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.
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.