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Preparing Beef Jerky

I have been interested in making beef jerky, but I am somewhat concerned
about the beef spoiling after dehydrating.  From what I understand, when
making beef jerky in a dehydrator, the temperature is not raised to the
point where bacteria are killed.  I have noticed that the jerky sold
commercially is preserved with sodium nitrite.  What about the stuff you
make in dehydrators?  Can anyone knowledgable on this subject provide me
with info on how to properly prepare and preserve beef jerky.  Also, any
suggestions for a good brand of dehydrator suitable for making jerky would
be appreciated.  Thanks in advance.

Chris Haught