Beef Jerky/Curing Meat


5 gallons of water
5 lbs salt
1 lb white sugar
1 oz pink salt
10 cloves garlic
4 ozs pickling spices
Dry Meat Cure:
5 lbs salt
1 lb white sugar
1 oz pink salt
2 tbs garlic powder
2 tbs onion powder

Nearly any red meat can be made into jerky, but for best results avoid the poorer cuts and use flank or round steak. Trim off all fat because if left on, this would eventually turn rancid. To save time in curing, cut the meat into slabs about 1 inch thick. It is not the area but the thickness, of the slabs that determines the speed of the curing process,Next cure in sweet pickle brine at 35 degrees (recipe to follow) Allow plenty of time for curing, anywhere between 4 to 7 days. Following this rinse with fresh water, and allow to dry under refrigeration.

Cut the meat into slices, the thinner the better, either with a very sharp knife, or a meat slicer. To facilitate this slicing, put the meat into the freezer,  and remove it when it is not quite frozen, but has a firm texture. After brining apply a cured meat seasoning (recipe to follow) of both side of each slice. Then hang up, or lay or racks in the oven, dehydrator or smoke oven. Cook/smoke/dehydrate at 78 to 85 degrees, or at a lower temperature if attainable for 24 hours or longer. To test when the jerky is done, bend a slice. If it snaps in tow if is sufficiently dried. Store in a glass jar or dish with a perforated lid or any container which will allow air to circulated. Kept in the refrigerator, or at room temperature, it will keep for years.

Sweet Pickle Brine:

The sweet pickle cure is used for large and small cuts of meat. For shoulders and hams the pickle is often injected around the bone with a special syringe that pumps the fluid through a hollow needle. The curing may then be completed by immersion in brine or by application of a dry cure. Bacon can be made either with a sweet pickle or dry cure. Ready made, packaged sweet pickle cures are available, however his is a recipe you can make at home.

  • The quantity of pickling spices and garlic may be increased if a spicier flavor is desired.
  • Prepare the spices by boiling them slowly in a half pint of water.
  • keep the meat completely submerged in this solution for a time depending on the size of the pieces, from 10 days if the pieces weigh about 2-4 lbs, up to 16 days if they weigh 7-8 lbs. Turn over every third day.
  • Inspect daily. If the brine is kept at 35 degrees there should be little risk of deterioration. But if the brine begins to change color, and to smell sour, pour it away at once, wash the meat in clean water, wash out the rock and sterilize it with boiling water. Then make a fresh batch of brine.
Many tough cuts of meat can be made tender by this method of curing.

Dry Meat Cure:

  • Thoroughly mix the ingredients ahead of time.
  • Let the mixture stand, to allow the flavors to blend for 24 hours before use.


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