National Jerky Day: The Making Of The Savory Snack


June 12th is National Jerky Day.

It was established by Jack Link’s Beef Jerky back in 2012.

It’s a quick and convenient snack, but the process of making jerky isn’t  so easy.

(Jon Johnson/Butcher, Valley Custom Meats) “You take the beef, you trim it down, you slice it and it’s got to be seasoned, we vacuum tumble it here. We tumble it for so long, then we lay it out on the racks.”

It sounds simple enough, but it’s about a six hour process for a 60 pound batch, and that’s without the time it takes to package it. 

Johnson carefully slices, some by hand if necessary, before he mixes the secret seasonings to put in the vacuum tumbler.

“You put the seasoning in there, then you put it under pressure. Then you tumble it for so long and that gets the seasoning even all the way through the meat.”

The tumbler pulls the moisture out and gets the flavor right in to the beef’s core.

It’s then laid out on the racks before it goes in the smokehouse for about four and a half hours, but there’s a secret behind the smoking too.

“At what temperature?”

“Oh, I can’t tell you that.”

The seasonings are secret, but there’s three to choose from – regular, teryaki, and 50/50, which is peppered jerky.

Valley Custom Meats’ jerky is processed differently than jerky in the grocery stores, so theirs has to be refrigerated.

Valley Custom Meats will also custom process deer, elk, moose, goose meat.

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