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.
FACT: Salt containing nitrates was used as long ago as 850 B.C.E. to preserve meat.