I love loading up my Nesco Snackmaster Pro with freshly-ground lean ground beef and making a big batch of jerky. I have 12 trays so that I can make a good amount of jerky at once.Hi Mountain makes it super easy to make sweet and spicy jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro.
Though I tend to be more a spicy jerky guy, I love a great balance between the heat and sweet, and this mix nails it perfectly. Not so spicy that it’ll scare off those that fear a little kick. And not so sweet that it tastes like candy. Really a great balance and very addicting to eat, that’s for sure.
Make sure you rotate your trays every 2 hours or so. The bottom trays in the Nesco Snackmaster Pro will not dry the sweet and spicy jerky 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!
Sweet and Spicy Jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro
Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 14 hours
Servings 1 /2 pound
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.
I loved the flavor of this cauliflower ‘popcorn’. The cumin and chili powder add a nice southwestern, earthly flavor. The nutritional yeast (which I’d never used before) made me think of cheddar cheese flavoring. I was pleasantly surprised by it.
Now, let’s talk ‘popcorn’. That makes you think crunchy, and if you eat this cauliflower raw that’s just what you’ll get. You can also pop (sorry) them into a dehydrator for 12 or so hours. Right out of the dehydrator they have a nice crunch to them, but I found that that crunch doesn’t last. The seems get a bit soft…. and not popcorny. But the flavor was still great!
I’m looking forward to other ways to use nutritional yeast. For us, I’d recommend this cauliflower popcorn, but honestly I’d enjoy them more raw and save the dehydrator time. That’s up to you. I’m a big texture guy, and for me, the texture of the raw cauliflower was better.
Also try crispy green beans from the Nesco Snackmaster Pro.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 5 minutes
Servings 8 servings
- 1 head cauliflower florets removed (try to remove as much stem as possible if dehydrating)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- Kosher salt to taste
Place the cauliflower into a large bowl.
Add the olive oil, yeast, cumin, chili powder and salt and toss to coat.
Serve raw, or if desired, place into a dehydrator and dry for 12 hours. Serve immediately.
Not too long ago I made a fantastic batch of red pepper flake using my dehydrator, a Nesco Snackmaster Pro. I use the spicy flakes on just about everything. But, I thought, nothing wrong with making an even tastier, hotter version. So I grabbed a big bag of red habaneros and proceeded to make smoked habanero flake.
Smoking the habaneros, though not required, gives the flakes a fantastic slightly-smoky flavor and aroma, much more complex than if you just ground dried habaneros. And oh, yes, these flakes are mighty hot. You have to be careful handling the peppers, and trust me, when you grind them, do NOT put your face over the grinder when you remove the lid. I speak the truth here, it’ll get you!
Smoked Habanero Flake on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro
Note: You'll need a smoker (wood, charcoal, or electric), a dehydrator, and a spice grinder (I use a blade-style coffee grinder) to make these smoked habanero flakes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 14 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 14 hours 40 minutes
- Ripe habaneros any color, preferably all roughly the same size
Fire up your smoker. Add a few chunks of stronger wood, such as hickory. Do not use a fruity wood such as apple, peach, etc.
Add the habaneros to the smoker and smoke for 2 hours. You're not looking to dry them (though you could given plenty of time), just get a nice smoke flavor.
Remove the habaneros and transfer to your dehydrator, set to 165 F.
Dry the habaneros until crispy, 8-12 hours (or more if they are large, less if they are smaller). Rotate the trays every 2 hours to ensure even drying.
Remove the habaneros and let cool slightly.
Remove the stems from the peppers.
Working in batches, transfer the peppers to a spice grinder with blades (do not use a burr grinder) and grind until the desired sized flakes are achieved.
Store in an air-tight container.
Note: The flakes will be mighty hot, so use sparingly.