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History of Beef Jerky

The generations of people who have inhabited the Rocky Mountains have enjoyed smoked meat products. People would use a curing and smoking method that allowed for nourishment during hard times. This method of smoking and curing was a means of preservation for meats. The early Indians would dry venison, buffalo and elk meat. Some would rub berries on the meat and let it dry in the sun to create "Pemmican" jerky. The early trappers and explorers would build smoke huts and hang cuts of meat over a fire. The smoke would cure and the heat dry the meat. Every family had their own recipe for smoked meat. Jerky was created when the meat would be cut into strips, flavored and then cured. Stripping the meat from the carcass into pieces allowed for different size cuts to be made into jerky. Some of these cuts would have not been able to be used if they were not preserved. Smoked meats became a staple for people living in the Rocky Mountains.


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