Random Happenings

Random notes and pics about events in the life of a not-your-typical Computer Science grad student. (Yes I am a nerd, but I don't live and breathe the SciFi channel, well maybe Stargate SG-1...)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Are you a fan of jerky too?

Nathan told me this week (after watching another episode of our favorite cooking show Good Eats) that he wanted to make his own beef jerky. "Homemade beef jerky?" I thouht. Well, ok, I'll bite. "How do we make it?" I asked. His eyes lit up, he smiled, and said "All we need is a box fan and some air filters. We can get them from Walmart."

Huh? Certainly he can't be serious. A fan and some air filters? He saw my puzzled look, and said "I saw how to do it on TV --- it was on Good Eats." Oh, well that explains everything.

Yesterday afternoon we printed out the recipe and went to the store to buy our supplies. For the "software", we needed some beef of course (flank steak to be exact), some soy sauce, and some Worchestershire sauce. We had all the other spices already at home. For the "hardware" we headed to America's supercenter, Walmart (mostly because it is right next to our neighborhood). We bought the cheapest box fan money can buy, some air filters that were just the right size, and some bungee cords to hold the whole thing together.

The animation below documents the whole process from start to finish. First we cut the beef into thin strips, like bacon. Then we cured it in a marinade of soy sauce, Worchestershire sauce, honey, black pepper, onion powder, and red pepper flakes. After a few hours in the salty bath in the ice box, the beef is fully cured and safe to eat. Then, we wiped the excess marinade off and placed the strips in the individual grooves of the air filter. The last step is to dry out the meat so it has the right texture. For this, we strapped the air filters down to the fan with the bungee cords and let the beef bask in the breeze overnight. This morning our patience was rewarded, and we woke to the smell of beef jerky wafting through the house. I must admit that it was all a slightly strange process, but the jerky turned out great! Yum!


Blogger Timmie Smith said...

Beef jerky for breakfast, yummy. I'm jealous. I'll have to try that out. Should be a lot cooler than putting a brisket in the oven late at night so it can slow cook and be ready for lunch the next day. Another great way to make the house smell delicious, by the way.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Shawna Thomas said...

Well, your brisket is pretty hard to beat!

2:08 PM  

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