If you’re looking for an easy, healthy, and delicious snack that doesn’t require any cooking or preparation, then this pork jerky recipe may be just what you need.
What Is The Best Pork Jerky Recipe?
The best pork jerky recipes are ones that can be made in less than 30 minutes with ingredients that are readily available at most grocery stores.
This recipe uses only three ingredients — pork shoulder meat, salt, and soy sauce.
Pork jerky is one of the easiest things to prepare, but it can also take some time if you don’t have experience making jerky.
If you want to get started right away, consider purchasing pre-made jerkies instead of making them yourself.
However, homemade jerky has its benefits as well, so let’s see how to make it!
How Do You Make Pork Jerky?
Pork jerky recipes vary widely depending upon the type of seasoning used, but most often they involve curing meat with salt, spices, and other seasonings.
The main difference between different types of pork jerky recipes is how long it takes to cure the meat before drying it out.
Some recipes will take less time than others, so if you want to get started making your own jerky today, here’s everything you need to know about making homemade jerky.
- What kind of meat should I use when making my own jerky?
- Should my meat be aged prior to being dried out and cured?
- Does my meat have to be cooked first?
- Do I need to start by soaking my meat?
- Can I freeze the jerky once it has been made?
- How much moisture can I expect from my finished product?
What Are The Ingredients In A Pork Jerky Recipe?
There isn’t really much to this particular recipe as it consists of only one ingredient – pork!
However, if you want to add other flavors to your jerkies, such as sweet peppers, garlic, onions, cayenne pepper, etc., then feel free to experiment with different combinations.
- Pork (chops can work too)
- Garlic powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Pepper flakes
- Onion powder
- Dried oregano
- Spices and herbs
- Vegetable oil
- Baking soda
Ingredients for Pork Jerky
The following ingredients are vital to making good pork jerky:
What Is The Best Way To Cook Pork Jerky?
Pork jerky can be made from many types of meat, including beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, rabbit, venison, and even fish.
It is important to note that there are different ways to prepare pork jerky depending on its purpose.
For example, if you want to use it as a protein bar, you will have to dry cure it first before drying it out with heat.
If you would like to eat it straight off the stick, however, then simply marinate it overnight in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and honey.
In general, though, it is usually fried in oil until crispy, either over direct heat or using a grill pan.
Then, you can season the pork jerky by adding salt, pepper, and other spices such as cayenne pepper, chipotle peppers, and smoked paprika.
Finally, you can also add some sweet flavorings such as brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, raisins, cranberries, etc., which makes the jerky more palatable when eaten fresh.
So, no matter how you choose to enjoy it, you know that this pork jerky recipe will give you exactly what you want!
How Long Does Pork Jerky Last?
Pork jerky can keep in the refrigerator for up to six months if stored properly, but it will start to degrade after about two weeks of storage.
Pork jerky has a high water content, so it absorbs moisture from the air very quickly and starts to dry out over time.
So, if you don’t want to eat dried-out jerky, try storing it somewhere dry and cool like the fridge where humidity levels are low.
When I made my first batch of pork jerky, I used some plastic wrap as a barrier between the meat and the paper towels.
The plastic was good at keeping out excess moisture while protecting the meat during drying.
However, when I tried to re-use the same piece of plastic wrap several days later, it started to get sticky and tacky with dried bits of dried pork jerky stuck to it.
If you leave too much meat exposed to oxygen (which happens when you cut pieces off of larger hunks), it can turn rancid and taste awful.
A better option might be to use parchment paper instead.
Parchment paper is also called “food safe” because it won’t react chemically with other foods.
You can even reuse the parchment paper once you’ve finished making jerky!
Just wash it thoroughly before using again.
Another tip is to add additional salt to the curing mixture to help preserve the meat.
In my experience, adding 5% table salt helps prevent the jerky from drying out completely.
But if you really want to go overboard, you could try adding 1/4 cup kosher salt per pound of hunk of meat.
That would give you around 6 tablespoons of salt per 8 ounces of meat, which is more than enough to cure a 4 ounce chunk of jerky.
How Do You Store Pork Jerky?
Pork jerky can be stored in the fridge for about 2 weeks, but it will lose its flavor after 6 months of storage.
You should always discard jerky if it has gone bad or moldy.
To keep your homemade jerky fresh, place it back into the refrigerator as soon as you finish eating it so it won’t spoil.
What Are Some Tips For Making The Best Pork Jerky?
Pork jerky can be made with different types of meat depending on how much time you have available.
The good news is that it doesn’t take long at all!
You will only need around 10 minutes of hands-on work if you use boneless cuts of meat such as shoulder blade chops or loin chops.
If you choose to use bone in pieces such as neck bones and hocks, then you will likely spend more time working through them since they tend to be larger than boneless cuts.
The key to turning out a quality piece of jerky is using fresh pork meat.
As part of the USDA guidelines, you should always remember to wash raw meats thoroughly before preparing them, removing anything like dirt or other contaminants that could affect their safety and taste.
You also want to ensure that the cut of meat you pick has been properly trimmed of excess fat and sinew.
A lot of people think that trimming away these parts is unnecessary, but there are actually several benefits associated with doing so.
First, trimming away the fat reduces the overall amount of surface area that needs to be cooked, which means less time spent in the oven or frying pan.
Second, trimming away the sinew makes sure that the leaner muscle fibers remain intact while cooking.
Sinew tends to get overcooked during high heat cooking methods, which leaves behind tough strands rather than tender ones.
Finally, trimming away the extra skin helps to remove what is known as “marbling,” which is the natural fats found inside the muscles of pigs and other animals.
These fats help reduce drying up and toughening of the meat during storage.
Once you’ve got your ingredients prepared and your tools ready, put yourself in position to start making your very first batch of homemade jerky.
Here are a few important things to keep in mind when following along with this simple process.
- Use clean utensils and cutting boards for each portion of meat you plan to use. Cleaning surfaces after handling raw meat is extremely important because even small amounts of bacteria can cause severe illness if ingested.
- Wash your hands frequently throughout the entire process. Even though food handlers are required by law to wear gloves, washing hands often is still encouraged simply because it removes germs from our bodies that we might otherwise transfer onto our foods.
- Keep your oven temperature low enough (around 200 F) to prevent dehydration of the meat. Too many jerky recipes call for high heat cooking methods, which dehydrates your product and makes it tougher and drier. Instead, try baking your jerkies at a lower temperature until they reach about 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Allow the finished product to rest for 30 minutes after finishing the final step of curing. Resting allows moisture to redistribute between various portions of the meat, creating a uniform texture throughout the whole item.
How Do You Know When Pork Jerky Is Done?
Pork jerky can take anywhere from two hours (for thicker cuts) to overnight (for thinner pieces).
The longer it cooks, the more flavor will develop in the meat.
If there is still liquid left after four hours of cooking time, drain off the fat with paper towels before drying your jerky.
When the jerky has finished drying out, you should have a firm piece of meat that feels dry but not brittle.
Check each batch for doneness by taking a bite and chewing thoroughly.
Jerky should break apart easily into small chunks, rather than being chewy and hard to chew.
You want your jerky to taste like it was cooked until tender enough to eat, but not so long that it started to lose its texture.
To store your jerky, wrap in plastic wrap and place in your refrigerator crisper drawer.
To keep up with the growing demand for jerky, many stores sell pre-packaged packages of jerky, which makes them easier to transport and store at home.
For best results, store your jerky in resealable bags to prevent moisture loss.
What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Making Pork Jerky?
Pork jerky can be made from many different types of meat, but in general, it comes down to two things: how long it should cook before drying and how much salt (or seasoning) it gets during processing. The longer it cooks, the more tender the finished product will become. The higher the sodium content of the meat, the easier it will dry out while being processed.
For best results, always use fresh, lean cuts of meat with as little fat as possible.
Pork is one of the easiest meats to work with because its high percentage of water makes it very forgiving if you aren’t using the right equipment or don’t have enough time to properly cure it.
You also want to avoid adding too much moisture to the process by not over-seasoning your mixture.
The final step is to let it rest overnight so the flavors can meld together into something special.
Once you master this method, you won’t find yourself turning to store bought jerky anytime soon!
What Are Some Variations Of Pork Jerky Recipes?
There are many different ways to prepare pork jerky.
There are simple, quick, and slow jerkies that can be made in minutes on the stovetop while others involve simmering the meat over low heat overnight before drying it out.
You can also opt for smoked jerky if you want to add another layer of flavor to your food (and give yourself a treat).
The following list includes several popular recipes and tips for preparing your own homemade pork jerky!
- Pork Jerky Recipe #1: This recipe makes use of a dehydrator and requires minimal effort as no seasoning needs to be added to the meat.
- Pork Jerky Recipe #2: Use a slow cooker to cook the pork shoulder until tender. Then, remove from pot and allow to cool down completely. Once cooled, slice into strips and place them onto a wire rack with paper towels underneath to absorb excess moisture. Dry in oven at 200°F/94°C for 8 hours. Remove from oven and store in airtight container.
- Pork Jerky Recipe #3: Pork shoulder is cut into small pieces, seasoned with salt and pepper, and placed inside a large plastic bag along with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Place in refrigerator for 24-48 hours. After soaking, rinse well under running water and pat dry using paper towel. Cut into thin strips and dry in oven at 150 degrees F for 3-4 hours or until crispy and dried through.
- Pork Jerky Recipe #3a: Follow directions above but instead of placing the pork in a plastic bag, wrap it in aluminum foil. Cook in oven for 4 hours at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pork Jerky Recipe #5: This recipe calls for marinating the pork shoulder in soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and red chili flakes for three days. The next day, shred the pork and season it with salt and pepper. Wrap the pork in parchment paper and let sit in fridge for two more days. On the fourth day, take the pork out of the fridge and leave it uncovered for about 45 minutes so it can come to room temperature. Next, place pork in a bowl and pour enough soy sauce mixture over top to cover. Let the pork soak in the liquid for 1 hour in the refrigerator. Drain off the liquid and return the pork to the jar. Add additional soy sauce liquid until the pork is covered. Refrigerate for one week. Remove pork from the jar and thinly slice it. Serve immediately or freeze for later consumption.
- Pork Jerky Recipe #6: To make this recipe, first combine 6 cups of distilled white vinegar, 1 cup of kosher salt, ¼ cup of ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon of onion powder, 1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper, and ½ tablespoon of celery seed. Put the pork shoulder in a gallon sized freezer bag and pour the brine over top of it. Close tightly and put in the refrigerator for 48 hours. Drain the pork and discard the brine. Season the pork with salt and pepper and then refrigerate for 20-24 hours. Slice the pork into strips and lay flat on cookie sheets lined with waxed paper. Freeze until hard. Transfer to an air tight container and keep frozen until ready to serve.
- Pork Jerky Recipe #7: Combine 1 pound of lean bacon, 1/3 cup of Worcestershire sauce, 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of paprika, 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of mustard, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, 10 cloves of minced garlic, and 5 bay leaves. Put the pork shoulder in a large Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over the top. Make sure the pork is fully coated and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Take the pork out of the marinade and squeeze out as much of the remaining liquid as possible. Pour the marinade back into the bag and re-seal. Lay the pork shoulder on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and let it rest in the refrigerator for four hours. Remove from refrigerator and scrape away any fat that has formed on the surface of the meat. Pat the pork dry with paper towels and then sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Return to the wire rack and let the meat continue to dry in the refrigerator for 36-48 hours. Check every few hours and flip the meat to ensure even drying. When finished, the meat will have shrunken considerably and look like leather. Store in an airtight container.
- Pork Jerky Recipe #8: First, rub the pork shoulder with half of a lemon, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon each of thyme, sage, rosemary, and basil, and 1/4 teaspoon of fennel seeds. Rub the roast thoroughly with the spices. Tie the roast up to hold its shape. In a medium size stockpot, bring 8 quarts of cold water to boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and insert the pork into the water. Simmer for approximately 9 hours, turning occasionally. Remove the pork from the water and transfer to a cutting board. Allow to cool slightly. Using kitchen scissors, snip the strings holding the roast together. Shred the pork and mix with 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar, 1/2 cup of honey, and 1/2 cup of orange juice. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Pork Jerky Recipe #9: Season pork with salt, pepper, and cumin powder, and then coat the top with flour.
- Pork Jerky Recipe #10: Chop the pork into slices, toss it with cornstarch, and then fry it in peanut oil. Serve the pork with sweet and sour sauce.
- 1 Oven
- 2½ lbs pork tenderloin
- ½ can chipotle peppers
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Cut the pork into 2″ x 6″ strips that are 1/8″ to 14″ thick, cutting against the grain.
- The other ingredients should be combined and pureed until the marinade is smooth.
- Pork strips and marinade are arranged in a big ziplock bag. To ensure that all of the pork strips are coated in the marinade, massage the marinade into the meat for a few minutes. Place in the fridge for at least 8 hours, ideally overnight.
- the Traeger to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. The meat should be dry but still malleable after smoking the pork strips for 5 to 6 hours, whether they are placed on a rack or directly on the grate.