Por Nada | Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I bought this dehydrator kit for my son as a gift. I found it so easy to use that I have been using it myself.
The actual drying unit is pretty straight forward. It swirls air inside the drying chamber to dry the meat product. It does this in an efficient and predictable manner. It is efficient because I know that almost every area of the inside chamber is covered by the airflow. It is predictable because of the use of the jerky gun. The jerky gun makes the meat the same size. Because of this the cooking times stay the same.
When I start, I prepare the meat as per the instructions. You are directed to take hamburger and add their dry mix. Combine the ingredients, and insert the meat in the jerky gun. The jerky comes out the same size every time. Add those pieces to the tray, and in two hours you have jerky. There is a small fan that makes a fairly substantial noise. I move the appliance to another room to avoid the sound.
I have learned that following the instructions will give you jerky that can be kept for some time with out spoiling. The objective here is to remove as much as the fat from the meat as possible. The fat is what will cause the meat to spoil quickly.
I have experimented with other ways to prepare the meat. I have bought roasts when they go on sale. I used a slicer once. I didn't like that way because the meat would not come out thin enough. If you have a very nice slicer this way might work.
I also tried cutting the meat with a knife. That was a pain too. It was a lot of work but the jerky came out more like what you might see in the stores, chunky. I don't think this type of jerky will stay fresh as long. There will be a substantial amount of fat left in the meat even after drying.
The best alternative preparation is to ask the butcher if he will grind the meat for you. I buy the roast on sale. Then the butcher grinds it for me. I think the fat percentage is quite low. The hamburger with the lowest fat percentage I can find is around 12%. It costs 30% more than my method.
I take the hamburger and add ingredients from recipes that I have found on the internet. I let the ingredients marinate the meat. I use the jerky gun to make the pieces. I use this type of jerky as a snack for around the house. The jerky I make with the dry prepackaged mix is best for backpacking. This is because it is much drier and hence less fat. The jerky will not spoil as quick.
Overall, I found the dryer easy to use. The jerky gun is a welcome addition to the preparation. Good Luck