Ground Beef Jerky Rounds - an experiment

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by dward51, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've seen this in a couple of other forums and figured I would give it a try. Actually this is a double experiment as both the method and spice mix are something I have not done before.   The plan is to make ground beef jerky rounds instead of strips of sticks.  Credit to the idea for both goes to Ragweed.

    No ground venison and no ground round in the house, but I did pick up some of the 90% lean ground beef from Sam's Club.  The primary ingredient in the seasoning a a liquid marinade called "Smoking Gun Jerky Marinade".  No one locally carried this, so I had to pay dang near as much in shipping as I did for the gallon of marinade I ordered.  But the reviews I found online were good, so I figured might as well get a gallon and pay shipping only once.  This stuff smells like a great marinade and has just enough of the hickory smoke aroma.

    Ragweed's method used from 8 to 10 ounces (depending on which of his posts I was looking at) in 5 pounds of lean ground meat.  The company said to use 3 ounces per pound with ground meat.  I split the difference and went with 12 ounces for the 5 pounds.

    Here is the rest of what I used:
    • 5 pounds of 90% lean ground beef
    • 12 ounces of Smoking Gun Jerky Marinade
    • 2 tsp of black pepper
    • 1 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes (crushed up a little more in my mortar).
    • 1 level tsp of cure #1
    I mixed the cure in 1/4 cup of water to get it mostly dissolved and then mixed all the ingredients with the marinade.  Poured over the meat and mixed by hand.  Then into the fridge overnight to let the cure work and the flavors meld.  The next day I divided the meat into two portions and made it into tubes.  This is were I vary from Ragweed's version a little.  He used 3" casings, but I just formed a rough log on clear food wrap and then rolled it up and spun the ends to form a round tightly packed log a little bigger than 3" in diameter.  Into the freezer to firm up for slicing (about 3 to 4 hours).

    Something came up and I did not get it slice it as planned so it spent the night in the fridge.  Of course it was froze solid the next morning.  Tried slicing that and figured I need to let it thaw in the fridge a little to soften up to a soft freeze instead of the rock hard freeze it currently was.  So before I went to bed, I moved the logs to the fridge. Next morning, it was ready for slicing.

    I tried to keep them about 1/4" thick, but there is some variance.  I will probably have some done earlier than others, but I can deal with that.

    Going into my 10 tray LEM dehydrator.  Starting at 135* and will check after 5 hours.  More to follow......
  2. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Jerky pucks! Intresting, I'm in! [​IMG]
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'm in too!

  4. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have discovered that slicing frozen ground meat into uniformly thick slices seems deceivingly simple, but is not so much.  The thinner slices are done and taste great.  I cranked the heat up to 150* as some of the slices are thicker than I though.  Here is a photos of some of the ones that are done.  Others are still drying.

    Excellent flavor.  I will be making these again.  Adding the crushed red pepper gives just a slight touch of heat.  I think next time I will abandon the rounds idea and go back to rolling out on a cutting board over waxed paper with thickness spacers on each side.  Then I can use a pizza cutter to cut into strips and place the wax paper with strips in the freezer to firm up.  They crack apart easily when frozen and can be spaced on the dehydrator rack.  I think the correct thickness is more in the 1/8 to 3/16" range.  Some of the one still in the dehydrator are 1/4" and better. Using the spacer method they should all be uniform in thickness and done at the same time (subject to possibly moving racks around).

    I also made some grilled burgers with the marinade.  Used 1 ounce per pound of meat for that.  Those also came out great.
    dirtsailor2003 likes this.
  5. brandonthompson

    brandonthompson Smoke Blower

    What about rolling it out with a pin to even thickness and out in fridge on disposable cookie type sheets and the. Use a cookie cutter or something of that shape and cut out pucks? ?? Lot of work lol but the pucks are nice for packaging
  6. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The final tally was 6.6 pounds of meat & marinade wet, came out as 2.2 pounds of finished beef jerky rounds.  So that's down to roughly 34% of the original weight when dry.  Now the questions is will they last the weekend as the guys at work are expecting some (good thing I bought a gallon of marinade, I may have to make another batch!!!!!).
  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That is what we have done in the past when making these. We started doing that when we were making ground chicken dog treats We use the ring from a canning jar as the cutter.
  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    These always remind me of when I was in 8th grade! A buddy and I would load up on them and go fishing. At the time they were 5 for a $1. $5 got you a days worth of snacks!

  9. markperry

    markperry Newbie

    the puck method works great. However a suggestion that I found that works great.

    After you've set you ground meat to marinade over night in the frig, instead of freezing, just make meat balls. About 1" round. Then lay out two paint mixing sticks (can pick up for free at Lowes, HD, or any paint store) parallel to each other. Then take a ziplock bag and split the sides so you have one long piece of plastic. Take the meat ball and place on the ziplock and fold the ziplock to cover. Place between the two paint sticks and use a rolling pin to flatten out the meat ball with the rolling pin on each paint stick.. You'll get evenly thick "pucks" this way, between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick depending on the thickness of the sticks. And the meat will not stick to the ziplock so it is simple to just peel off and place on your drying tray. I just did this myself for the first time yesterday. Works like a dream and all the pucks are uniform making drying much easier and you get a much more uniform product.

    I cant take credit for this idea but I dont remember where I saw it but it works.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  10. markperry

    markperry Newbie

    Ok I found were I got the idea. Credit goes to a gentleman named Larry Hall on youtube.

    Part in question runs from about 3:45 to 5:30
  11. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for the video.  That is an interesting way to do it.  I may end up making another small batch to take to work on Monday as these are slowly disappearing.  I could see using one of the wife's cookie dough scoops for small uniform ball sizes and then rolling them out like that.   If I go that route, I will report back on how well it went.
  12. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Another option would be to take the balls and put them on parchment paper or whatever non stick surface. Put another sheet of parchment on top. Use a cutting board or bakers tray and use that to smash them flat all at once. Would take less time and you would get the same results.

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