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Thread: Jerky re frozen meat

  1. #1

    Jerky re frozen meat

    I've just ordered a dehydrator and been reading up on recipes etc.
    I read somewhere that you are best not to use frozen meat as the end result isn't too good.
    Hope that isn't true as it would be a real pain.
    Anyone have any experience here ?.

    "Don't say I didnae warn ye !"

  2. #2
    When I make jerky I always find it's actually best to have the meat semi-frozen to allow me to slice it easily......can't say that I've noticed it adversely affects the texture though. Maybe a ropey old piece of meat that's been freezer-burned would turn out poor, but I'm pretty sure you'll be ok

  3. #3
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Meat has a high water content, so frozen meat is not recommended for jerky because the action of freezing the meat creates ice crystals which in turn break down the meat fibers - it's a bit like how rocks crack when snow freezes, thaws and re-freezes. If you then put strips of frozen meat through the dehydrator my guess is that you will end up with jerky flakes rather than jerky strips. Of course you can always dig out something from the bottom of the freezer and just give it a try!

    To woodsmoke's point, having the meat well chilled helps if you are wanting to slice it thinly.

    If you want a good book on using a dehydrator I can recommend the one by Mary Bell: Mary Bells Complete Dehydrator Cookbook: Mary Bell: 9780688130244: Books

    Last edited by willie_gunn; 10-12-2014 at 16:39.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  4. #4
    Its guff. Frozen meat is fine in a dehydrator. Also plus one what Woodsmoke says about it being easier to cut fine if its a bit frozen.

    Also, try kiwi fruit thinly sliced.

    And look into fruit leathers. Apple and blackberry is my favourite.

  5. #5
    As per Willie Gunn above I'll dig out a bit from the freezer and give it a try.
    I don't have anything but frozen just now so notta lotta choice.
    Thanks for the replies.
    "Don't say I didnae warn ye !"

  6. #6
    I've used frozen and no problems.

  7. #7
    Interesting that this topic came up today. I'm in the process of dehydrating Sambar meat for jerky right now.
    Dehydrating frozen meat as opposed to meat that is now thawed after frozen will take a lot longer and also any marinade will not penetrate as well.
    This meat is from the rump, weight about 1.5kg and has been in the freezer, vacuum packed for about 4 months.
    The dehydrator is from Aldi, I've had two lots of jerky from this unit. The second was a disaster of my doing, the meat was cut too thin and dehydrated to charcoal when I wasn't looking.
    The setting I use is 70 deg for about 4 hours with rotation of the shelves every 30 to 40 minutes. If it's not done by then I just give it some more until I'm satisfied.
    This marinade recipe is not scientific therefore each batch comes out a little different and a pleasant surprise.
    In a deep dish, about a cup of Worcester sauce, 1/2 cup soy sauce, a good dollop of sweet chilli sauce and a 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder, a good squirt of honey and juice of 1/2 a lemon. (I don't know why, it was just sitting there on the bench)
    Marinade the strips overnight, mixing once to make sure all the meat gets covered.
    Grant.Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Samhuntvic; 11-12-2014 at 05:26.
    Don't hide from your mates in the bush!

  8. #8
    Here's the result after 5 hours.
    340 grams of chewy goodness.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Don't hide from your mates in the bush!

  9. #9
    Hi Grant,

    What was the "cut too thin" thickness you mentioned in your first post and what thickness do you cut it now ? ... and is that frozen meat thawed ?.


    ps... I got this model from Bushwear, not tried it yet, will report how it goes... Food Dehydrator | BushWear
    "Don't say I didnae warn ye !"

  10. #10
    PF the lot that burned to a crisp was about 1/8" thick and the strips were cut with the grain of the meat, not across as you do with a steak.
    Still do with the grain slicing and the meat is thawed right out although I can see a benefit in processing when it is still very very cold. Long blade very sharp boning knife seems best.
    This last lot was all between 1/8" and 1/4" thick so at about 31/2 hours the thinner stuff was done and removed and the rest finished off.
    Had a taste already of course and the main flavours are the tangy sauce, chilli and can even taste the honey.
    I think any of the dehydrators will do the job, I was just lazy and picked up the Aldi one because I was there.
    The beer was nice too.
    Don't hide from your mates in the bush!

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