I love beef jerky. It’s a great snack when you’re hiking, scuba diving, or spending a long day at the flying field. Lately I’ve been in jerky heaven since a friend taught me how to make my own. It’s not only cheaper than the store-bought stuff, it tastes better, too.

Here’s the secret to making great homemade beef jerky. Start by buying a Nesco Snackmaster Express food dehydrator. You can pick it up at Wal-Mart for $40, or order it from Target’s Web site. Then buy a Nesco Jerky Works kit. The kit includes a jerky gun (for making strips or tubes of jerky) and spices and cure for giving your meat that jerky taste. To make jerky, you simply mix a pound of extra-lean ground beef (yes, ground beef) with one pack of jerky mix and one pack of cure, use the jerky gun to squeeze the meat into strips, and stick the strips in the dehydrator for 4 hours. I throw in a little cayenne pepper to give the jerky an extra bite. The results are amazing. People can’t believe they’re eating ground beef.

No, I don’t get paid to endorse Nesco products. But if you’re from Nesco and are looking for someone to endorse your products to computer programmers, give me a call. 🙂