The best cut would be from the loin section.
It is premium because you would see after you remove the fat cap, that the muscle there is very lean.
It makes it easy for you to slice the meat against the grain.
Additionally, there is no gristle, bone or connective tissue that blocks your slicing action in the loin. And finally, the pork loin is so affordable to any budget.
Just make sure that the pork part that you use has 10 percent fat or less because the fat is very fast in turning rancid and the fat that’s in excess will be leaking out of the dehydrator.
IS PORK JERKY SAFE TO EAT?
The fear of eating pork jerky is based on usual concerns of eating undercooked pork and contracting a trichinosis infection.
But as of the present time, trichinosis is known to be completely eradicated in the US for decades now.
So it means pork jerky is safe to eat.
For a fact, if your procedure for making pork jerky includes curing it with salt and nitrites (kills harmful bacteria) and placing the meat in the oven and completely cooking it at 325 F temperature, you’ll bet in a hundred years you won’t ever contract trichinosis.
It is reiterated that farm bred pork is best for making pork jerky and pork loin is the best cut.
So this means that when you bag a wild boar on your hunting trip, don’t get its meat to make pork jerky.
WHAT DOES PORK JERKY TASTE LIKE?
It has a smoky barbeque smell with typically Southeast Asian flavor. It has a sweet and salty taste; it is glazed with light sugar; and has a semi dried texture.
For most pork jerky lovers, if it doesn’t have a charcoal-grilled flavor without the old-school taste, it’s not real pork jerky.
But if you live in a place that is not fitted for a barbeque, you can still attain that barbecuey and charcoal grilled flavor as long as the pork jerky is sun fried, then smoked.
After that, it should be roasted in the oven or fried in a pan that’s nonstick. You’ll be surprised that you’ll get the charcoal-grilled flavor that you desire.
Pork jerky is great as a snack, eaten with bread, noodles or rice. It’s low in calories and fat and full of protein.
Pork jerky’s nutrition makes you recover faster, build up more of your muscle and you feel fuller throughout your day.
Pork jerky’s nutritional value is constantly being criticized. It could be a bit high in sodium content, but if you only consume one serving and then you sweat persistently, it’s of no worry at all.
There are also questions about MSG, sodium nitrate and artificial flavoring, but pork jerky manufacturers are aware about this concerns.
So what they do is most (if not all of them) don’t use these additives anymore on their pork jerky.
So, to attain that barbecue flavored pork jerky on your dining table, it took a long procedure before you get to enjoy it. But it’s worth the wait. Here’s the process:
Two to three pounds of pork loin is trimmed, then sliced and cured.
To make the pork jerky really tender, slice the meat against the grain in 3/8 inch strips with the use of a jerky board so you can get nice consistent slices.
A jerky board makes it easy for you to work and it’s easy to clean up afterward.
Never slice the meat more than 3/8 inch because it makes it more difficult to dry the meat well.
Then, cure the meat with nitrites, salt and flavorings for a minimum of 8 hours in the fridge. You can use a commercial jerky cure or you can make your own.
- 1/4 cup of apple juice
- 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of commercial jerky cure
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
Mix the seasoning and cure in a bowl. Add one fourth of the mix to the pork and stir well to make the distribution as even as possible to all the pork sections.
After this stirring period, add in another one fourth of the mix and keep on repeating this process until all the seasoning and cure are evenly distributed on the meat.
Put the seasoned meat into a bowl, cover and then put inside the fridge overnight. This will make the cure absorb well into the meat.
The following day, extract the pork from the cure.
Then pat it dry with paper towels and lay the meat out on a drying rack placed on a sheet pan. Don’t let the pieces of pork meat touch each other.
Now, place the meat in the oven at a temperature of 325 F for 20 minutes.
This will guarantee that the pork is completely cooked and safe. Food safety is a priority.
Get the meat from the oven. Now, lower the temperature to its lowest setting, maybe 150 F.
Open the oven door again and return the pork.
This will dehydrate the pork. It will take about 5 hours for the pork to be dry and pliable but check-in between because it might be done already.
When it’s served on your dining table, enjoy the barbecue flavored pork jerky that you’ve been desiring for.
In the next section, you will be guided on ways on how to eat pork jerky.
HOW TO EAT PORK JERKY
1. Crumble it on salad. It’s like premium bacon bits. Sliver them on your salad with tomatoes and arugula. Season with salt, pepper, vinegar and coriander and add more vegetables and herbs of your choice.
2. It’s nice when mixed into cornbread. When you stud cornbread with bites of pork jerky, it would be a pleasant siding for your roast chicken or roast beef. Mix in some jalapeño slivers into the batter for that tasty kick.
3. Simmer into tomato sauce.
A little bit of pork jerky in that pasta sauce give it a pleasant richness. Put in olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and grinds of fresh black pepper. Then add diced pork jerky and let the whole mix gently bubble and give that pleasant smell into your whole house.
Pour this mixture over pasta and serve with meatballs and polenta.
4. Whip up pork jerky immersed beans.
Comfort food which is a cozy bowl of beans is made more satisfying with minced pork jerky. Simmer green peppers, onions and garlic in olive oil.
Add in a can of beans, chicken or vegetable stock, a few pinches of cumin and then minced pork jerky.
Serve with cornbread that also has pork jerky toppings to reinforce the jerky goodness of the beans.