There’s just something about a new kitchen appliance that inspires me. It is a little bit like having a new hammer—everything starts to look like a nail. In this case, it is a new dehydrator. There is nothing exotic about it, just a simple Nesco American Harvest 4-tray model with one knob for temperature control. On-sale fruits, vegetables, herbs, grains, and meats take on new meaning when you own a dehydrator and you know how to use it.
Nuts, sprouted grain, and fruit all turned out successfully, so it was time to try my hand at beef jerky. Jerky was more intimidating—the cut of meat, marinade or dry rub, safety considerations, flavors—but it was the next challenge on the list. It was difficult to find a straight-forward recipe for a first-timer like me, so I collected meat advice from a local butcher at Ranch Foods Direct, combined directions in the dehydrator booklet with some I found on-line, and used a recipe by Alton Brown that looked promising.
It was easier than expected and turned out GREAT savory, sweet, mildly peppery jerky we all liked. For jerky enthusiasts looking for step-by-step instructions and a basic recipe, here’s what I did:
For more info about jerky, check out these sites: