5 Best Tools to Make Your Jerky Making Life Easier
Making jerky might seem like one of the simplest things you can do but that isn’t always the case. You need to make sure that you get the perfect ingredients, the right mix of flavours and spices, and that you can get the best out of a rather temperamental machine.
The process of making jerky can be quite tiresome, especially if all done by hand. There are however some great tools out there to make jerky making easier.
Here are some of the best tools that you can use to make your life easier
A quality knife
First and foremost, a quality sharp knife is a must. If you are breaking down a large topside, then you will most likely need to trim fat. A sharp knife will allow for quick removal of the fat and reduce any risk of cutting yourself.
You can use a small pairing knife for this process or your regular large knife used for slicing the meat. I tend to use the same large blade knife for trimming and slicing. Sharpening your knife regularly is also recommended. Need a sharpener? Check out our guide here.
Once you have sliced the topside down into smaller more manageable blocks using a meat slicer is a great, efficient way to get perfect slices of equal thickness. The benchtop meat slicer with the single round blade are ok if you are on a budget, however, they can be messy and cleaning is painful. If using one of these sliders it’s recommended that you partially freeze the meat first to make slicing easier.
Personally, I would look at a meat stripper rather than a meat slicer. These units use 2 sets of rotating blades opposite each other with blades set apart at a set width. These are very efficient and you can process a lot of meat in a short amount of time. Check out our meat slicer comparison for more info.
This is by far the most crucial piece of equipment required in making your jerky life easier. If you have been using an oven or a homemade drying box, then you should definitely invest in a dehydrator.
They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials, but all essentially do the same job – dry the meat out.
Personally I prefer a horizontal tray dehydrator like the Excalibur brand, however the Amazon/eBay stainless steel copies do just a good of a job. Check out our jerky dehydrator comparison for more info.
Once your jerky is dry, you may need to cut it into smaller pieces, if so, this can be a real pain to do, especially if you have many kilos of dried jerky strips to cut.
To this day, I still use a handheld guillotine style cutter to cut some product. It is by far better than kitchen scissors.
I have struggled to find the stainless steel ones online anymore, however you can pickup wooden ones online from Amazon
Automatic Sealing Machine
Gone of the days using a single hand impulse sealer to seal jerky packets! Jump online and grab an inline heat sealer and your life will be changed forever. These units are quite cheap and do a great job.
Hopefully this article helps you save more time in the kitchen and produce better beef jerky results on a consistent basis.