This copycat Krave Jerky recipe has been a long time coming. I absolutely love Krave, it’s great that there are now fillers and that they use real ingredients. No unpronounceable additives or “flavoring” there! But I am disappointed that the don’t use sustainably raised animals and that they are owned by Hershey’s. It seems like every time a good company pops up it’s gobbled up by a larger corp and the ethics are compromised (Niman’s, anyone?). But, regardless, Krave jerky is now popping up at Wal-Mart for under $5 a bag but the bag is so tiny and it’s so easy to replicate at home that I had to start working on my own black cherry BBQ pork jerky recipe. Plus the original is pretty high in sugars, mine is much lower. It still holds to the original flavor but I didn’t need to add as much.
The key to making this recipe so easy lies in the right equipment and a few easy techniques. I found that I could cut the pieces to a good size using the slicing attachment on my food processor if I put the meat in the freezer for 1-2 hours beforehand. If the meat wasn’t partially frozen then the slices were thinner and messier. If I marinated after slicing then the flavors penetrated well and the dehydrated meat retained the rich tastes. You can use a dehydrator/oven combination for this jerky recipe, like I did, or the oven alone at the lowest temperature (often 170 degrees F). Or if you want to flout food safety, just use the dehydrator. I found that the additional oven roasting sometimes over cooked the meat but I was also nervous about it not being fully cooked. Your call though of course I recommend playing it safe 😉
Krave Copycat Black Cherry BBQ Pork Jerky Recipe:
1-2 lbs pork loin
3 ounces of tomato paste
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 tablespoon molasses
1/2 tablespoon cherry concentrate
3 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Place pork loin in the freezer 1-2 hours. Slice thinly using the food processor with slicing attachment or a very sharp knife. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Stir until mixed and then add the sliced pork. Make sure the pork is completely coated then cover the bowl and let it marinade in the fridge for 24-48 hours. Spread out on the dehydrator and run at 160 degrees F for about 6 hours. (Check after 4 hours, my batches varied in cooking time and some people prefer it crunchy versus soft.) Once it reaches desired level of dryness, preheat the oven to 275 and cook 10 to ensure the meat reaches a safe temperature.
Store in fridge if soft or pantry if crunchy.