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Nesco Jumbo Works Beef Jerky kit, 1, Red
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|Number of Items||1|
|Diet Type||Gluten Free|
About this item
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- Original flavor jerky seasoning and cure for 4 pounds of meat
- Two packets of seasoning and two packets of cure
- Includes jerky gun with three attachments for sticks or strips
- Seasoning made in the USA
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From the manufacturer
We’re more than just a trusted brand with a solid reputation. NESCO means bringing everyone together for all the special occasions that fill your life like Thanksgiving, or just a weeknight dinner with your family.
When it comes to small kitchen appliances, NESCO provides stylish designs trusted for performance, relied upon for durability, and endeared for their savory results. Whether you’re searching for that perfect gift, looking to make dinner at home yourself, or get the most for your money, our innovative products put the joy back in cooking, making kitchen time more enjoyable.
We make cooking easier and food more delicious.
Delight family, outdoor enthusiasts or hunters with the NESCO Jerky Works Jumbo Kit original flavor seasoning that makes up to 4 lbs. of meat. Two packs of seasoning & two packs of cure are included to make fresh homemade jerky from lean ground or sliced beef, pork, turkey, or other meat. To use, simply mix the spice and cure packs with lean ground meat or add a ½ cup of water to the spice and cure when making sliced jerky. Use the included jerky gun kit to make strips or sticks or place slices onto a NESCO dehydrator or in a conventional oven for a great-tasting snack. Jerky will be ready in a matter of hours and at a fraction of the cost of store-bought. Tuck a few bags of jerky into a school backpack or camping gear for a thoughtful and tasty treat perfect for any student or sportsman. The NESCO Jerky Works Jumbo Kit Original Flavor Seasoning is gluten free and made in the USA.
Dextrose, sugar, salt, spices, natural smoke flavor, hydrolyzed soy protein, monosodium, glutamate, dehydrated onion, dehydrated garlic, caramel color, silicon dioxide (anticaking), calcium silicate (anticaking) Allergens: contains soy, Jerky Cure Ingredients: salt sodium nitrate (0.62%). Nitrate is used in curing meats. Follow instructions and keep put of reach of children.
Reviewed in the United States on August 6, 2022
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Easy to use and clean up.
I purchased this for use with my Nesco FD-75PR 700-Watt Food Dehydrator , but despite the glowing reviews on Amazon, I personally did not find this jerky gun very easy to use.
To start with, if you just load this jerky gun with ground beef right out of the package, you will find that the gun clogs instantly - there isn't enough pressure to force the ground beef through. If you soak the ground beef first in liquid (like, for example, soy sauce) and load it into the gun and press the trigger... the liquid will be forced out, the ground beef will stay in the gun, and another clog will result. In fact, the *only* way to get the ground beef to come out of the tube in strips is to puree it to a liquid beforehand in a food processor, blender, or electric mixing bowl.
Once you've actually got pureed ground beef, you have to actually extrude the jerky from the gun. The major problem here is that there are only two ways to push material out of the tube: either you press the button for short, controlled bursts, or you hold the button down with one hand and push the presser bar until you've gotten the length you like. Pressing the button for short bursts is completely useless, however, since the gun spits out about an inch of jerky (if that) so shudderingly that it immediately disconnects from the gun - so if you want a jerky STRIP instead of tiny jerky bites, you're going to have to hold the button down and use the presser.
The problem with the presser method is three-fold. First, you'd better be pretty strong to push the presser successfully, and I mean *very* strong, and you'd better have a steady hand - if you tremble at all, the jerky strip tears off from the gun. Second, you'd better have pretty long arms because the presser literally doubles the length of the tube. And third - and this is the biggest problem - you need three arms. You have to have one hand on the button at all times in order to work the presser manually and of course you have to use a second hand to operate the presser. If you have a circular dehydrator (and most people do), you're going to have to get a second person to help and turn the plate as you extrude jerky. You can't just extrude some and then use your presser hand to turn the plate and keep going, because that slight motion will break the jerky strip.
Consequently, jerky with this kit is a big production at our house - I puree the meat and stuff it into the jerky gun, my fiance operates the plastic gun while I turn the dehydrator plate to create the necessary long 'jerky spiral' that dries so nicely and breaks into strips. And then, of course, there's the clean-up which takes awhile: not only are these several pieces to clean, but the screwed on top doesn't come off easily after the jerky juices have leached into it during use.
After several uses with this kit, I kind of dread making ground beef jerky, just because it's so tricky to do with this. I wonder if I should have gotten a more expensive machine - maybe one that would extrude in a strip automatically, and just let me worry about positioning and turning? It really shouldn't have to take 3-4 hands to operate a jerky gun. In the meantime, I'm sticking to 'strip steak jerky' just because it's so much easier.
A side note about the seasonings - they are VERY strong. We used them at the given ratio and were completely overwhelmed; even halving the ratio only helped a little. And they're not even really that great - the strongest taste is of MSG and salt. And if you use soy sauce to liquefy the meat, you really don't need MORE salt. I'd recommend making your own seasoning from an online recipe or something because these just didn't taste good at all, in my opinion.
~ Ana Mardoll
What I like:
The gun itself is very helpful in forming strips and sticks of jerky. The different nozzles allow me to make my jerky into whatever shape I like. The gun is easy to use and quite precise. All you have to do is load it with seasoned ground beef and squeeze it out. You can control the length of the jerky. It even makes a pleasant clicking sound as you watch your neat strips/sticks of jerky come out from the other end. I would not know how to form ground beef otherwise. Your hand WILL get tired after a while, but that is why we have two hands =)
I LOVE the seasoning & cure packets that came with it. They were delicious, and make your jerky taste exactly like store bought stuff. They give you a good amount, too. Enough to make 5-10 pounds of jerky depending on your taste. After finishing them I decided to mix my own cure & seasoning by buying salt cure and liquid smoke, etc. but so far I haven't been able to come up with a consistently tasty seasoning for my jerky. If you want consistent great tasting jerky, I highly recommend ordering more of these packets individually.
However, this jerky gun, as convenient as it is, does have a major, major, MARJOR problem...
The VITAL piece that pushes out the jerky is made of PLASTIC!!!! Oh lord, what are they thinking?! I am talking about the piece that connects to the end of the core metal stick. It is made of a thin piece of plastic! I understand that it needs to come off so it can be cleaned, but can't they make it metal too? My jerky gun is lying in the bottom storage drawer of my oven right now, because that one little piece of plastic cracked after making jerky 9-10 times. Yes, I made a lot of jerky with it, yes, it was great while it lasted --- but if you want a long term relationship with your jerky gun, and not have to toss the whole thing just because one little piece malfunctioned, you need to look else where for a sturdy gun.
One (not so good) way to fix it:
This vital piece began cracking after my 6th batch of jerky. It did not fall apart, just a little crack, so I found a temporary solution: I found a metal jar cap that is the same size, cleaned it well, and placed it in front of the plastic piece. It worked for a while, but eventually the meat escaped from the space around it and made a mess (what was I thinking). Also, you can try super glue. I haven't tried it yet, but super glue works wonders with plastic.
With all its imperfections, this one does seem to be the most economic jerky gun--- precisely because it is imperfect. So I would say if you are a first time jerky maker, and you're not sure if you would want to make jerky forever, then give this a try. If you are like me, and eat jerky as a part of your stable diet, please skip this item and buy an all metal jerky gun. They do have those, though they are much more expensive.
Thanks for reading!
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UPDATE: I've now made 6 batches of jerky using this jerky gun, each batch was about 3lbs (which is pretty much the max capacity of my dehydrator), including turkey jerky and moose jerky. I ran out of jerky cure almost immediately, so I did some research and ordered Prague Powder from Amazon. The quantity of cure you use with the pink salt is SO MUCH LESS than the cure required with this kit, and the "way too much salt" issue has been fixed as well - I'm guessing the cure that comes with the Nesco kit contains a lot of salt. I've been making my own spice combinations, which have turned out much nicer than the spices contained in this Nesco kit! My family LOVES the jerky I'm producing. The jerky gun is still holding up, but there have been a few times where the pressure of extruding the meat has caused the gun barrel to 'pop' off of the handle - the plastic threads just couldn't handle it! When it finally breaks for good, I'll spend the extra money on the aluminum jerky gun, since these snacks are too delicious to just stop making.