Teriyaki Beef Jerky: Asian cuisine in a bag
Everyone loves Asian cuisine (I first wrote Chinese food, but I decided to go with a more generic term that will hopefully disguise some of my cultural ignorance). It fills you up quickly and leaves you hungry and craving more not two hours after you finish eating. I am not sure how or why this magical mystery cuisine suddenly disappears from your digestive system but that particular stigma survives today. I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that many dishes are comprised mainly of rice and noodles, a fleeting carbohydrate that delivers a quick burst of energy but ultimately does not satisfy for long. As a child playing sports, my coaches would admonish the team to eat pasta before a game or match because we would need those carbohydrates while out on the field. Perhaps if coach was a bit more worldly he could have suggested chicken chow mien or beef lo mien or the like.
More and more restaurants are opening up claiming to serve what is called Pan-Asian cuisine. I’m not exactly sure what that term refers to, but I suspect whatever I order will be served on a bed of rice. I think that America’s love for this type of food boils down to one key ingredient: Teriyaki. Am I the only person who thinks that Teriyaki sauce makes everything taste better? No matter which dish I order, it could be sushi, chicken, beef, vegetables, you name it, I will always request a side of that sweet gooey goodness. Teriyaki Beef Jerky is a perfect example. Beef Jerky is fantastic all by itself, but when you add the magnificent flavor of Teriyaki you really have got something special. The liquid itself is a blend of soy sauce, sugar and honey. There are other variations but I don’t want to give away anyone’s secret recipe. The fast food chains have joined in on the fun. Burger King and McDonalds offer a Teriyaki version of their famous hamburgers but only in Japan. So, do not be the least bit surprised to find them on the menu next time you pull up to the drive thru.
The facts about Jerky and food safety
The United States Department of Agriculture has published a helpful list of facts about Jerky and the science behind the drying meat in order to preserve it. The main purpose of that publication is to educate the public about the dangers of E. coli and Salmonella and how to avoid those respective bacteria when purchasing or making your dried meats. According to their figures, a pound of meat will yield only about four ounces of Jerky, but for the weight that is lost in the drying process, you gain the benefit of having a shelf stable food that does not require refrigeration and will last for months if properly stored.
More modern techniques of food preservation include freezing (which was not available to the general public until last century, when electric freezers or ice boxes were mass produced) and canning. While laying strips of meat out in the sun to dry may seem somewhat barbaric to our post modern sensibilities, that was actually the way food was preserved throughout history, and with much success. If our ancestors hunted and killed a very large animal that was too much to be eaten in one day, then drying out the meat was the only way they could preserve their bounty to be consumed at a later date. There are three ways to dry out meat or poultry: 1) sun drying, 2) shade drying or adiabatic drying and 3) using an artificial heat source. The last method is preferred nowadays because it is the quickest, cleanest and best way to ensure the elimination of all harmful bacteria. Food dehydrators are ideal because they are specifically designed for this process and have special trays to hold the meat as well as constantly circulating air to help dry the meat more quickly. It is important to bring the meat you plan to dry to a temperature of at least 160 degrees to kill the bacteria and then maintain a constant temperature of about 135 degrees throughout the drying process. If you follow these guidelines you will not have anything to worry about concerning food safety.
Buy Beef Jerky and save your receipt
I save every receipt from every purchase I make. It is a habit I am sure I will keep for the rest of my working life (I hope I can let it go when it comes time for me to retire. I began freelancing a couple years and I learned the hard way that Uncle Sam wants more than his share of my paychecks and that son of gun wants it all in one lump sum (actually he would prefer quarterly installments but let’s be real that just isn’t happening). That first 1099 form caused me such panic that my palms begin to sweat even now as I recall that painful day. I do not consider myself socialist, but I must have register as one because apparently that is the tax bracket in which I have been placed.
Gas receipts, parking receipts, business luncheons, travel and lodging expenses are all obvious write offs that I can use to offset some my socialist income (just kidding). But after meeting with my Certified Public Accountant, I now believe it necessary to retain proof for every dollar I spend, no matter how small and no matter how irrelevant to my occupation (Sometimes I even rummage through the trash hoping to find a receipt I might be able to pass off as my own [not really because that would be fraud but I thought that the image of me digging in the garbage might invoke a certain sympathy from my fellow freelancers] if they paid with cash). When I Buy Beef Jerky I always keep the receipt and when I do I try to make sure I am on a job and it is my lunch break, otherwise I am just asking for an audit. Can you imagine going down for a errant bag of tasty dried meat snacks? That is not the legacy I tend to leave behind. There are much better deals (and variety) online, but I doubt that an invoice from JedsJerky.com will pass the smell test come April, but who knows. The holidays are coming and I suppose I could send all my clients bags of Beef Jerky to show my appreciation for all the business they’ve given me throughout the year.
Easy to follow Beef Jerky Recipes is an easy way to learn cooking
The notion of buying a cook book seems absurd to me. Nearly every food item I purchase has one or more recipe suggestion printed on the back of it. My work experience to this point in my life consists mostly of various restaurant jobs, which in effect severely stunted my desire to learn my way around a kitchen. I can accurately identify the dishwasher and the stove, but as to the specifics of their operations I am at a loss. All I need is a refrigerator (mini fridge is perfectly acceptable) and a microwave. I brought food home from whatever restaurant I was working at, bring it home and reheat it to perfection (I quickly learned to master the heat settings on my nuclear cooking device for optimal results). My argument was: why learn to cook when I serve food all day long? I refused to deal with other people’s dirty dishes all day long only to come home and make some dirty dishes of my own. Who wants to do side work at home (any servers know what I’m talking about)?
Well, I quit the restaurant business and moved on to greener pastures (or so my employment termination form reads). I still dislike dirty dishes, but I have managed to cultivate a latent love of the culinary arts. And I still cannot justify owning a cook book since any and all recipes are available online, but I can appreciate the need to have at least a small repertoire of easy to make meals if one is going to survive bachelorhood on a vagrant’s budget. I received a food dehydrator several years ago when I was still deep in the “and what would you like to drink with that” stage of my life and I thought the gift was highly unnecessary. I have since grown to appreciate that dehydrator as I have discovered many fantastic Beef Jerky Recipes. I can now make my own at home and save a bundle. I have discovered how to make Peppered Beef Jerky, Teriyaki Beef Jerky, and more. The trick is in the marinade.
Beef Jerkey tastes great no matter how you spell it
Microsoft Word, in all its pragmatic glory, has a feature that automatically corrects the spelling of most words as you create a document. This is extremely helpful for the professional who may be too busy to proof read every single memo they may type, but I do not appreciate it one bit. It isn’t the assistance I dislike but the manner in which that assistance is given. If you are even remotely close in your spelling attempt, the program immediately transposes the backwards letters or adds the missing letter to make you seem less ignorant. As a former spelling bee champion (not nationally, but I was king for a day in my fourth grade class), I would prefer the opportunity to learn from my mistakes before making corrections.
A better system would give you a little shock on the wrist and call your attention to your mistake, at least for an instant so you might learn from it and not appear a complete idiot when you are replying to an important email (I cannot speak for Gmail, but Yahoo will let your misspelling through as if it were a text message). We are all familiar with the little red, green, and blue squiggly lines that represent a misspelled word, a questionable grammar usage, or improper verb agreement. Sometimes I feel I am being deprived of my artistic license, but I pause, and ultimately am thankful for the helpful hints. Beef Jerkey, for example, is one of those words where the misspelled version is just as commonly used as the correct version (much like potato and potatoe). Google at least has the decency to ask, did you mean Beef Jerky? I appreciate this polite version of spell check, as it alerts me of my mistake but will also provide me with the website I need in order to further educate myself. Poor spelling is just as common in this country as high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels. But bad spellers, dyslexics, and people who have sausage fingers and have trouble pressing one key at a time should not be deprived the joy of ordering Beef Jerkey online.
Gourmet Jerky: comfort food for the sports junkie
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, football season is reaching its annual climax so most of us pigskin fanatics will not be leaving the couch for the next couple months except for the occasional beer run or bathroom break. NFL playoffs are quickly approaching and the college bowl games are nearly underway so we as fans have a responsibility to make all the necessary preparation so that we do not have to miss a second of gridiron action. I’ve got my DVR set to record all the crucial games, I purchased plenty of liquids so that I might stay hydrated through this grueling season of watching sports nonstop (I know, life if hard), and now all I need is the proper assortment of snacks so I do not have to waste precious game time in the kitchen or on the phone with those annoying pizza delivery phone answering systems.
When watching intense sporting events, it is absolutely essential to incorporate various food types because different situations call for different forms of sustenance. For example, you do not want to serve too much caffeine and sugary snacks during a fast-paced back and forth type of contest. Fans get all jittery and anxious and before you know it, your blood pressure is off the charts. A fresh bottle of champagne is good to have on deck for a Cinderella story team’s last second triumph (the champagne of beers is perfectly acceptable substitute and probably more appropriate for a room full of dudes). If you are anticipating a disappointing upset, it is important to have your favorite comfort food at arm’s length, that way you do not have to bear the added shame and embarrassment of crying in front of your buddies. For me, that comfort food is Gourmet Jerky. When I am devastated about my beloved Cowboys crumbling under the pressure of being ‘America’s football team’ I turn to the delicate and subtle blend of teriyaki flavored Beef Jerky. Something about the way sweetness lingers on my palate long after the bag is empty soothes my soul and let me know that there is always next season.
Beef Jerky: Good food that is good for you
The word Snack has somewhat of a negative connotation, but undeservedly so. In our health conscious society, full of weight watchers and calorie counters, snacking (which is defined as a small portion of food or a light meal, especially when consumed between regular meals) is considered to be inherently evil, socially irresponsible, and usually indicates a lack of self control. I would like to make case for snacking and educate you, the reader, as to the benefits of eating smaller portions so that you might be able to regularly enjoy a guilt free bag Beef Jerky every once in a while.
It is a scientifically proven fact that eating five or six small meals a day is better for one’s health than eating two or three large meals. The metabolism will speed up, energy levels will increase and ultimately you will burn more calories and lose weight. If you already have achieved your ideal weight, then you can still enjoy a happier, healthier and more active lifestyle and you will never have to worry about needing a nap after lunch!
An average serving of Beef Jerky will contain less than one gram of fat and only about 30 milligrams of cholesterol making it an ideal snack food and even a meal replacement when you are on the go, at al ball game, or just kicking back on the couch. Big meals slow your body down. The digestive system requires a lot of the body’s blood supply to break down the nutrients contained in a large lunch or dinner. This is why we feel sluggish after stuffing ourselves after Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner (Turkey does have some tranquilizing properties but not enough to induce the type of food coma I am referring to). A salad or a sandwich would do the job just as well for a between meal snack, but both of those items need refrigeration and not to many of us have refrigerators in our cars ( I do, but with all the beer I keep in there, I haven’t got any room for Caesar salads and tuna fish sandwiches).
Teriyaki Beef Jerky: America’s favorite flavor but why?
Good Jerky is hard to find nowadays. Many manufacturers have been known to take short cuts on the drying or curing process to save time and make their operation more efficient. Others may be starting out with poor quality meat and seasonings in order to keep costs low. In a tough economy it is completely understandable for companies to make efforts to maintain profitability, but not at the expense of my taste buds! Teriyaki Beef Jerky is probably the number one selling flavor of Beef Jerky (I would have to agree with the majority on this one) but it always reminds me of eating Asian cuisine or a Hawaiian luau. I suppose it is that sweet and tangy combination that gives its flavor such Pan-Asian flair.
I am not quite sure why, but whenever I have Teriyaki Beef Jerky I expect it to be softer than other varieties. I do not mean to suggest that regular or natural flavored jerky should be tough and difficult to chew. I have had many enjoyable experiences with Peppered Jerky which I always prefer to buy by the piece from the gas station because it wafer thin and brittle like soda crackers (do not ask me why). I suppose it is because I like to savor the sweetness and that is easier to do when I tear it into smaller pieces or strips if I so desire. Teriyaki Jerky is like candy: once you open the bag, it can quickly disappear and leave you feeling guilty and empty inside no matter how full you may be.
Cheap marinade and some sugar and/or sweetener are not enough to make really good Teriyaki Beef Jerky. Oftentimes artificial flavors and attractive packaging are used as a substitute for a quality product. You can dress it up any you want but after you have chewed and swallowed a piece of Jerky, you know if it is the real McCoy or just some garbage disguised to fool your tongue. Accept nothing less than the best. Premium meat, sliced thin and flavored with organic seasoning and natural flavors is what you want.
The origin of Jerky: who really invented it and the history of how it is made
The term Jerky is used to describe meat (typically beef) that has been thinly sliced, cured and dried rapidly for purposes of preservation. The result is one of America’s favorite snack foods. The word itself is derived from the Spanish “charqui” which was in turn borrowed from the sixteenth century Incan word “ch’arki.” Ch’ark idescribed a certain form of dried meat that endured some sort of curing process. While ancient Egyptian artifacts and writings suggest that the benefits of drying and curing meat were widely known at the time of the pyramids, modern Jerky as we now know it and enjoy it was born in South America and the credit must be given to the Spanish Conquistadors. Pemmican is a similar dried meat product, but it was invented by the Native Americans and contains pulverized meat as well berries and other natural flavors. For all its similarities, Pemmican sounds more like big league chew than anything else.
There are many popular flavors ranging from hot and spicy to tart and tangy. You’ve got pepper flavor, sweet and sour teriyaki, honey bar-b-q and the list goes on. No matter your taste buds, there is something for everyone. The few people that do not enjoy Jerky simply have not had the right experience. It is not supposed to be painfully hard and frustratingly tough, leaving your jaws overworked and your belly unsatisfied. Also it does not always cost five bucks for a stale, paper thin slice at the gas station. Because fat contains moisture and could possible grow mold or bacteria, the good majority is always removed before the drying process. Because of this fact, Jerky is necessarily high in protein.
Do not be fooled by processed, chopped and formed meat products being passed off as jerky. You should have single, thin slices of meat muscle (the grain should be visible) instead of little uniform nuggets that some avid pet owners would refuse to feed their animals, let alone approve for human consumption. A good rule of thumb is the smell test. When you first open that bag take a big whiff. If it smells like dog food then it probably is.
With more and more people doing their holiday shopping on the internet, it has become commonplace to buy Jerky Online.
Website security has seen great improvements over the past few years and so customers feel more assurance that their transactions will kept in confidence and no unlawful sharing of information is going on. More than ever before, a large percentage of holiday shoppers will be doing some, if not all their Christmas, Chanukah and other holiday shopping on the internet. A great gift idea for a family member, friend, or special someone is buying Jerky Online. The Jerky is shipped in an air tight, vacuum sealed container so you are always guaranteed to receive the freshest product possible. The process of drying and curing the meat really does a great job of preserving the Beef Jerky so even after you open and enjoy some of it then need to reseal the package, you do not have to worry about it spoiling any time soon.
Most companies will offer Free Shipping on large orders when you purchase Jerky Online. Mix and match flavors or choose from custom and pre-arranged gift baskets that include Beef Jerky and other Exotic Meats and Gourmet Snacks. It is especially nice to be able to send something of substance to a friend or relative that may live too far away to exchange gifts in person. You could mail them a check or a Gift Card or send some other gift through FedEx or something, but wouldn’t it be a nicer surprise to get a delicious treat like a big bag of Teriyaki or Pepper flavor Jerky? Harry and David definitely have a niche in the market of mail order as far as fresh fruit is concerned, but what about Beef Jerky? You can order online at JedsJerky.com and select from a very nice variety of Premium Jerky products and Gourmet Meat Snacks.
Protein rich and full of bold flavor, Quality Beef Jerky makes for the perfect snack and a great gift idea. Avoid the crowds this holiday season and save money while doing it! Jerky Online just makes good sense. When you place your order, be sure and ask about any Free Shipping Offer they may have.