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Posted: 10/8/2004 8:31:59 AM EST
I want to make some jerky, I checked at Walmart and all they had were $15 "Fruit and vegetable" dehydrators, I couldnt find one marked for jerky. They had all sorts of kits to season the jerky, jerky gun, grinder, etc, but no jerky-marked dehydrators. Can I use a "fruit and veggie" dehydrator to make jerky, or do they do a bad job of it?

And when I go to the butcher at the food store, how thin do I want the meat cut? I've been told to get a beef shoulder and have'em cut it, but I forget how thin. (we were discussing this over a few bottles of Shiner Bock)

Kharn
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 8:34:57 AM EST
I do beef jerky in a cheapo Mr. Coffee dyhidrater. Works good. Slice the meat about as thick as bacon. For sauce i use soy souce with a little brown sugar.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 8:36:32 AM EST
I use a Nesco dehydrator. Works great. Nesco has great pre-mixed seasoning packets also.....
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 8:39:32 AM EST
I'm not familiar with the models you're referring to, but I wonder if they mark them "fruit and veggie" as a cya in case someone doesn't do it right and gets sick eating badly-dried meat.

This model looks just like the one I have. It works great on fruit and meat, and Amazon has it for $40. You might find you like a different model, though. The plastic on my trays look like it'd shatter if I dropped one.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 8:41:53 AM EST
Admiral_Crunch:
I didnt note the brand name, they were just marked as a "fruit and vegetable dehydrator."

Kharn
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 8:49:02 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2004 8:51:29 AM EST by California_Kid]

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
I'm not familiar with the models you're referring to, but I wonder if they mark them "fruit and veggie" as a cya in case someone doesn't do it right and gets sick eating badly-dried meat.

This model looks just like the one I have. It works great on fruit and meat, and Amazon has it for $40. You might find you like a different model, though. The plastic on my trays look like it'd shatter if I dropped one.



I use a a similar but much older and more primitive-looking one that my ex bought at a garage sale for $3. The temperature is adjustable from about 105 - 125 F. I use it on about 120 for beef jerky cut about 3/32" - 1/8" thick and marinated in the refrigerator overnight. It usually takes about 24 hours to dry, and the results are always good.

The plastic trays are a bitch to clean and I'm always afraid I'm going to break one. Best way seems to be to oil them with vegetable oil before use. After use I soak them in hot dishwater then clean all the nooks and crannies with a soft nylon brush.

My ideal dryer would have trays made of expanded stainless sheet. You could use Easy-Off on them.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 10:19:27 AM EST
Believe it or not, if you own a gas oven you can dry the meat in it with only the pilot light lit. Of course, the newer gas ovens don't have pilot lights just electric spark starters - you would have to check first. My dad has been doing this for years.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 10:24:22 AM EST

I use London Broil for my meat, and slice it myself, about a 1/4" or thinner. I use a dehydrator I picked up at Wal-Mart for $40. I usually marinate it all day, then dehydrate all night.

Link Posted: 10/8/2004 1:48:21 PM EST
Bump for the evening crew, anybody know if the "fruit and vegetable" dehydrators are usable for meat or have any experiences?

Kharn
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 1:49:36 PM EST
check cabela's website and then search EBAY.

they have a wide selection

good luck with your meat
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 1:53:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By JHP:
check cabela's website and then search EBAY.

they have a wide selection

good luck with your meat



I like Nesco "American Harvest" brand the best. Adjustable temps, 5 trays (you can add more)

I use teriakki sauce, soy sauce, a little liquid smoke, pepper, brown sugar.
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 1:53:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2004 1:57:29 PM EST by Kharn]
JHP:
I'm probably going to go the Amazon route if nobody admits to having done it with a super-cheapo Walmart-special.

Kharn
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 2:05:09 PM EST

Originally Posted By Kharn:
JHP:
I'm probably going to go the Amazon route if nobody admits to having done it with a super-cheapo Walmart-special.

Kharn



You can do it with the super cheapo walmart specials, you can even do it in your oven (lowest tempurature and crack the door open 1-3 inches to lower temp even more. But.........

it probably won't be as good.

The super cheapo just heats up no fan to move air.
The higher priced dehydrators have both and work faster and make a better product. JMO
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 2:25:17 PM EST
yeah, I guess it just comes down to how much $$ you want to invest

i think the cabelas angle is good because it should get you a good idea of the kinds of features you might be interested in...

I used one of those weber (wet smokers) to do some jerked chicken and let me tell you - that rocked. I never tried it on stripped beef, but I have to believe that it would work

I had my marinade in the water tub and let that permeate the meat on a very slow/long cook --- not really a traditional jerky but it was tasty....now I want some more...damn you
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 3:06:42 PM EST
Alright, you guys got me, I'll wait for Amazon to get a super-duper dehydrator to me before I attempt anything.

Kharn
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 3:31:39 PM EST
The dehydrator I use is one of the Wal_Mart specials. Works great.

I use the rump roast, cut no thicker than quarter innch thick. For marinade i use a mixture of 1cup soy sauce, 1cup worchestshire, 1 teaspoon each of garlic salt, black pepper, onion salt. One cup brown sugar. Soak overnight and dehydrate till done, rotating racks top to bottom about half way through.. fullclip
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 5:52:42 PM EST
Fullclip:
One of the $15 specials, or the $40? There seem to be two levels of Walmart dehydrator, mine only has the cheapies.

Kharn
Link Posted: 10/8/2004 5:55:44 PM EST
The cheapo nesco works just fine.
I use top and bottom round, sliced about 1/4 inch when raw...
marinade for a day, then slap it on the racks....8-12 hours later....nice jerky!
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 11:48:12 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/9/2004 11:49:08 AM EST by Kharn]
I had to run down to Walmart for some Hoppes and ammo, since I was there I decided to pop open a box and check the dehydrator manual, it had recipes for jerky so apparently it will do the job. I can always return it if it doesnt work, gotta love Walmart's return policy.

Now I've just got to wait for my meat to finish marinading before I can fire it up. I bought a 3.5lb bottom round (I'm doing it in two batches, cut 1/3 while raw, freezing the other 2/3), but it sure seems like there's a bunch of very tiny veins of fat in it. Do I have to cut out every single spec of fat, or just the larger, non-microscopic chunks? I spent like two hours slicing out all the little bits of fat from the 1lb chunk I was working with.

Kharn
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 11:57:19 AM EST
I use top round, almost no fat to worry about. But don't bother with the "microscopic" fat, just trim off the larger chunks.

The Mercedes of Dehydrators
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 12:10:42 PM EST
Dried Vegatables

That unit should work fine, but let it run longer just in case it's not hot enough, 12-15hr
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 1:03:30 PM EST
i dry fruits and veggies and make jerky with my trusty old walkmart specal. Cost me about $15 each. and there a company called mountain man that makes about 8 types of spice mixed. each pack treats up to 20 pounds meat. i get it at are local market but there online too.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 1:12:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By Ker-Pow:
Believe it or not, if you own a gas oven you can dry the meat in it with only the pilot light lit. Of course, the newer gas ovens don't have pilot lights just electric spark starters - you would have to check first. My dad has been doing this for years.



If you have an electric oven your golden. Just cover the bottom of the oven w/foil, hang the meat on the racks and set the oven to "warm". Use an all metal knife to crack the door open about a 1/2 inch and your on your way to jerky. Don't buy one if you don't have to.

DocD
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 2:22:35 PM EST
I have one of those ron popiel food dehydrators. It does a great job of making jerky.
Problem is, when I make it, I never get any of it. Goes too fast around here.
Soy sauce, liquid smoke, & brown sugar makes a very good marinade.
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 2:31:06 PM EST
I've got the first load in the dehydrator now, about 1/2-3/4lb, marinaded for only an hour (Fullclip's recipe minus onion salt, couldnt find any). I have two more loads with different recipes of marinade, a little over a pound for each, one was the same as the first load, the other a recipe including ketchup and less brown sugar than Fullclip's recipe. The second and third batches are going to marinate over night so I can try the difference between an hour and all night.

My parents are out of town until 11am tomorrow, my brother's away at college, so as long as I'm quick, nobody will get my first batch but me. My second and third batches might disappear if I cant pack'em up and run back to my apartment before Dad starts scarfing them down.

Thanks for all the help guys.

Oh, and the $15 cheapie does have a fan, I can smell the jerky now.

Kharn
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 2:58:34 PM EST

Originally Posted By beernut:
I have one of those ron popiel food dehydrators. It does a great job of making jerky.
Problem is, when I make it, I never get any of it. Goes too fast around here.
Soy sauce, liquid smoke, & brown sugar makes a very good marinade.



Haha, yeah the Ron Popiel ones use that super duper "convection technology"!! I can't believe he can say that on TV with a straight face.
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