Beef jerky has an interesting history, which many of us might not be aware of. This is a widely sold product in the snack industry and you might get these in a variety of flavors.
The Beef Jerky Process
Beef jerky is beef cut into fine strips and marinated with seasonings of your choice. The marinated meat is then left to dry either in an oven or a dehydrator. Let us look at a brief history onto how this snack came into existence. The term ‘jerky’ comes from a South American native tribe called Quechua. The tribe used to refer it as “ch’arki” which means “to burn”.
Jerky need not be pertaining to beef only. It can be made from elk, buffalo and deer as well. Here the meat used to be cooked onto a fire and left in the sun to dry. If you are a beef jerky lover and would love to prepare your own beef jerky, you might be curious to know about the manufacturing process.
The two important components that come into picture here is the meat and the curing process. The meet can either be natural meat or grass-fed meat depending on your preference. Many manufacturers even use ground beef to make jerky. Next is the curing process.
Curing is the process of adding combination of salts, nitrite and sugar for giving flavoring, color and preserving the meat. This solution is then combined with brine with different seasonings of your choice. Many people even use sodium phosphate and liquid smoke to give the meat a smoky taste.
When jerky is commercially made, the meat must undergo different processes such as deboning, fat removal and removing foreign particles or impurities from the meat. Simultaneously, when the meat is getting processed, the curing solution is made in a huge tank that contains salts, sugar and other combinations.
The processed meat is then cut into slices left in a freezer. When the meat is partially frozen, it is then mixed in the curing solution and again kept in the fridge. When the meat has been marinated properly, it is then placed in the oven to heat and dehydrate.
Eating Jerky in Moderate Quantity
Having too much of everything is not good for your health. Eating too much of jerky can lead to:
- Increase in the cholesterol levels
- Increase in weight
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Increase in blood pressure levels.
Beef jerky are sold in vacuum sealed bags, packed in boxes or pallets and sent to the stores. All beef jerky sold need to pass quality control, before they are declared fit for consumption.