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Backpacker Magazine – May 2009

Recipe: Burger Jerky

Say goodbye to rock-hard, overpriced, gas-station jerky with this cheap and easy recipe.

by: Alan Kesselheim

Burger Jerky (Justin Bailie)
Burger Jerky (Justin Bailie)

Calories 186
Fat 13 g
Carbs 1.6 g
Protein 14.6 g
pound 80-percent-lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

At Home
Preheat the oven to 150°F (or "warm" setting). Mix beef and spices well in a large bowl. Place half of the meat on a sheet of wax paper and roll it to 1/8-inch thickness with a rolling pin. Cut the beef into 1-by-6-inch strips with a knife or pizza cutter and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Repeat with the other half. Dry 7 to 12 hours (until strips break when bent) on the middle rack, flipping strips and patting excess fat dry with a paper towel every 3 to 4 hours. Let cool completely before storing in a zip-top bag. Note: Jerky can also be dried in a dehydrator set to 150°F.

Prep time: 10 min

Dry time: 7-12 hours

Price $.75 per serving

Weight 1.5 ounces per 2-strip serving

Makes 12 to 14 strips

Store it
Kept cool in an airtight, zip-top bag, most jerky will last a month (the fattier the meat, the shorter the shelf life). Stash it in the freezer to extend freshness.

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Reader Rating: -


Nov 15, 2010

If you're concerned about the safety of using bits of meat picked up off the packing room floor without proper cooking temps--and you should be--I'd suggest buying a safer cut of meat and grinding it yourself if you really want the consistency of a ground beef jerky.

Jun 12, 2009

Dear Chuck,

My opinion. I have read a lot about drying meat by smoking it and have a friends whose father makes beef jerky(though not ground beef). I believe the improtant thing here is that you dry the meat well and remove moisture. To mantain shelf life it may be nessecery to re-dry occassionally and this is reccomended. Wether the difference in consitancy of the beef is an issue, I know not. I wish I knew the answer too.

Chuck Hoffman
Jun 10, 2009

I'm conflicted about the safety of making jerky using ground beef. There seems to be a fair amount of research done at universities that says it isn't safe. Can anyone shed some more light on this? I'd like to use ground beef, if I can do it safely.

Jun 08, 2009

Step 1

Find two boxes. One should fit inside the other with a 2- to 3-inch space on each side. (This can vary slightly - the space will be filled with newspaper.)

Step 2

Line the bottom of the large box with crumpled newspaper.

Step 3

Place the smaller box inside the large box.

Step 4

Fill the space between the sides of the two boxes with crumpled newspaper.

Step 5

Line the sides of the inside of the smaller box with aluminum foil. You can use a non-toxic tape or fold the edges of foil over the top of the box to hold it in place.

Step 6

Line the bottom of the inside of the smaller box with black construction paper to absorb heat.

Step 7

Lay a piece of cardboard on top of the large box and trace the shape of the box onto the cardboard.

Step 8

Add 2 inches around the trace line and cut out to make a reflector.

Step 9

Cover the cardboard piece with aluminum foil. Smooth out any wrinkles and secure the aluminum foil to the cardboard with non-toxic glue or tape.

Step 10

Staple the reflector to the outside back of the large box.

Step 11

Situate the oven with the box opening up and the reflector facing the sun for maximum heat.

Step 12

Place food to be cooked in the solar oven. (See "How to Use a Solar Oven," under Related eHows.)

Step 13

Stretch clear plastic wrap across the top of the large box. Secure the plastic with tape around the entire box.

Ed A.
Jun 06, 2009

Is there a way to dry this jerky in a home-made solar oven, and how would you make that oven?


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