Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Jamaica Sweet & Hot Jerky

This was not preplanned but when I saw this sauce I thought it would make a good Jerky. Oh yea I was at Costco when I came across this sauce which of course is my favorite store of all time. Anyhow I ran over to the meat section and I purchased what I think is the best meat for Jerky. I happen to love Top Round for Jerky. Just make sure to cut it against the grain unless gnawing is your thing. 

I made my Jerky in my brand new Excalibur Dehydrator. This baby is the BOMB. All stainless steel and ten shelves. It will hold 20 lbs of meat. Google it and you will want to buy one. 

Anyhow I took the meat (ALL 16 LBS) and partially froze it so it would be easier to slice. Remember slice it against the grain into 1/4 -3/8 of an inch.

This is a simplistic recipe that has 3 ingredients. I added the whole container of Jamaica sauce, approximately one cup of Soy and some Agave for sweetness. I also added .25% of Cure # 1 to the concoction which equates to 18 grams. More on this later. If you're like me you're gonna want to taste everything and make adjustments if necessary. Just remember to Taste before  you add the CURE.  

Because of my schedule the meat marinated for 36 hours but 24 would have been adequate.

I had seven racks filled with Jerky. Lets recap quickly. Partially freeze meat, cut across grain to desired thickness and mariante. 

I dehydrated the Jerky at 135 degrees for about 11 hours and then 2 more at 100 degrees. I find the lower temps help with texture. My last batch needed less time though. 

Safety and Jerky

I don't want to go on a rant or lecture about Beef Jerky but there are some precautions you need to take. The amount of jerky recipes out there pales in comparison to the amount of opinions there are about how to make Beef Jerky properly. You can google to you're blue in the face and everyone has an opinion. There are a lot of rules out there and if you want to explore them I have collected on my BLOG. Click the Link HERE and go to the bottom and click on the desired information. 

This is what I do. I make sure there is adequate salt levels. If I am using a dry rub I use 2.5-3% salt. If I use a marinade I go by taste and experience. I use Cure # 1 because I tend to like my Jerky a little moister than others and cannot guarantee that the AW will be below the 85 threshold to ward off Botulism. I store my Jerky vacuum sealed in bags hence Cure # 1. I refuse to pasteurize like the USDA suggest so I have an alternate way of doing it that provides great texture. I pack all the Jerky in Vacuum sealed bags no thicker than an inch and Sous-Vide at 135 degrees for a minimum of two hours. I prefer 3-4 hours for improved texture. All cured and pasteurized. 

Review with gratuitous pictures below-  So the sauce I purchased is great and it's spicy. However when used as a marinade for Jerky it loses some of it's kick. The sauce contains oil and the jerky came out a little greasy. Overall it tasted very good but I want awesomeness. Will I use it again? Maybe with a little different approach. Again it tasted very good and it was not awesome!!!