Jerky, a beloved snack around the world, is renowned for its rich flavor and really convenient portability. Though this travel-friendly food is a long-time favorite among food enthusiasts worldwide, only some know its incredible journey from farm to snack. We’re here to fix that.
In this deep dive, we’ll explore the intricate process of transforming farm-raised pork into the delicious food we all know and love. The journey it takes is an absolutely fascinating blend of tradition and modern culinary techniques, making every bite of pork jerky as good as the last.
Sourcing the Pork
Making the perfect jerky starts with sourcing the best pork possible.
Selecting the Right Breed of Pigs
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Quality Assurance in Pig Farming
It goes without saying that the well-being of the pigs used is absolutely paramount. Farms used to make quality pork jerky need to stick to strict quality assurance protocols. These essential rules make sure pigs are raised in a humane and stress-free environment. And it’s not just about ethics; it actually contributes to the meat’s quality. Because a happy pig is a tasty pig!
Butchering and Meat Preparation
Choosing quality pork is one thing, but proper butchering and preparation are just as crucial for ensuring the best jerky possible.
Proper Pig Slaughter and Inspection
The most important part of butchering? That it’s done with precision and respect, of course. Once mature, the pigs are humanely slaughtered, and the meat goes through really rigorous inspections. These inspections are to ensure it meets health and safety standards set by the country of origin. Only the very best cuts make it to the next step.
Meat Selection and Marination
The best cuts are called the prime cuts. They’re usually from the hind legs or shoulders and are chosen specifically for their lean texture. Premium cuts are taken and marinated. But marination isn’t just about the flavor. Sure, that’s important, but the process also tenderizes the meat, preparing it for the next step: drying and curing.
Marinade and Flavoring
There are innovative companies out there who’ve elevated the task of marination into an art form.
Marinades and flavorings can introduce new, global flavors into the meat that revolutionize the world of pork jerky. Soaking the meat in a curated mixture of spices, herbs, and sometimes even a touch of sweetness creates a really unique taste profile to tantalize the palate.
Drying and Curing
Once marinated, the pork is left to dry and cure, soaking up every inch of the flavors introduced.
The drying and curing process can take anywhere from several hours to several days to complete properly. Removing the moisture from the meat concentrates the flavor, creating that signature chewy texture we all know and love jerky for. Modern methods have refined this technique to ensure better product consistency.
Packaging and Storage
Getting jerky from warehouse to customer involves some pretty nifty packaging techniques.
Once dried and cured, jerky is packed into airtight containers that preserve its freshness and that all-important flavor. Storing it properly is absolutely crucial to maintain the quality of the product until it reaches the happy customer.
Quality Control and Safety Measures
From start to finish in this production process, really strict quality control and safety measures are put in place.
These measures include regular testing for pathogens, and ensuring equipment and facilities meet health standards. The overall goal? To deliver a safe, high-quality jerky product directly to the customer.
The adventure of pork jerky creation is an exciting blend of traditional techniques and modern culinary art. From the careful selection of the pig breed to the intricate drying process, every single step is absolutely crucial in creating this globally loved snack. It’s truly a testament to the dedication of makers to continue to make jerky that’s exciting and full of flavor.
If you’re bored of the same old jerky flavors, head over to JerkyBrands. As the internet’s leading provider of jerky, there’s something for everyone in their huge selection.
Do you love jerky? Let us know in the comments your favorite jerky and why.