Indian Jerky

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

By A D Livingston

Published 2010

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If you have a dry climate and want to try Indian jerky, cut the meat with the grain into thin strips. Stretch (or jerk) each strip and hang it over a line, or run a length of cotton twine through a hole in one end and fix the twine to a line. Leave the jerky in the sun all day, but take it inside at night and rehang it the next morning. The jerky will be ready in 3 or 4 days. You can also make this jerky in an enclosed area, such as a porch, if you have dry air with good circulation. A screened porch with morning or afternoon sun is ideal, especially if you have a breeze or a fan. The screen also helps keep the insects off the meat.

Although this method works under good conditions, I recommend that the strips of meat be soaked overnight in brine (1 cup salt to 1 gallon water) before hanging them. The salt will add flavor as well as help cure the meat. If you want to cheat a little further, hang the meat in your oven, turn the heat to the lowest setting, and leave the door ajar until the meat is dry. How dry? If you are going to use the jerky in soups and stews (or in pemmican), it can be very dry, even brittle. For chewing, however, the strips should be dry but still flexible.