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Going to get a good deer-jerky maker this year,sick of the cheap plastic ones.You know the type that have cheap trays that get holes in them,and no timers so you usually get extra crispy/dry/over cooked jerky if not watched correctly.Want one that is not industrial priced but one that will do quite a bit at a time,and last a few years.Son just got his doe so the meat is already coming in,and with my PA tags me alone can get 7 deer this year!!!!

What have you guys been using that has been giving you great results,and where you getting them at?
 

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I have the L'Equip 528 and it works great, had it maybe 4 years now. Lots of room for making jerky. It has six trays that stack on top of each other, runs around $120.
 

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I use my oven rack. hang the meat from toothpicks with the door cracked, oven on 140 for 3 hours or so, It's a mess but worth it. I've got a dehydrator and it's not nearly as good IMO
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have the L'Equip 528 and it works great, had it maybe 4 years now. Lots of room for making jerky. It has six trays that stack on top of each other, runs around $120.
Now that one looks awesome!But i see no timer on it,but can live without that IMO.Have been all along now.Just checking out the LEM 1009 5 Tray Food Dehydrator with Digital Timer at Walmart,but it has no reviews.You have to order that L'Equip from the company?
 

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I have two of these. No timer but they have a thermostat and adjustable temperature. I've been using these for almost 15 years now with excellent results. I bought extra trays so I can stack 6 on each dryer. I actually picked up my second one at the Sunday Syracuse Flea Market a few years back for $5, didn't know if it worked when I bought it but the trays were worth more than that.

The Official Online Store for Nesco Dehydrators
 

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I have the Nesco snackmaster. It is a plastic one, but I love it. Makes some great jerky.

Usually end up turning a couple deer that we take completely into jerky.

Store prices are too unreasonable for jerky, like 10-20$ per pound (depending on brand). So making jerky is a must!
 

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This is how you can make jerky without any special equipment.

A humane kill as quickly as possible is the best start, andthen keep your game as clean as possible. Try to avoid letting any of thestomach, bladder, or intestine contents come in contact with the meat. Wash off any dirt as soon as possible andchill the carcass as fast as you can.

Remove all the fat you can during the butchering process orwhen you take the meat from the freezer for making it into jerky. When the venison is semi-frozen slice it asthin as you can with a knife or about an eighth of an inch thick on a slicer.

Dump the slices into a Tupper-ware type container and coverit with soy sauce, garlic salt, black pepper and enough hot sauce to get it tothe point of spiciness that you want. Just guess at what will taste good for thefirst batch. This is so easy that youwill make it again and adjust the recipe to perfection. Let it soak at least an hour but preferablyover night in the fridge.

Then spread it on wire racks (ideally) or just lay it oncookie sheets if you don't have wire racks. If you have wire racks put a baking sheet under them to catch thedrips. I invested $30 in the Cabela'sbrand jerky making trays that consist of 3 wire racks on legs that stack over acookie sheet like tray but you don't need that. You can lay teh jerky straight onto the cookie sheet (use one with a rim to catch teh water that bakes out). If you don't have a baking sheet you can getby with aluminum foil but it is harder to work with. Trust me though - it is worth making every effort to keepyour wife's oven clean! Put the sliceson the racks or sheets so that they do not touch each other and put it on thecenter oven rack.

Set the oven to 250F for 30 minutes.

If you cook water out of the venison you can pour it off thecookie sheet or just let it bake off (but that makes the pan harder to clean).

After 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 'warm' (about 200F) andlet it cool with the jerky in the oven until it is as chewy or brittle as youdesire. I usually take out the thinpieces and put the thick ones back in to dry a little longer.

THAT'S IT! You willhave jerky in an hour or so. Nomulti-day drying sessions. Try itwarm. Let it cool and try it cool. If it isn't hot enough add spices to theuncooked portion. If too spicy or toosalty just rinse the slices before drying the next batch. Within a couple of tries you will have jerkythat your friends and family beg you to make!
 

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Some of the simplest jerky I've tried is to soak the meat overnight in a brine solution, dry with paper towels and roll in brown sugar, very messy but good. I use a much more complicated recipe. Don't know if I should post it, there won't be a deer in NY if you all know it ;)
 

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never tried using brown sugar....might just have to do that!
 

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I've been using the Nesco FD60 expanded to 8 trays for about a year now. I think I run it too much, the batch I ran last night (about 4lbs) wasn't drying evenly at all. I had some done on the outside edges of the trays, but the meat near the middle was still raw. I had to pull some out and rotate the trays, which I never had to do in the past. This thing ran like a champ for quite a while, but I guess its not really meant for serious use. I'm thinking of buying a larger unit now. I've been making a bunch of different flavors and selling it to friends, family and the guys I work with. I need something a little more industrial for the amount of time I spend running it. I was looking at this one.
http://www.amazon.com/FMA-Omcan-Food-Machinery-Dehydrator/dp/B003VGN67Y
They sell one at Gander under the Guide series name that I think is the same model, and it's a little less expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have two of these. No timer but they have a thermostat and adjustable temperature. I've been using these for almost 15 years now with excellent results. I bought extra trays so I can stack 6 on each dryer. I actually picked up my second one at the Sunday Syracuse Flea Market a few years back for $5, didn't know if it worked when I bought it but the trays were worth more than that.

The Official Online Store for Nesco Dehydrators
They do have one out that has a timer now!Its got 1000 watts of power and free shipping.I think im going to try this one out this year,cant beat the price.And a timer is a big factor to me,great reviews as well...BTW Nesco original flavor jerky seasoning is the best I ever tasted,great products IMO.I really hate the overpriced stuff in the super-market,and a pain in the butt to get the the salt mixture/ratio right...

Nesco Garden Master Food Dehydrator with Digital Timer: Appliances : Walmart.com
 

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Silly question mabe, but wouldn't a moisture content sensor be more consistant than a timer?
25% moisture is 25% moisture whether it took two hours or two days to get there.

They've got microwaves that test in~cabinet moisture content to determine doneness, surely there's gtta be something simular available for processing jerky/smoked/dried meat isn't there?
 

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Now that one looks awesome!But i see no timer on it,but can live without that IMO.Have been all along now.Just checking out the LEM 1009 5 Tray Food Dehydrator with Digital Timer at Walmart,but it has no reviews.You have to order that L'Equip from the company?
I think I bought mine from amazon, google the name you'll find places that sell'em
 

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hey guys I'm looking for a little help before I purchase a dehydrator. I've ever dried food before or done jerky or anything but I want to get into it. I've been looking around for dehydrators and I'm leaning towards the nesco american harvest FD-37 that I found on this site How to Make Jerky and Dried Foods with a Dehydrator and i'm curious what you guys think of nesco dehydrators or if you have suggestions of other brands I should consider? Any help would be great before I make a purchase, thanks guys.
 

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Y'all should skip the dehydrator and buy yourself an electric smoker (got mine at Home Depot for $80 a couple years ago).

I get logs of freshly cut apple wood and cut them into chunks myself. Takes up a bit of time once and awhile, but it means no costly bags of chemically treated chips.

Run your venison strips through your favorite spice or marinade and toss them on the smoker racks.

I gave away about 4 lbs of jerky this past Christmas to family...none of it lasted to Boxing Day. :)
 
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