Jerky Rounds - another batch (I really like this method)

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by dward51, May 30, 2016.

  1. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well, the 10 pound batch of jerky sticks I made a while back is finally gone.  Time to mix up another batch.  Figured I would go back to the "jerky rounds" method as a lot of people said they preferred that format better (sticks and round were the same recipe so it had a lot to do with the shape and bite feel).

    Seems like lately this is my preferred method and recipe for jerky, regardless of the shape.  This is an easy method and does not require casings.  Also fewer steps in the process.  If you have not tried this method, it's worth considering.

    So, I picked up 10 pounds of 90% ground beef from Sam's Club in the large 10 pound tube package. It's cheaper per pound in the 10 pound tube than in the flats. The meat department manager told me they cut open tubes to divide them into flats so it's the exact same product.  So if you buy their 90% or 80% ground beef in the 4 to 5 pound flats, save money on the 10 pound tube.

    Yes, you read that right.  I said GROUND BEEF and no casings, not sirloin or round or traditional snack sticks from ground meat. Like I said, I'm really starting to like this method as it is quicker and easier than traditional cut jerky or stuffed snack sticks.  This method also uses Cure #1.  Also instead of using a smoker, I'm using a dehydrator to finish the meat. This method should work with pretty much any stick or jerky recipe, but this is the version I've narrowed it down to a variations of Ragweed's original version (both his method and recipe).

    For a 5 pound batch:
    • 5 pounds of 90% lean ground beef (you can use leaner or venison if you have it)
    • 12 liquid ounces of Smoking Gun Jerky Marinade (a pre-mixed commercial product - see below)
    • 2 tsp crushed black pepper
    • 2 tsp crushed red pepper
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp liquid hickory smoke
    • 1 tsp of Cure #1 (pink salt)
    Mix cure with 1/4 cup of hot water to dissolve the cure.  I then mix the cure with the liquid marinade. Pour the dry ingredients over the meat and then pour over the cure/marinade mix.  Mix thoroughly by hand until all the meat is the same dark color.  Cover and let rest in the refrigerator overnight so the cure can work and the flavors combine and mellow.

    This is the marinade mix I'm using.  If you are close to one of their distributors, you are lucky. I'm not and had to pay dang near as much to ship it as it cost to buy it, but it's worth it.  I will be buying more even with the shipping premium. This stuff is also very good in burgers at a lower mix ratio (they have several recipes to doctor the base mix up posted on their website).

    Ok, that's all for today.  I will post more on the method for making rounds and the dehydration tomorrow.  The meat is doing it's thing in the fridge for now......

    Last edited: May 30, 2016
  2. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ok, next installment...

    Here is where I diverge from Ragweed's original method of making rounds.  Ragweed would stuff the meat into a summer sausage casing, freeze it for a few hours and then use a knife to cut nice even rounds.  Another variation is to wrap it in plastic wrap forming a tube somewhat like when making a fatty to final shape.  I've tried both of these and like this method better.

    I take a sandwich sized zip lock bag and cut it down each side leaving the bottom attached.  I then use my "Pork N' Pull" mixer attachment arms as spacers and use a small cutting board as a press to make small patties out of balls of the meat.  These rounds then go on the dehydrator trays.  I like the irregular shape this gives me as it makes them look more rustic and less "processed".  This is a handmade product and no two are absolutely alike this way.  I keep saying I'm going to buy some 3/16" rods and epoxy them to a spare cutting board, but this works just fine. Another advantage is with this method I have less equipment to clean at the end.

    This should give you more of an idea of the process. I put down a sheet of plastic coated freezer paper for a disposable work surface that is clean.  Last time I made the pressed rounds, I used a cookie dough scoop and ended up with smaller rounds.  Going with a table spoon and rough eyeballing the size.  These are larger than last time and weigh on average 1 ounce each (before drying).

    I get 16 per tray in the 10 tray LEM dehydrator.  6.8 pounds on 7 trays.  Starting them at 125* for a hour to set a skin and then cranking it up to 145* until done.  Figure on 5 more hours based on past sessions with the rounds and uncased sticks in the dehydrator.  When done, I will let them bloom in a paper bag overnight and break down into vacuum packed bags for batch storage until needed. Prior dehydrator session tell me that the 6.8 pounds will finish up at around 2.75 to 3 pounds of dried product.

    If you have not tried this method, it's pretty dang easy and you do not need a stuffer or casings to make the rounds this way. I'll post photos of the finished batch later....
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
  3. donr

    donr Smoking Fanatic

    Like jerky patties, cool.

    A patty press, I would think, would help you go a bit quicker.

    The Sausage Maker, & others I imagine, sells a tray that makes rectangular versions of your rounds.  This would allow you more poundage on each tray (if it's an issue).  But you would lose your rustic, less processed look.

    I believe BearCarver makes casingless sticks by just pushing the mix out of his sausage stuffer onto the trays.


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