Fall is here and winter is approaching fast and I am already missing the warm tropics and sun. What better way to reminisce of beaches and clear warm water than to make a jerky with some coconut flavoring.
Lets bring back memories of knocking down some Bahama Mama coconut rum drinks while sitting on a white sand beach by making this coconut ground beef jerky!
Choosing The Ground Meat
Start with a lean ground beef, 10% fat at the most. Using a leaner ground meat will allow the jerky to last longer when stored since fat goes bad before the meat. Therefor the less fat you have in the meat the longer it will last. If you plan on eating it right away, feel free to use a more fatty package around 80/20.
Whether you choose grass fed or regular ground meat is up to you, the fat content of the meat is really the main thing to be aware of.
Making The Marinade
I recently purchased some LorAnn cooking oil flavorings that can be added to recipes to really enhance certain flavors. I bought ten different flavors, you can choose from something like 75 total flavors that they offer. For this recipe I used coconut!
Whenever making ground jerky, I always use curing salt to prevent any potential bacteria within the meat. Since the meat is ground and will be mixed by hand (use disposable latex gloves) the potential for the introduction of bacteria is higher than using whole muscle meat for jerky.
In the picture above you can see I dissolved the 1/4tsp of curing salt in 2tbsp of water and 1tsp of the coconut flavor. Dissolving the curing salt in water allows it to more evenly be mixed into the ground meat.
Add the other ingredients to the curing salt/water/flavoring mixture and mix well. Then pour the marinade into a bowl with the ground meat and mix together well.
Make sure the meat and marinade is mixed together well and evenly so the flavor will be consistent throughout the whole batch. Remember to use your food safe gloves when mixing. Cover the bowl and place the mixed meat in the refrigerator for 1-8 hours to help the meat bind together. This will help the jerky strips stay together when forming them in the next step.
Related Page: Dozens of Great Tasting Jerky Recipes – Click Here
Forming the Jerky Strips
There are two ways to form jerky strips when making ground meat jerky. The first is using a Jerky Gun/Cannon, the method I used when making this recipe, or the second is flattening out the meat with a roller pin and scoring the meat with a knife. To see how to make ground jerky using the roller pin, check out my How to Make Ground Jerky Page.
If using a jerky gun, load the gun with meat making sure to prevent any air pockets within the meat.
To do this, push the lever that is found by the handle all the way to the front only leaving about 3 inches of room from the end you can see above. Fill that 3 inches of space with the jerky mixture and then pull that lever back another 3 inches.
Pulling the lever back is essentially pulling the piston towards the handle giving you more room for more jerky mixture. Continue doing this until the whole pound of ground jerky is added into the cylinder.
Keep a butter knife next to you when shooting your strips onto the dehydrator tray to cut the meat from the nozzle after you have finished a long strip. Then use that knife to score your strips into your desired individual jerky lengths. I chose to score mine at about 4-5 inches in length.
Drying and Testing The Jerky
As mentioned earlier, my Excalibur Dehydrator was used when making this ground beef jerky recipe. You can use a smoker or an oven as well if you choose.
The dehydrator is easy and quick. After 'shooting' the strips onto the trays, they were dried at 165F for 3 hours and 145F for 1 hour until they were finished.
Start checking the strips at about the 3 hour mark. Pull a piece out of the dehydrator and allow it to cool to room temperature for 5 minutes. Then bend the strip, if it bends without breaking in half or cracks just a little bit, it’s finished. The jerky should still feel soft to the touch and not too hard on the outside.
This coconut ground beef jerky has a great coconut flavor that has really worked out tasting great. The coriander and cinnamon also come through really well rounding out the flavor. The honey gave it a perfect sweetness which has countered the saltiness of the sea salt. It turned out tasting pretty darn good!
To make the jerky last as long as possible, curing salt will really help along with keeping in air tight containers. I have put together a page on storing jerky and steps you can take to make your jerky have an extended shelf life. Check it out!
Old Pro Tips:
- Use Corn Syrup Solids to help bind the jerky together and make it pliable and not dried out too much.
- A jerky gun really helps when making a lot of ground jerky
- Adding Liquid smoke will give it a flavor as if it was dried in a smoker
For more in depth directions on how to dry your beef jerky, visit my page Jerky Making Methods or click on the pictures below.
- 1 lb Lean ground beef (10% fat or less)
- Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl
- In a larger bowl, combine the 1lb of ground beef with the previously mixed ingredients
- Mix the ground beef and seasonings thoroughly
- If using a jerky gun, load the gun with the ground beef mixture & shoot 4-5" long strips onto a dehydrator tray or on a baking sheet
- If not using a jerky gun, spread the ground meat on a baking sheet, cover with wax paper, and roll with a rolling pin until meat is 1/4" thick
- Slice the pan of beef into jerky strips 4-5" long and 1" wide
- Ground jerky is finished when it first starts becoming dry to the touch. It should bend without breaking in half. If it cracks in half when bent a little bit, it was over dried