Jerky Meat?

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by dryflylarry, May 27, 2011.

  1. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    I made some great jerky a couple months back. I may have been lucky getting a piece of meat that didn't have much fat. I can't quite remember what cut I bought, but I think it was a bottom round. Anyway, I did it again and it had too much fat in it and I was bummed. Can you guys recommend the best cut of meat for jerky? Would buffalo be good instead of lean beef cut. Thanks pals.
     
  2. Dan Nelson

    Dan Nelson Hiker, Fisher, Writer, Bum

    Round steak works well for jerky -- bottom round includes that big round muscle (called Eye of the Round) that a lot of jerky makers like. Top round is a little more tender. Both are typically very low fat.

    Shoulder/chuck can work well for jerky too, but you'll need to make sure you cut across the grain as you process the slices for jerking. Personally, I liked using flank/skirt steak -- it's a long-grain muscle but if you slice across the grain, once jerked, it breaks apart nicely as you chew. Flank/skirt also has decent flavor despite its general toughness.

    If you want the "best" go for a sirloin tip roast. Good flavor, fairly tender, and low fat.

    (NOTE: I worked as a butcher all through high school and early college in a small ranch-town custom "cut and wrap" meat shop -- we slaughtered and butchered beef, pork and lamb from the local ranchers, taking the animals from the pasture to the freezer).

    I should also note I made some wonderful jerky out of duck breasts. I loved hunting ducks in eastern WA but wasn't a fan of roasted wild duck - but wild duck jerky was phenomenal!
     
  3. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

    Funny, I worked for a butcher too. Never was an acting butcher, mostly was the apprentice (aka the bitch LOL).

    You're spot on. I use the flanks alot too. What I'll do though before I put it into the smoker is tenderize it. Give it a good beating to cube it up a bit. But cutting across the grain is key. Most people mess that up.
     
  4. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    I agree with the flank steak suggestion from Dan. Flank steak seems to take a dry rub or marinade well. I worked as a butcher through high school, then I learned how to run the morgue. Glad that I'm not doing either of those jobs any longer.
     
  5. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

    I have not worked as a butcher. Just felt this thread needed some diversity.

    edit: and i love beef jerky
     
  6. Randall Dee

    Randall Dee Castaway

    For a change of pace, try making some salmon or steelhead jerky. I've done it with steelhead. Just salt it and put it in the food dehydrater. :thumb:
     
  7. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Thank you Dan Nelson and All. I think the last time I used Eye of the Round and must have got a fatty piece. Oh Well, I'll be careful. I'll make sure I talk directly with the butcher next time and have him/her help me pick a piece.