Making Ground Meat Jerky

There are several ways to prepare ground meat jerky. You can also mix meats and grind them together for a unique flavor. The key is low-fat content, no matter what type of meat you use.

Venison and beef ground together make the deer or elk not so dry because it is super lean since the beef has a higher fat content. A friend of mine does this for taco meat and other casserole dishes, which have an excellent taste and texture to the finished meal. Delicious!

Forming Ground Meat for Jerky

A few ways you can form ground meat include:

  • Use a jerky extruder, a.k.a. a jerky gun.
  • Roll out flat using a rolling pin to about one-eighth to one-quarter inch thick (some people like it thinner) and slice in strips with a pizza cutter.
  • Form the meat in “sticks” 4 to 6 inches long and the thickness of breakfast sausage or a little thinner.
  • Use a sausage stuffer to form the meat (no casing needed).
  • Roll very thin the size of the drying tray or sheet. Dry as a full sheet and cut into strips after drying. This method can be done on sheets or parchment paper and will need to be flipped halfway through the drying process.

No matter what a recipe or other information says, the advantage to homemade jerky is you can do it as Frank Sinatra says, and “I do it My Way!!” So, if it says to cut in 5-inch strips, but you like the 8-inch strips better, do it.

The thicker the meat, the longer it will take to dry completely. You don’t want moisture in ground meat jerky unless you eat it quickly or refrigerate it.

Black cast iron pan with raw ground beef and some herbs on it. Getting ready to make ground meat jerky.
Ground Beef Ready to Season for Jerky
Image by FreePik

Drying Methods for Ground Meat Jerky

You can use an oven, dehydrator, or smoker, just as any sliced meat type of jerky. I wouldn’t attempt sun drying because that takes a long time, and you want to be cautious with ground meats. See note on Tip Number 6 below.

Be sure to use a drip pan, especially when using your oven as you’ll probably have more drippings from ground meats than sliced meats. The same goes for a dehydrator. A tip for easy cleanup is to line the drip pan with foil.

Each pound of ground beef makes about four ounces of Jerky.

Tips for Making Ground Meat Jerky

  1. Seasoning and Marinating

Mix ground meat with your favorite jerky seasonings and allow it to marinate for a few hours or overnight to enhance flavor.

  1. Dehydrating Temperature

Set your dehydrator or oven to a low temperature (usually around 145-170°F) to gradually and safely dehydrate the ground meat.

  1. Checking for Doneness

Ground meat jerky is done when it’s dry and firm but still pliable. It should not be overly brittle.

  1. Storage

Store ground beef jerky in airtight containers or vacuum-sealed bags to maintain freshness.

  1. Experiment with Flavors

Ground beef jerky can take on a variety of flavors. Experiment with different seasonings, spices, and marinades to discover your favorite combinations. Check out the recipes for ground meat jerky.

  1. Food Safety

Pay attention to safe food handling practices, as ground meat is more susceptible to bacterial growth. Ensure proper drying and storage to prevent spoilage.

Making ground meat jerky offers versatility and convenience, allowing you to experiment with different shapes, sizes, and flavors. Choose the method that fits your preferences and equipment, and enjoy creating delicious homemade jerky.

Now, this wouldn’t be complete if there were no recipes to go along with it, so check out these recipes specifically for Ground Meat Jerky. Ground Meat Jerky Recipes. But at the same time, many of the recipes for beef or game can also be used to make jerky from ground meat.

Related Links You Might Like

Ground Meat Jerky Recipes

The Art and Benefits of Crafting Homemade Jerky

Dehydrating Meat for Jerky

The Savory Art of Homemade Jerky