American Idle: Jerky Time.

I’m extremely proud of the fact that I’ve never watched a full episode of American Idol. The last one I watched was when this delightful young man lit up my life:


Nothing could satisfy me after that. William Hung ruined me. He’s the only thing more delightful than my other youtube favorites: Star Wars According to a 3 Year Old (“And Obeey Kanobeey is kind of a teeescheeer….”); Blood! (“NaaahFUNNYYYY!”) and Ethan Laughing (Even several concussive injuries can’t stop this kid from giggling).

All right. The point is, sometimes on a Monday you need a few moments of pure delight. Unless you hate cuteness, adorability, and Star Wars (in which case, I can’t help you), watch a few of those. They’re SFW. If Monday has you feeling like you’d rather feed a Mogwai after midnight in a rainstorm, they might help.


DO NOT get him wet. And definitely DO NOT feed him after midnight.


Mondays are always tough for me, especially once the cold sets in. December always offers a few semi-cool reprieves from the cold, and combined with the onslaught of all my favorite holiday films, I survive pretty easily. But once we inch so close to February, it’s everything-is-suspended-in-midair-including-snot-bubbles COLD. It’s dark when I leave the house in the morning and dark when I get back home. I don’t feel like cooking OR working out, much less getting out of bed. I’m THE American Idle.

This means…Jerky Time.

I have to allow for a few moments of idleness in the winter. Call it reflection, call it laziness, call it Seasonal Affective LAMENESS Disorder. I’ll call it I’m Not Fixing Your Lunch Today CaveHusband so Grab A Damn PaleoKit and Leave Me Alone – itis. We got a kick-arse dehydrator recently, and it’s the perfect enabler of my Idle-Itis. Jerky is my favorite, it takes some time to eat (thus it feels more like a meal than a snack) and being able to make my own not only makes me AWESOME, but it conserves PaleoKits for when we need something delicious and portable.

I knew I couldn’t replicate the taste of Steve’s Original without about six years of dedicated experimentation and training in deliciousness, so after some great advice from Bill and Hayley of Primal Palate (see their jerky here) I got started. I followed their procedure pretty closely, though I used our dehydrator and a slightly different marinade. The 2 most important points for me were:

Freeze the meat first to make cutting NOT completely impossible.

Cut against the grain to make chewing the finished product NOT completely impossible.

Once you’ve got that dialed in, you can focus on the other 2 most important points: the marinade and the sheer enjoyment.

Like Bill & Hayley, I used coconut aminos. You can get these at Whole Foods and many decently stocked grocery stores, or you can use the Store Locator from Coconut Secret. These are just like soy sauce – without the evil GMO corporate sketchiness and thyroid jacking isoflavones soy.


Click on the photo to be taken to the website.


I marinated my sliced meat with coconut aminos and freshly grated ginger for 24 hours. 12 would have been plenty. 6 hours in the dehydrator and I had some jerky. Five minutes later, I had no more jerky, but I had a very full tummy. And a very disappointed CH.


Next time I'll save some for you, cherished partner.


I’m excited for my next Lazy Man’s Lunch (next time I’ll make a week’s worth), but I need some help with marinades – I’d like to get creative with this. Any advice?


4 Comments to “American Idle: Jerky Time.”

  1. What cut of meat did you use? I just received a dehydrator for Christmas and really want to use it.


    • Grass-fed London Broil. Just be sure to get the leanest cut possible (grass-fed is always pretty lean). Always helps to ask the butcher too – lots of times they’ll even slice it for you! Good luck!

  2. What about a sweet and spicy one? Like pineapple and jalapeno?

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