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Jerky (as an Ingredient)

To some, jerky is the quintessential snack. Looking beyond that — it can be used as an ingredient in certain dishes giving them a unique, new flavor.

Granted the nature of jerky somewhat limits the dishes, but with a little creativity – and daring,  a whole new world of eating can open up.

With that thought in mind, went ‘net surfing’ for different ways jerky could be used as an ingredient.   And rather than put all the recipes here, we’ve placed links to the pages, blogs, etc. where you can find the recipes.

As you might think, most were unique hot entrees (of sorts) with the tomato sauce one turning up more than once.   Did find a salad or two which was a surprise.  Would never have thought of that.

For those so inclined to try using their jerky for something other than snacking, we’ve listed a few of our favorites food finds below.   When looking at these recipes, don’t be shy about adding your own touches or other ingredients if you are so inclined.



The next 4 recipes can be found here.

Cornbread with jerky   –  sounds good to us.

Biscuits with jerky gravy – we think sausage gravy is better the next day after the flavors blend. Jerky gravy might be the same.

Tomato sauce – saw this one frequently.

Beans with jerky – think they might be ranch beans??




Next recipe plus a few others can be found here

Curried fried rice with jerky – can be found at this link along with some other recipes including papaya salad w/jerky; charquican; spicy kimchi noodles.




These next recipes all sounded  good too.

Salad with grated jerky  – chef salad

Tomato sauce – we’d add onions too

Roasted Brussels sprouts – can anything make them taste good??

Omelet – add in some cheese, onions, peppers, etc. too

Oatmeal topping – have to wonder about this one

Any soup (or stew) – love soup and stew

Deviled egg garnish  – think it would have to be finely grated for this one and maybe  leave out the salt when preparing the deviled eggs


Get the recipes for the above – along with a couple of others (Bloody Mary) – at this link.



No-Name Soup

The following is my wife’s recipe for what she calls ‘No Name Soup’. It is an easy fix using leftovers if you have them.  Otherwise use canned soup, black-eyed peas, macaroni, cabbage and sausage that’s been smoked.  Replacing the smoked sausage with bite-sized pieces of jerky sticks (that have been soaked) would work just fine.  It is delicious, by the way.


  • 1 – 2 cans of  Minnestroni or vegetarian vegetable soup
  • 1 can water (no water if using Progresso soup)
  • 1 can chicken or beef broth
  • 1/2 can black-eyed peas (with liquid)
  • 1/2 onion (sauteed in 1-2 TBSP olive oil)
  • 1/4 head cabbage, coarsely chopped and pre-cooked
  • 1  cup macaroni
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 1 -2 links cooked sausage (smoked is best)
  • Salt, pepper to taste


  1. Sauté onion in olive oil till soft, add soup, water, broth – cover and bring to a low boil.
  2. Add in macaroni, cover.  Reduce heat to a slow simmer and cook till macaroni is almost tender.
  3. Add in black-eyed peas, tomatoes, partially cooked cabbage, and cooked sausage – cover and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes.  Give it a stir about every minute or so to mix it all up.
  4. Adjust seasoning to taste


Final Thought

For most of the recipes we found the jerky was either grated, chopped or soaked. And one recipe called specifically for ‘smoked’ jerky.  Would think if smoked jerky weren’t available, maybe a teaspoon or so of liquid smoke in the recipe would help give the ‘smoked’ flavor.  Just a thought.



Desserts – Old & New

Man does not live by meat alone, so I’m getting my wife to share some of our favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas dessert recipes . The recipes below and many others  – including sugar-free cranberry sauce – can be found at I Can’t Believe It’s Sugar Free.

Jan here  . . . David asked me to pick some of our favorite recipes and alas, it is hard to decide which ones to make. And since I’m one of those people that doesn’t like change I rarely try anything new.   But one of our old favorites just may be getting bumped for a new one.   Saw this piecaken online and in spite of the fact that I’m not a big chocolate eater, it did look delicious.  Raspberries and chocolate – what’s not to like?  





A piecaken is new to me, but then we live in the country. Have to say the thought of a pie inside a cake is novel.  Hmmmmm, can you say turducken??

If you’re like me, just seeing the picture made me want to run out and buy raspberries. So rather than put everything needed here, please visit this link for the full recipe.

Ok, now if you’ve gotten past the piecaken, here are a few of our old favorite recipes we’re thinking of having.





Rum Cake  – Made from a box mix so it’s easy !!!  –  Get Recipe       (Note:  a new twist on this old favorite is to use Amaretto in place of the run . . . it is delicious.  In fact, David likes it better !!!  A true endorsement.  )

Bourbon Pecan Pie – with or without the bourbon this pie is fantastic  (David likes it best chilled)  – Get Recipe

Eggnog Cake w/Rum Glaze – made from a box mix, this is an easy fix.  Get recipe

Note:  If you like eggnog, you can make your own eggnog ice cream at home from vanilla ice cream using only 4 ingredients you probably already have.  It does not use eggnog from the store)  Get recipe. 

Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake – lot of work, but worth it !  Get Recipe

Timbal Rosettes – thin, crunchy pastry shells or shapes deep fried and dusted with powdered sugar.  Yum !!  Get Recipe 

Baklava –  Traditional Greek Pastry filled with pecans, walnuts and smothered in honey-lemon sauce.  Get Recipe. 

Rodeo Nuts – cinnamon glazed nuts for giving or snacking.  Get Recipe.

Last but not least  . . .

pecanpralines_2016Pecan Pralines – Smooth and creamy filled with pecans.  Get Recipe


Enjoy & Happy Thanksgiving !!!








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.