Ground meat jerky has attained popularity due to the fact that it is easier to chew and, if you are making it at home, can be made from lesser cuts of meat or even leftovers*. After all, who doesn’t like to save a few dollars.
* Note: The meaty trimmings from making sliced jerky can be used for making jerky sticks. Save them up in the freezer until you have enough for the recipe.
Unlike sliced jerky, you will need a way to shape or form the ground meat into jerky. This is easily done by using an extruder, i.e., Beef Jerky Gun – Stick Attachment & Flat Strip Shooters.
But before any of this, if not using purchased ground meat, you will need a way to grind the meat to be used. We’ll be taking a look at this process today.
When grinding meat for jerky, especially when using lesser cuts . . . all fat, gristle and sinew should be trimmed before the grinding process begins. Regardless if using a manual or electric powered grinder – the following are good guidelines to follow.
- The meat should be cut in sizes small enough to fit the grinder opening. If using a manual grinder the smaller the cut, the easier to grind.
- No bones as these may damage the grinder.
- Temperature of meat should be no higher than 40 degrees F. (Might be good to wear vinyl gloves during the process as ground meat is more prone to harboring bacteria. Another reason to keep it cold until ready to use.)
- Never use your hands to push or force the meat. Use a pusher to feed the meat into the grinder opening.
Whether you grind the meat once (coarse texture) or twice (fine texture) will depend on how fine you want the finished jerky product.
If you are unsure as to texture, try using a coarse plate for the first grind. Should you decide you want something finer, replace the coarse grinding plate with a fine one – turning off the grinder first if electric. Run the coarsely ground meat through, checking on the texture – you don’t want mush – and decide whether or not to continue with the second grind.
Once the grinding process is complete, you can clean the grinder by running some dry crackers through it. When you see most of the remaining meat bits are out, disassemble the grinder and wash necessary parts in hot soapy water. Allow to dry completely before storing.
Note: Removable parts can be sprayed with a Food Grade Dry Silicone Spray to prevent them from rusting.
|Manual grinder:||Electric grinder|
All ground meat being used for jerky should be weighed before making jerky to ensure the correct amount of ingredients are being used, i.e, cure and seasonings.
Please check back next time when we’ll be offering up some recipes for ground meat jerky.