|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – May 2009
Elk meat makes for a leaner, more tender–and always organic!–trail snack.
Starting with the steaks or roast slightly frozen (firm, but easy to slice), cut meat cross-grain (across the long fibers) into 1/8-inch-thick strips. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl and add meat strips; cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours, stirring occasionally. Dry 7 to 12 hours in a dehydrator set to 140°F (or until strips break when bent). Cool completely before storing in a zip-top bag. Note: Jerky can also be dried in an oven on the "warm" setting.
If you only occasionally make DIY jerky, then oven-drying is your best bet. But if you plan to dry your own meat (or fruit, veggies, and pasta sauces) more than a couple of times per year, a dehydrator (we like American Harvest; $49-$150, nesco.com) will quickly pay for itself. These appliances use less power than an oven, dry your food evenly, and let you dehydrate much bigger batches than can fit in a conventional oven.