Making Jerky From Turkey Meat

I thought I’d post a short weekend culinary tip here.  Recently I wrote about making jerked meat.  Never having tried to make jerky from turkey before, I finally did it this past week.  I was at first skeptical that the results would be encouraging, but it all worked out well.  Here are the steps and the results.  The final result was delicious and practical:  you can take the meat with you on trips, for lunches, or whatever.

1.  Buy the turkey breast.  All I did here was go to the standard mega-store and buy one of the standard frozen turkey breasts.  Nothing special here:

2.  Thaw the meat and then slice it into strips.  Thickness will naturally vary here depending on your taste or preference.

3.  Prepare the marinade.  I decided to experiment a little this time.  I actually used a brine instead of soy sauce.  My marinade consisted of these ingredients:

  • Salted water (be careful here not to use too much salt)
  • Coriander seeds (a lot of them)
  • Splash of teriyaki sauce
  • Liquid smoke
  • Few tablespoons of honey
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Powdered onion and garlic

You can of course experiment with your own seasonings.  This is the most creative part of the process, and I’d like to know how readers fared.  If you have any good marinade suggestions, let me know, or post them in the comments section here.

With the coriander seeds, I crushed them in a mortar and pestle to release the flavor.   A good way to buy spices in bulk is to get them from your local Indian or Middle Eastern grocer.  These are found in nearly every city and their spice selections are almost always better than anyone else’s.  You can get whole bags of nearly any spice you need, and buying in bulk means price savings.

4.  Marinate the meat.  Six to eight hours seems to be a good amount of  time.

5.  Lay the meat out on racks to dry, using a fan to blow on them.  You can also try the oven on the lowest possible setting.  I have relented a bit from my earlier hesitation to use oven-drying.  As long as you don’t set the heat too high, you should generally be fine.

6.  Store the meat in a plastic container.  The end result was great.  I used a bit too much salt, but for a first time experiment, it worked out well.