Beef meat that has been prepared in such a way that all the fat is trimmed then cut into pieces which are later dried so as remove moisture and prevent it from spoiling is referred to as beef jerky. Before drying the lean meat slices salt is added so as to stop the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria on the meat. Drying of the now salted meat is done under low temperatures which usually takes time. Other than drying them directly, modern methods prepare beef jerky where it is first marinated by soaking the lean meat in a seasoned liquid or spice rub. It is then dried or can also be smoked to remove water with the use of low-temperature heat. The final product of dried beef jerky is usually salty and can be eaten instantly without any further preparation. Storage of the beef jerky for a long period may require use of chemical preservatives but it is not a must since the beef jerky has very low moisture content which does not encourage the growth of microorganisms which make it spoil.
Use of high quality ingredients having a special presentation and are of high sophistication where the beef is marinated in some delicious blend of savory spices and also follow unique recipes is used in making gourmet beef jerky. Gourmet beef jerky is prepared by first removing all the fat on the beef since the fat does not dry and once it’s not dry, it provides a breeding ground for bacterial microorganisms which spoil the beef jerky. Drying of the meat should be done as soon as possible to limit spoilage and low temperatures are used so that the meat does not cook and also to avoid over drying which makes it become brittle. Ovens are the material used in drying and have low temperatures where the low temperature coupled with fast-moving air increases the drying rate to just a few hours to the desired moisture content. Gourmet beef jerky slices which have been seasoned in marinade take much time to dry since the marinade increases the moisture content as compared to those that have been salted taking lesser time.
Packaging of gourmet beef jerky is done in plastic bags that can be flushed with nitrogen gas or else the packs can be vacuumed to remove oxygen after they are completely dry to the required moisture and cooled. Packet gourmet beef jerky have small pouches of oxygen absorber so as to prevent oxidation of the fat. The nutrition content of gourmet beef jerky is usually made up of high protein with minimum carbohydrate content due to the low fat and moisture content available. Natural preservatives are used in preserving gourmet beef jerky with no nitrite added and also they are gluten free. Sweet recipe where sugar is the major ingredient is used giving the gourmet beef jerky some sticky and sweet goodness.