This is my 4th round of jerky and I feel like I am still learning a lot every time. My co-worker uses a 3/8″ nozzle, where as my jerky gun came with only a 1/2″ nozzle. Thankfully the sell these little road cone looking things that you can cut to size. I switched jerky seasoning brands because I had run out of the original stuff and wanted to try something different. They recommended mixing their seasoning with water first, then mixing with meat. This is a great idea, it helps ensure that the seasoning and cure are well mixed and distributed throughout. I am feeling confident enough to wager 5 pounds of extra lean to make this happen. In retrospect the seasoning should have been mixed in the big metal bowl before adding meat. It saves a bowl.
Loading can be tricky. One clean hand, one dirty. You ball up a small wad with the dirty hand and load while holding the barrel with the clean hand. They make a tool that helps tamp it all down. Which hand holds that? My new 3D printed hand of course! I came up with this clip to hold the barrel while my clean hand tamps. The overnight print came complete with a really good game of filament chicken. About 2 wraps left before I would have been in trouble.
The mix and extrusion went well. I used every tray I had and in 5 hours was able to dry a pretty good looking batch of jerky.
I weighed the final product and came up with about 2.5lb. That is probably at the low end of dry enough, but it shouldn’t go bad in the 4 days it will take for me and everyone around to eat it. It occurs to me that I could monitor the progress of my jerky simply by taking the initial weight and weights throughout the process.