Beef Jerky (and other Jerkies)

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Native Americans preserved buffalo meat by salting and smoking it while their cousins in South America did the same thing with llama meat. Meat has been dried since the dawn of civilization, how else could people survive long winters or long journeys if not with a good supply of nutritious, yet lightweight jerky?

Originally people simply set out the salted meat to dry in the sun, they probably placed the meat near fires to protect it from wild animals and discovered that the smoking helps preserve it and improved the flavor.

Since those early days, techniques for making beef jerky have been perfected. Only the very best lean beef is suitable for jerky. It's quite a long process which requires plenty of loving attention, but basically it consists on cutting the meat in very thin slices, rubbing the slices individually with pickling salts, black or green pepper and spices or other seasonings before drying it over aromatic woods.