It’s smack dab in-between hunting seasons. Last year is fading away and I’m already thinking about this fall. I’ve got some scouting trips set up and I have a plan for my 2017 Elk hunt.
The supply of meat from last year is also starting to diminish. After many delicious meals of elk steaks, roasts, hamburgers, and a myriad of other meals using ground elk, empty spots are showing up in the freezer that was once packed with meat! While I’m making sure I have enough to last till this fall, now is the perfect time to use of some of those pieces of meat I set aside when processing. It’s time to make jerky!
I love to make jerky. This is largely due to the fact that I love to eat jerky. And since I can’t justify the exorbitant prices of beef jerky at the store, I love the opportunity to make my own jerky with meat from my own harvest. Not only is it much cheaper, but I enjoy eating jerky that I have harvested and processed myself.
I also love to experiment when I make jerky. Sometimes I stumble upon a great patch that is perfect and at other times I find something that just doesn’t work. In the past I have used three different tools to make jerky: an oven, a smoker and a dehydrator. While I have had success with all three methods, I have recently been using the dehydrator to make my jerky. Today I am using the dehydrator once again and look forward to what I can do.
There are so many options out there when making jerky. One great resource I have found is Hi Mountain Seasoning. They have a great Jerky Cure & Seasoning which I use to make all my jerky. What I appreciate about this brand is when you buy a package of this seasoning, they give you excellent instructions on preparing both ground and whole meat jerky. I have found that by following their directions, you can usually assure yourself of some decent jerky. Once you get the basics down, you can then start to explore and experiment!
There are many different blends of seasoning you can choose for your jerky. If you aren’t sure what blend you prefer, I would highly recommend getting the Hi Mountain Seasoning Variety Pack which gives you 5 different seasoning: Original, Cajun, Mesquite, Hickory, and Cracked Pepper ‘n Garlic. I have enjoyed experimenting with the different blends. Between the seasonings, the methods, and even the type of meat there are a lot of choices. All of these factors give you a lot of creativity when making your jerky.
I’m looking forward to playing around some with my meat. Right now I am preparing a batch of elk jerky from my bull last fall. I have 4 pounds of whole meat and 1 pound of ground. I’m planning to try some different blends and see if I can find a great recipe! As of right now, my personal recommendation is the Cajun blend using whole meat processed in the dehydrator! Hopefully you have some meat in your freezer that you can pull out and make some jerky of your own….cause I’m not sharing mine!
It may not be hunting season, but I always enjoy making jerky and enjoying my harvest any time during the year!