Beef jerky is made from strips of meat that have been dried out in the sun to prevent spoiling. Before they became the chewy food that we know today, they were thought to be a necessity. Native Americans hunted wild animals for meat thousands of years ago, and because there was no refrigeration at the time, the flesh had to be devoured right away. This was problematic, so they had to devise a method of preserving leftover meat. Trimming off the fat, cutting the meat into strips, and allowing it to dry for days considerably extends the meat’s shelf life. The salt in the beef inhibits bacterial development, preventing the meat from rotting. Unlike other snack foods that contain preservatives, jerky is entirely natural in most circumstances.

On a side note, beef jerky is no longer dried in the sun; instead, sophisticated dehydrators are used to speed up the process and make it much easier and faster to manufacture a fast and furious supply.

How to Make Beef Jerky

Except for a few components added to the mix, the basic procedure of manufacturing beef jerky had been passed down from generation to generation. For taste, herbs and spices are added to the marinade. Sugar is sometimes added to an otherwise salty food to lend a hint of sweetness. Other jerky producers experiment with dry rubs and oil-and-vinegar solutions. To adapt to changing consumer tastes, soy sauce and other herbs and spices are added in other nations. Despite the availability of store-bought jerky and biltong, many individuals choose to make their jerky using different animal flesh and alternative drying processes such as oven baking, air-drying, smoking, barbecuing, and grilling, among others.

Beef Jerky in the 21st Century

Modern beef jerky is produced in highly regulated manufacturing factories, ensuring that the items leave the production line with uniform taste, size, and texture. The drying period is also significantly reduced since the marinated meat is roasted or smoked in low heat instead of using sunshine to speed up the drying process. This expedites the process and imparts a smokey flavor that improves the taste of the beef jerky. Commercially produced beef jerky is subjected to stringent quality control measures to guarantee that the finished product does not pose a health risk to customers. Beef jerky is a popular snack worldwide, regardless of how or where it is manufactured.

Beef Jerky has been and will continue to be a popular snack since it is tasty, healthful, and relatively simple to prepare. When compared to other snack foods, beef jerky has a high protein content. And, in most cases, it is 100% natural, with no preservatives other than salt. While excessive salt is not suggested, it is not an issue if consumed in moderation. This only adds to the mythology that is beef jerky.

Posted by Sean M. Madden