Who doesn't like jerky???? Here is how I make ground deer jerky. This will be a 23 pound batch.
Step 1. Keep things clean. Wash everything in hot soapy water and wipe everything down with a solution of 1 part bleach in 10 parts water. I hate those little bacteria.
After I butcher a deer I save all the trim and freeze it in gallon sized freezer bags. This bag will hold up to 8 pounds of trim but I like to put between 6 and 7 pounds in them. I thaw them out in the fridge. It takes 2 or 3 days to thaw out. I like to work with meat that still has ice crystals in it. It seems to grind better.
I bought a manual grinder on Ebay but soon tired of turning the handle so I added a motor and some pulleys and enclosed it in a box with a handle so that I can move it easy. The grinder and itís parts are in another box.
Add the grinder and the hopper and Iím ready for work.
Start with the largest hole plate that you have so the first grind goes easy
Make sure to weigh your meat after the first grind to be sure of how much meat you are dealing with. This will tell you how much seasonings you will need.
I really like the AH Nessco brand of spices. No matter what brand you use. Follow the instructions. Make sure to use a brand that includes a curing salt. Without this you run the risk of botulism poisoning.
The cure is the salt looking stuff on the right.
Make sure to mix the seasonings with water. This will help to distribute the spices evenly. If you use them dry, the meat on top will be over seasoned and even after mixing you will not be able to get all the meat seasoned equally.
Pour the seasoning/water over the meat and mix by hand until you can't feel your fingers any more. (This is really cold meat)
Grind the seasoned meat a second time using a smaller hole plate. I use a hamburger sized hole plate.
Pack the meat into a plastic or enameled container. Do not use metal. It will give a metalic flavor to the jerky. Push it all down to remove all the air pockets and cover with plastic wrap. Iwill place this batch in the fridg. overnight.
In the end this batch will be 23 pound (the container weighs 6 pounds)
After curing overnight, I am ready to shape the jerky and dry it. I built a dehydrator to do large batches. It is built of wood and lined with metal. In order to move it around I made it in two halves. One half is the heater and fan box. I use (2) 1000 Watt hot plates and 3 fans to move the hot air.
The other half is the dehydrator box with supports for ten drying racks. It is also lined with metal.
The racks I use are plastic. I spray them with non-stick cooking spray before using them.
I use a jerky cannon by LEM products because it is large enough to hold almost 2 pounds of meat with each filling. It is basically a big caulk gun with a nozzle for jerky and another for snack sticks.
The racks measure 24 inches by 24 inches. Once filled, each rack holds 4 pounds of meat.
This batch will use 6 racks and should be done in about 7 hours.
Every hour, I rotate the racks from top to bottom and spin them 180 degrees so that I get even drying. It will take about 6 hours to dry this much meat
When finished, I take the long strips of jerky and cut them down to 5 1/2 inch lengths and vacuum seal the rest