My Review of The Judge Jerky Gun by JerkySpot

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Ok, so who would’ve thought that my adventure into dehydrating would result in so much fun? As a family, we’ve gone from eating mostly store-bought snacks most of the time, to now eating freshly dried, healthy fruits and meats regularly. And let me tell you what a fun adventure it’s been!

Today I want to share another tool we’ve been having a blast with…

This jerky gun thing started when I came across a video and page on the net. Here’s the video:

Then I investigated and I’ll tell you more about the details of what I found before I’m finished.

The way we’ve been using meat and any other stuff we dry in the dehydrator, has been by slicing it up and then place each piece on the rack, one at a time. This isn’t such a big deal, but with meat especially, it can be a pain to cut each piece the same width and size – which isn’t ideal for drying times if you have 4-5 different sized pieces on your racks.

That’s why this jerky shooter thing-a-ma-jig was such a great idea. We started out by putting ground meat in it. We spiced up the meat first, by putting pepper, salt and some other dry ingredients in beforehand. Note to self: Don’t put wet ingredients in a ground meat before loading it in the gun. It’s a mess!

Then it’s simple. I just squeezed the trigger like I would with a caulking gun, and bad-a-bing, jerky strips and snack sticks pop right out.

Cleaning it is a bit of a task, but it’s getting easier as I do it more often. The brush they include is definitely a plus.

Where did I get it?

The first place I looked was at the official website. A place called JerkySpot.com sells this jerky gun (they’re the makers of the thing). But it turns out, a quick check at Amazon revealed a much lower price, so that is where I picked it up. Here’s the page on Amazon where I found it: The Judge Jerky Gun

Pros:

  • It’s super simple to use. Just load up some seasoned ground beef and it’s ready to go.
  • I personally liked the extra capacity with the jerky gun. It holds a lot of meat and I filled it up about 2 times to fill up my dehydrator.

Cons:

  • A bit difficult to clean. It’s hand-wash only, so no throwing it in the dishwasher.
  • A tad bit big, but that’s a complaint from my spouse, and not me.
  • Can’t figure out how to make a flavor similar to my two favorite brands of beef jerky: Jack Links & Jeff’s Famous

 

Just Jerky : The Complete Guide to Making It Review

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In my quest to learn about all things jerky, I came across this book by Mary Bell, titled Just Jerky: The Complete Guide to Making It. Let me tell you what! This book is a treat unlike any recipe book I’ve read in awhile.

Mary Bell is an interesting character. In the introduction section of the book, she explains how she used to be a vegan, and then one day her child wanted to eat meat.

What did this lady do? Did she drive down to Walmart and buy a package of ground up or sliced up meat? Heck no!

The self-reliance aspect of the skill of drying and preserving meat became immediately clear in this story Mary told in the beginning of the book. She actually went out and learned how to hunt so that she could procure her own meat. What a woman!

The recipes in this book are fantastic. I’ve adapted many of them and have made them my own, and I haven’t found a better foundation for solid jerky recipes than what I found in this book.

There’s also a good holistic explanation of jerky and its origins. She delves into making it with meat, non-meat, all sorts of ingredients. There’s even a part in the book that grossed out my kids – where she talks about making blood jerky (it entails using EVERY part of the cow, including its blood).

Where did I find it?

On Amazon of course. I feel like I’m shopping here more than I do locally anymore :)

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Presto 06301 Dehydro Digital Electric Food Dehydrator Review

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Where did I find it? Bought this on Amazon.com

We picked up this dehydrator on Amazon recently and we’ve been loving it. As a kid, my father would dehydrate the plums from the trees in our backyard (aka prunes), but that was the extent of things. But now that we’ve delved deeper into dehydrating, I’ve seen there’s a world of options I wasn’t even aware of.

Over the last 6 weeks or so we’ve been drying meats, fruits and veggies. My family seems partial to the meats we make with this thing. Perhaps because there’s typically more flavor in the dried meat we’ve been making.

The operation is very simple. We slice up whatever it is that we’re drying and then we place it on the drying racks. The unit comes with interchangeable racks, which stack criss-cross on top of each other. We can also only use one rack if the batch is small.

Once everything is ready, there’s a convenient drying time recommendation right on the top lid which I’ve been using quite a bit. Meat seems to take a lot less time to dry than fruit and veggies.

When we are all done, we pop the drying racks off, empty out the batch of dried stuff, and then soak the racks in the sink to remove the stuck on food.

Pros:

  • Simple to store. The lids also fold in on each other when they are stacked in reverse.
  • Works well. We’ve used it about 8 times now and haven’t had any problems with drying.
  • Quiet. As quiet as I’d expect a dehydrator to run. It eventually turns to white noise and our family doesn’t notice it much.

Cons:

  • It’d be great if it came with a cleaning brush.
  • I would like the fan on the top instead of the bottom. Over time, I’ve heard that drippings will destroy the motor on dehydrators.

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