How to Make Jerky at Home: Vital Jerky Recipe
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
One of the ultimate snacks for the boat or in the woods is some sort of jerky. Beef Jerky is a great example and it is one of the easiest ways to get started using your fish or game at home. All you need is a mixing bowl full of your favorite meat, a dehydrator, and a jerky gun. Throw a seasoning and curing packet into the meat while mixing, spread out sticks or pieces on the racks, and turn on the dehydrator. Then set a timer and walk away. It really is that simple and the cost is a lot less than you would imagine.
The recipe I use lets you customize the size, shape, and type of meat. I use ground meat, which allows me to create my own product (sticks, pieces, strips, etc.) by simply changing the nozzle on the jerky gun. Plain ground meat is typically one of the cheapest processing options as well if you take your wild game to a processor. So instead of paying $7.99 a pound for jerky from the processor, you can pay more like $1-$2 a pound and make your own without breaking a sweat. So far, I have made beef, turkey, chicken, elk, bison, and deer jerky using this exact same equipment and recipe. They have all turned out delicious, and I have fine turned the time and temperature to create tasty bites every time.
Vital Jerky Recipe
*Note* Recipe is for 1 pound of meat, but larger batches can be made using the same ratio of meat to curing and seasoning packets (1:1:1).
1-pound ground meat of your choice
1 cure packet
1 seasoning packet
Jerky Making Steps:
Spread out jerky racks on a flat surface
Screw nozzle onto the end of the jerky gun
Leave trigger/plunger unit unscrewed and placed next to canister on the flat surface next to your mixing bowl and dehydrating racks
Put 1 pound of ground meat into mixing bowl
Add both cure packet and seasoning packet
Mix meat and both packets thoroughly
Load contents into the jerky gun canister
Screw on plunger/trigger to canister
Squeeze out contents onto the racks in shapes or patterns of your choosing. I have found that the best way to fit the most meat into one batch is by forming spiral circles slowly moving inward around the entire rack. Repeat process for each rack until all the meat has been squeezed or placed on the racks.
Stack racks back together and put dehydrator lid back on top of racks (if using the open country model of dehydrator)
Set temperature for 160 F and let dehydrate for 2 hours and 30 minutes.
After dehydrating, remove meat and place on paper towels to cool.
Once cool, eat or place in a storage container
This recipe is based on the open country brand of seasoning packets, cure packets, and dehydrators. Each dehydrator may dehydrate your meat a little differently so be aware you may need a trial batch or two in order to figure out your unit. If doing a test batch, I would strongly encourage you to practice with similar fat content meat from the store before using it on your wild game. For example, lean beef or ground turkey, or chicken. Also, you can adjust the time of the cook based on your preference. However, I would not recommend going any lower than 2 hours. You can find everything you need to make your own jerky at home online and start using your wild game for any occasion.
If you are interested in purchasing this kit, below is a list of the equipment we used and the approximate cost of each item.
Jerky Making Kit: