My beef that I used was 80% lean. I would think that you should use at least that lean if not more.
I will be showing several pictures along the way to help explain this easy procedure.
You can use either your oven or a dehydrator. I used both, as I made 2 pounds. They took the same amount of time - but we both agreed that the dehydrator jerky was the best consistency. (BOTH are great though).
Here is a picture of the seasoning that I used. I bought it at Rural King, but I am sure you can find jerky seasoning/cure at many places.
My meat was on sale for $1.99/lb., therefore each pound of jerky cost less than $3.
I see 2 oz. packages at the store for more money than that.
Preheat oven at 170*, if using oven.
Set aside one pound of meat in a mixing bowl. Take on packet seasoning and one packet cure and dump into a small bowl. Add approximately 1 tablespoon water to the mix. Stir until well blended. Add to ground meat - and mix thoroughly through the meat. (I used my hands). Place the meat in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to blend flavors (over night is fine too).
You will need a sandwich bag or couple pieces of saran wrap. Cut sandwich bag down each side, so it lays completely open. You will also need something about 1/8" deep to use as guides. I used a paint stirrer that I broke in two. You need a rolling pin.
Make smalls balls of the ground meat - approx. walnut size (smaller than golf ball size).
Place on one side of plastic bag - mash a little - fold other side of bag over the top. Place guides on each side and roll flat. (The guides keep it from getting too thin)
Peel meat off plastic and set either on dehydrator rack or on a baking rack. I added foil under my baking racks, as I didn't know how much grease I would lose.
I lost perhaps a 1/2 teaspoon of grease in the dehydrator (for 1 lb.) and less than that in the oven for 1 lb. I thought that was amazing.
I let both the oven and the dehydrator go for 2 1/2 hours. Jerky was done. I blotted it a bit with paper towels, and then placed in a sealed container in the frig. Keep your jerky REFRIGERATED (it is meat). It will be great in the frig for at least 2 weeks, or you can freeze for longer storage.
There are many flavors of seasoning available, so you can experiment and see what you like the best. You can roll it into chips or strips - any shape you'd like. Just keep it about 1/8" thick.
I TOLD YOU IT WAS EASY!
It doesn't get much easier than that. This is my first time making jerky, and I will surely be doing it often. G absolutely loves it. We often buy jerky around the holidays as gifts, and a 2 lb. bag costs over $25! (Uncle Mike's).
We have always liked jerky that really seemed like a piece of meat and not a piece of veneer!
I hope you give this a try. It is super easy to make and so very tasty!!!!!