The Jerky FAQ

beef jerky

Welcome to The Jerky FAQ, a resource for people who like to make jerky at home, are curious about making jerky, or want to find resources for jerky or jerky making materials. The dried meat we know as ‘jerky’ is a nutrient-dense and exceptionally stable food that has been a part of our diet since at least the time of the ancient Egyptians. While it comes in many forms (beef jerky, turkey jerky, venison jerky, and even fish jerky), the Jerky FAQ was developed to outline the rich history of jerky as well as help the home jerky maker create jerky in the safest and most efficient manner. We also seek to remind people that jerky is more than just beef jerky. Our goal is to provide insight into the preparation, curing, drying (or smoking), and storing of jerky so home jerky makers around the world can make the best jerky with whatever source materials they may have at their disposal. While we will primarily be discussing jerky made from meat, we also wish to be a resource to those looking for alternative food sources with which to make jerky, including the production of vegetable jerky and dried fruit.

What Is Jerky?

To many people, ‘jerky’ is dried meat, what many people do not realize that the variety of processes used in making jerky result in a wide array of interesting and diverse products. There are many different steps that the meat can undergo on its journey from uninspiring raw meat to jerky. Read on to find out just what needs to happen to turn a piece of meat into a unique food item that will last forever and still deliver its bounty of nutrients and flavor.

The History of Jerky

Jerky (beef jerky and others) has been part of our diet for thousands of years. But who first started drying meat and why? Jerky making takes skill and knowledge and learning to make jerky did not happen overnight. Our History of Jerky section profiles jerky throughout the ages.
 
 
 

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How is Jerky Made? (Methods and Safety Issues)

Wondering how to make jerky at home? There are many different styles of jerky and many different methodologies used to create the plethora of jerky styles available today. From cured to smoked to dried, the same meat can be turned into a wide assortment of unique products, and this section highlights the different methods used to create the bounty of jerky now available. From here, proceed to our Tips and Overview page for all the recipes and helpful information you will need to begin making jerky at home.
 

Jerky Making Tips and Recipe Overview

This section is our portal to many different recipes for jerky, jerky marinades, and tons of tips for new and seasoned jerky makers. While making jerky is not difficult, this section will outline many points that will allow you to make high quality jerky. With recipes for each different meat, tips for convenient preparation, and working around potential problems, this section is a must read for any home jerky maker. You can’t make great jerky without being prepared, so with our information in mind you will be ready for anything.
 

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Jerky Marinades

If all you are looking for is a jerky marinade, then jump right into our marinades section. Here we have recipes for marinades to turn just about any meat into a flavorful jerky without having to sort through all our jerky recipes.
 
 
 
 

Beef Jerky Recipes

If you are looking specifically for beef jerky recipes, this section is for you. With recipes for basic beef jerky as well as more exotic flavors, beef jerky is the style most people know and love. But beef jerky can be much more interesting than the stuff you grew up with, so visit our beef jerky section for interesting recipes to turn something basic into something out of the ordinary.
 

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Venison Jerky Recipes

For those who have access to venison, especially those who may have more on their hands than they know what to do with, our venison jerky section is a great resource to turn that extra meat into something special. You would be surprised at what you can do with this robust meat, and we have recipes from basic to exotic to help you help you create a variety of jerky you will be sure to enjoy.
 

Duck and Turkey Jerky Recipes

It may seem unusual, but turkey and duck can make really tasty jerky. Turkey will readily absorb any flavor and the gamey nature of duck makes it the perfect accompaniment to a variety of stronger marinades. This section highlights the various types of jerky that can be made from fowl, turning these common birds into an uncommon jerky.
 
 

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Lamb Jerky Recipes

For an unusual take on jerky, try lamb jerky. Lamb will hold up to many surprising flavors ranging from spicy to fruity and is an excellent way for a home jerky maker to display their skills. With the right cut, lamb can be a perfect meat to make into jerky as its slightly gamey flavor is enhanced by stronger marinades and spices.
 

Fish Jerky Recipes

Fish jerky may seem the most unusual, but drying fish for storage has a long history in human culture. This section will offer the home jerky maker recipes for making fish jerky, brining, curing, and even some excellent dry rubs to use with fish. At a later date we may include recipes for smoking, as certain fish, such as salmon and trout, take particularly well to being smoked.

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