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Old 11-28-2017, 04:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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help me with muh jerky

So i have decided to do something with the three dozen pounds of left over deer meat in my freezer from the past few years and it is to jerky it all. Im using a dehydrator and im running into an issue and would like some suggestions on how to resolve the issue and make my jerky top notch.

Here is my issue. In the pic here, on the left is good pieces, on the right are pieces that have developed some sort of white stuff. I think its mold, the wife says its not and its all good. This has happened to a few batches now.



So, here is my method for making jerky and tell me if im developing mold or any thing else you think i can do to make my jerky bettah.

First off, im using this dry rub stuff from cabelas that has seasoning and cure in it.



Here are my steps
#1 de-thaw meat (usually venison steaks, some roast)
#2 slice meat into thin strips, less than 1/8" inch using a filet knife
#3 apply jerky cure+seasoning per instructions
#4 place in bag and into fridge for 12 hours minimum
#5 place jerky into dehydrator
#6 dehydrate for 6-7 hours
#7 inspect jerky and verify each piece is dry inside and out. Making sure meat is tough and not rubbery
#8 place in ziplock bags
#9 leave bags out for snacking. So not into a fridge or freezer.

Two days later the weird white stuff shows up.


Suggestions?
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Old 11-28-2017, 04:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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mold, not dry enough.
i had same problems, i still have to freeze mine, and grab as i go, just as an precaution.
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Old 11-28-2017, 05:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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mold, not dry enough.
i had same problems, i still have to freeze mine, and grab as i go, just as an precaution.
So you are freezing post everything?
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Old 11-28-2017, 06:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What temperature are you drying it at?

I've made jerky for 10+ years, and fought it for over half of that including this same issue. Two things that fixed the issues, and elevated my jerky to pro status (based on consumer reviews!):

1 - Decent dehydrator capable of delivering proper temp (155) and with enough airflow to ALL of the meat. I have two Nescos stacks that are 500w, and an Excalibur that's 600w. The Nescos work well if I keep them to 4 trays or less each. The Excalibur is a 9 tray and it's gtg. I have simple outlet timers (Christmas lights) and set and forget them.

2 - A legit slicer. This made the biggest difference. I tried every knife, gizmo, gadget, and chain store slicer out there, and finally got a Hobart 410 and wish I would have done that from the beginning. Being able to slice my meat thickness consistently EVERY slice makes the drying perfectly consistent and controllable. I slice the meat frozen solid, because it's a beast, and can do 20 lb in about 20 minutes. I know my drying times perfectly and don't have to go through the trays squeezing and checking the meat.


Make friends with a butcher or find a processor with a legit slicer? A butcher can't technically (or legally?) cut up game meat from what I was told, so don't roll into kroger with a basket full of meat you're hoping to have sliced. That will get some funny looks....BTDT....

I do so much deer jerky anymore that when I process what I shoot it's either backstraps, tenderloins, or jerky meat.

Hope this helps...
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Old 11-28-2017, 06:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LiLBucket View Post
What temperature are you drying it at?

I've made jerky for 10+ years, and fought it for over half of that including this same issue. Two things that fixed the issues, and elevated my jerky to pro status (based on consumer reviews!):

1 - Decent dehydrator capable of delivering proper temp (155) and with enough airflow to ALL of the meat. I have two Nescos stacks that are 500w, and an Excalibur that's 600w. The Nescos work well if I keep them to 4 trays or less each. The Excalibur is a 9 tray and it's gtg. I have simple outlet timers (Christmas lights) and set and forget them.

2 - A legit slicer. This made the biggest difference. I tried every knife, gizmo, gadget, and chain store slicer out there, and finally got a Hobart 410 and wish I would have done that from the beginning. Being able to slice my meat thickness consistently EVERY slice makes the drying perfectly consistent and controllable. I slice the meat frozen solid, because it's a beast, and can do 20 lb in about 20 minutes. I know my drying times perfectly and don't have to go through the trays squeezing and checking the meat.


Make friends with a butcher or find a processor with a legit slicer? A butcher can't technically (or legally?) cut up game meat from what I was told, so don't roll into kroger with a basket full of meat you're hoping to have sliced. That will get some funny looks....BTDT....

I do so much deer jerky anymore that when I process what I shoot it's either backstraps, tenderloins, or jerky meat.

Hope this helps...

The slicer is on my list to buy. I use a nice Wusthoff filet knife and i get good results but the thickness can vary and the job to cut up 3lbs of meat takes about 40 mins. So i think you just sold me on one.

The temp is cranked to 160 deg F but i am not using a top-notch dehydrator. Ive read some things about not using a top-tier one can be troublesome because they arent able to gurantee 160 deg F throughout the dryer and for the full 6 hours.

Maybe thats next on the list to buy.
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Old 11-28-2017, 07:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i like mine still moist and chewy in the middle. i dont cut such thin strips. also, ive removed white mold by wiping of with a vinegar saturated paper towel.
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Old 11-28-2017, 07:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The slicer is on my list to buy. I use a nice Wusthoff filet knife and i get good results but the thickness can vary and the job to cut up 3lbs of meat takes about 40 mins. So i think you just sold me on one.

The temp is cranked to 160 deg F but i am not using a top-notch dehydrator. Ive read some things about not using a top-tier one can be troublesome because they arent able to gurantee 160 deg F throughout the dryer and for the full 6 hours.

Maybe thats next on the list to buy.
It's easy to say being on the other side of owning one, but get a good slicer. You will grin like a moron every time you use it. Watch FB marketplace and CL for a used Hobart or Merkel. They're nearly indestructible if all the parts are there, there's no strange noises from the motor, and the blade is in good shape with no nicks or chips. The blades on the Hobart are ridiculously thick, and expensive. A sharpening attachment is nice, but not mandatory.

Hell I've taken frozen logs of ground venison and sliced it ~1/4" thick and thrown it straight on a hot frying pan and made pseudo philly cheese steaks just because I could, and they turned out so good that I usually make some whenever I drag the slicer out! It's heavy and cleaning it takes longer than using it so I make it worth the effort.

At 155 my batches take 3.5-4 hours depending on how I want it finished. Drier or more moist and chewey like Texas97 says. I also slice relatively thin but good driers make the time short. A buddy has a ?? brand dehydrator and fusses because his takes 6-8 hours even when I slice his meat for him the same as mine.


One more TL;DR....when you're slicing frozen meat, set it and cut it to what seems a bit thick. Once it thaws in the marinade (usually pretty quickly) it stretches and sort of flattens out. The first time I sliced frozen to the thickness I wanted I ended up with almost jerky chips. Kinda good, but not good enough to do again.
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Last edited by LiLBucket; 11-28-2017 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 11-28-2017, 08:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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So you are freezing post everything?
yes i am, keeps it fresh for a year plus, i am on my last from last year. will need to make more.
i make about 4 lbs dry a year.
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Old 11-28-2017, 09:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I cut thin and dry the shit out of it using the old Ronco style dehydrator. I rotate my trays as well.

I've had some good moist stuff from others and if I didn't eat it in a week or so, same issue. Mine can sit for months.
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Old 11-28-2017, 11:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Are you sure it's not a mix of mold and freezer burn?

Sounds like you've got a good system in place otherwise.

The only tips I'd offer is watch your time in the dehydrator and cut against the grain. Also, if using ground meat make sure there isn't any fat.
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Old 11-28-2017, 11:17 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Are you sure it's not a mix of mold and freezer burn?

Sounds like you've got a good system in place otherwise.

The only tips I'd offer is watch your time in the dehydrator and cut against the grain. Also, if using ground meat make sure there isn't any fat.
Some of the meat we are using is freezer burnt. But the white stuff isnt apparent until a few days later. So when its fresh it is non-existent.
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Old 11-28-2017, 11:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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@IEATRKS84; Are you vacuum sealing your jerky when storing or just using Ziplocs? I experienced mold issues until I changed my finish steps.

I let the jerky airdry for about 4 hours after removing from the dehydrater or smoker. Then I vacuum seal. I make the bag portions snack size for the family then larger bags for longer storage. The jerky remains dry whereas when I used Ziploc the jerky would be slightly moist, hence the mold.
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Old 11-28-2017, 11:34 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I brine mine and smoke it, let it cool and vacuum pack it. Once I open a package I leave it out and open. Any time there is moisture in a closed plastic bag your going to have issues. Might try some desiccant packages in your bags to reduce moisture.

If you dry it to the point it won't mold its going to be hard as a rock.
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Old 11-28-2017, 11:53 AM   #14 (permalink)
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@IEATRKS84; Are you vacuum sealing your jerky when storing or just using Ziplocs? I experienced mold issues until I changed my finish steps.

I let the jerky airdry for about 4 hours after removing from the dehydrater or smoker. Then I vacuum seal. I make the bag portions snack size for the family then larger bags for longer storage. The jerky remains dry whereas when I used Ziploc the jerky would be slightly moist, hence the mold.
Just ziploc bags. I pull the meat fresh out of the dehydrator and place into bag. Thought process is to reduce time the meat is exposed at temps below 160 deg f. Maybe let the dehydrator cool first, then place in bags?

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If you dry it to the point it won't mold its going to be hard as a rock.
This is the other problem. If i leave the meat in for like 8 hours or more, it all turns into little meat flakes that are un edible.
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Old 11-28-2017, 12:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Just ziploc bags. I pull the meat fresh out of the dehydrator and place into bag. Thought process is to reduce time the meat is exposed at temps below 160 deg f. Maybe let the dehydrator cool first, then place in bags?



This is the other problem. If i leave the meat in for like 8 hours or more, it all turns into little meat flakes that are un edible.
This is probably as much, or more, of the issue than anything I stated before (although good equipment makes consistent finish fool proof). Certainly let the jerky sit and cool to room temperature for a few hours. The residue heat on the meat when you put it in the bag is building up moisture when it's sealed = moldy-ness. I put my meat on before bed sometimes, set for 3.5-4hrs, and either bag or vacuum seal it the next morning or evening.
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Old 11-28-2017, 12:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Old 11-28-2017, 02:24 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I always let the jerky "rest". As LilBucket stated, the residual heat draws the moisture when in a sealed environment.

Part of the fun of making jerky is learning all the nuances of the meat.. thick cut vs thin cut, wet rub vs dry rub, 150* vs 160*, soft center vs firm and tug.
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:36 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I've been using the same snack master for 10 years to make jerky, my opinion is most are not making real jerky. To me the whole idea is longevity and portability. If its molding or needs to be frozen or vac sealed its not jerky. I totally get not liking dry meat and I like some that I've tried that was supple and almost juicy but that kind will never last in a back pack for weeks/months at a time. It has been a staple in my diet for a long time and I've tried many recipes. What I find I do the most recently is to cut the meat up 3/16ish season with salt, garlic powder and pepper and a small amount of water and let it sit for a day or so mixing every now and then. the snack master only goes up to 145* so I set it on high for 12 ish hours and sometimes longer. I find old jerky all the time in the truck or garage that is delicious
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:35 AM   #19 (permalink)
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We should have a PBB jerk-off
















Could be fun though. Each participant makes a limited number of sampler packs and mails them out (postage should be cheap?) and they're send with a simple code to be "blind" tasted and scored. Scores from all are tallied and the highest wins.
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Old 11-29-2017, 06:32 PM   #20 (permalink)
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^^ I second the pirate jerk off, it would be fun.

Op, I also use high mtn seasonings and have had great success with the following process.

1, thaw roasts till they start to soften but are fairly frozen still.
2, I cut 1/4" slices by hand or slicer depends on how many pounds I'm doing.
3, season and let sit 12 hr or overnight refrigerated per instructions.
4, I dehydrate in a "the sausage maker" on high which is 165 overnight about 8.5 hrs. When I get up for work I turn it off and let it cool all day.
5, put in ziplock bag, refrigerate.
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:04 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Thaw. Thaw your meat, or defrost it. De-thawing is freezing.

Put it in the freezer. It's still meat, even if it's dry.
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:16 AM   #22 (permalink)
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^^ I second the pirate jerk off, it would be fun.
We'll let the idea marinate () and if there's more interest maybe.MAYBE. I'll arrange a thread on it. It's getting close to time when I crank out a couple large batches of venison jerky anyhow.
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:58 AM   #23 (permalink)
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im down, i hope to have a solid batch out here soon and i have like 30+ pounds to process.
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Old 11-30-2017, 06:27 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I'd be willing to sample your meat.... for scientific porposes
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Old 11-30-2017, 06:38 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I'd be willing to sample your meat.... for scientific porposes
Well if its scientific then its not gay
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