Prepper Menu: Jerky. Cooking options and recipe

There is a great variety of deli meats in stores, but many people have doubts about the quality of the products and their health benefits. Many housewives prefer to cook dried meat at home.

Preparing this delicacy, more often called basturma, is a very labor-intensive and painstaking task. However, even one thin slice of fragrant, soft (beef, pork, lamb, poultry and any other) meat, melting on the tongue like fresh marmalade, will be a reward for your efforts. And the praise of guests who tasted the delicacy lifts the mood of the author of the work for a long time.

How to choose meat for drying

To get a truly unique, tasty and healthy dish, you first need to learn how to choose raw materials.

Dried meat at home only becomes a delicacy when:

  • Successful raw materials from young animals are used;
  • Patience accumulates;
  • The rules and sequence of preparatory stages are carefully studied.

The process of creating a blank for basturma can be divided into the following sequential manipulations:

  1. Meat chosen at the market is salted in the supermarket. There are two methods of salting raw materials: Dry, when the raw materials are treated with a dry mixture of spices, aromatic herbs and salt;
  2. Wet, in salt water, which includes salt, sugar, according to the recipe or at your own discretion - spices.
  3. The minimum holding period is one day. But at the request of the chef it can be extended to 3 or more days;
  • A piece (or several) removed from the saline solution or mixture is pressed down with a heavy weight for 2-3 hours;
  • Before starting drying, the meat is sprinkled and rubbed with a herbal mixture, spices and spices. You can do without this if you prefer to eat the finished product with mustard, ketchup, hot sauce, etc.;
  • The grated (or pure) meat is wrapped in a clean, dry towel and placed in the refrigerator for a week;
  • After 7 days, the meat is ready to eat, but it is advisable to ventilate it and dry it a little in a draft.
  • We recommend: How to cook dried elk meat at home

    Dried meat is usually stored at home in the refrigerator, or, if weather conditions permit, on the balcony or in the pantry.

    How to dry meat in an electric dryer

    To dry meat, you can use an oven and dryer. With an electric dryer, organizing the process is easier. In this case, the raw material is immediately cut into slices no more than 1 cm thick. The pieces are kept for about 1 hour in a marinade prepared from vegetable oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar, mustard and spices (the ingredients are mixed in an arbitrary ratio, as you like). The meat is then placed on dryer trays and processed at maximum convection at a temperature of 60 ℃ for 6-8 hours (the slices must be turned over in the middle of the process). The finished product is quite soft, but, according to experts, the taste is much inferior to air-dried meat.

    We invite you to watch a video in which the owner tells how he makes jerky at home (drying small pieces of pork and turkey) using an electric dryer.

    Proper salting of meat for drying

    Only at first glance it seems that salting pork, beef or elk is a matter of minutes and uncomplicated. In fact, if you are going to constantly include it in your family’s diet, or delight your guests with a meat delicacy, you need to learn how to properly salt the raw materials.

    Let's start with the statement that only the right meat, that is, young and fresh meat, can be salted correctly. Freshness is judged by appearance, smell, color, consistency. Unfortunately, much about the quality of meat becomes clear only after cooking. The aroma of the broth and its clarity are the most important indicators of freshness. To “test” a tenderloin purchased at the market or in a store, you do not need to cook the entire piece. It is enough to pour a piece of 30-40 grams of water in a threefold ratio and cook under the lid.

    If after boiling the broth is clear and emits a pleasant aroma, then the purchase was a success. But a cloudy broth with a specific stale meat smell indicates that you were “cheated” at the market, or you were “screwed” in the supermarket.

    But when everything is in order, you can start salting the future delicacy.

    Cooking in Armenian

    Basturma is a traditional Armenian dish made from a large piece of beef and a spicy seasoning called chaman. It is quite difficult to dry a large meat roll at home, so it is better to cut it into thin strips.

    • beef tenderloin;
    • 5 tablespoons chaman spice;
    • 5 tablespoons of coarse salt;
    • 1 tsp. black pepper (ground);
    • 4 tablespoons red pepper (ground);
    • 1 tsp. allspice;
    • 2 heads of garlic;
    • 1 bay leaf;
    • a pinch of cumin.
    1. Take a wide container, cover the bottom with paper napkins, put bay leaves on top and sprinkle them with salt. Place the prepared meat on a spicy base, add some salt, cover it with napkins and apply pressure. To do this, you can take an ordinary board, place it on the meat, and place a jar of water on top. We put the entire structure in the refrigerator for a week, and every day you need to check the beef, turn it over, add salt and change the napkins if they get too wet.
    2. We are preparing the coating. To do this, grind the chaman into a fine powder, pour it into a container and gradually begin to pour in water until the mixture acquires the consistency of liquid sour cream. Leave for 30 minutes and then mix with the rest of the spices.
    3. We take out the meat, dry it in the wind or using a fan. We remove excess salt from it, put it again in a wide container and carefully coat it with the prepared mixture of seasonings. The thickness of the coating should be from 0.5 to 1 cm. Cover the dishes with cling film and place in the refrigerator for a day.
    4. After this time, remove the meat for final drying. To do this, hang it on threads in a dry, well-ventilated area. Depending on air humidity, basturma can dry for up to a week. The coating adheres well to the finished dried meat and does not crumble too much when slicing.

    A little theory

    Before drying pork, beef or other meat, it is useful to know some of the properties of the products you will be dealing with.


    Salt has a preservative effect on meat products. The presence of sodium chloride (rock or table salt, sodium chloride, NaCl or in one word - salt) in meat dehydrates the microorganisms living in it. In turn, under the influence of table salt they only stop reproducing, but are not destroyed.

    Salt or its solution does not in any way disinfect raw materials from sick animals. A good and perfect salting is obtained at 2-4C. If the temperature is higher than this value, there is a risk of product spoilage occurring simultaneously with salting. At a lower temperature, the meat is selectively salted in sections and not completely.

    In a salt solution, the liquid components of the raw material are extracted, resulting in a tastier and better quality final product (its shelf life increases).

    It is recommended to use brine for meat more than once - in this case, less soluble substances are lost from the piece, giving the original taste.

    We recommend: How to make a flavorful brine for smoking meat

    For drying, pork and meat products are salted at home in a simple brine or in a complex one:

    • The simple one contains only table salt - the method is good for fatty meat;
    • In a complex solution, in addition to salt, other substances are used that affect the quality characteristics of the final product.

    What kind of meat can be dried

    Dried meat is a real delicacy that no one can resist.

    You can dry a wide variety of meats at home. One variety will take less time to cook, while the other will take more time. In addition, the methods for preparing raw materials may differ slightly. In this situation, it is very important to choose really high-quality meat, because in the future it will not undergo heat treatment.


    Many experts say that pork is not suitable for drying at home. The meat has a lower density than other varieties, and the fat content is much higher. But this does not prevent you from preparing delicious dried balyk from lean parts of the pork carcass.

    The finished delicacy turns out to be quite tasty and at the same time relatively soft, especially when compared, for example, with beef or horse meat.


    Beef is a fairly tough meat that needs to be cut very finely in order to dry properly. Only those raw materials that were obtained from an adult animal are suitable for preparation.


    In the case of chicken or other types of poultry, the breast is most often used for drying. It is cut into thin slices. It will take very little time to prepare dried chicken, because the meat itself is very tender and requires minimal processing.


    Drying horse meat will take quite a long time. In addition, it is important to properly marinate the raw materials so that the result does not leave a somewhat specific taste. The meat is cut into as thin slices as possible so that it is better saturated with spices and salt. Horse meat is considered quite tough, so it is very important not to dry it out.

    Elk meat

    Dried elk meat is considered a real delicacy, which has a very high cost. The raw materials must be marinated according to a special recipe, because the meat not only has a slightly strange taste, but also a specific aroma that the meat of wild animals has. It will take a lot of time to prepare, but the result will please every gourmet.

    Substances for preserving natural color

    To prevent the meat from discoloring, but to retain its natural bright color, the following is added to the curing mixture or brine:

    • Nitrites, which form nitro derivatives of myoglobin and have a bright red color. When using nitrites, their permissible amount is no more than 0.05 g per 10 liters of brine. This is quite enough to preserve the color. Nitrites are poisonous:
    • Ascorbic acid and its salts preserve the color of meat well;
    • Sugar also has a positive effect on the color of meat, softens the taste, and enhances the preservative qualities of table salt. The optimal content in the curing mixture is up to 2%.

    The color of meat is most effectively preserved with the following ratio of ingredients in the brine:

    • Water – 10 liters;
    • Salt – 1.5 – 1.6 kg;
    • Sugar – 0.1 kg;
    • Nitrites – 0.05g;
    • Bay leaf, ground allspice and black pepper, anise, cumin, garlic, cardamom, nutmeg and other spices - their quantity is determined only by your own taste and preferences.

    To prepare brine, you need to take only spring, rain, melt or well-purified water. As a last resort, tap water is well boiled and filtered.

    Homemade beef jerky recipe

    Time needed for preparation: 1 month and 10 days. Number of servings: 7-8. Calorie content: 237 kcal per 100 g of product. Kitchen utensils and appliances: garlic press, kitchen board, mill or mortar for grinding spices, paper towels, parchment paper, cooking rope or twine, foil, container for marinating meat, refrigerator.


    Beef1 kg
    Salt2 tbsp. l.
    Sugar½ tbsp. l.
    Garlic1 head
    Thyme1 bunch
    Pepper mixture12 g
    Carnation8 pcs.

    Let's start cooking

    1. Grind 1 bunch of thyme. If you don't have fresh on hand, replace 2 tbsp. l. dried.

    2. Peel 1 head of garlic and pass through a press. Mix chopped garlic with thyme.

    3. Grind through a mill or grind in a mortar 8 pcs. carnations.

    4. To the mixture of thyme and garlic add chopped cloves, 2 tbsp. l. salt, 12 g of pepper mixture and 1/2 tbsp. l. Sahara.

    5. Mix the spices well until smooth.

    6. Rinse a lean piece of beef, weighing 1 kg, well in running water and dry with paper towels. Place the meat in a convenient container and rub on all sides with a mixture of prepared spices.

    7. We cover our container with either a lid or foil and put it in the refrigerator for 10 days. In this case, every day the meat must be turned from one side to the other.

    8. After a while, we take it out, rinse off all the spices with cold water and dry the beef with paper towels.

    9. Wrap the beef in parchment paper.

    10. We take twine or any thick rope and tie the meat around it to maintain its round shape during the drying process.

    11. We hang it in the refrigerator and leave it like that for about 1 month.
      During the cooking process, the meat will lose about 30-40% of its volume, so the ropes will need to be tied periodically so that when finished it will have a beautiful round shape.

    12. After a month, you can cut the meat into thin slices and try it!

    Video recipe for making beef jerky at home

    Watch an even more detailed beef jerky recipe in this short video.

    Basic truths

    • When preparing, special attention should be paid to the choice of meat. Buy exclusively fresh, not frozen, product, since when defrosting, meat retains a lot of moisture and may lose its taste because of this.
    • When choosing a main ingredient, pay attention to its smell, texture and color. It should not have a sharp, unpleasant odor or stick to your hands. And if you press on it with your finger, the dent will quickly disappear.
    • It is more convenient to dry meat from oblong pieces of uniform width. Therefore, it is best to use fillet, neck, tenderloin or carb .
    • You can use any spices for drying meat. But don't exclude red pepper, as it is a preservative.
    • It is not necessary to wash off the spices with water; you can simply wipe them with a napkin or paper towel. Then the taste of the finished food will be even more intense.
    • To create a “skin” for the meat in which it will dry, you can use gauze, cotton fabric, parchment or collagen film.
    • It is impossible to do without the casing , since the meat will simply dry out and will not be edible.
    • There is a high probability of white mold, or so-called “cultural” mold, forming on cooked meat. You should not be afraid of it; its appearance indicates the correct cooking process. The main thing is that there are no dark spots or unpleasant odor.
    • If the meat continues to remain soft after a while, then it may be that the outer crust has dried out too much, but the inside cannot dry out. To do this, soak it in water or marinade and repeat the entire procedure again.

    Salting methods

    Dry salting

    Simple and widespread method. Convenient when preparing for drying fatty meats or large pieces.

    The surface of the meat is rubbed with a curing mixture, and in this “shell” it is kept suspended in ventilated rooms. With this method, the juice should flow out of the meat. At this time, the meat is already partially starting to dry.

    It is not necessary to store meat in a suspended state. It can be salted in a wooden container or enamel pan. The pieces are rubbed with a curing mixture, salt is poured into the bottom of the container, then, if there is a lot of meat, each layer is poured. Dense packing of meat guarantees the quality of the final product - for this, oppression is placed on top. During salting, the pieces are shifted and turned over to uniformly remove moisture and expose the spices.

    We recommend: Smoked knuckle at home.

    Wet Ambassador

    With this method, proceed in the same way as with the dry method - rub the pieces of meat with the curing mixture, place them tightly in the prepared container. Then pour in brine cooled to 2-4C.

    Both with dry and wet salting, layers of meat can be layered with onions, peppers, juniper berries, garlic - but this depends on the taste of the “consumer”.

    You can speed up the distribution of salt in pieces of meat by injecting. The syringe is inserted to a depth of 4-5 cm perpendicular to the muscle fibers. This method is used for dried meat at home that is not intended for long-term storage.

    How to dry elk meat

    • Preparation time: 20 days.
    • Number of servings: 25 persons.
    • Calorie content of the dish: 98 kcal per 100 g.

    Externally, elk meat is practically no different from beef; the meat is sinewy and has a dark red color. Suitable for people who adhere to the principles of a healthy diet, because... It is considered an environmentally friendly type of meat. Elk meat is tough, has a specific smell and taste, so a dried snack made from this type of meat can easily claim the title of delicacy.


    • elk meat – 3 kg;
    • salt – 200 g;
    • water – 150 ml;
    • fenugreek – 3 tbsp. l.;
    • paprika – 2 tbsp. l.;
    • ground red pepper – 1 tbsp. l.;
    • ground black pepper – 3 tsp;
    • allspice – 3 tsp;
    • hops-suneli – 3 tsp;
    • dried garlic – 3 tsp.

    Cooking method:

    1. Rinse the elk meat, get rid of large veins, cut into rectangular portion pieces with the expectation that the pieces will shrink 3-4 times during drying.
    2. Place the meat in a food container and sprinkle well with salt. Cover the container with a plate and place a weight on top. Place the elk meat in the refrigerator for 4 days.
    3. After the allotted time, rinse the meat, then soak for 6 hours, changing the water every hour.
    4. Mix dry spices in a bowl, dilute them with hot water until the consistency of thick sour cream is formed.
    5. Thickly coat each piece with spices, place in a container and refrigerate for another 4 days.
    6. Make a small puncture in the pieces, thread the string and hang the meat to dry for 6-10 days.

    How to properly dry-dry different types of meat yourself

    You can dry the meat of almost any animal and bird, both domestic and wild.

    Let's look at some popular jerky recipes that are accessible to most people.


    Beef tenderloin is the basis for preparing real, classic, “Turkic” basturma. It is believed that it was from basturma that in time immemorial they began to use the technology of its preparation for long-term storage of meat.


    • Beef tenderloin – 1kg;
    • Sea salt – 1kg;
    • Black pepper - to taste;
    • Rosemary, thyme, paprika, oregano, dried garlic - in equal quantities to taste.


    Beef for basturma is salted dry. Keep in a suitable container for 12 hours in the refrigerator, then wash, dry, and put back in the refrigerator for 12 hours.

    After this, the piece is rolled in spices, wrapped in a towel and dried in the cold for 5-7 days.


    An excellent delicacy is dried pork. They salt it using the wet method, for this they take 1 kg of pork.

    • 2 liters of water;
    • 8 tablespoons of coarse salt;
    • 4 tablespoons white sugar;
    • Khmeli-suneli, red and black pepper - to taste.

    Poultry jerky

    Chicken and duck meat, and only the breast part is used for drying, is much more tender and softer than pork, and even more so beef meat.

    The salting and drying method are the same as for pork meat, but chicken and duck ripen faster and have a unique taste. By extending or shortening the drying time, you can adjust the density of the snack at your discretion.


    • Preparation time: 6 days.
    • Number of servings: 4 persons.
    • Calorie content of the dish: 57 kcal per 100 g.

    An excellent option for raw smoked chicken breast for people who carefully monitor their diet. Chicken breast contains virtually no fat, dries well and absorbs flavor from the spices. Rosemary and juniper berries add a spicy aroma, while paprika adds a sweetish taste. In just a day, you will have a delicious and dietary dried delicacy ready.

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    • chicken (fillet) – 1200 g;
    • juniper (berries) – 6 pcs.;
    • sugar (sand) – 25 g;
    • salt (sea/table) – 5 tsp;
    • ground coriander – 1 tsp;
    • ground paprika – ½ tsp;
    • dried rosemary – ½ tsp.

    Cooking method:

    1. Mix spices with 2 tbsp. l. salt and 1 tbsp. l. sugar, crush the juniper berries and rub the pre-dried breast with this mixture.
    2. You can add a couple of spoons of cognac to the marinade if the basturma is intended only for adults.
    3. Place the chicken in a plastic container, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
    4. After a day, rinse the breast pieces, dry and roll in your favorite spices.
    5. Hang the pieces in this form and leave them in the open air for 3 to 7 days. By about day 5, the meat reaches the desired condition.

    Storage of the finished product

    Many people believe that dried beef should be stored in the same way as all other dried foods. Despite the fact that the delicacy has a long shelf life, it can spoil if a number of conditions are not met.

    1. It is best to store jerky in an airtight container. Regular containers with a lid, vacuum seals or a sealed food bag are suitable for this purpose.
    2. It is recommended to mark the packaging with the date of manufacture in order to know the degree of freshness of the product.
    3. Different types of jerky should be stored separately.
    4. Water and fat have a huge impact on the quality and shelf life of the dried product. Therefore, if you notice droplets of moisture or fat on the meat, remove them with a paper towel. Best of all, place napkins between the pieces of beef. They will absorb moisture, but you need to change them as they get wet.
    5. Depending on where you store the meat, its shelf life depends. If you plan to keep the product in a cool place, for example, in a pantry, then such meat can be eaten for a month, but no longer. You can store meat in the refrigerator for six months and in the freezer for a year.

    There are many recipes for making beef jerky and each country makes it differently. So, in South Africa, cane sugar is always used for marinade; in Pan-Asian cuisine, such a delicacy cannot be imagined without soy sauce, but the Turks always dry the meat mixed with dry fenugreek and other spicy seasonings. Try and implement one of the proposed recipes. You will definitely like the result!

    Beef jerky flower bouquets

    Don't know what to give your man? Present him with a bouquet, not of flowers, but of beef jerky. What macho man would refuse meat, and especially such a delicacy? “Flowers” ​​with delicate meat petals, among other things, are very convenient for decorating salads and appetizers on the holiday table. Creating a bouquet is quite simple if you know how to thinly slice meat.

    To do this, take a piece of dried beef and thinly cut it into slices, which will serve as buds. Then we cut them lengthwise into small strips, that is, we make stems. We twist the buds from thin slices and use toothpicks to string them onto the prepared stems. We put the bouquet in a vase or tie it with a beautiful ribbon.

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