Beef jerky is a flavorful snack that is easy to make. You can make beef jerky with your VacMaster chamber sealer.
The recipe below is made with beef but you can easily replace it with venison, buffalo, elk, or, if available, grab your closest llama!
For the meat…
1. Place the trimmed flank steak gently wrapped in plastic wrap on a plate or suitable tray (this helps keep the meat flat and in a suitable form for cutting) in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours to firm up.
2. Remove the flank steak from the freezer, unwrap and thinly slice the meat with or against the grain (it’s your choice!) into long strips and reserve.
For the marinade…
1. Place all of the marinade ingredients in a suitable bowl to hold the meat and whisk until thoroughly combined; making sure the maple syrup is fully dissolved.
2. Add the meat to the marinade and gently toss together until all the meat is fully coated.
3. Place the bowl or any other suitably sized bowl or pan into a VacMaster Chamber machine with the marinade function and set the marinade controls to 9 and press start. As each marinade cycle takes 9 minutes this procedure will take 81 minutes or 1 hour and 35 minutes. This brief marinade function will approximate 12 hours (or overnight) of standard refrigerated marination.
4. Remove slices of meat from container and layer them between paper towels to remove excess marinade.
5. Evenly distribute the strips of meat onto the racks of your dehydrator and follow your manufacturer's directions and dry the meat for 6 to 10 hours*.
6. You can place a few sheets of aluminum foil or parchment on the bottom of your machine to catch any drips to aide in your cleanup.
7. The jerky is done when it is still slightly pliable — not so dry as to be crisp and breakable - unless of course you like that kind of thing.
8. Let the jerky rest at room temperature to let the moisture left inside the meat equalize with the drier outside surface, about 1 hour.
9. Transfer the jerky to appropriately sized VacMaster® bags either plain or zipper topped and using a VacMaster® chamber or suction machine vacuum seal the bags.
10. Use the jerky as needed!
* An additional safety step from University of Wisconsin Extension is to place the finished jerky after dehydrating on a baking sheet, close together but not touching or overlapping. Heat in a pre-heated 275°F oven for 10 minutes to an internal temperature of 160°F – strips thicker than 1⁄4” (when raw) may require longer to reach 160°F. Remove oven-heated samples from the oven, cool to room temperature, and package. Dried jerky can be stored for 1 to 2 months at room temperature; in the freezer for up to 6 months. Vacuum package jerky to extend the shelf life of jerky.