RESOURCES FOR FOOD BLOGGERS & JERKY MAKERS
This page is here for you to see what products and services I use to keep my blog going on a day to day basis and what equipment I use when making my beef jerky.
Disclaimer – Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. All links I provide on this site will be products that I have personally used and can recommend. I will not recommend any products or services that I do not use or trust.
FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY TOOLS
Nikon D3300 – This is the camera I use for all of my food photography. My photographs have improved greatly after getting a SLR camera. Before this camera I used my cell phone (Samsung Galaxy S4) to take pictures which did the trick but were no where close to as professional as I wanted. The D3300 takes great pictures as well as HD videos. If you do not have the funds for a SLR, start with your cell phone or any camera you have on hand. It’s better to start blogging and taking pictures than waiting to buy a good camera!
Nikon 50mm 1:1.8G – This lens is used to take 70% of all my food photography. I love this lens! There is no zooming in and zooming out with this lens. This is only for shooting at 50mm, which works great for food. I would recommend using this lens with the Nikon for starters. I have found that it works great for my needs. It is easy to get carried away with super expensive lenses from the beginning, but you can create great photos without breaking the bank with this lens.
ScanDisk 64GB Extreme SD Memory Card – When you get a SLR camera, you will want to shoot in RAW. These pictures take up A LOT of space! Having a fast and large memory card is very important. I like ScanDisk and use this card in my camera. The 64GB has a lot of memory that can store tons of pictures as well as video. I would recommend having a good card if you have the extra cash.
Starting your Own Blog
GoDaddy – GoDaddy is the hosting company I use for Jerkyholic. I am positive that you have heard of them or their famous NASCAR driver, Danica Patrick. Other than the weird/risque commercials they always air during the Super Bowl, they know what they are doing. GoDaddy has several different plans for hosting and can also help you with getting a domain name for your blog. This is a great place to start. If you need a little more help on setting up your food blog, visit my page How to Start a Food Blog.
Free Themes for WordPress – I currently use a free theme for Jerkyholic. There are plenty of free themes you can browse through when first starting your blog. Read through comments and try several until you find the one perfect for you. I would recommend using a theme that has plenty of reviews and a high rating. Free themes are great for saving money, you can always switch to a personalized theme later down the road.
Nesco Snackmaster Pro – A dehydrator is a great way to make beef jerky. You do not need to break the bank when purchasing a dehydrator. This Nesco is a very popular model that I personally use all the time. Not is it only great for making beef jerky, but it also has the potential to dry vegetables, fruit, and fruit rolls. The description says there is no need to rotate trays, but it is a good idea to do so. I have tested the temperature of a top tray compared to a bottom tray and it does vary about 25 degrees. The air flow is great, clean up is easy, and the temperature control is a must. This unit makes fantastic jerky and is a great deal at a reasonable cost!
Masterbuilt Smoker – This electric smoker is easy to use and churns out a great product. No hovering over your charcoal smoker trying to keep the temperature just right, this digital electric smoker will keep it locked in at your desired temp. More of a set it and forget it aspect of smoking jerky; perfect for smoking jerky while watching the game. This 30inch has plenty of room whether you want to smoke 1lb or 10lbs of jerky strips. If you have ever wanted to take your jerky skills to the next level, a smoker is a great way to do it. You also get to smoke ALL types of goodies in this bad boy! Ribs, chicken, turkey, sausage, snack sticks……. The possibilities are endless!
LEM Jerky Cannon – Great for making formed jerky, this cannon will make your job A LOT easier! Whole meat jerky has a special place in my heart and stomach, but every so often I do make formed jerky. Formed jerky is made from seasoned ground meat that can be placed in this gun and squeezed out making perfect jerky strips. This gun comes with 1 single jerky nozzle as well as a double nozzle for when you are making large batches of jerky. Even though I don’t make a lot of formed jerky, I LOVE making snack sticks… Yes, this gun is excellent when making snack sticks! LEM makes great products that last, even after extensive use. I highly recommend this jerky cannon over the plastic ones commonly found.
Meat Thermometer – Keeping yourself and your loved ones safe is very important, and this little gadget can help you do that. All jerky should be heated to an internal temperature of 160° F to eliminate the possibility of food borne illness. I have used this thermometer to check the temperature of my jerky in the oven, dehydrator, and smoker. I love using this when cooking dinner as well. No more guessing when cooking chicken or steaks, this thing will tell you as soon as you reach the desired internal temp. I LOVE this thing!
Prauge Powder #1 (Curing Salt) – Have you ever wondered why smoked and dried meat has that red color and a recognizable taste? The reason is because these meats have been cured using a salt cure such as this one. This curing salt prevents food poisoning by inhibiting the growth of harmful microorganisms. This is very important when using low cooking temperatures seen in such processes as making beef jerky. If you decide not to use curing salt, always make sure to heat your jerky meat to 160° at the beginning of the cooking process to kill bacteria. Curing salt can be hard to find in local grocery stores; I would recommend buying online or try your local butcher.