Jerky is one of the oldest forms of food preservation that dates back to the 1500s and Incans, who used the power of the sun to dry meat strips for hours. Fast forward, jerky became very popular among settlers in the American West because this type of snack was easy to carry and lasted through long treks.
In the last couple of centuries, jerky has come a long way, and we now have different varieties, tools, and methods available. However, due to its preparation process and expensive raw ingredients, jerky can be quite pricey in comparison to other food. That’s why many people decide to make jerky at home, and with so many dehydrators for jerky reviewed online, you can find the right tool and make this snack in no time.
Let’s check out why home-made jerky is better than store-bought ones.
People usually go for jerky beef since it’s one of the leanest cuts available on the market and packed with healthy nutrients and minerals. However, beef is a naturally expensive product, and there is no cheap price alternative available for it.
Farmers invest a lot of time and energy in breeding healthy beef for the customer’s market, and it’s crucial to have high-quality beef to make premium jerky. On the other hand, when you try a home-made version of jerky, you can slightly adjust the price. Basically, you only have to visit the butcher shop, buy beef, and the rest is on you.
This significantly reduces the amount of money you have to spend every month buying jerky, especially if this is your favorite snack. When it comes to the preparation process, we all have the basic spices, seasonings, and liquids necessary to make a marinade, so there is no need for additional cost involved. And, best of all, you can make jerky using an oven or air fryer if you don’t have a dehydrator.
When you make jerky at home, you can control the ingredients you put inside. While the store-bought option is great, many people are concerned with sodium intake. For example, one serving of commercial jerky has one ounce of sodium, which is roughly 22% of your daily sodium allowance.
Excessive sodium intake is linked to numerous health disorders like stroke, high blood pressure, and heart conditions. Considering store-bought jerky is heavily processed, some studies have found the connection between jerky and a higher risk of gastrointestinal cancer.
That’s why home-made jerky is a much healthier option, especially when you can limit the amount of sodium, sugar, or other preservatives and fillers found in store-packed jerky.
You get to combine the flavors
Whether you choose beef, poultry, pork, venison, or fish, they all require a different type of seasoning. But your jerky can either be spicy, sweet, or salty when it comes to store-bought options. So, why not get your creative juice flowing and mix up a marinade according to your personal style and preferences.
For example, maybe your kids enjoy some particular flavors you can’t find in the store. But, when you make jerky at home, nothing is off the table. You can add different types of seasonings or make your jerky as simple as adding garlic, pepper, and salt.
However, don’t forget to use a cure because it will prevent botulism, bacteria growth, and other foodborne illnesses while prolonging shelf-life. After all, jerky is dried at a low temperature, not cooked!
You can enjoy the process of making jerky
Even though it’s a lengthy process, you get to experience all the joy that comes with it. Imagine making your own jerky for the first time? Or experiencing the combination of flavors only you like? It’s a great thing to boost your culinary self-esteem, right?
When you include your family into this mix, this is where the fun starts. Your kids can prepare a marinade while you cut fine slices of meat. In the end, you can all enjoy the fruits of your labor, which makes jerky even sweeter to eat.
You can stoke it up for days to come
You no longer have to stop on your way to work to buy jerky, when you can have freshly made jerky at home. Depending on how much meat you buy, you can cook several batches and store them in airtight containers.
Therefore, you can take this snack wherever you go, without wasting your time. However, when preparing several trays of jerky, be aware that it will consume a bit of your time, but it’ll be well worth it.
You will have jerky in your home for weeks to come, whether to pack in your children’s school lunch boxes or to enjoy as an afternoon snack. We have to say that jerky is one of the few things you should have at your home all the time.