|Steve's HOT! Jerky|
*Prepare meat by cutting into strips 3/4" X 1/2" and as long as you prefer.
Cut across grain for tender and lengthwise for chewy. The more consistent
you are when cutting the strips the better your jerky will dry evenly. Very
cold or lightly frozen meat cuts easier.
Soak strips of meat in the above mixture and refrigerate for 24-48 hours in a close container (I use a Tuppleware® bread box). Shake several times to mix well.
Remove meat from brine (save brine) and pat dry. Place directly on oven racks that have been covered with tin foil and sprayed with Pam. Cook in pre heated oven @ 160F for 2 hours (with door closed). This kills bacteria, removes a lot of the excess moisture and melts any excess fat.
Return hot strips to brine mixture and refrigerate for another 6-12 hours (remember to shake several times). Remove meat from brine, pat dry and sprinkle with Cayenne powder. Spread in dehydrator. Set dehydrator at 145F. The final drying usually takes about another 6-10 hours. Do not over dry (Check every hour). Jerky should be tuff, hard and leathery, not brittle. A real mouth watering HOT treat! Enjoy.
If you don't have a dehydrator return Jerky to 140-150F oven for 6-8 hours, leaving door open a little. Do not over cook. Check texture often.
An alternate for the drying is to use a low heat smoker (cold smoking is generally done at 90 to 115 F. over 5-10 days). Leave out the Liquid Smoke® and add 1/8 cup more salt in the Marinate. Remove meat from Marinate pat dry, sprinkle on the Cayenne, then into the prepared smoker. I have done this several times and my taste buds have always voted this method first place. It takes longer, you need some equipment (if you have a smoke house you are truly blessed), and time spent tending the fire, but the result is worth every hour. Also look at "Dan's Smokehouse Jerky" recipe for details on cold smoking.
Store refrigerated or freeze in closed containers for long storage time (if not consumed in 4-5 weeks)
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