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Beef Jerky

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Old 04-22-2007, 11:30 AM   #1
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Does anyone know of any brands of low sodium beef jerky? I love jerky but even the small snack bags have up to 50% recommended daily value of salt!!!
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Old 04-22-2007, 11:36 AM   #2
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I haven't tried these, but saw them on Calorie King:

http://www.calorieking.com/foods/cal...mIGplcmt5.html
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Old 04-22-2007, 07:50 PM   #3
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Oh, that would make my boyfriend's day if someone could let me know of some lower sodium beef jerky!!
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Old 05-10-2007, 11:31 PM   #4
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Why not make your own? It is really easy. Use flank steak cut 1/4 thick with the grain. To each pound add 1/2 t ground pepper, 1 Tablespoon salt, and a dash of garlic powder. You can reduce the salt some, but it needs it for a preservative. Mix well with the beef, and put it in a single layer, barely touching, on a rack over a jelly roll pan. (or other pan with sides) I spray both the rack and the pan for easy cleanup with a non stick spray. Bake it in a very low oven (200 degrees) for 8 hours. Drain on absorbent paper, and store in an airtight container. If you cut down on the salt, store it in the fridge. It tastes great, and is much cheaper than buying it.
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Old 05-11-2007, 10:52 AM   #5
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thank you so much! I thought you had to have one of those dehydrator kitchen thingies to make beef jerky at home!
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Old 05-13-2007, 10:11 PM   #6
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You can find it either PM me, or google "Low Sodium Beef Jerky" with the quotes or about the 4th link if you forget the qoutes...
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:41 AM   #7
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The dehydrator jerky setting is usually around 165 degrees, and some models don't have fans, so they're really pretty much like a small oven. I've read some recipes that suggest you leave the oven door a crack to prevent overcooking the meat.

I also make my own, and it's super easy. The Super Walmart in our area sells lean beef already sliced for jerky, but most meat departments will slice it for you - just make sure they can cut it between 1/8" thick or less.

I used to ask the butchers to cut it as thin as they could, which usually worked pretty well, but I had one guy who took it as a personal challenge and cut the meat paper thin. The jerky made from it was really good, but dried "crispy" rather than chewy, so it was sort of like a potato chip (which I think Oberto brand now makes). I actually used the jerky to make JLT sandwhiches (jerky instead of bacon with tomato and lettuce on toast).

I usually use a marinade. My old recipe was 3 cups of lite or reduced sodium soy sauce, 1/2 bottle of liquid smoke, 1 onion (optional, but if I used it I pureed the onion in a food processor until it's almost a liquid before adding it to the marinade), and 1 cup of packed brown sugar.

My new recipe is the same but I omit the brown sugar or substitute Splenda for most of it. Also in place of the lite soy sayce, I will use a 12 oz bottle of Annie's Naturals Organic Smokey Campfire Marinade and a 12 oz of lite or regular soy sauce.

I rarely use the lite soy sauce anymore because I pretty much only use imported soy sauces from a local oriental market. They sell Kikomann my the quart and gallon, but they also sell several imported brands, and some really high quality soy sauces. In the oriental market the soy sauces are really cheap. Most sell for half the price of grocery store soy sauce and come bottles two or three times as big. If you have an oriental market, it's really worth looking into, my favorite is mushroom soy sauce.

Anyway, I usually use a gallon or 2 gallon ziploc bag and mix the marinade in the bag, and then adding and submerging the beef slices one at a time (to make sure the soy sauce can penetrate all surfaces). Then I close up the bag and put it in a bowl in the fridge. I squish the bag around every 4 hours during the day, and let the meat marinate 8 - 24 hours.

I use an American Harvester dehydrator, but I've met a lot of people that make it in the oven. I love the dehydrator because it has a fan, and the jerky takes very little time to dry - about 6 - 10. Before that I had the Rone Popeil dehydrator, which didn't have a fan, and it could take up to 24 hours for the jerky to dry.

After it's dry, I trim any fat that I can with cooking shears (when we had a miniature dachshund we would store this in the freezer and use as doggy treats. The doxie actually learned the meaning of not only the word jerky, he would begin whining if we even spelled the word).

Once you've made homemade jerky, you will never find a commercial brand you enjoy half as much.
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:30 AM   #8
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I order this http://numerouno.jerkydirect.com/images/turkorigbak.jpg Turkey Jerky,

it's very nutritious and tastes just like beef jerky. It's kind of pricey but, I don't want to screw around with making my own jerky.
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Old 05-14-2007, 12:16 PM   #9
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If you're even thinking of trying to make your own jerky, one thing to consider is that there is often no turning back. Even the best commercial jerky just doesn't taste nearly as good as homemade, and at about 1/4 the cost or even less if you're a savvy sale shopper, it just hurts to pay so much more to get so much less value for the money (both in quantity and taste).

I LOVE making jerky and experimenting with different marinades, and it really isn't much trouble (but I like to cook). Still, I only make jerky a couple times a year. Although we reduce the sodium, and we're now eating lower carb, it still tends to be a potential diet disaster because it's so darned good it can be hard to stop eating it. Also even with the advantage of a dehydrator with a fan, the prep work is a little messy, especially if you try to slice your own meat (if you do, make sure the meat is partially frozen so that it slices easily). WE also have a kitchen that is so tiny we can't often spare the counter space.
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