Nowadays, jerky is produced from thin strips of meat (veal, pork, lamb, venison, poultry) or ground and formed meat. There are many varieties of commercial condiments available for making jerky at home, or you can develop your own recipes by following a few simple steps. Round, round beef eyes at the bottom and top are the best meat for jerky. It is important to choose a cut that is very low in fat, as the fat will be lost faster and will shorten the shelf life of dried meat.
For those carnivores who believe that Kirkland Signature Premium Extra Thick Steak Strips is the best brand of jerky and want to reproduce that jerky at home, the best option is the cut of meat they want to buy. This veal jerky, which is sold at Costco and is known for being tender and very juicy, is made exclusively with a round top. You may also know this cut of meat as one of the most common cuts used to make roasts in London. Future developments in dry meat processing are expected to be found in some key areas.
When the Spanish found this method of preserving meat, they adopted it and made it available to the rest of the world. Not only will the resulting jerky not look like traditional jerky, but it can also be hazardous to health due to the fact that the packaged ground beef you buy at the local supermarket can include meat from hundreds of different sources. I suppose it's safer to extrude pasta than to cut meat with an impeccable, painfully sharp knife and then marinate it, but I think cutting, marinating and drying is a very satisfying process. While its price may cause chills, this cut of meat has many features that make it a great choice for jerky.
This preparation method allowed people to preserve meats when they were readily available and to eat them when food was scarce. I usually cut most of the fat off the breast, as it helps the drying process and the fat goes rancid quickly if there is too much left in the meat. The Amish butchers in Detweiler were also struggling to meet the demand for meat because of Memorial Day, but this retired soldier was making dry meat like hell or high water. Ground jerky (and the gun) was the mass-market method for cheaply turning nameless cuts of waste meat into profits; grinding it, extruding it into identical strips, spraying it with flavoring at the last minute as it goes to a commercial conveyor dryer, packs the small cloned cardboard strips identical to the other side of the dryer, and sell it as jerky to people who don't notice the difference.
The Quechua tribe, which were ancestors of the ancient Inca empire, produced meat similar to jerky called ch'arki or charqui. When preparing jerky, it is important to start with a lean, well-trimmed cut of meat, since the fat does not dry out and accelerates its deterioration. If you try to make jerky with leg meat, you'll end up with something that will be so tough it'll be hard to eat. To further reinforce the image of jerky as a healthy snack, manufacturers will try to find ways to reduce the salt content of the final product.
It will take practice to learn how to work with flank meat, but it's certainly worth the effort to master. After cutting the strips, beat them with a meat mallet (use the softener end, NOT the flat end of the mallet). Also, to make sure you don't overdry your jerky, take a piece out of the dehydrator or oven and let it cool before trying if it's ready.