Whether you're out in the wild or just hungry at home, use this recipe and ordinary household ingredients to cure your own meats for jerky.
Step 1: Combine dry ingredients Combine the salt, brown sugar, pepper, herbs, and saltpeter. Make sure the saltpeter is thoroughly mixed in.
Step 2: Make brine solution Chill the water to 38 degrees Fahrenheit and add the dry ingredients. This is your brine solution.
Step 3: Wash and trim meat Thoroughly wash the meat and pat it dry. Then cut away any fat or waste.
Step 4: Soak the meat in the brine Submerge the meat in the brine solution. Keep the meat from floating above the brine by weighing it down with a heavy plate. Cover the meat and let it soak in the brine for four to six days, keeping it between 30 and 50 degrees.
Tip If you're impatient or in a hurry, you can inject the meat into the brine solution with a turkey baster.
Step 5: Wash and refrigerate Remove the meat from the brine solution, wash it under cold running water, and store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to eat.
Did You Know? Salt containing nitrates was used as long ago as 850 B.C.E. to preserve meat.