You may have read our glowing review of the Weston 10 Tray Food Dehydrator, but if you haven’t go ahead and check it out. Go on! I’ll wait. Back?! Okay, so clearly we were huge fans of the Dehydrator and so you might think that we also enjoyed the opportunity to review the Weston Original Jerky Gun and the Weston Manual Meat Cuber/Tenderizer. Well, you’d be right!!!
We found that BOTH of these tools are indispensable for making jerky! Now, let me be fair, we’ve never used a jerky gun or a manual meet cuber/tenderizer before, so we were a little apprehensive about how they would fit into our jerky routine. At first I was like "What do you do with a jerky gun? Shoot it?" Nope, turns out it’s awesome for taking high quality lean ground beef and turning it into awesome jerky strips! The first step in our new jerky making adventure was to take some ground beef and marinate it with appropriate seasonings (see the upcoming recipe post!) for at least 6 hours. Next you open up the Original Jerky Gun and get it loaded up with some balls of ground meat. Forming the balls of ground beef is pretty straightforward but they recommended you wet your hands before forming the meatballs (and that really helped)! This way the meat goes all the way into the gun and also keeps your hands from getting too sticky.
Weston provides a funnel and a meat packer tool that makes you feel like you’re loading up a black-powder rifle… fun and yet completely functional and necessary! Once you’ve got the meat loaded into your Original Jerky Gun (you can pack about 2lbs into the jerky gun at once), screw on an attachment and start cranking out some jerky strips! This was surprisingly quick and fun! The trigger is easy to use and we were filling up our 10 tray dehydrator with perfectly formed jerky strips with grace and style. Flip on the dehydrator, wait several hours, and you’re ready to package up the jerky strips and take them with you on your next hike or ski adventure! The Weston Original Jerky Gun comes with four different stainless steel attachments. There is the single and double snack stick attachment and the single and double jerky strip attachment. We used the single jerky strip attachment mostly because we didn’t have any snack stick tubes. The single strip jerky attachment worked well but I think it would be quicker and easier to use the double strip attachment going forward. Twice the strips for every pull of the trigger!
We used a slightly more fatty ground beef for one of the recipes and it turned out kind of greasy so definitely pay attention to the fat content and get as lean of beef/meat as you can. It really does make a difference. If you happen to have a plethora of fatty ground meats then using the snack stick attachments to make beef sticks is the way to go I think.
Weston smartly included two cleaning tools for use with The Original Jerky Gun and this really helped with clean up. The Jerky Gun tube detaches completely from the base and the attachments. This is ideal because you can soak the tube in the sink for a bit before running the included brushes through it. Also the Jerky Gun attachments are completely dishwasher safe! Woo hoo! We did run the smaller brush through the attachments before putting them in the top rack but I’m not sure we needed to!
All in all, our first Jerky Gun experience was pretty great and we sure can’t wait to get some more meat marinating to try our hand at some snack sticks too!!
Next up, the Weston Manual Meat Cuber and Tenderizer was also quite the treat! If you’ve made jerky from steaks or roasts before you know that the most time consuming part (other than the actual dehydration) is cutting it all into strips. Not fun! That’s where the Meat Cuber/Tenderizer comes in.
First of all, this thing looks mean! The slicer and tenderizer attachments are sharp! The entire device is very well built and sturdy. They recommend using cut resistant gloves when working with the blades and I do too! Putting the Cuber/Tenderizer together was pretty straightforward and again I couldn’t believe the quality of the parts and pieces that Weston used. It seems professional grade right down to the thumb screws!
Once we put it together we used the meat tenderizer attachment on some strips that my husband had already cut up. This worked awesome and ensured that our jerky wouldn’t be too tough. For the steak that we hadn’t already cut up we first removed the housing on the Cuber/Tenderizer and then swapped in the slicing blade for easy jerky strip creation! Using the included tongs to drop in pieces of marinated steak and letting this beast do it’s thing was fun and efficient. We went through two pounds of steak in about 3 minutes. The result was perfectly sliced meat that could be used for jerky or fajitas or stew or really anything else! It was a breeze.
Cleaning it was pretty basic as the bits that get dirty come off pretty easily. Just be very careful once you’ve soaked the blade attachments… use gloves to get them out of the sink!! Needless to say, we’ll be using the Cuber/Tenderizer for all of our steak jerky needs going forward and probably a lot more!!
The Weston Manual Heavy-Duty Meat Cuber and Tenderizer as well as the Weston Jerky Gun can be purchased straight through the manufacturer at www.westonsupply.com, found at many physical retailers nationwide or online at Amazon.com (My favorite place to shop – I’ve seen it cheapest here!) Right now the Weston Meat Cuber and Meat Tenderizer is only $122.50 plus free super saver shipping and the Weston Jerky Gun is only $33.06 plus free super saver shipping!