Bronze's Expedition Log


In June I made 7 varieties of dried beef and left them sitting on my window sill to observe any decay or mold. 3 were made with extra lean ground beef, 4 with ¼” sliced bottom round, as follows:

Preparation Method

Ground Beef (Nesco American Harvest Food Dehydrator):

·A Raw, unseasoned

·B Cooked and drained, unseasoned

·C Raw, seasoned with maple sugar, salt, soy sauce, garlic, onion

Bottom Round (Nesco American Harvest Food Dehydrator):

·D Raw, unseasoned

·E Raw, seasoned with sea salt and cracked pepper corns

·F Raw, prepared to Colorado State University specifications

Bottom Round (sun dried):

·G Raw, seasoned heavily with sea salt and cracked pepper corns

Taste (in order of preference):

·G: Best flavor and consistency (I might have been swayed knowing that it was made all-natural in the California sun-something about that really appeals to me)

·E: Nearly as good as G, being essentially the same thing, just dried at home

· F & C: Both tasty, depending on if you prefer a sweeter jerky like the teriyaki stix you’d get at a gas station, or a tangier vinegary flavor

·D & B: Thoroughly bland. I imagine one would have to be near starving to find anything remotely savory about them

·A: Being devoid of nearly any fat, it was more akin to some kind of protein powder, supplement, or food additive, and is unsuitable for anything other than adding to a stew or sauce

Shelf Life:

All of the samples passed a visual inspection after 7 months-no signs of mold or mildew or rot. They all smelled edible too.

·D: Even more unappetizing than before, though still edible. Strange taste that might have been some mildew or something-vaguely reminiscent of the smell of old camping gear or a wet towel. No ill side effects.

·E: Carried the similar slight towel flavor, however it was effectively masked by the peppercorns. No ill side effects.

·F: Similar slight towel flavor, marginally masked by the vinegar. No ill side effects.

·C: Similar slight towel flavor, moderately masked by the seasonings. No ill side effects.

·B: Comparable to D

·A: Similar slight towel flavor, barely palatable due to dryness. I needed a mouthful of water just to choke it down. No ill side effects.

·G: Any mildew or wet towel flavor was thoroughly masked by the excessive amount of salt, which itself made the beef hard to consume. That level of salt would likely need to be reduced by soaking the beef in water. No ill side effects.

At some point I realized I was going to need about 60 lbs of dried beef, which meant I would need about 180 lbs of fresh beef. The amount of time spent slicing, drying, and grinding such a volume would be overwhelming, so I have since settled on buying dried beef in bulk from a jerky retailer. I can then grind it at home using my KitchenAid in preparation for making pemmican.

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