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Making jerky

Living the Country Life Radio Program with Betsy Freese

Choose your meat

Listen to this radio show (MP3 download) or read below.

Radio interview source: Deb Wagman, food editor, Meredith Special Interest Publications

I know a bison producer who makes buffalo jerky. He gave me a pound of it once and it was delicious. I should make my own jerky. It really isn't that hard to do.

Food Editor Deb Wagman says her husband hunts and brings home antelope, deer, moose, and turkey. She makes jerky out of this wild game, as well as beef and chicken. It takes three pounds of meat to make one pound of jerky. Make sure the meat is lean.

"That is probably the most important thing to look for, because fat doesn't actually dry. It just tends to turn rancid," Wagman says. "Your best cuts will be inexpensive ones -- sirloin, top round, eye of round, rump roast. My favorite is flank steak."

No matter which cut of meat you choose, Wagman advises marinating it first. The flavor is better, and the acidity will help destroy any microorganisms that shouldn't be there. Trim every speck of fat off the meat, then slice it across the grain, making the pieces about a quarter-inch thick, an inch wide, and as uniform as possible.

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