If you’ve never had shredded beef jerky, you might think that all jerky is tough, or just a stand-alone food. There are actually a ton of recipes, from burritos to salads, where tender, softened and shredded jerky fit perfectly.
Beef jerky chew is also surprisingly simple to make. You can use any kind of meat, whether it’s beef, pork, venison, fish, turkey or chicken.
On the other hand, many people will make beef jerky for long-term storage. In this case, it’s generally better to have dry, thus tougher jerky, as it prevents bacteria growth due to lower moisture content. We’ll show you how you can take any kind of jerky and turn it into tender, succulent jerky chew.
Shredded jerky and how to make it
You could simply take your jerky and blend it directly. You can also use top-down heat from a broiler and a meat tenderizer to make your beef jerky tender enough to shred with your hands.
Using olive oil, you can also cook your jerky chew. This allows you to add flavors, soften the meat and combine it in useful recipes. For example, using peppers, garlic, onions, tomatoes and beans, create a terrific batch of filling burritos for your daily lunch.
Another option would be to shred the meat before drying. For example, take a beef roast, cut it in half and cook it in a slow cooker for about 9 hours. Afterward, you can basically shred it by hand or with the use of forks.
Scoop the slow-cooked shredded beef into the trays of your beef jerky dehydrator, after letting it cool. Dry at 135 degrees for about 5 hours. When it’s done, you’ll have jerky chew that’s delicious and will store in a canister or zip-lock bag for weeks.
Deer, elk, turkey and salmon jerky
Venison jerky has some nuances to becoming a jerky chew that’s tender and savory. Wild game isn’t cured like the meat that you find in the store, and all meat requires some processing before becoming professional-grade jerky.
The good news is that you can create even tastier and healthier jerky than you find in the store. This is where having some slow cooker recipes will come in handy. Take this classic recipe for slow-cooked, shredded venison meat, for example.
- 3 lbs. venison meat
- 1 whole onion
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ cups homemade wild mushroom soup
- 1 cube of vegetable bouillon
- Black pepper and salt, to taste
As you know, this recipe is very simple to make. Cut the meat so that it’ll fit in your slow cooker and cover it evenly with the remaining ingredients. Afterward, cook on low for about 9 hours and use it in your jerky chew recipe.
Is beef jerky healthy?
The biggest issue, conventionally, with beef jerky, are artificial and unnatural ingredients and preservatives. Cheap ingredients are also often used to tenderize the meat, which can be replaced with fresh acidic foods, like tomatoes and apple cider vinegar.
That being said, meat naturally has fat and sodium content. You can reduce and replace unhealthy ingredients that are usually added to meat by curing it at home, in raw form.
Another positive step you can take is to use a dehydrator for beef jerky. With its adjustable thermostat and custom trays, you can dehydrate your own ingredients and foods, including garlic powder, bouillon and seasonings made from teriyaki, BBQ, honey garlic and other sauces.
A beef jerky maker offers many advantages that go way beyond the scope of organic beef jerky!