JERKY is lean meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips, and then dried to prevent spoilage . Normally, this drying includes the addition of salt, to prevent bacteria from developing on the meat before sufficient moisture has been removed. The word "jerky" is derived from the Quechua word ch\'arki which means "dried, salted meat". All that is needed to produce basic "jerky" is a low-temperature drying method, and salt to inhibit bacterial growth.
Modern manufactured jerky is normally marinated in a seasoned spice rub or liquid, and dried, dehydrated or smoked with low heat (usually under 70 °C/160 °F). Some product manufacturers finely grind meat, mix in seasonings, and press the meat-paste into flat shapes prior to drying.
The resulting jerky from the above methods would be a salty and/or
savory snack. However, often a sweet or semi-sweet recipe is used,
with sugar being a major ingredient (in contrast to biltong which is a
dried meat product that utilizes the acid in vinegar rather than salt
to inhibit bacterial growth when drying the meat).
There are many products in the marketplace which are sold as jerky which consist of highly processed, chopped and formed meat, rather than traditional sliced, whole-muscle meat. These products may contain more fat, but moisture content, like the whole-muscle product, must meet a 0.75 to 1 moisture to protein ratio in the US. Chemical preservatives can be used to prevent oxidative spoilage, but the moisture to protein ratio prevents microbial spoilage by low water activity . Many jerky products are very high in sugar and are therefore very sweet, unlike biltong, which rarely contains added sugars.
A typical 30 g portion of fresh jerky contains 10–15 g of protein, 1 g of fat, and 0–3 g of carbohydrates, although some beef jerky can have more than 65% of protein content. Since traditional jerky recipes use a basic salt cure, sodium can be a concern for some people. A 30 g serving of jerky could contain more than 600 mg of sodium, which would be about 30% of the recommended USRDA .
* 1 Preparation * 2 Packaging * 3 Regulation * 4 Availability * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 External links
Around the world, meat from domestic and wild animals is used to make jerky. Meats from domestic animals include beef , pork , goat and mutton or lamb . Wild animals including deer , kudu , springbok , kangaroo , and bison are also used. Recently, other animals such as turkey , ostrich , salmon , alligator , crocodile , tuna , emu , horse , camel , and earthworm .
Most of the fat must be trimmed off prior to drying the meat, as fat does not dry, thus creating the potential for spoilage as the fat becomes rancid (modern vacuum packing and chemical preservatives have served to help prevent these risks). The meat must be dried quickly, to limit bacterial growth during the critical period where the meat is not yet dry. To do this, the meat is thinly sliced, or pressed thinly, in the case of ground meat. The strips of meat are dried at low temperatures, to avoid cooking it, or overdrying it to the point where it is brittle.
In factories in the 2010s, large jerky ovens are built using insulated panels. Inside these low-temperature drying ovens are many heater elements and fans. The ovens have exhaust ports to remove the moisture-laden air. The combination of fast-moving air and low heat dries the meat to the desired moisture content within a few hours. The raw, marinated jerky strips are placed on racks of nylon-coated metal screens which have been sprayed with a light vegetable oil to allow the meat to be removed easily. The screen trays are placed closely in layers on rolling carts which are then put in the drying oven.
Some additional form of chemical preservative, such as sodium nitrite , is often used in conjunction with the historical salted drying procedure to prepare jerky. Smoking is the most traditional method, as it preserves, flavors, and dries the meat simultaneously. Salting is the most common method used today, as it both provides seasoning to improve the flavor as well as preserve the meat. While some methods involve applying the seasonings with a marinade , this can increase the drying time by adding moisture to the meat.
Raw meat before dehydration into jerky.
After the jerky is dried to the proper moisture content to prevent spoilage, it is cooled, then packaged in (often resealable) plastic bags, either nitrogen gas flushed or vacuumed packed. To prevent the oxidation of the fat, the sealed packages often contain small pouches of oxygen absorber . These small packets are filled with iron particles which react with oxygen, removing the oxygen from the sealed jerky package, and from an opened and resealed unfinished packet.
Because of the necessary low fat and moisture content, jerky is high in protein. A 30 g (about 1 oz) portion of lean meat, for example, contains about 7 g of protein. By removing 15 g of water from the meat, the protein ratio is doubled to nearly 15 g of protein per 30 g portion. In some low moisture varieties, a 30 g serving will contain 21 g of protein, and only one g of fat. The price per unit weight of this type of jerky is higher than less-dried forms, as it takes 90 g of 99% lean meat to generate 30 g of jerky.
Unpackaged fresh jerky made from sliced, whole muscle meat has been
available in specialty stores in Hong Kong at least since the 1970s.
The products are purchased by kilograms, and customers choose from 10
to 20 types of meat used to make the product. Some are sold in strands
instead of slices.
This type of jerky has also become very popular in convenience stores in the USA under the name "slab" jerky; it is usually sold in plexiglass containers.
Most nations have regulations pertaining to the production of dried
meat products. There are strict requirements to ensure safe and
wholesome production of jerky products. Factories are required to have
inspectors and sanitation plans. In the United States, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (
A package of beef jerky floats aboard the International Space Station with Earth visible through the window. Venison jerky strips prior to drying
Traditional jerky, made from sliced, whole muscle meat, is readily
available in the
In addition to being common in the
In Tamil Nadu, India the dish is known as uppu kandam which forms
part of authentic non vegetarian cuisine. In
* Food portal
* ^ Teofilo Laime Ajacopa, Diccionario Bilingüe Iskay simipi
yuyayk'ancha, La Paz, 2007 (Quechua-Spanish dictionary)
* ^ "Globe trotting: Ecuador". Taipei Times. 15 July 2006.
Retrieved 6 February 2015.
* ^ "Feet in the Trough: Cured Meat". The Economist. 2006-12-19.
* ^ Richard J. Epley and Paul B. Addis. "Processing