also had the dehydrated stuff. It was almost uneatable. If you can buy a cheap smoker or even make one (small garbage can and an electric hot plate) that’s the way to go. I’ll make jerky in the dead of winter if I can get the heat up.
 

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JasonBTravel said:
you don't have to get it HOT, you are CURING the meat, not cooking it. A dehydrator removes moisure, and the tenderquick inhibits the little nasties that can kill us.
CHECK the Temp your Dehydrator goes up to......

Almost All of them do not go to the 165 temp range that is needed to kill those Naties!

All meat, even with a Cure added NEEDS to be Taken above 165 in the center of the meats to make sure all those Nasties are DOA!

Dehydrators should not be used for meats... they should be used for fruits only......and then even with fruits, you still run the rish of getting those nasites in the dried fruits.......


Even know you got lucky so far and have not gotten those poops from your meats you dehydrate, your still playing with fire......and the poops is not what you want to be worrying about....what you want to be worrying about is Blindness and DEATH that can come about from those Nasties!

Those Nasties do not just cause poops and pukes!
 

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Woody, I respect you alot on this forum, but the art of drying meat is a method of preserving it. without moisture, the nasties can't and won't do their deed.

The main thing I make sure others know about is that your meat should be frozen solid for at least a month before making jerky. This kills anything that is currently living in the fresh meat.

and if it WERE an issue, Alton Brown and the Food Network would need to pull this recipe where Alton uses a box fan and some cellulose furnace filters for a dehydrator.
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/beef-jerky-recipe/index.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I appreciate all the feedback.

I have no idea how high the dehydrator goes, but I will check that tonight. If anyone knows, it's the generic food dehydrator that all department stores carry (Target, Wal-Mart, etc...)

This line of thinking actually makes my dual source idea sound all the better. 2 hours in the oven to raise temp and kill any nasties that may be there, then another 2+ hours in the dehydrator to remove moisture giving any new nasties an inhospitable environment. By the way it's been frozen for 9 months now so I've got that method covered too.

I should have mentioned that I'm gun shy about doing the time in the oven, because the very first time I tried that with sliced jerky, I ended up with something resembling bullion cubes.
 

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Scott, I too sometimes use the oven AFTER i dehydrate the meat, but this is to melt off any remaining fat from the meat. Basically dry it out till it is nearly crispy and chuck it in a 175 oven for 15 mins and dab them with paper towel.

I only do this when there is visible fat on the jerky. I have done a few mods to my dehydrator. One was to add a small fan inside to have more circulation than simply that of convection. I have also plugged up some of the holes on the top with packing tape from top and bottom. This allows my dehyd to get up to 160 or so and it does a good job...sounds like you may have hte same one and the mods were easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Jason, I can picture what you mean about plugging that top hole and letting the heat build up, I may have to try that, thanks.
 

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one thing that you can do is to roll the meat out on an oven rack when you lift the rack up you will have uniform sized pieces about 1/4 inch thick. You might have to spray the rack with some pam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So I did the recipe this morning. Turns out I didn't have any corn syrup at home so I substituted Molasses. It came out very good, just less sweet because of the substitution. My dehydrator does go up to 160 so I filled all 4 racks with the meat, and I had about 1/2 pound left, so I put that on a rack over a cookie sheet in the oven. I gave it all 4 1/2 hours, then piled it onto papertowels on cookie sheets for the last hour in the oven. Soaked up any fat and let it cool. Pretty tasty.
 

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oh yeah...have used molassas before when short the corn syrup...adds a nice smokey flavor to the finished product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The molasses definitely added a different profile to the flavor, and I liked it.

This recipe wasn't quite spicy enough for my taste. So the next time I do it I think I'll add at least 1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne maybe a full teaspoon. I'm also considering substituting honey for the corn syrup next time. I think the honey and cayenne would give it a nice asian spicy/sweet quality.
 

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meat is fully cooked at 152 degrees not 165. check my post and pics on the waterfowl forum under finished product and cleaned out the frig. been smoking and drying wild game for close to 20 years and not one problem. made these slimjims on sunday.
 

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honey is something i never see much in jerky recipes. Not sure if it behaves differently than refined sugars...but it might. will have to investigate that a little. did you know honey will never spoil?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Honey is awesome. Honey has so little water in it not only will it never spoil, and it actually has some antiseptic properties. Along with my jerky and other game recipes I make my own beer, but more importantly I make my own Mead. If you're not familiar mead is a fermented beverage, made from honey. It pre-dates wine and even beer.

Oh and to your point I don't see any reason it would act differently from corn syrup or molasses, since all have relatively the same consistency, and moisture content. It would just be a difference in the flavor profile of the finished product.
 

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I use plain honey, Kraft Hickory Honey or Kraft Spicy Honey all the time in my jerky. I did 48lbs thru the jerky shooter this season. I got the American Harvest Snackmaker Express at Wallyworld a few years ago. It has the top mounted 500 watt fan. I do 4 trays in less then 4 hrs. Way better then the old cheap fanless model I had.
 
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