Turning red meat into jerky is a simple process that has been in used for centuries. The process converts it to dry, hard, shriveled strips for in spite of the fact that these may look like inedible material to the uninitiated, jerky is a nourishing and tasty food. It is easily transported and especially valuable because it will not spoil. You can incidentally, but it in many food markets. You can make jerky of deer, elk or any such redmeat, by first cutting the lean meat into narrow strips. The strips should be less than half an inch thick. String the strips on a wire. Then dip them in a pot of boiling salt water. A cup of salt to a gallon of water is about right. As soon as the meat loses its red color, and this takes but a brief time, lift it from the water and drain it. At this stage you may want to add pepper or spices to suit your taste. Pepper is added by some to keep flies away during the drying process. Others keep a smudge fire of non-resinous wood (resinous woods include fir and pine) burning to keep insects away. But any fire must be carefully watched to keep from overheating the meat. Depending on the weather the meat should dry in two to four days if covered at night. As further insect protection, dry meat is sometimes hung in screened buildings where air circulates, but this kind of drying meat may require more time.
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