This week on the Missouri Woods & Water podcast the guys get to talk with the host of The Huntavore podcast, Nick Otto about the fun world of deer jerky. All deer hunters know that deer jerky is the most popular venison meal/snack out there. But what makes deer jerky so good and can you step up your jerky game, or maybe you are just starting the process of making jerky. If so, this is the show for you. We talk about using muscle meat versus using ground venison and the benefits and limitations of both. We get into Nick's favorite way to dehydrate deer jerky as well. He breaks down the usage of a smoker, oven, dehydrator, etc. and what he likes and dislikes about each method. Nick also talks about the usage of cure and some of his favorite ways to prepare deer jerky. Enjoy the show!
[00:00:00] Welcome to the Missouri Woods and Water Podcast with your host, Andy. Nate. Micah, you're number one Missouri Outdoor Podcast. Oh my. So we're just throwing numbers out there. What do you, I thought we could do, can we do that? I thought we could, we can just make stuff up. Just make sure up. I just wanna know why that came outta your mouth.
I don't know, 147 episodes into you're like, you know what? We're number one now. We're number one today, . Today we're number one. . We have no idea if that's factual. That's a complete bullshit. As in the words of what's that movie? Remember the Titans? You're number one in my book, coach. Yeah. We had a fun little episode today, man.[00:01:00]
I like it. We had two fun ones. We did. We, one, we did have two. First we were on his show, then we did one for our show. But we had, it's funny cuz our show's gonna come out before his. Sounds like this is gonna be a useful, very useful show. Yep. We're talking about deer jerky and the number one different ways to make it muscle meat ground, all number ones today, ground venison.
His favorite recipes, what dehydrators he likes and the person we're talking to since I didn't say that first is Nick Otto with the Havo. If you do not know who Nick is a really well versed wild. Chef Cook and his show, the Hunt of War podcast is centered around wild game cooking. Yep.
It's a really good show, especially if you're into cooking your wild game. You're gonna learn a lot of stuff. And in this show, you're gonna learn a lot of stuff about deer jerky, about ways to use and consume what you harvest. [00:02:00] Yeah. And deer jerky is a very common way to prepare your venison.
, it's probably the most common, I would say out there. It's my go-to. I do I don't really mess with ground anymore. I do steaks and I do jerky, cuz that's what we use. That's basically it. Yeah. Yeah. I do. Every once in a while I'll make pulled ve. Pulled, like a pulled pork. Yep. I did.
I saw it was like one of those little quick videos online. He did a whole front shoulder. . And he took, he did a, like a pulled pork, pulled vent or whatever you wanna call it. Saying, which it looked really good to me. It wasn't, it was more like a roast beef type of a, like you do the well roast beef sandwich, like shredded roast beef, right?
Yeah. Was the flavor I got, but I've tried Dr. Pepper in it, tried bush light. All kinds different marinades. Nothing wrong with putting beer in a marinade. No, I don't think I ever have. But I do that with my idea. I do that with my chicken a lot of times. Yeah. We almost [00:03:00] had some detrimental news though, guys.
What? I hit a deer with a coyote caddy. . Yeah, you did. I heard about that. You guys had quite a hunt though. From what I hear, it was a pretty crazy night. Just in general. It was really, truly it was fun. So we got to take some kids hunting night hunting, thermal hunting some cool experiences.
One of them shot his first night hunting coyote. I don't know. It might be his first coyote. I didn't ask him. I probably should have dude, nerves of steel. It just me and him, 1, 2, 3, and bam, down the went. Got her done. Second one we were trying to get the other kid on one and we had, the cow was coming.
I, they came from like 1500 yards away, like long ways away. Yep. I picked him up 800 yards away cuz that's how far I could see the fence line. They ran all the way across the field as they're clearing, like the fence line, it starts pouring rain. It did do that. Oh. And it was, raining hard.
So we there's coyotes coming. What do you guys wanna do? Do you guys wanna get outta here? Oh, we're okay. We're, we ducked up in the trees a little bit, a little bit out of it. And it [00:04:00] was pouring down. They come all the way in, they start to circle a little bit to get our wind and I forgot to load my gun
But the girl got, she got nervous which is completely understandable. She's never shot a coyo before. . And they're just raining. It's raining, these coyotes are running in. I'm like, Hey, they're gonna win. She's looking at a, we gotta shoot these things TV screen. We gotta shoot these things.
Like we're, come on, we're gonna have to do something. Putting a little pressure on her. I didn't mean to, but it was just the nature of it. They were getting ready to run. Her mom stepped in, took the shot. So we tried to kill both of 'em. 1, 2, 3. I went click, she went, bang. Coyotes ran, I don't know.
We ended up killing 'em on the second shot. Two down. And I think we did three sets with the kids. So we had a good day. And then we made the mistake of continuing the night after they went ahead and they had things to do next day. Called it early. We decided we were going to continue the night and that's when this deer decided to run into the truck.
It ran into the truck. Basically. Your in when your insurance asked. That's [00:05:00] exactly . But you didn't even have any damage seen. Yeah. You got some air on there. Luckiest event I've ever had. We've seen this deer coming and I started hitting the brakes. I hit the brakes enough that all of our calls, all of our bags, everything in the back of the truck slips was all the way in the front.
And I don't know, 20 miles an hour, she sticks her head in front of the truck. Bam. She spins around. I hear, rumble down, I get stopped, get out ah, dang it. We walk around the truck look like. , dude, there's nothing wrong with the truck. Holy crap. What about the deer? So we I hear the deer behind us, like breathing.
Yeah. Man, let's go back and look and if it's, suffering, let's take care of it. Which I don't know legalities of that to be honest with you. Probably have to call first, but Right. We were just gonna try to be done with it when you get back and it's gone. Yeah, just gone probably just so it bounced her, uped up a little bit.
Did you see with skid marks? He bounced up and gone, so I don't know if she died someplace else or not, but, yeah. But you said you didn't even see any blood [00:06:00] on the truck. No. Oh, do you did see blood on the, there was some skid mark the road. Yeah, on the road. Yeah. But she's probably fine. Yeah, I think you hit my cars little.
She has a little road rash, . But we went on to kill three more coyotes after that. It was cool with the place we went. You could see for miles and the stuff you could see. Just coyotes keep coming after it. It was insane. But yeah, we would've, we killed end up killing just one that night had two.
So you guys had a lot of action too. Two. Yeah. Yeah. We had action on each set, but stuff went wrong. Yeah, stuff went wrong. The first few, we finally got two. One, they're both dead. We found we were covered. One, the other one died somewhere. Yeah, somewhere else. But it was hit. We found the blood and tractored it for a little bit and I'm like, ah, okay.
So it's out of the field. We know that , we shot our longest coyote by via thermal at 385 yards. And if anyone that's listening is thermal hunted, to me that's a poke pretty, [00:07:00] that's an impossible shot. That's, yeah. Lucky as shit is what it. But we had good backdrop. Good. Everything. It was already, I think I even asked you, what did you aim for?
Some spot above the coyo. A space above the coyote? Yeah. I think is what you said. Yeah. A spacer. Is that with the creedmore or both of 'em? We don't know who hit it more. Okay. Three, two. We won two three lot or three? Two. We won two, three for some reason, but is there booger barking at us? We'd already been busted and the night was about over we got a safe shot, let's take it.
So we just let 'em have it and it just dropped. So we both looked at it like, there's no way. We just killed that coyote . For sure. Sure. I feel like a sucker and you should too. Oh, sure. Because you and Austin have the best setup of anybody I've ever known. . Hey, you guys. Thermal hunt more than anybody I know.
With no thermal
Still our shit's been Go more. It's pretty good deal. You guys are pretty smart. Honestly. Like a big deal. We should feel bad about ourselves because we've spent like too much money. I don't feel bad at all cause it's, no, I don't either, but No, it's still funny. It's, I would [00:08:00] rather have my own, cuz there's times when I would go out by myself.
But would you I'm pretty, you go yourself Mainly that one spot that's close to me. Yeah, because then I could just drive by. It's one that you can drive by and know if coyotes are out there. Yeah. Scan it real quick. Okay. I can go make a quick set. Getting one down or whatever. Yeah. But sorry we're not a rabbit hole then.
Yes, we did. Let's let's get into our sponsors before we get into show with Nick. Start with Midwest Gun Works. Use our code, new code for this year, by the way, woods Water for 5% off. I just got a new set of rings from them that I needed cuz I went from a 30 millimeter tube on my old scope to a 34.
There you go. So I had to buy a new set, which that, that hurt a little bit, but I'm talking about upgrading the stock or the hand guard of my six arc. . I want a carbon fiber. Yeah. Make sure if it's gonna be for night, make sure you get one that has got a flat bottom so you don't have flexing issues like Russell's had to deal with.
I'll talk about it off here. Yeah, we'll talk about [00:09:00] that later. Yeah. Midwest Gun Works. Check 'em out. River's Edge tree stands, use the code. Missouri. 10 for 10% off. Plus free shipping on any hang on or ladder stands I need to put together that blind of mine. That's still sitting in your shop.
Probably getting eaten by mice at this point, but hey, it's there. Yeah. Check 'em out. Athlon optics, like I was just talking about, the new scope that I've got is here's the minus tech. Oh yeah. Minus, that's right. That's when I'm gonna be mounting on my Christensen. I'm glad I didn't sell that baby cuz I think I'm going to mount that gun on or mount that scope on it.
And see how she runs. Don't know how much it's gonna get used, but Right. I'm gonna try it. Because honestly it's about just as heavy as my 22. Two 50. Yeah, man, it's a bolt. 2 23. The only thing is 2 23 is way cheaper to shoot than , any of the other calibers that we've been buying and building.
I'm just used to shooting semis and now that's a bolt. So it's, I'm gonna have to get used to remembering once you shoot, man, you gotta rack a new round. Having a bolt gun. Save me so much money in ammo. Book . That's true. [00:10:00] Oh, especially, you were with Russell the other night. I'm empty boys. I'm empty.
Check them out. Athlon optics.com. Say it Andy. Ridiculously good optics. There you go. Lucky Buck Mineral. Now's a great time to be replenishing that stuff. Yeah, they're starting to hit it more and more. Yes, and I ler growth's gone. We are, I hate to say it, we've almost missed the window for that winter feed.
We hear February, everything's dropping. However, I did just get a picture this morning, I believe. Of a decent buck still holding really . So yeah, I've got one or two that are still holding, but either way, still be good idea to get your, some lucky buck out there so them do can start, utilizing it, especially for their fawn growth.
Yep. I'm sure that'll help out on X like we've been talking about. We've been using the shit out of it because of Coyo hunting. It just, it's so nice to use. Make sure you hop on their website, onxmaps.com. Use the co mww 20 for 20% off [00:11:00] any of their, I think it's actually their elite membership, I think.
But man it's awesome. It's a number one hunting app for a reason. It's got a lot of landowner information all kinds of stuff. I like. the map where you can see which way you're facing. Yeah. At all times. It's just my brain works better that way, so check 'em out. And then last but not least, Camou, fire and black Ovis sister companies.
Camou Fire. Nice flash sale. You're gonna have different stuff every single day, every 24 hours it resets. . And then Black Ovis is more like your online retailer, online store. Think of it like an online bass pro or something like that. If you want to go find something specific that you're needing hunting outdoor wise, that's where you need to check out a good chance.
They've got it. Yep. Especially their custom arrow builder set up. Pretty awesome. Always pretty sweet. Arrow id. Yep. And then I believe you can log back in if you need to reorder arrows. It's already built. Saves it in your profile. It's saved in your profile. Profile. Yep. Use the code M ww 10 for 10% off on their stuff, man.
We got 'em all. Let's hop into this show with [00:12:00] Nick Otto of the Havo. Let's get to it. Tear jerky. This is the Missouri Woods and Water Podcast,
okay with us tonight in the dark of his studio. Nick Otto with the Hunt of War podcast. What are you doing in the dark there buddy? I tell you what, Michigan is an amazing state. We have so many things that other states can be envious of, but one thing that we don't have or that we are not envious of is our extremes when it comes to weather.
The whole phrase wait five minutes and weather's gonna change. That's absolutely what's been going on. We are getting probably three quarters of an inch to a half inch of ice right now. And when you're in that sort of situation, you're playing rule. When is the power going out? Not if, so here we are sitting in the dark.
We don't know when our power's gonna come back on yet, but we're hardy up here in the [00:13:00] north, so I got the family up next to the fireplace. They're we're playing 18th century right now, . We're gonna get the cast iron out. She's gonna get her hair bonnet on, and yeah, we're gonna be we're gonna be sleeping by the fire tonight.
There you go. We are almost 150 shows into our podcast, and this is the first podcast where we have ever been live recording with a guest and he just disappeared. just gone and he was still there. He just, everything, all the lights went out. We actually were recording with Nick for his show before this one, and his power went out in the middle of it, and yet the joys of hotspots were still able to do this.
Pretty nice. Absolutely. As much as I hate technology. Technology is allowing this to happen right now. So yeah. Full embrace, full embracing. Yeah. That whole idea. I don't want to ever have anybody say that I'm not committed to something. So here I am sitting in the dark. Yep. Still talking to you guys.
You said that. Hey, we want to have you on. All right. Here I am. I am on . [00:14:00] Thanks. Bill Gates, one way or the other. Yeah. . Before our topic today we've actually had Nick on the show before. I wish I would've went back and looked up what episode number. It was a awesome episode. We did some cool recipes back then.
Today we're gonna talk a little bit in more in depth about one really popular venison thing you can do. But before we do, Nick, introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit about the Hunter Vore. Gotcha. Yeah. I am Nick Otto and I'm host of the Hunt War podcast on Sportsman's Empire. Just along with you guys There at the Hunt de war, my whole ambition is using and utilizing your wild game to its utmost potential.
That is the way that I celebrate my hunting and fishing traditions. Whether they're new or old, I want to get a chance to celebrate that through meals, through utilization, through sharing that with others. And one of the best, and shoot, one of the best [00:15:00] ways to talk about hunting and fishing is at a table where you're offering up basically a sacrifice in front of you at that point that you're offering up.
This is what I went out and killed. This is what I prepared. And I want to talk to you about my experience with something that's on the table. We're gonna be talking a little bit about jerky tonight. It's meat treat night and . Shoot. I can't think of meat treat any other way. Yeah, I can't think of any other way to talk to somebody about, Using venison or using wild hog or using bird or fish.
Then using your hard earned catch your harvest in a way where you can eat it and then share it. It's so disarming when you hand out a piece of jerky first, you know the other person if they are gonna be one that's gonna challenge your views on the hunting and fishing, like they can't argue that you're not utilizing that.
And what a way to, rather than extend the olive branch, you're extending, saying, Hey, yes, I did kill that animal and I'm not gonna shy around that, but at the [00:16:00] same time, look at the good that this is doing. How can you be an asshole to somebody who gives you drinking ? You can't, I tell you what, you can't
It's an ice. It, honestly, it's one of the most. , like the best icebreakers in the world. If you wanted to get me into a van with no windows on it, all you would've to say is free jerky. Just shake a bag of jerky out the sliding, like the window and just say, yep, I'm coming. I've never heard somebody say, man, that guy's a d bag, but he's got some great jerky
Exactly. I'd never hear that. And it's never just one piece of jerky. They're always like I've had some garbage. I will say that, but usually at my own expense. But typically you're like, Ooh, this is pretty good. But do you judge a man on his jerky? I judge him on his ability to offer me his jerky.
Fair enough. Does that make sense? Yeah. You ever had someone just Bogart their shit? No, you guys, no, go ahead anymore, like our Elk trip every year. No, unfortunately this year I didn't get around to making any, I don't think we had, I had, we had to just [00:17:00] buy our own beef jerky, but I made those this year.
Yeah, you did. That's right. If you liked the, I think it was last year. Good. It was last year that we, last year didn't have any. And usually, like the year before I made like, what, 26 pounds or something? A jerky. A lot of jerky. Each truck just had a bag. And Russell usually makes some Andy, like everybody, and it's just that's what we eat on the way out there, and then the trucks usually smell a little different by the time we've made it.
Halfway through Kansas, but what is, that's concentrated protein man, , that's gonna, that's gonna stink up them vehicles quick. Yep. I was gonna say there, there is a direct correlation with eating jerky and having bad gas. So I don't know what it is, but you eat enough jerky, you're gonna have some bad gas, good food make you stinky.
That's all I know. And to elaborate too, when you were saying judge a man by his bad jerky, I would say judge a man by his circle of friends that will let him distribute that jerky. You gotta have a close-knit or at least some people that you have put in your [00:18:00] circle that's gonna let you, Hey, I am trying this.
Let me know and be honest about it. Cuz if they just give you the, yeah, this is good. And then they let you walk around. They're not true friends. . No. They're not true friends. , you need you. No shame on the experimentation. It's on the guy who said this was good when it wasn't. You need that group of friends to call you on your garbage.
Yeah that's a good point. Yes. And I think we have that group. Oh yeah. If I brought some jerky that was garbage, you'd be like, I have definitely told you appreciate it. Some of your stuff. I'm like, yeah, that's not my favorite. Yeah. And two years ago I did a lot of what do you call it? Teriyaki different types. Yeah. So I would try, this type of jerky and this bag, and this was this kind, just trying different stuff. And some of them I really was a fan of. Some, eh, I don't really think I'm gonna use liquid smoke that much, many anymore. , I think I'm a little heavy on that. But anyway, so that's what we're gonna talk about.
Today's show is the age old question. We get it on our, from listeners sometimes and different people we talk to. If you kill a deer, there's about a [00:19:00] 97.34% chance. Statistically. I read the study myself. You make the study yourself . I made it. I made it. Totally made that number. I made it up. 37% of stats are made up on the spot.
I made that stat, I made that number up myself. There is a really good chance that there's gonna be some deer jerky made out of that venison that has been killed by you. And there's two different ways to make it. I already know I'm gonna get raked over the coals the way I make it now, . But we want the listeners to know, what is like some of the best ways that you prepare jerky, both in ground, venison and also in the, the muscle cuts.
So let's just start with muscle cuts if you want, and get into like how you like to prepare jerky through that process. Gotcha. It's, this is where you can really get into personal preference. Some people I [00:20:00] shoot if I'm, if I, when I want jerky, I want it to really be something I have to gnaw on. If I'm sitting in the ball stands or shoot, I'm in a softball game and I happen to be up at bat, I want to, I love the shredded jerky.
When you used to be able to find it in a tin and then you'd pack it in, I'm not a chewer. I was never able to basically addict myself to that. All my friends did it. I tried to be cool and basically I just ended up throwing up all the time. I said, finally, give that up. Go ready in there. Done that, man.
Yeah. And so I started getting the tins of jerky, but I found that it was just too much of a shredded bit. So I would look for jerky and this was before I was making it. This was still back in like high school. I would look for cuts or jerky that was cut with the grain. If you want something that is very chewy, something you're gonna have to work on something that's gonna actually like your jaw's gonna feel it later.
You're gonna want to cut with the grain, [00:21:00] and that's what I really enjoy. If folks want more of a follia party, I guess for lack, for a better, a Foley party. I like that one. A tender maybe? Yeah. very tender because that, we're, shoot, we're trying to put jerky and tender in the same sentence, , and it just doesn't work.
Something that does fall apart easier as you chew it, not near as chewy, you're gonna want to cut against the grain. So think of it there as you're trying to make a beautiful tender steak, and when you cut that off of a large cut, you're gonna cut against the grain. So for folks that are looking at that, if you're looking at a piece of meat and you happen to see, we're talking against the grain, just like you would like a piece of wood, you can see where those fibers on the wood are running muscle is very similar in that fashion that you can see where those are running.
And so if you want something super chewy, you cut with that grain, you put your knife in the same angle. As those ribbons are running, if you want it to [00:22:00] be more tender or you want it to fall apart easier, not chew as much, that's where you're gonna turn that blade and you're going to then cross that grain.
So that's gonna be ultimately your first step when you're gonna want to be making full muscle jerky, is know what you like and know what you're going for. So in my. I'm gonna go with the grain. Typically, that's gonna get you longer pieces fewer pieces, but they're gonna be longer and larger. If you cut against the grain, you're going to get smaller pieces, but you're gonna get more of them.
That's a general statement. It's depending upon the muscle shape necessarily. But what I have found, either if I'm using a large muscle, that's when I'm gonna be getting from that is those long ribbons. There's gonna be fewer of them, but at the same time, then I only need one stick. I don't need to reach in the bag three or four times to grab the equivalence that I would go with the long [00:23:00] cut.
So that's probably your first step, is just to decide which way you want to go with that. What what cuts of meat are you. Which ones do you tend to use for that type of jerky? What do you, are you using backstrap? I know that's a sin to do a turn backstrap into jerky, but I've had it before and it turns out amazing.
Or is it something that you're cutting off the Hein quarter or neck? What piece? Yeah, neck meat. What do you like to use? . You're lucky. I, my bandwidth is a little low right now. I was gonna send a slap in the face via email , to just front these back strap for jerky. Micah, I'll have to, I'll have to, snail mail that or something right now cause I'm sitting in the dark.
Would you like me to slap him? Can I do it actually, or no? I can do it. Yeah, go ahead. Just give 'em a good swipe across the, left cheek there, . I like the large cuts from the heine quarters. Those work out really well, specifically the top round. So when you actually take that Hein quarter apart, there's gonna be one muscle group that's [00:24:00] actually one of, it's the largest muscle group that's there.
That's the real power push of the animal right there is gonna be that top round. I actually got called out there was a question. Oh, were we on, I think we were on Hank Shaw's group, hunter angler, gatherer cook. And there was somebody who was posing that same question, Hey which cut do you really like to use?
And I said, top round. I had some guy, it wasn't worth knowing his name, but he commented on me and he was like, how could you waste that piece of meat? You could do this with it. You could do this with it, you could do basically lectured me via Comment. And at that point it was my response was, okay, moving on , I can do jerky too.
It didn't even Exactly. You could do jerky as well. Here it is. I'm already sending a slap to Micah and I then I'm on the flip side. I'm totally going hypocritical on this. But at the same time that muscle group is such a big muscle group that you can get a lot of it, [00:25:00] especially when you're cutting the long ways on it, that surface area.
You can get, shoot a week's worth of jerky. You could get a, one load of jerky, one badge of jerky off, maybe two of those. Cut. And then salvage so many other cuts to do whatever you wanted to do with it. So I guess going through all this for your listeners, don't be shy to use some of those big cuts on this.
If you know that you've got bang up recipe or you want to try something that's really good. Jerky is something that you look forward to eating by all. Use some of those prize cuts, be it the top round or even the bottom round. Bottom round has an excellent chew to it. That's another one of those muscle groups that once you clean up that silver skin off there it does get worked really hard.
It does get worked a lot, so it's gonna have more chew to it. So you could cut with the grain you could find a happy medium, cross-cut the grain, but that bottom round also works very well with it. [00:26:00] And then I, we're gonna dive into it a little bit when you get into the ground aspect of it, but at that point, the whole deer can be incorporated once you go into a ground jerky.
But when it comes to the whole muscle, the bigger the muscle, the better. I'm gonna go with the top round and then sec, or bring that up. My second cut would be the bottom round as well. Both from the hindquarter. Now the top round, that's, if you weren't gonna do That's something you would usually cut steaks out of too, right?
Am I right or am I wrong on that? No, you get, get you with that cutting cross grain. You can get some very nice looking steaks out of there. They're gonna have a little more chew than your back strap. But at the same time, I feel that the chew aspect, people are always looking for something that's so tender tender, tender all the way along, but.
There's a whole eating experience when it comes to texture and when you can find something that a is going to add a beautiful flavor profile. This is like legitimate venison. You're getting the [00:27:00] tastiest part of the venison here because you're tasting the wildness, you're tasting the brows, you're tasting that it's just not straight corn and soybean fed.
As much as those critters like to hang out in corn and in soybeans, they do go browse, you're gonna get a fra flavor profile that's super pleasing to that. And by cross-cutting a large muscle group like that, you're gonna get an excellent steak without having to soak it in a ton of marinade. Or I know your favorite soy sauce
We can avoid. We can avoid that and just. Let the meat stand and speak for itself at that point. So yeah, it's a very good steak cutting piece of meat. I've also liked to roast one of those whole, and then I'll end up shaving that for sandwich meat, instead of making a instead of making roast beef, shoot, I, we were in, we were actually at a campground.
We had to go get some lunch meat cuz we ran out of what I, what we had brought. So she got some roast, my wife got some roast beef and she, when she came back, she was like, Hey, you're [00:28:00] welcome by the way for the bougie stuff. And I was like, what are you talking about? And I happened to look on that label.
It was $16 a pound. Oh my gosh. Roast beef. And that's something like just not seeing those prices hardly ever because we're usually making our own. It was like, holy smokes. A little bit of a sticker shock. And it just emphasized that, yeah, I want to use these pieces to the best that I can.
If I need lunch meat, I'm gonna save a couple of the big ones and we're gonna do some roast for those and slice those up real thin for sandwiches. But if I've got a surplus, if I end up with a, of a couple more, I have a really good year. You betcha. We're making some jerky out of it. Now, one thing I've al I always struggled with before I started making my jerky out of ground, Andy actually just wrote down the same question is the thickness of the cut.
So whenever I used to make my jerky out of muscle meat, I would have some that. , an eighths I'm a quarter just depended on how my cut was. And then in the end it took me varying lengths of [00:29:00] time to get jerky done. How do you handle the thickness I guess situation. And what's your preferred thickness?
Yeah. What do you prefer? Assuming we're dehydrating this right? Dehydrated. Absolutely. Or smoke. Yeah, I guess you could smoke it. Yeah, I smoke. We'll get into how, what he likes, but yeah, that's a good point. Andy didn't think of that. Depending on how you're gonna cook it or, finish it and not cook it, finish it.
Yep. And this is one of those beasts too, like I talked about a little bit on, on your preference. Are you cutting with the grain? Across the grain? This is gonna be another one of those preferences. Do you like it when your jerky has a little bit of moisture into it that you're gonna have a wetter jerky?
Or is it one of those that you want basically you're making pekin, how long can I have this sit on the shelf? And I want it to be bone dry and not have any moisture to it. So there's a level of degree that you can add to that. Some people, like a barbecue smoked wetter jerky others are gonna want that dehydrator super, no water.
[00:30:00] Like basically Yeah, you crack, you can crack it. It's not necessarily bending, it's cracking at that point. Like a chip almost mine last year turned out like chips. Yeah. And that's one of those ones where it's just maybe a little too long. And the dehydrator I don't necessarily have a rule of thumb, but I aim for quarter inch.
Now, is every piece gonna be that? No. But what that can do is I can cut a consistent quarter inch with a long slicing knife. And that's just in my kitchen. That's just practice. Anybody can get really good at something if they just give them, give themselves a chance to practice. So if you're intimidated by that, know that you're not gonna ruin your badge of jerky, cuz you have a couple that are an eighth inch and then one that's a little thicker and it's just gonna, like you said, it's gonna take longer.
This is that that's that experience that you're building right here is you're figuring out how to get which thickness you want to go with and how to then to make that a consistent thickness. Do you want, if I got a. If [00:31:00] I have a butcher who I'm willing to pay a little extra fee and they're willing to then slice it for me, I would tell the butcher, Hey, put it three eights to a quarter inch.
And that's gonna be, that's gonna be something they can go with. They can actually really get that through there. And the same thing with your kitchen with a long slicing knife. I'm gonna aim for that quarter inch. So yeah, you can get outside help or you can do it in your own kitchen, but quarter is where I aim for.
Do you try to, when you're doing it at home, do you try to freeze your meat a little bit? That way it's a little easier to slice, or you do? Absolutely. Okay. Cold meat cuts better. That is whether you've taken the animal out of the field and it's now hanging up before you begin quartering and processing that animal, that's that same rule I go with is cold meat cuts better, that if I get that animal chilled down, not only is it going to be a safe environment, the colder it is, the less bacterial growth you can get.
But at the [00:32:00] same time, it just the blade and the meat responds well it has something to fight against. The blade has something solid. When that meat begins to warm, now it's harder for that blade to work. It's harder for that blade to cut. Now you are doing more of the work, and when you're doing more of the work, that's when you have those knife slips, and that's when you end up making jerky outta yourself instead of the piece of meat.
So I would say pull it out of the freezer and you could either start it with a frozen piece of meat, you bring it out. and at that point you can then just let it thaw enough. You just you're hanging around it and then try on that edge, can you slice that with that piece frozen?
If it's too hard, let it sit a little bit longer. The outside is gonna start to soften more than the inside's gonna stay. Still nice and firm, but you can go that approach. The other is if you already have a fresh piece of meat to then take it and then just chill that down I'm thinking 45 minutes in the freezer.
You don't wanna refreeze it by any [00:33:00] means, but at that point you're stiffening up those muscle fibers. You can then get after it with your knife and it's gonna have some resistance for you. So you can continue to keep as much of consistency when it comes to that quarter inch. You don't necessarily have to take a ruler to it, but at the same time, that'll help you.
Your consist. . Okay. I like that. That was my biggest stroke. Installed my meat and then sliced it. Yeah. I've never actually done that, so I'm gonna have to change my practice there a little bit. Yeah, and I got better. Like he was just saying, through the years, I started cutting it when it was not totally thought out, but man, I'll tell you, by the time I was done, I either got lazy or I was just ready to be done cutting.
And I would have pieces that I swore weren't even started in the dehydrator, but I was pulling pieces out and then I'd have this other one that looks like it was still like raw. I just put it in and I'm like, man, that thing is three times thicker than the rest of this stuff. And it's [00:34:00] gonna be, it's gonna be sitting in there by itself.
You don't wanna waste anything, so you're just like, I guess I'll put it back in. But that was my, now I don't have that struggle anymore, but that was always my biggest struggle. Now do we want to move on to ground venison before we talk about recipes? Or do we, do you have a different recipe based on if you are using ground or muscle meat?
Tech or, I don't wanna say I necessarily have different ones. My ground venison recipes are gonna be essentially out of the box. With ground recipes, you can get away with a boxed recipe or a boxed set of seasonings. Much easier than you can with the muscle. Or the whole muscle ones.
The whole muscle ones you can actually get a little more creative with. You can make your own, cuz at that point you can go with a marinade style versus With the ground, you wanna not have as much of the marinade going on. You want to be able to add the seasoning so that you can still get it through the gun.
You don't want to push a bunch of marinade and have it [00:35:00] be super wet, cuz now you're not gonna get a hold on that jerky when you're, it. It's almost kind like hand in hand with sausage making, essentially you're making for the ground jerky, you're making a, you're making sausage without casing.
That's essentially what you're making and then you're dehydrating it. So whatever sausage mix that you normally use, that could translate quite well into a jerky. Because they're using a lot of dehydrated. Spices in there. They're using good salt mixture. Those translate very well.
But at the same time, if you've got a specific I really like a cracked pepper and salt. I like to go simple. Add a little bit of garlic, don't get fancy with it. I think sometimes guys lose it when they make garbage. It's cuz they're getting too fancy. And if you can keep things simple, kinda like that kiss method, you end up with a garlic crack, black pepper, salt mixture.
You put that in, roll it in into your into your mixer, get that incorporated very well. Stuff [00:36:00] that gun so that you don't have any air pockets in there. Put some, put a ball in maybe if you've got a two pound shooter put in a quarter pound and then somehow find a way of plunger to just get in there, pack that in, add another quarter pound, add another half pound, punch that down in the less air that you have is gonna translate into a better squeeze out on the opposite side because.
Consistency again, is you're shooting that through the gun, you want to have even pressure. It's almost like running caulk too, yeah. You just want to be able to have even pressure as you're pushing that through. If you haven't packed out that air, that's where you're gonna get those quick little explosions, little burst pop pops of air, and that's gonna rupture that piece of jerky.
Now, wherever it ruptured, hopefully it's long enough that you don't end up with this teeny little turd on the end where it's, you're gonna pop that as soon as you get out of the dehydrator. But at the same time, if you can avoid that, now you have less pops, you have left less inconsistencies.
And by [00:37:00] going with a dry mix into your into your meat, you're not also using with the backend where you're getting a lot of squeeze out of your marinade that's gonna leak onto the pan and not translate to anything. So I like to stick with a drier mix when it comes to the. The ground jerky.
Now, at the same time, if you need to wet down that to get a better mixture, by all means use a little bit of water. I would just avoid making it too soupy if you're trying to get it into the gun. Yeah. Nice little cheat. Also that I learned. Don't remember who taught me this might've been YouTube. I don't remember when I first got it, but, so I would make all my meat into meatballs and then I would stick 'em into my gun, and then I would stuff 'em down, and then I would put a bald up piece of bread in the back so that when I got to the end, I could get the rest, the remaining meat out of the gun because that bread was pushing against the last pieces of meat instead of wasting, three to six inches [00:38:00] worth of meat or whatever.
That's what she said. And , now you was, you wasted a piece of bread every time you did it. That was a nice little cheat that I learned from somebody in it. I liked that. Like that, Hey, I will waste a piece of white wonder bread any day if that means I get three or four extra inches of jerky.
Exactly. Yeah. Amen. my amen. So let's talk like what's some of your fa what's some of your favorite recipes for a good tasty jerky? Yeah, so now I'm jumping over into my whole muscle. Cause that's where I like to go. I got the one I'm definitely stealing off of a guy I've been following for years, and I'm sure it's a name that ton of people know.
Hank Shaw has an amazing Chipotle jerky recipe. I haven't been able to find a savory one that I've been able to top. This is the one that I just keep going to time after time, and it's essentially you're making a really thick marinade. You're gonna be running Some smoked paprika.
You're gonna be running in a [00:39:00] bunch of garlic. You're gonna be running in three or four. I'm for, it's three or four whole Chipotles with the adobo sauce in there. And don't be shy on the adobo sauce when you are making. A jerky and you want something that's going to really pop with the spice, don't be shy to really send that spice too, because it's gonna dull down in the dehydration process.
Now, the more that you chew it, it's going to, it's gonna rehydrate that chili, then it's gonna capsaicins gonna then be able to get to ya and it's gonna get spicier as you chew. But on that front end, if you're just trying to if you're just eating jerky fast, you actually wouldn't taste the spiciness if you didn't overload it a little bit.
So that, I guess that's, there's another tip, another hot tip for folks is if you really want spice to come out, don't be afraid to add a little more than what you think you need to add as far as chilies go, as far as the amount of chili flake that you're adding. [00:40:00] Be liberal of that. Lay that stuff in there.
Story of my life, man. And it'll say a quarter cup. And I'll be like, here's a. Eh, a couple extra. There we go. . There you go. Yes, . Let your heart do the measuring at that point. But really those flavors of the garlic and the Chipotle just really pop through that. I, it's on his website, but that's my go-to when it comes to, I want savory jerky.
It's just a mouthwatering. You eat a couple a couple pieces of that and you start to feel in the back of your mouth. You start to feel that heat, that smokey heat from that Chipotle really kick in. And I just really enjoy that recipe. I got to toying with a recipe of my own for a sweet one.
And being from Michigan we share another big tradition with with maple syrup. And so I wanted to do a maple pepper a jerky and. This is this is a story for folks that like you were talking with the guys that, that had the bad jerky. You're gonna have a couple batches that you [00:41:00] are gonna have to endure yourself, especially when you're experimenting.
And I went I went straight maple syrup and olive oil and black pepper and salt. And I think that was like my first marinade that I made. But I needed the oil in there. I forgotten an acid element to it. So I didn't have anything, I didn't add any vinegar or anything. So the, my adhesion or my absorption wasn't quite there.
And I didn't have really the tack from the marinade here. The sugars just. I don't wanna say they, they didn't burnt, but they definitely caramelized hard on the outside of this. And I did not get a very good batch of jerky. Granted, I didn't then send it around town cause I was experimenting, but that was a good pound of jerky that I shoot.
That's the one I'm just gonna have to eat and let the pup have a little bit of that. Yeah. So he had his his share of that. That was a good training, training tool there as bad jerky can always be used for training dogs. Oh yeah. Good dog. But then I found [00:42:00] you made good dog treats. Yeah.
But then what I found is that if I added something with a little bit more tack to it, it's gonna stick to that. And so I actually incorporated a little of molasses. So then I had mo half molasses in half maple. Into my mix. Ki same thing with the Cracked Pepper. I wanted, I went with a real, like coarse grain on that, add a splash of vinegar and olive oil.
And that was a much better product. Maybe it was by randomization, but I found that vinegar helped just break down the the thickness of both the syrup and the molasses. It allowed that to get into the meat. And so when I was able to eat that, I really got that sweet quey maple flavor that I was going to.
But at the same time, I had the little cracks or little pops of the black pepper. Black pepper is something that I love it kind, it's a spice that then opens up more on the front of the face as opposed to like the burn on the back of the throat. Like it, [00:43:00] it's into your sinus and you feel that if you on your nose running a little bit, if you have too much black pepper.
And I really got that sensation off of that recipe. So that would be on the sweet side. That's one that I've been toying with as well. I don't have any numbers on it yet and it's still one of those ongoing pet projects. I got a batch of it that I need to make up here in the next couple weeks.
I want to get that stuff running here because yeah, this is meat treat time. We're in between seasons, so if you're experimenting, this is a great time to do that. Awesome. I would think the most common way to cook any either of these types of jersey, whether it be whole meat or ground would be dehy dehydration.
But I enjoy smoking meat and I've tinkered with it on my smoker. Do you have any a good way to do it on the smoker? I find I, I run a pellet grill, so I find that I end up ruining, not ruin it. It's not ruin, it's, it cooks a little too hot because you can't get [00:44:00] you can't get your pellet smoker to get down to those lower temperatures like you would while you're dehydrating, I think that's around one 60. Usually I can't get my smoker down past two 20, maybe 200 on a good day. Do you have any tips for that type of cooking? , yeah. Those easy baked ovens that you're working with. I know you didn't get one at Christmas, but I'm glad you got one now, . I know that doesn't do me very good cuz I don't have any power here in Michigan, so I can't plug mine in.
So I've always just gone with charcoal when it comes to a grill. I'm just messing with the Micah . No, I get it man. I get it. I I got a lot of buddies that give me a lot of crap. They're all stick burners. Hey, I got one too. But you cannot argue the fact that they are just more convenient.
I absolutely, not all the time do I have the six to eight hours or whatever the case may be, sitting over a stick burner, making sure that temperature's right when I can just go [00:45:00] outside, turn it on, and it's gonna be pretty close to the temperature that I'm looking for besides when it gets down to those lower end temperatures.
Absolutely. Absolutely. So know that I'm just teasing with a good heart because yes, I would definitely eat whatever comes off your pellet grill. Absolutely. I, with the Pellet grill too I've, I used to make jerky before. I, we, our little group of guys we each kind of go in with pieces of equipment and we just share it and just goes around, it's almost like a library system or even just like a text Hey, who's got this?
Who's got the sausage stuffer? Who's got the dehydrator? So we've got a dehydrator that we tool around. But before we had that I've got a my oven happens to be oh shoot, it's blanking me on what style it is. But anyway, I've got the fan that runs in the back of the oven, so it actually circulates air conve.
Think that. There you go. Convection oven. Sorry, I'm sitting in the dark. I learned something new every day. I didn't know that was Tails in. It's just one of those nights. But yeah, I've got a convection oven and it's not gonna do me any [00:46:00] good right now cuz it's also electric. But what I made was a little brace, actually used a bolt and a magnet and a couple nuts.
And I then would prop that, I would actually push that bolt onto the regulator button that would say, Hey, your door isn't closed, so I'm not, so it's not gonna run the fan. I would shortcut that and I would just brace the door open a little bit. Pushing that button down and now I've got a way for that air to vent out.
So I was getting my oven, it was in that same setup with the pellet grill. It would run too hot. Like a, even at one 70 was the lowest that I was getting on the meter or on the display. I know it was warmer inside of there than it actually was. So by propping that, you're gonna let that heat roll out, that's gonna also whisk away that moisture quicker.
So if you're using that oven, that's a great style. I wouldn't necessarily do it in the summertime because it's just gonna get real hot in the house. Maybe do it on a [00:47:00] cold winter evening you got time to do it. And this is a great time to do that as well. I wouldn't necessarily walk away and just leave your run up and running with the door half open.
But if you've got the electric convection style, that's a great way to use that. and that can apply over to, even to your smoker. Are you gonna run through more pellets? Yes. This isn't gonna necessarily be a very efficient cook, but if you're able to prop up your your cover or your door on your your pellet grill, you're gonna let some of that heat out.
And with that heat, it's gonna carry that moisture. So maybe if, are we going from two 20 to 200? Yeah, we're still running a little bit hot, but now we're moving that air. The moving air is gonna be more important, I would say, than the temperature. Can you make it in two 20 with moving air? Absolutely.
It's just gonna be something you're gonna have to look at personally. [00:48:00] Do you like yours to be a little more tacky with the barbecue than it's gonna be a quicker time. You're not gonna have to spend too much time. Out there with it, but at the same time, if you like a jerky that cracks, if you like it super dry and you're using a pellet grill like that's gonna take longer.
But you'll be able to prop that door open and get more of that air moving. So I like it. Before I ask what your preferred method is, I'm gonna ask you, cuz I'm sure you've seen a million of these. Do you have a preferred dehydrator that you like? . There's a lot of different styles out there. I like the drawer ones just because they're easy to clean.
You pull out the drawer, especially when somebody needs stuff in them. . Absolutely. Oh man. You thought, yeah. Nate here, he was gloating about what does he got? He's got the big one, the 10 drawer 12 going on 12 drawer. Holy smokes. Shoot everybody bow before. But I will say I only had, I got that for Christmas.
My wife bought that. No, my, my in-laws bought that [00:49:00] for me for Christmas. Before that I used to borrow Micah's and his was a tin. Is a tin. Yeah. Tin drawer. Dehy and I really enjoyed it. But because I have went to using ground venison, I have found that two pounds of my ground venison I have 'em in two pound tubes makes three drawers of meat.
So I'd have 3, 6, 9 and I'd have an extra drawer empty, right? So by getting the 12 drawer, then I can make 2, 4, 6, 8 pounds of venison and fill up all four or all 12 trays with that dehydrated. Awesome. Which is why I went with a 12 for Christmas instead of that cuz they had a 10 option I believe also.
Yeah. It was an extra 50 bucks and another stu some setting that it has that I'll never use, but Yeah. But that's what I like. But I was curious, there's so many options. For someone who's wanting to get into dehydrating who hasn't bought one, what would you go towards or steer clear [00:50:00] of?
Smaller residential dehydrators. They make some of these circles or the trays stack on one another. If you're looking for. Some shoot, you want to do it this weekend and you don't want to spend top dollar on a 12 drawer dehydrator. You want something I maybe you're gonna get into jerky making.
Maybe you're not. That's a great way to start out with issue that I don't like about those is that when you have to when you've got taken apart it's one of those things like you, everything stacks on top of one another and it's not self holding where you have the drawer, it's gonna be self holding.
I can pull out one drawer at a time, see the pieces that are there, are they dry, are they not? Pick off what I need to, I can then slide that back. But the others are still in the dehydrator, still working. I haven't interrupted any of that process. When you've got the ones where they stack on top of one another, where you literally have to then [00:51:00] pull them off and then uncover them.
It just makes one more headache. It takes some more space for you to have to worry about it. The stackable ones are just a little bit, they're cheaper, but at the same time they are, they're harder to manage. Now, when you get into the drawer one, are you making the big expenditure? Yeah. And with a dehydrator, it's really a buy once, cry once scenario.
Buddy of mine, he got the 10 drawer and it now, because I've got a piece of equipment he uses it now becomes one of those things that we share. So if you're not even wanting to get one yourself, but you've got another piece of equipment you're looking at, maybe you get that and you just find someone that has the dehydrated, that's willing to share it with you.
Now, if you are gonna. It's gonna come out. What's nice about the drawers, you pull out all those drawers, you slide 'em right into the dishwasher, you put that sucker on regular, and they're clean. You don't have to spend a lot of time getting into nooks and [00:52:00] crannies. You can wash all those drawers, slide 'em back into the unit, and I would make sure to have a bag of what you made in the dehydrator.
When you return it, put that on top, send it back to the guy, and then you're gonna be more likely to use that again the next time. So you have these different options. You've got dehydrators, smokers, wood, pellet, smokers ovens. All these different ways to make jerky. What is your preferred method of dehydrating your jerky, whether it's muscle, meat or ground?
I know Nick Otto has a preferred method that he has perfected. What is your way to do it? My perfected way that I like it is going to be out of the dehydrator because it's a unit that I can have working without having to interrupt anything within the house and in the kitchen. The oven would be my number two for the fact that it's something that I can stick in the oven and it's gonna work just as well.
I like [00:53:00] a crispier chewier piece. I don't like a wet, I don't like a moist tacky piece of jerky. That's where I'm gonna get those off of a smoker. So I tend to steer towards things that are gonna give me a drier, crunchier chewier. Profile and that's where the oven will come in and do a good job.
But yeah, my, my home run setup is gonna be with a dehydrator. Awesome. Perfect. I found like we talked about in your show, I used to be big into trying to make my own seasonings and everything but I found that when I started using curing salt in with my mixture, that helped out a ton just in flavor.
All general. What is it about the curing salt that elevates it to that next level, and do you find it to be necessary? Yeah. Yes. This is, I'm glad you brought this up, because if you want something that's gonna be [00:54:00] shelf stable for a long period of time, cure can be. Cure for a lot of ailments that you're gonna come along with.
The problem with cure is that you can use way too much and that's not good for you. Now, there is a lot of things that I consume and eat that are not good for me. Is that gonna stop me from doing that? No. One of the things is that cure is a carcinogen and that it is ha it is a nitrate and a nitrite.
And what the problem is they're gonna talk about is that is a cancer causing ailment. The problem is that the amount that you need to have in order to cause these things is it's, you would need to literally have pounds and pounds of it to really have an impact. Saying all of that, I would still be very cautious and I would do your due diligence and research.
How much are you going to add to your batch? [00:55:00] And the number that's popping up off the top of my head is going to be one teaspoon per five pounds. You don't need a lot of this. You get like a one pound bag off of an online retailer, or from your butcher shop or wherever you pick up your insecure it's gonna last you forever because you're not gonna go through it.
Like a butcher shop is gonna go through it. You're gonna go through minuscule amounts at a time. Other than I think the decimal conversion is per pound. I think it's 0.025 ounces. , you'll might have to correct me on that one if I, I can't think of that. But anyway, there's a decimal conversion as well.
But at the same time, the, one of the ways that I have found out that it's easy to go with is just one teaspoon per five pound batch. What that does now, adding cure a, it's gonna help with the, basically slowing down all of the bacterial growth, basically halting that right away. [00:56:00] So if you were gonna use cure and you want something to last you a long time, that's where you're gonna want to use it.
It also does a really good job at adding a red hue to meet it reacts with meat and protein to where it really gives it a rosy red color. If you were to look at pastrami or you were to look at corned beef or even corned venison that red hue. That you get when you slice into that cross section, that beautiful pink that you're looking at, that is caused by cure.
So you're gonna want to, that's gonna be one of those enhancements too. I think it does have a little bit of a flavor punch, much like an MSG wood is that it's gonna, it's gonna just brighten up whatever sauce or spices or marinade you've had in that. It's really gonna do a great job with aesthetics.
It's gonna do an excellent job with preservation. And then, yeah, I think the verdict is still out on whether it does anything with your flavor, but at the [00:57:00] same time, you eat you with your eyes and if you got a beautiful red hue to that jerky, it's just one more thing that makes it super appealing and cure does.
Because I know there's listeners out there that were like me when I first started doing Jerky Cure is different than table salt or Absolutely. Or other types of, Seasoning. It's, I guess it's its own item within your arsenal of seasonings when you're making jerky. Yes. And I would not even consider this a seasoning.
This is just, this is an element, this is a byproduct. I don't say, I don't wanna say a byproduct. This is a product you're putting into to increase shelf life, to preserve the meat. And it's safe as long as it's used correctly. Way back when they used to then basically, yeah, make the pastrami or the corned beef, they would use salt Peter.
And that is a [00:58:00] night trite, I believe. But anyway, that stuff was super potent and there were a lot of people that got some ailments off using salt Peter. In fact, it's hard to find now if you're gonna use it for culinary purposes. And that's where through, just. Through the way food is made, cure became a way, a safe way that we could then preserve meat.
In the same way if we still want to continue to make smoked products or charcuterie or whatever we're trying to do, where we're having that meat, want to have a shelf life. And that's where the, that has come into play. So it's that nitrate and nitrite reaction with the meat preserving it, keeping back bacteria that is, that's a product that again, yeah, read up on it.
Check out on or do your due diligence and research on it. I like to use it when it comes to jerky that I'm gonna leave on the shelf for a long time. I do enjoy a really good pastrami that I make outta my venison, and I definitely use the cure then. So yeah, if you're [00:59:00] looking for shelf life, it is a.
it's a great tool to use. They do make several different types of it. Some of it's like an instant cure, and then some is a longer brine cure. And so I would, again, check your labels on that. So if you were to do something like a pastrami where I'm gonna spend a couple days in a brine that I'm wanting that to soak, there's a specific cure for that.
If I want to be able to mix something together in a marinade that I'm gonna be making jerky, then I'm gonna want to go with more of that insecure, because I'm gonna go from that wet emulsion that I've made in that marinade to the drying rack and begin that process right away. And if you have made, like for our elk trip I've made, or we've all made large amounts, let's say, 20 pounds or 25 pounds worth of jerky and sometimes we're making it six weeks or, a couple weeks, let's say before our trip.[01:00:00]
Freezing the jerky is okay because that I, I feel weird leaving jerky out even if it's been cured. , I, after it gets done, I'm like, Hey, we're not leaving for two weeks. I freeze it and then, the day we leave, I get it out and it'll be thawed by the time we're on the road. But what's your is that what you do when you know you're gonna have a large amount or it's gonna be a while before some people might eat it?
Yeah. I had a great conversation with a friend in Minnesota and we were talking about fermentation and we were talking about just the way the biome of our guts right now as a society. Like we live in a super clean environment, super clean hou homes. We're constantly washing our kitchens.
Kitchens. We're washing everything or we're washing our hands, which we should do anyway, but. It's such a clean, sterile environment compared to what it was decades ago. So it's funny you bring that up that you're like, [01:01:00] something in the back of your head is just, is. You look at that bag of meat, it's been dehydrated.
There is no metabolic processes happening. It's cured, it's been salt blind there. Nothing's going to happen if it sits on that counter. , there's something in the back of your head that says I gotta do something with this. Yep. And so throwing that into the freezer is perfectly safe. One of our big reasons that we don't like to do meat in and out of the freezer is the fact that you're going to get purge.
You're going to get the buildup of ice, cri ice crystals within the meat, and those act as little knives and they end up hitting all the, punching the cells. And so then when you then thaw that out, that purge that's in the bag, that's actually made from those ice crystals that were made, the more often that you do that, the more leeching that you're gonna get outta this piece of meat.[01:02:00]
That's where our freezer burn comes in, is because it's been zapped of all that moisture and now it's succumbed to the elements of the freezer. With your jerky, you took away. All that water, you took away all that moisture. So when it freezes, there's nothing in there for it to create an ice crystal or there's not the space for it because it's been dehydrated so much.
So in that said, you take a big one gallon bag of jerky. I would do the old straw method, stick it in the corner, suck out as much air as possible because a, cuz you just want to, get all the air out of the outta the Ziploc bag. But at the same time, space is valuable when it comes to a freezer.
So if I can shrink down that bag, I'm gonna do that. So I'm gonna stick that in the corner, suck out all the air, finally pop out that straw, close that up, and then put that in the freezer and use that to whenever you want whenever you need that. The other way you can do it [01:03:00] is leaving things in Ziploc bags can eventually cause a problem.
We haven't taken a hundred percent of the moisture out of. Though out of that jerky and for the sake of a jerky style that is more moist, it's got the barbecue on the outside, it came off the smoker, it's still gonna have some of that residual moisture in there. It's gonna be more chewy as opposed to like gnarly and hard jerky style.
Then if you leave that in the bag, that's where you can begin to develop. Like a mold, like cuz again, you didn't put that into, you put it into a bag, but maybe you had something on your hands or whatever. But anyway, mold can happen when things start to stick together. And a Ziploc bag is a great way for things to stick together.
So if you've got a smoke jerk gear, one that's a little more wet, but you've used a cure and you've already salt blinded it. Having a container that's firm and that those pieces can stand and move around in and not [01:04:00] be stagnant, basically they get as long as air can move in around that, actually more air movement is better.
So if you've got one that's not necessarily airtight, but some plastic cylinder that has, holes in the top of it would actually work better than a plastic bag. But at the same time, if you guys are hauling plastic bags to your trip, This is a great way to be able to take that, keep those in your freezer.
That's a great safe way for those to be there. Pull 'em out and heck, you got a little bit of time with those. If you stash 'em in your cooler, it might even add to keep other things cold for half the trip or so. Yeah, bottom line, when we make our jerky, it's gonna be eaten pretty soon. Yeah. But that's the only time I've ever had where I'm like, man, we're not, you're trying to prepare for your trip, so you're like, I want to get this done so that I'm not doing it two days before we leave.
So you do it three weeks or whenever you have time before the trip, and then you're like I don't want this to sit for two weeks. So that's when, that's the only time I've ever froze jerky in my life. [01:05:00] Typically, if we make jerky, Eat the stuff. Absolutely. So that's a tough part about jerky.
Once you break open the seal, the bag, cuz I, I end up vac sealing mine and I've done kinda like similar where you've done, I've done a big bag, but then I've also done individual bags and yeah, it does use up a lot of my bags, but I purposely buy extra bags for this. But I'll get 'em into like a lunch size or a snack size so that I can then stack them in my freezer, like just like you did.
And I'm gonna spend more time, they're gonna spend probably a couple months in there. But it's one of those things where I open the door, I grab two for the trip, throw those in the lunch pail, and now I get to share those with people. But I still have my main stash back. But like you said, in your scenario, the jerky is all coming with you and Yeah.
So couple, week and a half or whatever in the freezer, that ain't gonna do nothing to it. Yeah. That's awesome. Nick, you guys got any more questions? I'm good. I'm ready. So when I got my deer done, Jerky's probably the primary way my family will consume [01:06:00] venison. Same. All of 'em.
Which is crazy to me cuz Yes, it is what it is. Whatever. So I had the butcher we go to, you can get it into jerky meat and they will just cut it, get the silver skin off of it. And I have a blocks of meat essentially to run through the slicer and start Oh really? The jerky process.
Oh, so you slice it. Yeah. So my mom has a slicer. I borrow and just sign the same principle. I have the dehydrator so I'll you can set your, just whatever thickness and slice it. And I like experimenting with different recipes and just have it. Yeah. But yeah, I think this was a great episode to, give that person that is, jerky.
I think that's how a lot of people consume venison for whatever reason. My family's the same way. My wife is really odd. I love her, but she's really odd about eating. If I made deer meat tacos, all of a sudden it's not very good, but if I make jerky, they love it. It's the same exact thing.
But anyway that's [01:07:00] how a lot of my family consumes it. So it's what I've spent a lot of my energy on getting decent at with venison. Vice versa. Haven't had venison steaks in years, and these are the first ones my son killed that. Now I'm sitting here going, oh God, this is gonna be, I hope I don't ruin him.
, but . So I thought this would be an awesome show for, the listener to say, Hey, if I want to go off into that, that jerky world, how do I do it? Do I use muscle meat? Do I use ground? Do I, and that's why we wanted you to touch on everything so that the listener can get a start however they see fit.
Awesome. Awesome. Yeah. This is, shoot, I'm gonna get my soapbox on right now. This is such a cool way to utilize your catch and your harvest and. Just like you guys were saying, like how does my family eat venison? How is it not going to go to waste? And one of the ways that you guys have found is we enjoy the meat candy of it.
The fact that you are gonna get not only to share it with your [01:08:00] family, but you guys eat it and then you share it with each other. That is the true sense. I think that hunting really needs to celebrate at that point. Yeah, you're gonna talk about the antlers and you're gonna show off the mount that you have of that deer, but at the same time that same story's gonna get brought up because you made this specific jerky with that specific animal.
That story comes up as you're chewing on that piece of jerky. Those memories come back to you. And just as we were talking earlier is that what better way to have a conversation with somebody? Hey, it's gonna be a tough slog out debate. Not to say, we always come up with these debates, but at the same time, like if it's gonna be something where you have to sit down and you have to rev a really hard conversation, nothing is better than an olive branch of a snacks stick or jerky or something.
What a great way to disarm that whole idea of why we hunters do what we do. And it's because we're [01:09:00] here to, for the greatest meat that we can get our hands on, in fact, that we're the first people to put hands on that animal and we're the people responsible for using that And there's no other greater display of that responsibility than being able to make jerky.
Yep. And you got it man. So well said before we Yeah, very well said. Before we hop off let people know where they can listen to the havo and check you out on your social media platform. Yeah, I am part of the Sportsman's Empire, so you'll find me there. Wherever you find podcasts at, you'll find me along with those guys.
I'm on the same feed. I am on Instagram as my primary. I try to display a lot of what I'm experimenting with, like what I'm doing, what's working really well. I try to show that off. But at the same time the people on my show we're just trying to use wild game. Or it's gonna be someone who can help us find a way to use our wild game.
What element am I trying to improve on? Whether that's gonna be, yeah, making fermented sausage. That's been something I've been [01:10:00] doing this winter. Or is it gonna be, yeah, I want to come up with jerky. We talk about basics, like this episode. Or am I doing something so far elevated that I'm, pulling something out of the Italian kitchen.
I'm gonna go there, I'm gonna try it out and I'm gonna try to translate that into whatever we're trying to make. Whatever. It's wild, whether it's wild hog, whether it's venison or whether it's something from the water. We're gonna give it a shot. But anyway that's our whole gist. And I'm doing, trying to do more with Go wild.
I love the the idea that they're trying to send that, hey, this is an el, an area to celebrate hunting and fishing. And I'm all about that. If we're gonna celebrate our hunting and fishing, let's do it. But let's also bring our plates along as well. Give us a follow. We'll do the same thing, Missouri Woods and Water on.
Go Wild. The hunt ofor. Nick Otto, thanks for joining us tonight, man. Hey, awesome. Thank you, fellas. All right, we'll see you. Thanks. Thanks.[01:11:00]