Sunday, January 1, 2012

Making Deer Jerky

So last year for Christmas, my parents got me a refurbished dehydrator from LEM Products. That website/catalog is like a candy store. I want everything in it just about.
That's my dehydrator. He lives in our camp/house/remote business location in Oklahoma. I use my grandma's old one at home. Anyway.

This year, since I made a good bit of deer jerky from my dad and brother's kills last year, my parents thought this would help.
It's a jerky cannon. Holds 1.5 pounds of ground meat and you can make either flat jerky or snack sticks. It also has a bottle brush to clean it, a barrell stomper to pack the meat in, and 2 packs of LEM's seasoning (good for 5 pounds each). Naturally, I had to make all 5 pounds of the original flavor one.

The seasoning came with a cure packet in it. I know that technically you're supposed to use all that stuff, but the main reason that I got into drying and canning my own foods is because all those cures and preservatives make me sick. So we store the jerky in the freezer.

The cannon works like a cookie press. You pull the plug all the way back, pack the barrell full, put the tip you want on and go to town. Each of those sticks is 2 "clicks" with the handle/trigger thing. It took me under 2 hours to put together, season 5 pounds of meat, put it on the trays and wash up. I don't even want to think about how many hours that would have been by hand. 1 pound at a time took me long enough last year.

The LEM Original seasoning for jerky is pretty good. I'm more of a teriyaki person myself, but this was good. Normally I make my own seasonings or use the dry rub stuff (bbq, lemon pepper, steak seasonings, etc.) My brother likes all the weird stuff, so I make it for him.

I dried these too long when I did them, since I was worried that they might not be done enough I guess. Next time, a bit shorter would be better. The dog doesn't care though. He likes it just the way it is.

(He was chasing my brother's eggnog.)

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