16 October 2014

Here in Southern Indiana, we're getting ready for deer season.  Every year, we look forward to killing and preserving some of the best meat that is available!  We have a couple of trail cams in place and some deer stands erected as a part of our preparations.

Another important part of getting ready for this year's deer kill is to clean out any remaining packages of deer meat from last season.  This year, that has involved several packages of deer burger and some packaged cut meat.  My son, Rob, and I made this remaining meat into deer jerky.  In a nutshell, here's what we did.

After thawing the meat, we place the low-fat deer burger into a large mixing bowl.  We prepared the cut meat by first trimming off all of the white tissue that we could.  Next, we chopped the meat into fine pieces in the food processor.  We put a cupful or so at a time into the processor.  We blended the burger and chopped meat together, then added jerky seasoning (We used 'original', hickory, and cracked pepper) and mixed it thoroughly.  Using our jerky gun, we 'squoze' fat ribbons of meat mash onto the food dryer trays.  We then placed the trays in the dryer and cranked up the heat.  As the meat dried, we occasionally rotated the trays so that all the jerky dried more evenly.
Deer jerky in our homemade food dryer.
In the attached photo, you can see jerky being made in our old homemade food dryer.  I build this dryer around 1980 and it still performs very well.  The photo is from my book "The Self-Reliant Homestead".

This year's project yielded several bags of tasty jerky.  We will take some of it with us as we head out to fill the freezer again this November.

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