Friday, August 16, 2013

BBQ Beef Jerky Experiment

Fresh BBQ flavored beef jerky.
We decided to experiment with a new flavor of beef jerky. I wanted to learn the jerky making process and had a preference for trying a barbeque flavored product. Barbeque sauce beef jerky ended up being an excellent option for those who enjoy/tolerate sweeter foods and want to try a much sweeter type of jerky. We followed the traditional preparation methods used at a USDA facility today when it comes to slicing, marinating, and racking the meat. However, since we dried the meat at home, we used equipment that is different from the professional dehydrator ovens and safety regulations applied at the USDA facility. - Jonathan, Sophia's summer assistant

  1. 4 lbs of meat
  2. 1 cup of Annie's Organic BBQ Sweet & Spicy sauce (Water, tomato paste, cane sugar,distilled white vinegar, sea salt, garlic, caramel color, onion, natural smoke flavor, chili pepper, cayenne).
  3. 2 tbls of salt
  4. 1 tbls dry mustard
  5. 1/2 tbls onion powder
  6. 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  7. 1/2 cup evaporated cane sugar
  8. 1/2 cup water
  • Pre-freeze the meat for about 2-3 hours for easier slicing.
  • Cut the meat using a sharp knife or a slicer.
Slicing the meat.
  • Measure out the spices, sugar, and water in separate bowls.
  • Mix the ingredients.
  • Stir until the ingredients are evenly dispersed throughout the main bowl.
  • Add the meat into the bowl with the liquid ingredients and mix thoroughly to coat all sides.
  • Refrigerate the meat overnight.
  • Evenly rack the meat onto dehydrater trays making sure to not overlap pieces.
Racking the meat.
  • Dry the meat at 145 degrees for 5-6 hours or until desired hardness is reached.
  • Enjoy right off the trays or store in an air-tight container for up to a week.

Finished product.

Over the course of the last month and a half, Jonathan, an incoming junior in high school, was helping me over at the business. I offered him a summer internship, not knowing what to expect exactly. Fortunately, Jonathan's punctuality, diligence, and passion to help shined through immediately. He picked up new tasks with ease and made an effort to always contribute with ideas on how to bring more traffic to the site and get people excited about a clean beef jerky product. It was a joy to have such a smart intern around the office! I was touched by the following short, but sweet post he wrote about his experience:

"As summer draws to close, so does my internship at Sophia's Survival Food. It has been a great experience as I learned unique knowledge about the beef jerky industry. I shipped and packaged orders, wrote blog posts, and we even made a new beef jerky recipe.
            Overall, the experience I have gained from this internship has given me riveting knowledge about the beef jerky industry and hands-on work experience for the first time." - Jonathan

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