As an avid hiker and outdoorswoman, I can personally attest to the importance of having beef jerky for a day out in the woods or on the water. Beef jerky is a great source of protein with a long shelf life, often without the need for refrigeration.
I was wondering about why we preserve meat in this way and a little about the history behind it. Meat processing has been around for years, and the habit came from a need for survival.
Jerky over the years
Jerky is a meat that has a moisture reduction of less than 50% and has a stronger flavor than uncured meat. It is a low fat, high protein snack, which makes it popular still today.
It all started in ancient times when civilizations were trying to find the best way to preserve meat. It’s believed that Ancient Egyptians are the first people to attempt this method.
Native Americans also used dried and preserved meats to get through rough winters and American settlers and the Spanish learned jerky methods from them. It became an important part of military history and still is today, proving to be an efficient source of protein for soldiers.
The word jerky comes from the word ch’arki, meaning “to burn (meat).” Soon, people began adding spices to their jerky recipes to make for more enjoyable food, rather than food of necessity.
Today, a focus on health and recreation has kept beef jerky alive. It isn’t just cuts of beef used for jerky either—you can often find turkey, chicken, pork, buffalo, and other dehydrated meats in the jerky section of your favorite grocery store.
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It typically takes over five pounds of meat to produce just one pound of jerky. Beef jerky is often made with premium flank steak, but some manufactures use ground beef in their recipe. A curing solution is used to help increase shelf life and boost color. It also helps to minimize bacterial growth.
At Ingredi.com, we sell the products you need to take your jerky’s curing solution to the next level. No matter your beef jerky recipe, we have what you need to boost color, add sweetness, and keep things fresh so that you can make your best beef jerky. We have everything from citric acid to sodium nitrite so you can make the best product possible.
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