Are you a beef jerky lover looking to make your own delicious and healthy snack at home?
If so, you’ll need to know how to properly slice your meat to get the perfect texture and flavor.
One of the best cuts of beef for making jerky is the eye of round, which is lean and easy to work with.
But how do you slice it correctly?
In this article, we’ll give you all the tips and tricks you need to slice eye of round for beef jerky like a pro.
From trimming the fat to cutting against the grain, we’ve got you covered.
So grab your knife and let’s get started!
How To Slice Eye Of Round For Beef Jerky?
The first step in slicing eye of round for beef jerky is to trim any visible fat from the meat. Fat can cause your jerky to spoil faster, so it’s important to remove as much as possible before you start slicing.
Once you’ve trimmed the fat, take a look at the muscle fibers to determine which way they’re running. This will help you decide whether to slice with or against the grain.
If you want your jerky to be tender and easy to chew, it’s best to slice against the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers.
On the other hand, if you prefer a tougher texture, you can slice with the grain. This means cutting parallel to the direction of the muscle fibers.
Regardless of which way you choose to slice, aim for cuts that are about 1/4 inch thick. This will ensure that your jerky dries evenly and doesn’t take too long to cook.
Some people prefer to use a deli slicer for more precise cuts, but it’s also possible to freehand your slices with a sharp knife. Just be sure to keep your slices consistent in thickness for best results.
Why Eye Of Round Is The Best Cut For Beef Jerky
Out of all the sub-primal cuts from the round, the eye of round is considered the best cut for beef jerky. This is because it is slightly more tender than other cuts from the round primal. Additionally, it is a large and lean cut of meat that has little to no intramuscular marbling, making it perfect for dehydrating.
One of the best characteristics of the eye of round is its grain structure, which runs longways. This makes it easy to cut and prepare for jerky. Furthermore, it is one of the least expensive cuts of beef, making it an economical choice for homemade jerky.
When slicing the eye of round for beef jerky, it is important to trim off any visible fat before cutting. This is because fat does not dehydrate like lean meat and can lead to spoilage.
The eye of round also offers versatility in how it can be sliced for jerky. If you prefer your jerky to be tender and easy to chew, slice against the grain, which means cutting perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers. On the other hand, if you prefer a tougher texture, slice with the grain, which means cutting parallel to the direction of the muscle fibers.
Preparing The Meat: Trimming The Fat
Before slicing your eye of round for beef jerky, it’s important to trim any visible fat from the meat. This is because fat can cause your jerky to spoil faster, which will ruin your final product.
To begin, place your eye of round on a clean cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut away any visible fat. You can easily identify fat by its white or yellow color and its soft texture. Trim as much fat as you can, being careful not to remove too much meat in the process.
Once you’ve removed all visible fat, take a closer look at the muscle fibers of the meat. This will help you determine which way they’re running, which is important for deciding whether to slice with or against the grain.
If you’re having trouble identifying the direction of the muscle fibers, try pulling on the meat in different directions. You should be able to see which way the fibers are stretching and contracting.
After you’ve determined the direction of the muscle fibers, it’s time to start slicing. Whether you choose to slice with or against the grain, be sure to aim for cuts that are about 1/4 inch thick. This will ensure that your jerky dries evenly and doesn’t take too long to cook.
Choosing The Right Knife For Slicing
Choosing the right knife for slicing eye of round for beef jerky is crucial to achieving consistent and even cuts. A sharp knife is essential for slicing meat, as a dull knife will result in uneven slices that won’t marinate and dry properly.
There are a few different types of knives that can be used for slicing beef jerky, including chef’s knives, carving knives, and fillet knives. Chef’s knives are versatile and can be used for a variety of tasks, but may not be the best choice for slicing thin strips of meat. Carving knives are designed specifically for slicing meat and can be a good option for those who want more control over their cuts. Fillet knives are thin and flexible, making them ideal for slicing thin strips of meat.
When choosing a knife for slicing beef jerky, look for one with a sharp blade and a comfortable grip. A heavier knife may provide more control, but a lighter knife may be easier to handle for longer periods of time. It’s also important to keep your knife sharp by using a sharpening stone or taking it to a professional knife sharpener.
Ultimately, the best knife for slicing eye of round for beef jerky is one that feels comfortable in your hand and allows you to make consistent and even cuts. Experiment with different types of knives to find the one that works best for you.
Cutting Against The Grain: Why It Matters
Cutting against the grain is essential if you want to achieve a tender and easy to chew jerky. The grain of meat refers to the direction in which the muscle fibers run within a piece of meat. Slicing perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers will result in shorter fibers, making it easier to break down when chewing. This will give your jerky a softer texture and allow for a more enjoyable eating experience.
On the other hand, cutting with the grain will result in longer muscle fibers, making it tougher and more difficult to chew. This can be a good option for those who prefer a chewier texture, but it’s important to keep in mind that it will take longer to eat and may not be as enjoyable for some people.
When slicing eye of round for beef jerky, it’s important to take into consideration the thickness of your slices as well. Even if you slice against the grain, cutting thick slices can still leave a significant amount of tough muscle to chew through. Aim for thin slices that are about 1/4 inch thick for best results.
Tips For Achieving Consistent Thickness
Achieving consistent thickness is crucial when slicing eye of round for beef jerky. Inconsistent thickness can result in some pieces over-drying while others remain under-dried. Here are some tips to help you achieve consistent thickness:
1. Chill the meat: Before slicing, place the eye of round in the freezer for about 30 minutes to an hour. This will firm up the meat and make it easier to slice evenly.
2. Use a sharp knife: A dull knife can cause uneven cuts, so make sure to use a sharp knife when slicing. This will also make the process easier and faster.
3. Slice against a ruler or guide: If you’re freehanding your slices, you can use a ruler or guide to ensure that each slice is the same thickness. Simply place the ruler or guide next to the meat and use it as a reference point.
4. Use a jerky board: A jerky board is a tool specifically designed for slicing meat for jerky. It has guides that help you achieve consistent thickness every time.
5. Slice with a circular blade industrial slicer: If you’re making large batches of jerky, investing in a circular blade industrial slicer can save you time and effort while ensuring consistent thickness.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your eye of round slices are consistent in thickness, resulting in perfectly dried and cooked beef jerky.