After I picked up a new Nesco Snackmaster Pro my first attempt at jerky was making Cajun jerky using sliced top round. Everyone loved it. I decided then to make the same flavor jerky, but using ground beef instead. I knew it’d taste great, and I was hoping for a more Slim Jim-like texture. And I got it. Just the perfect bite. Not too tough, not too soft. And packed with Cajun-inspired flavors (with just a bit of a kick!). Addictingly great!
Just like making regular jerky, you have to start with a lean meat. I used top round which I ground myself. You can substitute any lean beef, but make sure it doesn’t have more than 8% fat. Less is more in this case.
Also, you’ll need a jerky gun to make jerky from ground meat. I had never heard of such a thing. But now that I have one, it’s like the funnest kitchen gadget ever. It’s essentially a large caulk gun that dispenses ground meat. How fun!
Also try my ground turkey jerky, made using the Nesco Snackmaster Pro.Check out my guide to using the Nesco Snackmaster Pro. You will be making fantastic jerky at home in no time at all!
Cajun Ground Beef Jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro
- Place beef in a resealable bag or container.
- In a small bowl whisk together the seasoning, red pepper flake if using, curing salt and water. Pour over the meat and seal. Shake to coat.
- Refrigerate the meat for up to 8 hours, shaking or massaging every hour or so to get the marinade distributed and absorbed evenly.
- Remove meat from the marinade and add to a jerky gun. Squeeze out onto Nesco trays. Do not overlap meat.
- Add the dehydrator top, set to maximum temperature setting and dehydrate for 5 hours, rotating the trays (bottom to top) every 2 hours or so.
- To test for doneness remove a piece and let cool slightly. Try to bend the meat. If it gives and starts to tear at the bend it is done. If it bends without tearing return to the dehydrator and let it run another 15 minutes and test again. If the meat is crunchy it is overdone but still good. It's really personal preference as to how you like your jerky. Soft, chewy, crunchy. There's no wrong here.
- Let cool before storing in an airtight container.