Make beef jerky (or any kind of jerky really) with a box fan, 3 AC filters, some steak, and some time..
I'm writing this as I'm doing it, so i dont have a finished product yet, but I've seen it done online so i dont have any doubts it will work.
20" Box Fan
3 20" Cotton Based AC filters
2 24" Bungee Chords
1lb Thin sliced Beef Top Round
1lb Beef stir fry
Optional** Meat Cure
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Step 1: Buy the Meat, Fan, and AC Filters
Pretty self explanitory here. Buy yourself some meat and a box fan if you dont already have one. Mine broke so i had to go buy a new one anyway. My box fan is a 20" box fan, which happens to coincide perfectly with the 20X20 AC filters that Wal Mart sells for 1.47 each. I bought 3. That's all you should need really.
For the meat, i bought 2 kinds. I've never done this so i wanted to test 2 different kinds of meats.
the first kind of meat that i bought was boneless stir fry beef. I figured it was thinl enough and precut into bite size pieces so why not.
The second kind of steak i bought was boneless top round that was think sliced. Again, convenience of being thinly sliced already. You dont want anything too thick because it wont dry out fast enough.
Step 2: Make a Marinade
I have no clue how this will taste, but it smells really good.
You can find all kinds of marinade recipes online but i chose to wing it. We'll see if it pays off.
and a Meat Cure packet that i got with my dehydrator.
I've never seen anyone use this for whole meat, but what can i say... I'm paranoid. You're supposed to use it for ground meat (hamburger, etc). It's probably an unnecessary step, but i did it anyway.
I poured everything into the bowl without measuring it.. Like i said, i just eyeballed it. I made sure the sauce was enough to fully marinade the meat though. I didnt want to come up short on how flavorful the meat would be.
Step 3: Prepare the Meat and Marinate
I sliced up the top round into smaller pieces so that it would dry a bit quicker and then added everything to the bowl of marinade. I sloshed it around with my hand until about everything had a nice coat on it. then i stuck it in the fridge for 4 hours. Some people say over night, but damn it... I'm impatient.
Step 4: Lay Out Meat and Let It Dry
After the meat had a chance to soak up some tastyness for a bit, i pulled it out of the fridge and layed it on the AC filter.
a few things to note here:
I found COTTON Ac filters... i wouldnt use fiberglass or whatever
I found the tightest weave backed by steel grating so that the air flow was good, and the strength was good.
I laid the meat on the filter leaving some room for air circulation so that it would dry evenly (I hope).
Once i was done with the first sheet i layed the second on top of that with the veins gonig the opposite direction to hold the meat in place better. I then layed all the other meat on the top one.
I put the bigger chunks of meat on the lower filter (which will be closer to the fan) because they're going to need a little more time to dry i think.
finally, once all the meat is on the filters, use the last one to cover the whole thing up and make a double decker meat tray with the last one. (Filter/Meat/Filter/Meat/Filter)
Now, lay the fan on it's back and put the filters on top.
Use 2 bungee chords to keep the filters stuck to the front of the fan.
Now, go plug it in and wait for about 10 hours and have some jerky!
Step 5: Enjoy
I'll enter more when i actually eat it tomorrow morning...