I have been loving making jerky on my Nesco Snackmaster Pro. I’ve been using ground top round for my ground beef jerky, but any lean ground meat will work. This sweet BBQ ground beef jerky has a nice mellow smoky BBQ flavor that is definitely not overwhelming. It has a bit of sweetness, but it’s definitely not candy-like. The meat has the perfect ‘bite’, just a little tug.
The Cajun flavoring from Eastman Outdoors has a bit different flavor than the version from AC Leggs. I love them both. This one has a stronger Cajun flavor, but is less spicy than the one from AC Leggs.
Make sure you rotate your trays every 2 hours or so. The bottom trays in the Nesco Snackmaster Pro will not dry as quickly as those on top. Rotating the trays will give you nice, even drying and perfect jerky on every level.
Check out my guide to using the Nesco Snackmaster Pro. You will be making fantastic jerky at home in no time at all!
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 heaping tablespoon Eastman Outdoors Cajun Jerky Seasoning, see my note below
- 1 teaspoon curing salt (Comes with the seasoning. Optional if you're going to refrigerate the finished product)
- 1/4 cup water
- NOTE: The package for the Eastman Outdoors jerky seasoning states that it makes up to 5 pounds of jerky. I personally feel that the flavor is too mellow, so I use just about an entire package for 1 pound of jerky. I end up with a little left over seasoning, which I store in a labelled air-tight container. I'll eventually mix it with more seasoning. I think I can get 3 pounds of well-seasoning jerky out of two packages of Eastman Outdoors mix.
- Place beef in a resealable bag or container.
- In a small bowl whisk together the seasoning, 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 a 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.