Michael Makn’ Jerkey

Good day my fellow classmates,

This Do It Yourself (DIY) project was actually a lot of fun, and has been very tasty. I decided to try making some beef jerky since I wanted something I can eat. I’ve never been a strong cooker aside from a nice sandwich from time to time so I thought this would be a good challenge. When I saw the beef jerky option I knew almost immediately that it was the one for me, I knew a guy in high school who made some of the best jerky I’d ever had. I had the passion and hopefully a good recipe if I could hit up my friend. I did have some initial concerns though. The biggest though was where I could cook it and prepare it. Shopping would be an issue as well, but HEB had all my ingredients so I wasn’t that worried. I asked some off campus friends if I could borrow their kitchen (in return I would pay them in jerky, hopefully edible) Luckily, I did find a place so I was set.

I actually didn’t encounter too many problems while cooking it; the meat I got ended up not being the best cut… it actually wasn’t a cut. I bought some brisket packaged, but I just now ate a bite of the cooked finished product and I think it tastes great. Another issue I had was with the videos and websites I used to find my recipe. I knew I wanted to try and use one from a person I knew but I couldn’t guarantee that it would reach me. A lot of the online recipes have a lot of ingredients: Honey, soy sauce, pepper flakes, and more. Luckily the recipe that I did want came through and it was a lot shorter.  To be honest, I was very surprised by how smooth and easy it was. I was expecting a lot more of a challenge but other than some cutting and patience the whole process went really smoothly. Like, if I had no problems I assume almost everyone in our class can do it easily.

I made sure to check out a lot of online tutorials and resources but in the end the recipe I used for the marinade, choice of meat, and preparation overall was from a family friend of mine in High School. I didn’t have his email, so luckily my mother did and I managed to contact him and get the email. However, the video guidelines were the best. There was a YouTube channel called Food Wishes and they had a great how to video for the oven (since I had no dehydrator). The video was very helpful and even had an attached blogpost link, I almost ended up using the video as my main format of making beef jerky. Chef John explains it in a fun way and the blog post makes it really easy to read exact measurements but then to see him apply it. For anyone else making jerky I would strongly advise using him, and his blog and videos seem very helpful for other forms of cooking as well. Although I remembered the taste of Mr. Jeff Harris’ Jerky (The man I knew in High school) and I knew I wanted to wait it out and get that before using a video. I managed to get his recipe (will be part of the power point) and although in the email format it seemed pretty limited it ended up working really well. For the instances that didn’t seem clear I just hoped it worked and took some knowledge from the other sources. Like this recipe from thektichen, an online cooking site,helped me complete the missing aspects from my other recipe. It was simple, and the author seemed to be a very homemade person, which was good since I wasn’t working with professional equipment and ingredients.

The most helpful type of sources I found in explaining the recipe was the videos. When cooking that seems to always be the best way however, visualization and seeing someone do it always helps. Although I ended up not using one as my main way of cooking, it was nice to have it in the background on my laptop so I could reference it, a long with the other written recipe. I think just having someone to tell you how to do, with a voice that you can pause in addition to seeing it is what makes the video tutorials so easy to use. I did find that as helpful as the video instructions are, they don’t always help when needing to know specific names of ingredients or specific measurements. That part it was helpful to have paper/ online outlet that I could read and that I could compare.

Overall, I think my jerky came out great and I’ve gotten some good compliments. It did come out a little dry, break easily, but the taste and meaty goodness holds up… I hope. The marinade I used was mostly teriyaki so I hope you guys enjoy my first beef jerky. You guys can check out my slide show tomorrow to see how I made it.

Sources:

Gillingham, Sara Kate. “Recipe: Homemade Jerky in the Oven – Snack Recipes from The Kitchn.” Thektichen.com. N.p., 17 May 2015. Web. 6 Sept. 2015.

Hariss, Jeff. Recipe from a Family Friend. 8 Sept. 2015. Raw data. Indonesia, Jakarta.

Homemade Beef Jerky by Mook. Perf. Mook (Mark Lowry). Youtube. Mark Lowry, 19 Mar. 2010. Web. 8 Sept. 2015.

John, Chef. “Homemade Beef Jerky – A Real Convenient Store.” Web log post. Food Wishes. N.p., 24 Feb. 2015. Web. 7 Sept. 2015.

Make Your Own Beef Jerky! How to Make Beef Jerky in the Oven. Perf. Chef John. Food Wishes. You Tube, 23 Feb. 2015. Web. 7 Sept. 2015.

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About Michael Carroll

I'm a Senior at Trinity University (Class of '17); I am majoring in Communication and minoring in Education with an overall plan to become a teacher. I was born and raised in South East Asia.
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