Category Archives: Kitchen Art & Science

How To Make Jerky For A Reliable, No-Fuss Food Source

Learning how to dehydrate meats (or create ‘jerky’) is a good skill to have for people who spend a lot of time outdoors. Jerky can last for up to a month at room temperature, requires no preparation to eat, and is lighter than regular foods since the moisture has been removed. It’s great for hiking and fishing trips, or spending a lot of time outdoors without the equipment to prepare food.

This advice applies to most meats, including chicken, beef (roast is best), and turkey.


1)      A working kitchen, with a fridge and a stove, and various utensils.

2)      2 lb of the meat you would like to dehydrate. Go with the leanest cut you can find, as fat will go rancid and reduce the shelf life of your jerky.

3)      A marinating sauce. Olive oil and salt is popular, as is the Soy/Worchester/garlic/salt and pepper mix, but feel free to experiment and find one that works for you.

4)      Ziploc bags for storage


1)      Slice your meat into as thin strips as possible. A great idea is to go to a deli, and have it sliced into 1/16th of an inch strips. The thinner they are, the better your jerky will be.

2)      Trim off any excess fat with a knife. This will make your jerky last longer.

3)      Put your strips into a bowl with your marinating sauce. Mix it up.

4)      Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let marinate in the fridge for 2 hours.

5)      Put the contents of your bowl into a pot or sauce pan. Put a stove burner on high, and boil for five minutes to kill all bacteria.

6)      Lay your meat slices onto a paper towel, and let them drain.

7)      Place your meat slices onto the racks of your oven. Set the oven to 160 F, and keep the door open an inch or two to help with air flow.

8)      Cook the meat for 6 to 12 hours. You want all moisture to be removed. You’ll know when it is when the meat cracks, but bends and doesn’t snap.

9)      Remove your slices from the oven and let them cool completely.

10)   Put your slices into an air-tight Ziploc bag, to keep it fresh for as long as possible. Your jerky will be good for a month at room temperature, and can be frozen and last up to 6 months.

Good luck and stay prepared!

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An easy dessert to cook while camping

For most people, cooking while camping can be time consuming and stressful.  If you are bringing kids along, finding food they will eat can be the hardest part of your trip.  While everyone will probably enjoy eating smores for one night while camping, it’s not the healthiest dessert you could be cooking over the fire. One great (and basically effortless) dessert you could be making instead are ‘banana boats’.

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All you will need to make banana boats is:

Bananas (one per person)

An assortment of your favorite candies or other additives

Tin Foil

A knife

Hot coals or hot remnants from your campfire

To make the banana boat, you will need to leave the banana in the peel.  You will take the knife and slit the banana from the stem to the bottom of the banana.  Be careful that you do not slit through the bottom side of the peel or all the contents will melt out of it.  Also, have the slit on the side of the banana that will continue to face upwards even when you are not holding onto it.

Next stuff the banana with any food or candies that you enjoy.  This can be anything from peanut butter or nuts, to little marshmallows or broken up pieces of candy bars, like Snickers.  While chocolate is always delicious to add, it may be too sweet for some people.  This is because the banana will caramelize from the heat, making it extremely sweet all by itself.

When you are finished stuffing your banana to your hearts desire, wrap the banana in tin foil.  If you have a lot of people, you may want to mark the wrapped bananas with permanent marker so they don’t get confused with each others.

Next place the wrapped bananas on hot coals or the hot remnants from your campfire.  Again be sure to place the banana so that the slit if facing upwards or all the goodies will fall out and melt on the banana peel.  Leave the banana on the fire for approximately 15 minutes.

Be careful if eating them directly after removing them from the fire, they will be extremely hot.  While they may not be the healthiest dessert (raw fruit would be healthier) they are fun for the whole family to make and experiment with the different additives.


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Camping and Outdoor Cooking Safety

There’s nothing better than venturing into the great outdoors and cooking traditional food filled with authenticity and natural flavor. It’s a chance to get back to the basics while achieving tastes that you can’t get in any fancy kitchen. Camping trips are simply incomplete without great food, and it’s your responsibility to explore as many tasty options as possible. While enjoying yourself should be a priority, you have to remember that it’s not all fun and games. There are basic elements you need to address in order to preserve the safety of your entire family. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to anything camping related, and this fully applies to outdoor cooking as well. Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind the next time you go camping.

Set up a Safe Cooking Space – it’s absolutely essential to finding a good place for your gas or charcoal grill. You should have a firm surface that limits the likelihood of tipping. Some smaller grills don’t handle weight well so you have to be careful about where you put them. It’s far better to find a sturdy model anyways so that you get a full barbecue that can accommodate your entire family. Most importantly, don’t make the drastic mistake of attempting to barbecue inside your tent!

Clean Your Equipment – it’s important to be familiar with your equipment and maintain it properly in an outdoor environment. Make sure to read instructions carefully and ensure there are no loose bits and pieces, especially if you’re working with a gas model. Keep it well stored at all times and make sure that you clean it after each cooking session so that you don’t get unwanted leftovers in your next meal.

Food Safety – you won’t have the luxury of working with modern refrigerators so that means you have to be more diligent with basic food safety. Keep your coolers separated and well-stocked while teaching your kids about basic food handling practices. There’s nothing worse than catching a bout of food poisoning while camping, so you have to make sure to keep uncooked meat separate from everything else. And if you have thawed anything from your cooler, make sure that you cook it right away rather than putting it back inside.

Cook your Food Thoroughly – you might be tempted to rush the process because everything smells so good. Just make sure that you have patience with your grill so that all of your food is cooked evenly. Barbecuing is actually a pretty simple process and thanks to modern gas grills, all you really have to do is let your meat sit until it’s done. You might even want to bring along a meat thermometer if you’re cooking larger cuts of beef or chicken.

Careful Precautions – common sense always wins out in any camping environment. Something should go without saying, but it’s always good to remind yourself of basic safety practices. For example, keep your barbecue well away from dry areas and always be aware of the danger of forest fires. Keep water or a fire extinguisher handy in case things get out of control. Also ensure that when you’re done, your coals have died and there are no errant sparks that can cause potential problems.

Keep the Kids Away – a campsite can get pretty chaotic if you happen to bring your children. This is why you need to know where they are at all times. Designate a cooking area and tell your kids to stay away until you’re done. The last thing you need is one of your children running into your portable charcoal grill and potentially harming themselves. Don’t worry, they’ll get their chance to participate as they grow older but for now keep them away from the grill.

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Meco Series 4100 Model 4106 Square Utility Charcoal Grill

There are many fancier barbecues on the market but the Meco Series 4100 is the little grill that will offer you an honest charcoal experience each time you use it. The sales of gas grills have risen dramatically in recent times, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in using more traditional cooking methods. Some people prefer to use charcoal anyways because it delivers a distinct flavor that can’t be replicated when using propane or natural gas. The Meco Series 4100 is the prototypical charcoal barbecue and it’s not going to break any boundaries in terms of features or design. In fact, it’s one of the most basic barbecues on the market but sometimes that fits with more traditional cooking styles.

The grill itself is sturdily constructed and many people have reported owning a barbecue in this series for at least five years. Construction is relatively simple as long as you follow the instructions that come with the barbecue itself. And once you have it up and running there won’t be any complaints in terms of grill space or the way the design funnels heat throughout the entire barbecue. You can get a really great oven effect by closing the heavy lid and using the bottom placed vents to ensure that the fire doesn’t die out. The grill can also be lowered or raised in three separate positions depending on what type of food you are cooking.

One of the most attractive features about this traditional charcoal grill is the price, and don’t be surprised if you find one for around $70. That’s a really great price for a long-lasting product that can potentially cook food that is just as delicious as anything prepared on a $500 grill. The Meco 4100 is also a better choice than the most basic Meco product in the line because it comes with two side tables that offer more space for you to work with. Overall, this is one of the simplest charcoal grills on the market and even though it is not exactly portable, it will do the job just fine if you are planning a great backyard barbecue.

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Manual and Electric Citrus Juicers

Citrus juicers are the best partners of people who love drinking citrus fruit juices everyday. This simple juicing machine enables them to prepare their favorite juices easily and quickly. With the many health benefits these citrus fruits give to the body, citrus juicers play a very important role to help achieve the goal of staying strong and healthy.

Using a citrus juicer makes the preparation convenient, as it saves you time and effort to produce your favorite refreshing drink. One extraordinary feature of a manual citrus juicer is you don’t have to peel the fruits before juicing them. Simply cut the fruit in half and the built-in leverage in between the two handles will squeeze them like a pressing machine. This simple juicing tool works conveniently if you extract a small amount of juice for your daily consumption. Otherwise, juicing fruits in large quantities will tire your hands in pressing the handles. Obviously this manual citrus juicer doesn’t need electric power to work.

Electric citrus juicers have different types of juicing machines too. An electric reamer and a regular electric citrus juicer are the most commonly used. The electric reamer squeezes the fruit and generally produces more juice than the manual juicer. It is more convenient because it is easier to operate. Electric citrus juicers work efficiently for large volumes of juicing since it has a spinning motor that does the work.

In order for you to get the most out of the fresh oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, lemons and limes, you should use a citrus juicer and enjoy the best refreshing beverage your body needs. You can also mix up other fruit to your favorite one, for a great tasting variety of juice. One way to get more of the nutrients in the citrus fruit like Vitamin C, potassium, calcium, thiamine and niacin, is to use a citrus juicer.

Related posts:
Breville Juicers: a kitchen must-have
Hand juicer as a survival tool

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