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Multi-Purpose Jerky Equipment

Most of the time you can get around having to buy special equipment for making jerky at home, but when you do decide to buy equipment, why not make it multi-purpose?

We’ve listed below some equipment you might want to consider purchasing to make the process easier . . . not to mention the other uses available rather than making jerky.


When deciding to purchase a dedicated meat grinder,  one first needs to decide if they want a manual or electric.  Manual is good for use as a home back-up or for those places where electrical power is limited or not available.

In either case, you want to think about getting one with multiple, inter-changeable  plates.  Having it easy to clean and coming with additional tools for making sausage are a big plus too.






If you already have a stand mixer, look to purchasing a grinder attachment.   In some cases you can get a grinder, various plates and sausage stuffer too!!  The Kitchenaide brand seems to offer the best selection.


If your primary goal is to make sausage, you may want to purchase a sausage maker. Some of these offer ‘an extended life’ over the meat grinders, also different plates for coarseness, can also be used for vegetables, nuts, etc.





Extruder/ Sausage Filler


Jerky sticks are always a favorite and for this you will need an extruder. Check the options available – round sticks vs. flat –  and look for one that has attachments for making sausage.    Some extruders can be used for making fruit roll-ups as well.  There are – of course – dedicated sausage fillers.





If using a dehydrator for making jerky, look for one that has enough controls to be used for making dehydrated fruit.  Also consider shape, number of trays, and accessories.



Electric Knife / Slicer

For jerky, the slicing and trimming of the meat is very important. No fat!  And, while a good, sharp  kitchen knife will work, having an electric knife or deli-type slicer  can make the job easier and faster.  Especially if you are making a lot of jerky strips.

For an electric knife, look for one that is easy to clean and comes with more than one blade. It can then be used for not only slicing jerky meat but also slicing holiday meats and breads.

For a food slicer, look for one that again is easy to clean and offers a variable cut. You can then use it for jerky, deli-meats, cheeses, etc.


jerkyslicersVacuum Packaging

If you don’t plan on eating your jerky right away, it can be kept – vacuum sealed in the refrigerator or frozen –  by packaging it in vacuum sealed bags. These same bags are great for storing fresh meat, veggies, etc.    The chart at this link will give you an idea of how long you can deep food stored in the freezer.

Look for a vacuum sealer that offers different size storage bags. Also be sure that supplies are readily available at an effective cost.



For more information of jerky equipment and seasonings, please visit this link.





It’s easy to make jerky from meat products purchased at the local grocery or meat market. For hunters, it’s also easy to make delicious jerky from game such as deer.  But what about those hunters that like to hunt game birds, water fowl or small game, i.e., rabbits, squirrels, etc., these don’t have enough meat mass to make jerky strips.  An alternative jerky is to use them for making ground-meat jerky or as we call them, jerky sticks.




As in any situation when hunting – and field dressing – special care should be taken to use safe, clean butchering processes so as to not contaminate the meat.   This is especially true if you plan on using the meat for ground meat jerky.  And, of course, only healthy animals should be used.


The process for obtaining the meat to be used should include the following:


  • Debone the meat from game or fowl
  • Remove all fat and gristle
  • Cut away all bloody meat and remove any shot
  • Soak deboned pieces in salt water overnight in the refrigerator (helps remove some of the gaminess and also helps tenderize the meat)

Making ground meat jerky from small game or fowl also means that you can use the less tender portions of meat. You may  find your jerky sticks more tasty if different types of meat are mixed together.  For example, try blending the dark meat of ducks and geese with milder meat to tone down the flavor.  Another way to ‘mask’ a strong game flavor is to use very spicy seasonings.





Preparation & Mixing Process

  1. If meat has not been previously frozen, freezing it a little helps in the grinding process.
  2. Make sure the spices you plan on using are dissolved in any liquid you use
  3. Mix everything completely together, including cure, in a large bowl (non-metallic) until tacky.
  4. Refrigerate overnight
  5. Extrude from jerky gun and dry according to dehydrator directions



Ground Meat Jerky Recipe [1]

  • 2 pounds wild game meat, ground
  • 2 tablespoons Morton Tender Quick
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3-4 drops hot sauce (use to taste, can be made hotter)


Note: Try replacing the lemon pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder with your favorite pre-packaged  jerky seasoning like Nesco’s or one of the whiskey flavored ones.  Also, the recipe may need to be adjusted if the pre-packaged seasoning already contains a cure.


Look for  links to the most requested  jerky making equipment, seasonings and info . . .  here.

Final thought, don’t have any small game or fowl, use this ground meat method to clean out the freezer using all your left over game meat. You’ll have an empty freezer ready  for hunting season and lots of delicious jerky to enjoy in the meantime.



[1]   The Complete Jerky Book

Fresh Pear Cake




Every once in a while, I take a detour from making jerky into making something else. This is one of those times.

I’m not much of a ‘farmer’ but this year my pear trees – and blueberry bushes – have been full of fruit thanks to Mother Nature.  So much so it is impossible to eat it all so we’ve been freezing most of it.  All we do is put the fresh fruit into freezer bags and place in freezer.  A ‘no brainer’  even for me.

However, my wife did make the best fresh pear cake . . . super moist and with a topping not unlike a praline.     Also, like to mention the recipe can be used for making an apple cake . . .  and IF you don’t like pralines, you can use a cream cheese frosting on top . . . or so I’m told.

The recipe is below. And, for those who would like to see more about fixing it, please visit this link.

Pear Cake [1]

pearcake_2Ingredients – Cake

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups flour (sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 4 cups raw diced pears (or apples)

Ingredients – Topping

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 lb. butter (1 stick)

Directions – Cake


  1. Mix all cake ingredients by hand in order given
  2. Pour in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan or spring form pan
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes and remove


Directions – Topping


  1. In a saucepan mix all ingredients and bring to a slow boil for 3 minutes
  2. Pour over cake and return to oven for 4 minutes.


PS – For the best blueberry filling ever, visit this link.