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Special Interests - Groups & Societies => Cosie's Corner & Feed Bag => Topic started by: Lord Eoin MacKenzie on February 25, 2021, 01:50:20 PM

Title: Salt-less jerky
Post by: Lord Eoin MacKenzie on February 25, 2021, 01:50:20 PM
looking   buy or make no sodium jerky for snacking.   I have CHF and need reduced sodium diet. Please Help.....
Title: Re: Salt-less jerky
Post by: Sir Charles deMouton-Black on February 25, 2021, 03:34:51 PM
I'll betcha there ain't no no-salt salt! Salt is a preservative, so you are giving up some storability. So is pepper, so up the pepper & other spices.

I make my own jerky, but more like biltong as I learned it from my sun'n'air who has South African friends. Most commercially packed jerky that I've seen (and tasted some) are too sweet and salty. I'd be callin' it fakey-jerky.

My rig is a cardboard box, the waxed kind like the veggie growers use to ship their stuff on to the stores. Any size in the area of 12 x 18 x 24-30". I set it up so there is a free air flow but with baffles that I can adjust to control air flow. Heat is a 100 watt incandescent bulb, mine is in a shop-light rig. Airflow is a 3" computer fan I got for about $10 at a dollar store but I'll bet you can do better. I cut a 3" hole where air from the caged fan can enter. I have 2 bamboo dowels pushed through to hang BBQ skewers holding the strips of VERY LEAN steak or Roast cut cross-grain about 1" wide and 1/4" thick.

After cutting my meat I dry rub with salt, pepper, and corriander. You might have to experiment before you get it right. I spread the meat on a cookie or pot rack to dry inside a sunny window for about a day before arranging the strips on skewers. (If flies are a problem - take appropriate precautions.) I don't think it matters if the corriander is fine or medium grind. It doesn't matter if you buy it or harvest it from the wife's herb garden.

It takes about 24 hours to dry, longer if your strips are too thick. look into it after the first 12 hours or so. size does matter, so any smaller pieces will be done first, and no doubt will dissappear as "Cooks Privilege". Speeding up the process doesn't work as it will result in case-hardeneding. Use the pinch test; If it feels gummy (Like a gummie-bear) when pinched it is not done. Leaving it too long will harden it too much. The sweet spot is in between, when it has just a bit of resiliance in the pinch. To be safe, I store it in the freezer until just before leaving on that trip.

No salt? find herbs and spices that suit your tastes. I suggested corriander, and imagine you are on safari, but there ya go.
Title: Re: Salt-less jerky
Post by: Delmonico on February 26, 2021, 01:05:50 AM
Just make it with out salt, the natives of this country did.

Jerky has became a snake food more than a survival food.   I am amazed how many people who lecture people about how you can't cook a steak beyond half raw or you'll dry it out and make it tough will pig out on jerky given the chance.   But that is a subject for another day. ;D   
Title: Re: Salt-less jerky
Post by: Mogorilla on February 26, 2021, 07:28:39 AM
If you are going for the commercial flavour but not the salt look for low sodium soy or coconut enzyme.  If going for other options, i have used salt free beef broth infused with garlic and herbs (just boiling broth with garlic and herbs) then reducing it by 80-90%.  If this is home made broth, you are close to pocket soup stage.    Marinate beef, venison or bison in this and dry it. Adding liquid smoke will give it an over the fire flavour or do it over a fire.   It is good to eat or adds to soups on the trail quite nicely.   
Title: Re: Salt-less jerky
Post by: Sir Charles deMouton-Black on February 26, 2021, 12:19:16 PM
The "net" has jerky recipes for any taste, including no/low salt;
Title: Re: Salt-less jerky
Post by: Sir Charles deMouton-Black on February 26, 2021, 03:04:16 PM
The seasoning process I described above comes under the broad rubrik of "Dry-Rub".  I found that using the liquid marinating process left way too much liquid in the meat, therefore the drying process became too long to be practical. The purpose of the jerky process is to remove the moisture that feeds decay, and marinating works totally against drying!

I use beef, but most wild meats do quite well, thank you. LEAN! Fat does not dry the same way as lean and tastes awful. And tough, due to the fibers that go with the fat. Cross-cut the grain of the meat as well, to shorten those fibers.
Title: Re: Salt-less jerky
Post by: Mogorilla on February 27, 2021, 07:38:13 AM
I agree on adding liquid just drawing out the process.    If you do the stock method which gives you a beefy pot roast flavor, i recommend using homemade stock.  By the time you reduce it by 80-90%, it is thick gelatin and close to the pocket soup of the voyageurs.   Definitely trim off the fat.   Nothing worse than it being rancid. 
Title: Re: Salt-less jerky
Post by: Sir Charles deMouton-Black on February 27, 2021, 11:23:18 AM
I wonder if using some Cup-A-Soup powder would work as a dry-rub?

Food "designers" have three tried and truly popular ingrediants. Fat, Sugar, and Salt. Fat doesn't preserve well, but that leads the other two ingrediants to making fakey-jerky popular. Too much sugar & salt for me.
Title: Re: Salt-less jerky
Post by: 1961MJS on April 05, 2021, 06:12:14 PM

Has anybody made jerky using Mrs. Dash, a no salt spice mix?  it comes oin several flavors.  I used to use it years ago, but my blood pressure is miles below my Dad's at 55, so I use soy sauce, and starting a few years ago, I actually put salt on Tater Tots. 

Mom had CHF, and eventually died from it.  She went Salt free and you'd have thought we were trying to just kill her now. After being off the salt for 2 months, we went out for Pizza and it had lots of salt.  Again, she had trouble eating it.  Dad got off salt at 55ish and was still off at 92 when he passed away.  Most of my salt comes from food preservatives.  I was born in the early 1960's and remember how everybody shook the salt shaker over the plate for about 20 seconds and passed it on.

Title: Re: Salt-less jerky
Post by: Delmonico on April 06, 2021, 07:30:00 PM
Would work or you could make your own secret mixture. ;D   

Salt wasn't a problem with me anyway, most of you know I use little salt in my cooking and make sure it's there on the table for those who want it.   Started doing this years ago for the people who are low salt.  Went to no adding almost all the time and can't stand a lot of things, bought my first bag of Doritos in a long time a couple moths ago and ate 3-4 and gave them to the granddaughter. 

This test was the 17th, they were very pleased with me.   Thinking about making some jerky since prices for beef are coming done, gonna do just black pepper. 

Title: Re: Salt-less jerky
Post by: Davem on May 20, 2021, 09:44:19 AM
The stuff they call Jerky today is dried beef but not the original thing.  Buffalo was cut along the grain, not across the grain, into very long strips about 1" wide and a half inch thick and put under a smoky fire and in the sun to dry in about 2-3 days.  No flavorings, no salt. 
Today you can cut much thinner sli9ces such as 1/4" thick and hang it in the oven. Put the oven on warm (140 degrees) and prop open the door a little. It should dry in a day unless you live in a humid area.   You can eat as it or pound it up into bits and add to stews, etc. or use in chili, etc. "Carne Seca"
Title: Re: Salt-less jerky
Post by: The Elderly Kid on September 05, 2021, 12:31:29 AM
My father was a boy in Oklahoma during the Depression and told me he saw the local Indians making jerky by drying it in the sun on the in roofs of their houses. I later read of an old cowboy who dried jerky by hanging it over a barbed wire fence. He recommended that in making it thus you should use plenty of black pepper. When asked why, he said: "That way you don't worry so much about what all
the little black specks are."
Title: Re: Salt-less jerky
Post by: Davem on September 28, 2021, 01:48:24 PM
Years ago Frontier Days in Cheyenne was more "Frontier".  Some of the local tribes showed up and jerked a cow.  The smoke was to keep off the flies but it also added to the taste, no salt, cut with the grain not across.