- Thinly slice the meat into 1/4-inch thick slices. Keep the thickness of the slices as uniform as possible. If partially frozen meat begins to thaw or warm excessively, place it back in the freezer to re-harden slightly. Regarding with the grain versus across the grain, see the preceding tip.
- In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, pineapple juice, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, honey, red chile flakes, black pepper, onion powder, ground ginger, and minced garlic.
- Add the meat to a marinating container, such as a meat lug or bowl large enough to hold the meat and marinade. Mix the meat and marinade thoroughly, cover, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to three days.
- Bring marinade and meat strips to a boil in a large saucepan. Allow to boil for 1 to 5 minutes, or until a calibrated food thermometer registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the meat.
- Remove the strips and drain on absorbent, clean towels. For oven drying, arrange strips on dehydrator trays or cake racks placed on baking sheets. Do not overlap strips. Place racks in an oven or dehydrator preheated to 140-145 degrees Fahrenheit. Adjust oven temperatures to the lowest level possible. You may need to prop the oven door open and monitor the temperature with an oven thermometer. Place a fan outside, close to the oven’s door, to improve circulation.
- The estimated drying time for meat that has been heated prior to dehydration is 4-5 hours. Check the jerky after three hours and remove any pieces that have dried out. When jerky pieces are done, they are completely firm, without any sponginess, and will not break when bent. Instead, the fold will expose a web of thin white lines.
- Remove any excess oil and allow to cool. Glass jars or heavy food storage bags should be used for storage.
If you forget to heat the deer before drying, you can heat them in the oven as a safety precaution after drying is complete. Place close together on a baking sheet, but not touching. For strips that were originally less than 1/4 inch thick, preheat an oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.
- Check the internal temperature with a food thermometer to ensure it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- It may be necessary to adjust the cooking time for thicker slices or ovens that require longer or shorter cooking times.
- Consider that the drying time in the dehydrator will probably be closer to 10 to 12 hours.
Why was it so useful? (Possible) : Dehydrating Meat: Tips, Safety, and Recipe for Venison Jerky