I love jerky. I especially love the super hard ones that takes forever to chew. Of course, they are super expensive as well. But with homemade ones, you know they're fresh without preservatives or artificial colourings & flavourings. They take many hours to prepare. Overnight marination, followed by precooking & finally dehydration. You need a very lean cut as oils from the fat will make it rancid really quickly. The recipe I got online called for 2 kg of beef which was the amount I used. Even though I knew they would shrink to merely a fraction of their original size, I still thought that 2 kg was a lot. As it turned out, not quite enough. My dehydrator came with 5 trays. 2 kg of meat was only sufficient to fill up 2.5 trays which was a waste of electricity. 5 trays requires 8 hours of dehydration. 2.5 trays also requires 8 hours. So next time, you'll bet I'll make 4 kg of jerky.
|2 kg of beef sliced & marinated overnight.|
|Lay them out on a cooling rack without overlapping.|
|Precook them in the oven. You can see that they've already shrunk in size.|
|Lay the precooked slices on the dehydrating tray, again without overlapping.|
|Final product after 8 hours of dehydration.|