Bernalillo County Cooperative Extension offers helpful resources including food preservation tips

The Bernalillo Cooperative Extension is a service of New Mexico State University that helps to relay knowledge from the university to the general public. Their programming areas include F-H, Family and Consumer Science, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Community Development.

FCS 4-H agent Nicole Jacob visited the set to explain how easy it is to make jerky as a way to preserve your meat after hunting season.

Jerky recipe

Prep: Freeze your meat before preparing so that it will be easier to slice.

Cut partially frozen meat into long slices that are no more than 1/4 of an inch thick. For tender jerky, cut at a right angle to long muscles (across the grain). Removing as much fat as possible will prevent off-flavors.

Prepare 1 to 2 cups of your marinade of choice in a large saucepan. Here is a simple marinade:

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 cups soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Warning: It is not recommended to soak meat strips in the marinade overnight as bacteria will spread in the kitchen when the strips are drained before precooking. Putting un-marinated strips directly into boiling marinade minimizes a cooked flavor and maintains safety.

Bring the marinade to a rolling boil over medium heat. Add a few strips, ensuring they are covered by the marinade. Reheat to a full boil.

Remove the pan from the stovetop and using tong, remove the meat from the hot marinade to prevent over-cooking. Repeat steps until all meat has been precooked. Add more marinade if needed.

Dry in a dehydrator or an oven. Use a calibrated thermometer to monitor the circulating air temperature of the dehydrator or oven.

Preheat the dehydrator or oven to 145 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 30 minutes. Place the filled trays in the preheated dehydrator, leaving enough open space on the racks for air to circulate around the strips.

Let the strips dry for 10 to 14 hours or until the pieces are adequately dry.

For more information and tips on drying foods, click here. For more information on the Bernalillo County Cooperative Extension Service, click here.