the first batch i made was with an 2.3 lb organic eye of round roast. i trimmed it, quartered it, and froze it for four hours before cutting it 2mm thick along the grain on the meat slicer. i cut it along the grain because i was worried that if i cut it against the grain it would fall apart. i then proceeded to cure it for 24 hours with:
- 20 grams salt
- 5 grams garlic powder
- 5 grams onion powder
- 60 grams chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 0.5 grams ground habaneros
|first batch. tasty chewy meat paper.|
it wasn't very spicy, it was a bit too thin, and a bit too dry. in the end i got a yield of 12 oz, and since i started with a overpriced organic roast from whole foods, my cost was $45.90 / lb.
before starting my second batch i got some advice from a friend who is a BBQ expert. (actually, he has never made jerky before, but since he's a competitive BBQ'er he knows people who have so he relayed me some advice.)
for my second attempt i started with a non-organic 2.6 lb eye of round roast from my local grocery store. after trimming it and halving it, i cut it 5mm thick against the grain and i didn't have any issues with the meat falling apart. for the cure i increased the heat by using 2 grams of freshly ground dried habaneros from our garden. this time i dried the meat for 12 hours at 155 F. here's the before and after:
|second batch going into the dehydrator|
|second batch coming out of the dehydrator|
here's the first batch (on the left) compared to the second batch (on the right):
|jerky comparison. first batch (left), cut 2mm thick with the grain vs second batch (right), cut 5mm thick against the grain.|
the flavor on the second batch is better, there is actually some heat in it now. the texture is also better with the meat cut against the grain. unfortunately i dried it too much. i checked on it after about 6 hours of drying (before i went to bed), and it definitely needed more time, but by the time i woke up it was bone dry and a bit crunchy (almost like meat candy). this time around i got a yield of 12.5 oz and my cost was $8.65 / lb.
next time i'll probably try cutting it 4 mm thick, using 4 grams of habanero, and drying it for 8-9 hours at 145 F.