Yes, beef jerky is delicious, it is amazing! There are delectable flavors available along with the richness of the various herbs and spices. It surely has a mouth-watering effect, doesn’t it? Beef jerky is the perfect mix of a low on carbohydrate, high protein and healthy snack that provides you with a lot of energy and instant calories whenever you need it. You can never go wrong with it, especially an organic beef jerky.
So, what is a jerky?
Not many know what a jerky is and how is it prepared. The following section is a guide to America’s most favorite delicacy. Jerky is dehydrated meat and all the fat is trimmed from the pieces while slicing it into small strips. Marinating of the meat can be performed before or after the slicing according to the manufacturer. Jerky is prepared specifically from the lean hindquarters of a cow.
The meat is allowed to marinate for a period of 24 hrs and then it is smoked with the help of hot water soaked chips made of hardwood. This low temperature preparation cooks the meat as well provides the distinct and savory flavor to the jerky. The type of wood decides the flavor of your favorite jerky.
After this slow cooking to ensure the flavor for five to seven hours, the meat is dried and cured in a specifically designed smokehouse to infuse the flavor of burning wood better. Food dehydrators are cheaper alternatives to a smokehouse but it leads to low quality products. The most amazing fact is that your beef jerky will last a long time outside of the refrigerator since the added salt will provide protection against bacterial contamination and spoilage.
The types of beef jerky
When you are buying your favorite beef jerky there are certain types that you should keep in mind. These are listed as the following.
Nitrates are generally harmless and are naturally occurring in fruits, vegetables and other plant products. Nitrates are added to meat to prolong shelf life and add color to the texture. The problem with nitrates is that it can get converted to harmful nitrites by bacteria inside the mouth or enzymes in the human body. Nitrites are harmful and can lead to stomach ulcers and pancreatic cancer. Our experts recommend the purchase of nitrate free jerky. Read the label on your product carefully before purchasing.
The sugar free variety
Health conscious individuals are all about avoiding sugar in the diet. Most of the jerky contain some form of sugar or the other including the cane or the brown caramel to add extra flavor. But there are a few uncommon brands that offer the sugar-free variety.
About the low sodium jerky
There is an official recommended amount of sodium consumption in diet these days. The prescription says the daily intake of sodium should not exceed the 2,250 mg limit for each day. Your favorite jerky might contain around 400-450 mg of sodium per ounce of meat, so it will lead to exceeding the stipulated level of sodium consumption. As always read the manufacturer’s information and the label on the tin to make sure of the sodium content.
The gluten free variety
Gluten or wheat is added to the jerky to make it a lower protein and lower quality product. This drives the manufacturing cost down for the producer. If you are sensitive to gluten you will do well to avoid products where gluten is added to the jerky.
Keep in mind these simple tips before buying your beef jerky. Take care!