Making jerky. To par-boil, heat, or just dry?

It'll probably be a weekend project when weather is low humidity. All I have is an Ancient Ronco dehydrator---convection style.
I've made it before and it turned out brittle when I par-boiled, or used oven method. Would a slow dry, after marinating without high heat be better?
It'll be beef jerky from a London Broil cut--that's still in the freezer for now.

  • Posted by: Sam1148
  • October 17, 2012


sfmiller October 18, 2012
I've had good results using an oven. I don't bother hanging the strips vertically, just lay them on a rack on top of a sheet pan and flip them over midway through. You can crowd them tightly because they shrink while drying.

They do best with a barely warm oven temp, I think. Mine won't hold a temp lower than 170 F, so I let it go to 170, turn it off for 20-30 mins, then repeat the procedure until done. Average temp is probably about 140. Takes about 3 hours if you slice thinly and blot off the excess marinade before putting them in the oven.

The last Washington Post food section had an interesting piece on Asian jerkies with recipes (links on p. 2):

sdebrango October 18, 2012
Here is a great method and recipe from Blue Kale Road, I love her ingenious method of drying in the oven
Ben P. October 18, 2012
Let us know how it turns out and any lessons learned! My dehydrator pretty much runs 24/7 making apple chips this time of year, but I've yet to brave putting meat in there.

Best dried item so far has been kiwi, FYI. Whole strawberries weren't too bad either.
SeaJambon October 18, 2012
Sam - when I became a Master Food Preserver, the session on meat jerky clearly made the instructors the most nervous. They really got jumpy with wild game, but happily you have a nice, domesticated, bovine in mind (or freezer, actually!). Here's a link to good information about the proper approach to making meat jerky And, of course, anything from the site can be taken to the bank.

Having said all that, one of the other students brought in a variety of meat jerkies he had made and they were great.

Good luck!
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