Beef jerky, also known as jerky, is a slice of dehydrated meat that has been cut into thin slices. Dehydrating meat is a common method of preventing bacteria growth, due to the fact that the presence of water is vital in other for bacteria to grow. In the case of beef jerky, the addition of salt is also required to prevent spoilage.
Jerky can be made from a variety of animal meats including beef, pork, goat, or lamb, these are just a few examples, as making jerky is more about the cooking and preservation method of animal meats, therefore it can be used in a wide variety meat cuts and animals.
Jerky is very popular in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, however, in recent years it has gained popularity in other nations. Curious the understand how this process of food conservation works? Keep on reading to learn how to eat beef jerky and its nutrition aspects.
How to Make Beef Jerky
Needless to say, homemade beef jerky is the healthiest option, as you can control every aspect of it, from the meat cut to the amount of salt used. However, making beef jerky from scratch is not that easy and you will need to have some specialized kitchen appliances such as a dehydrator and a jerky slicer in order to make it possible.
If you are curious about how to make beef jerky at home, here are the steps:
- The first step is to select the meat cut, for that select a piece of meat with little to no fat, this is because fat does not dry, thus it will increase the chances of spoilage.
- As it is quite difficult to find a piece of meat with zero fat, the second step consists of removing all the visible fat from the meat.
- In order to make it easier to cut, experts recommend placing the meat in the fridge for about 2 hours.
- Here comes the key part when it comes to making your own beef jerky. Cut the meat against its grain in pieces of around 0.5 cm in width. If you have it available, you can use a jerky slicer to make this process easier and skip the freezer step.
- Now it is time to make the marinade, common condiments include Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, paprika, honey, black pepper, garlic, and onion.
- Mix together the sliced beef with the marinade sauce in a bag
- Pat the beef dry and remove excess marinade in order to prepare the beef for the dehydration process.
- Place the beef in the dehydrator, it takes around 5 hours to completely dehydrate.
The process of making beef jerky is not hard, yet it is time-consuming and requires special appliances. If you are a fan of this type of snack it is highly recommended to try to make it at home, as many industrialized beef jerkies consist of highly processed foods with tremendous amounts of chemical preservatives.
How to Eat Beef Jerky
If you have bought the beef jerky or if you have made it at home, when it comes to eating beef jerky there is simply no preparation involved. You can directly eat beef jerky as it is, straight forward from the package.
As the beef jerky main ingredient is meat, it is a rich source of protein, and so it is perfect for taking to hikes, after workout sessions, or as a snack in the middle of the afternoon.
What Goes Well with Beef Jerky
Beef jerky is a delicious snack, it is easy to take everywhere, and on top of that beef jerky pair well with a list of foods. For a more powerful snack, you can combine beef jerky with cheddar cheese, teriyaki and sunflower seeds, tortilla chips, and spice chili peppers.
And do not limit yourself only to the above-mentioned options, use your imagination, and create a powerful protein source snack to consume after workout sessions.
Beef Jerky Nutrition Facts
By this point you are probably convinced that beef jerky makes up a perfect snack, now what about its nutrition facts? Let’s take a closer look at them.
According to the USDA database, a portion of 28 grams of beef jerky contains the following:
|Zinc||21% of the daily value|
|Vitamin B12||12% of the daily value|
|Phosphorus||9% of the daily value|
|Folate||9% of the daily value|
|Iron||8% of the daily value|
What makes beef jerky an incredible snack option is its high protein and low carbohydrate amount, turning into a snack option that fits many diets such as paleo, keto, and low carbs. In addition, beef jerky contains a high amount of many vitamins and minerals including zinc, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and iron.
However, do remember that the less industrialized the better when it comes to beef jerky health benefits. Furthermore, if you suffer from high blood pressure or any other conditions where you should limit salt intake, try to avoid eating beef jerky, as salt along with dehydration is what preserves the meat for a prolonged time, thus it has a considerably high amount of sodium.
Beef jerky is a delicious snack very popular in North American countries that has been gaining popularity worldwide due to its delicious taste. Beef jerky consists basically of a food conservation method, where the meat passes through a dehydration process, turning it into a long shelf-life product.
Contrary to what some people might think, beef jerky can be an incredible health snack, especially if it is homemade. As its main ingredient is low-fat meat, beef jerky is an excellent source of protein. In terms of how to eat beef jerky, you can simply eat it straight forward from the package. Additionally, it is easy to carry around and is one of the best options for post-workout sessions or outdoor activities.