How to Make Turkey Jerky

How to Make Turkey Jerky

When you're making homemade jerky, you are seasoning, curing, and removing moisture from the meat by drying it out. Doing this helps prevent the growth of bacteria in your meat as it has a low water activity level, meaning that there is not enough water to allow bacteria to grow. If you like your jerky a little softer, it is possible to make jerky that has low water activity, but is still soft in texture like the tender bites from some of the big jerky companies. To make this at home use a seasoning and cure package like normal and then add additional sugar. The sugar envelopes the water molecules and prevents them from being able to cook or dry out of the meat, and it also makes it unavailable for microbial or bacterial growth. In this blog we will go over how to make incredibly tender jerky out of turkey meat.

When you're making homemade jerky, you are seasoning, curing, and removing moisture from the meat by drying it out. Doing this helps prevent the growth of bacteria in your meat as it has a low water activity level, meaning that there is not enough water to allow bacteria to grow. If you like your jerky a little softer, it is possible to make jerky that has low water activity, but is still soft in texture like the tender bites from some of the big jerky companies. To make this at home use a seasoning and cure package like normal and then add additional sugar. The sugar envelopes the water molecules and prevents them from being able to cook or dry out of the meat, and it also makes it unavailable for microbial or bacterial growth. In this blog we will go over how to make incredibly tender jerky out of turkey meat.

What is Turkey Jerky?

Turkey jerky is a type of dried meat snack made from lean turkey that has been seasoned and dehydrated. It is a healthier alternative to traditional beef jerky, as it is lower in fat and calories. Making turkey jerky at home allows you to control the ingredients used and customize the flavor to your preferences. Additionally, homemade turkey jerky is free from preservatives and additives that can be found in store-bought options. It is also a convenient snack to have on hand, as it can be stored for long periods of time and is easy to take on-the-go. Overall, making turkey jerky yourself is a great way to enjoy a tasty and healthy snack.

Step 1: Slicing the Meat

The first step in making turkey jerky is to slice the meat with a meat slicer. This is an important step as it ensures that the meat is cut uniformly and to the desired thickness. Using a meat slicer also makes the process quicker and more efficient. It is important to use a sharp blade and to clean the slicer properly before and after use to prevent any contamination. Once the meat is sliced, it can be seasoned and prepared for drying or smoking. Using your meat slicer, start by cutting your turkey breast into thin, uniform slices. Thinner slices will ensure faster and more consistent drying.

Step 2: Marinade and Vacuum Tumble

Prepare a delicious marinade of your choice, incorporating flavors such as soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, honey, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Place the turkey slices into a vacuum tumbler and add the marinade, ensuring every slice is well-coated. The vacuum tumbling process helps the marinade penetrate the meat, enhancing its taste and tenderness.

Step 3: Smoking the Turkey Jerky

Set up your smoke screens on a smoker rack and preheat your smoker. Lay out the marinated turkey slices on the screens, ensuring they are not touching each other. This allows for even airflow and smoke penetration. Follow our specific smoke shedule in the video below. Keep the smoker going, until the turkey jerky reaches your desired level of dryness and tenderness.

Step 4: Enjoying Your Turkey Jerky

Once the turkey jerky is fully smoked and dried, remove it from the smoker and let it cool down. Then, indulge in this irresistible homemade snack! The turkey jerky can be stored in an airtight container or resealable bags for extended freshness, although it’s unlikely it will last long with its amazing taste.

Get ready to savor the perfect balance of smoky, tender, and flavorful turkey jerky made entirely by you. Grab a slice, and let’s get started on this jerky-making adventure!

2nd Jun 2023 Justin Thompson

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