The first time people have beef jerky, they always wonder, “How do jerky makers get their meat to have such a distinct taste?” Well, to make the best beef jerky, it requires high-quality meat, great seasonings, and the right amount of drying time.
However, one aspect of jerky making that tends to get overlooked is slicing your meat. It's an obvious step when making beef jerky, but the way you cut your meat can make a world of difference.
If you’re curious about how you should slice your beef jerky to make it even better, continue reading to learn some valuable tips.
Sharpen Your Knives
An important step you should take before making beef jerky is ensuring your knives are sharp. Using dull knives in the kitchen will give you thicker slices of beef, which won’t marinate and dry properly.
With sharp knives, not only will it help you get those perfect, thin slices of meat for your jerky, but it’s also great for kitchen safety. So, to avoid any accidents in the kitchen, try using a sharpening stone.
If you feel like you can’t get the sharpness you’re looking for, you can always take your knives to a professional knife sharpener.
Related: Our Jerky Bundles
Trim the Fat Off Your Beef
Have you ever had a piece of steak that had a lot of fat on it? Eating it made for an unpleasant experience, right? The same holds true when you’re making beef jerky.
As you’re slicing your meat, make sure that you trim off any fat deposits that you see. But, why? Beef jerky that’s adequately dried can last for months, but with extra fat, its shelf life is vastly reduced. Fat doesn’t dry, so your meat will last roughly one to two weeks before going bad.
But another reason you should trim the fat off your beef is to make slicing much more effortless. Instead of trying to navigate around the fat as you’re cutting your slices, trim it off beforehand. Remember, you have that shaper knife now, so that task will be much easier for you.
Chill Your Beef
Here’s a little secret for you that we use here at Two Chicks Jerky; chill your meat before making slices. After you cut the fat deposits off your beef, put it in the freezer for an hour or two. You don’t want the meat to freeze completely, but just enough to where the beef hardens a bit.
Depending on your freezer, the chilling time will vary. So keep an eye out for ice crystals forming on your beef. Once you see them, it’s time to take your beef out of the freezer.
Since your meat is more solid, it won’t be squishy under your knife, and it’ll be easier to get the perfect slices you want.
Related: Two Chicks Jerky Merchandise
Cut With or Against the Grain?
When you’re making beef jerky, one of the terms you’re most likely to hear is the “grain of the meat.” What is it exactly? It’s the direction in which the muscle fibers of the meat run.
So before you start cutting your meat, take a look at the muscle fibers to see which direction they’re going. Then decide which way you would like to slice your beef.
When you slice your beef with the grain, the texture of your jerky slices will be tough and chewy, making it harder to bite through. However, cutting against the grain will result in softer jerky, making it more appealing to those eating your final product.
It’s up to you to decide what type of beef jerky texture you want. But we recommend slicing against the grain because most beef jerky consumers prefer a more tender texture.
If you’d like to experiment, you could also slice your meat with the grain and then tenderize it with a mallet. By using the pointy side of the mallet, you can break up the muscle fibers, making the meat easier to chew.
If you’re having trouble deciding on a beef jerky flavor, why don’t you try one of our jerky bundles?
Use a Jerky Slicer
If you’re making a lot of beef jerky or having trouble creating thin slices, it may be wise to invest in a jerky slicer. They produce thin, uniform slices that can help you make the perfect beef jerky. All you do is feed the machine slabs of meat, and thin beef jerky slices will come out on the other end.
Using a jerky slicer saves you time, energy and optimizes your jerky-making processes. So you’ll have time to improve on other aspects of your jerky making since the more complex part is done for you.
Related: Our “Giving Back Initiative”
Consider Two Chicks Jerky For All Your Beef Jerky Needs
We’re glad you took steps to try and make beef jerky yourselves. However, you may not be happy with the final product. It’s nothing to hang your head down about.
All of our beef jerkies derive from USDA-approved grass-fed beef, with no additives or nitrates. We use old-school methods to preserve and dry our beef jerky to give you the ultimate beef jerky. Also, if you’re not a beef lover, we have turkey jerky too!
There won’t be any surprises in our jerky compared to other products out there. Just sit back and enjoy a premium snack we know you’ll love.
Our beef jerkies are a snack that everyone can enjoy. If you have any further questions about our products, why don’t you contact us today?