So I got to thinking, lets try some Beef Jerky. Not sure how it will turn out texture wise since traditional jerky has some moisture in it and freeze drying well.... doesn't. On a plus side, since it IS freeze dried, you don't have to worry about it going bad really, so don't need to drown it in a ton of salts and nitrates as preservatives like you do with jerky. I did marinate it though.
At first I was going to just cook up some Sirloins and then cut in strips and dry them, but in the process I found a bag of frozen meat pieces in my freezer. I remembered they were a denuded top round I bought a few months ago, these were some of the trimmings that needed additional cleaning but were not really enough for a meal by themselves so I bagged them for future use.
Then I remembered that I heard someone talking about vacuum marinating that it brings the flavors in really well and in short time too. Well waddya know, I have a BIG vac chamber.. my freeze dryer! I cleaned up the meat pieces and put them in a deep dish and put marinate on them and rolled them around real good and made sure they were mostly covered with it. I then took the trays out of the FreezeDryer and put the marinate bowl in there and went into manual mode and hit the vaccuum pump and let it set for about 10 minutes. It was crazy to watch. The meat with the marinate looked like it was boiling in there but the temp was cold! It expanded too like a sponge, wierd.
Ok sorry to get wordy but long story short, they turned out stupid crazy GOOD! The taste was through all the meat and it about melted in your mouth too.
So I have a bunch of bite sized meat hunks I am freeze drying to see if that is a suitable alternative for jerking the meat. I think it will work and worse case, you just add a spray of warm water and it redydrates into nice tender chunks of meat, unlike jerky which is always going to be like salted leather. I will post pics once they are done and let you know how it turns out!