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x-posted from LBYM

As one way of avoiding carbs, I've been snacking on beef jerky at work. If anyone has seen the prices of jerky, it's not a cheap snack. I was wondering if there is an inexpensive way to make homemade jerky using everyday kitchen items. I don't have a food dehydrator.

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Well, for jerky you need to marinate (flavor) and then dehydrate the meat....basically salt curing with heat smoking (minus the actual smoke). I'd check through the smoking suggestions from Good Eats with Alton may be able to create your own "dehydrator", like he does for a smoker for smoking bacon & salmon.

I have two other thoughts:

If you have a convection oven, you might try that at a low setting for a long period. Or....if you have a large grill, maybe some long indirect grilling?

Or if you really want to "frontier" it, you could make yourself some mesh frames out of vinyl screening and let it all dry in the very hot sun this summer. Just be sure to buy some bug netting to keep the flies off. Personally, I think the grill (or an Alton creation) is your best bet.

Is a dehydrator something that can be rented at a place like Rent A Center? You may also check out the site listed below. They have "regular" dehydrators as well as some non-electric versions that are far cheaper. It may be worth a small investment if you're really eating a lot of it.

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This from -- they concur about the use of a convection oven, but add the following:

You may also be able to use it for jerky as well. I also have a brand new Whirlpool non-convection wall oven (RBS245P..)that allows the bake function to be set for 170°F as a minimum temp. BUT HERE'S THE TRICK: If you hold the BAKE pad for 5 seconds, the control enters the user "calibration" mode. This allows you to adjust the actual temp +/- 30°F in 10°F increments against the temp shown on the display. IF YOU SET THE CAL FOR -30... and SET THE BAKE TEMP for 170°F YOU GET 140°F!!!

MOST electronicly controlled ovens have a form of this user adjustment on the controls. READ THE MANUAL or call the manufacturer's toll-free consumer assistance number for assistance (if you have a newer product). Your oven may be an untapped resource for great jerky that you didn't realize you already had!!!

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Check out the low carb way of life board, and then on the announcements box there is a link to the low carb recipe index. There are a few jerky recipes on there.

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