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Oster Beef Jerky Kit – Review

Oster Beef Jerky Kit

For Christmas last year I received several very nice presents from someone close to me who knows how much I love to entertain and prepare foods. One of those presents was an Oster Beef Jerky Kit.

On the box it states this device will allow you to “Make Jerky at Home with Ease.” The kit includes a Large Jerky Press with Trigger, 3 tips for a variety of sizes, and 5 Jerky Seasoning and Cure Packets. I suspect there may have been an ulterior motive with this present since the giver and I go camping together.


After borrowing a food dehydrator for the purpose, I finally decided to try my hand at making my own jerky. The instructions were very straightforward and the kit has everything needed to make jerky except for the meat.

An advantage to making jerky using the press is that you use ground meat rather than purchasing whole pieces and slicing them. This makes the process both easier and less expensive plus the seasonings permeate the meat without having to wait for it to marinate.

Jerky Seasoning

The process is very straightforward. Simply blend the ground meat with the ingredients in the seasoning packet (spices and cure), load the meat into the press, select the tip you want, and squeeze. The ‘soon to be’ jerky is extruded out the end in the shape you have determined, whether it is narrow or wide strips, or a round stick.

Jerky Press and Tips

I recommend extruding right onto the dehydrator trays to minimize handling. Making a nicely shaped piece of jerky takes some skill which for me I think may take some time. It requires a steady hand and careful moving of the press as the meat comes out the end.

When the plunger in the press is extended to its farthest point there will still be enough meat in the tip to make more jerky. At this point you can disassemble the press and force it out of the tip manually. Or simply remove the meat from the press, roll or pat it with your hands into the desired shape, and place on the dehydrator tray.

Extruding the Jerky

Stack the trays in the dehydrator, plug it in, and let it do its work. Depending on the dehydrator, the thickness of the meat, and the amount of moisture needing to be extracted, the drying process can take from 4 hours to overnight.

Check the instructions on your dehydrator for the manufacturer’s recommendations and safe food handling information which will vary depending upon which type of ground meat you are using.

Beef Jerky

For this jerky I used lean ground beef, although you can use any kind of ground meat. Just make sure you are familiar with safe food handling practices for the kind of meat you are using as some require heating the jerky to a certain temperature even after drying and refrigerating until serving. For the batch of jerky sticks I added 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the seasoning to give it an extra ‘kick.’

You don’t have to limit yourself to the seasoning packets available through Oster. After doing some research you can experiment with your own seasoning combinations. However, I can’t stress this enough – make sure you are aware of and observe safe food handling practices for the type of meat you are using.

Spicy Beef Sticks

Buying jerky can be very expensive and making it the conventional way can be difficult, time consuming, and costly. I found using the Oster Beef Jerky Kit for making my own jerky to be easy, quick, and inexpensive. As far as quality in comparison to packaged jerky purchased from the store, I found the jerky made using this method to be comparable.

You might expect jerky made from ground meat to be crumbly and unstable, but this process actually produces jerky of much the same texture as that cut from solid pieces of meat. For anyone who loves to eat jerky, and is willing to put in a little effort to save a significant amount of money, I highly recommend the Oster Beef Jerky Kit. It delivers what it promises by allowing you to  “Make Jerky at Home with Ease.”

Creamy Parmesan and Bacon Cauliflower Soup

I have had a head of cauliflower staring at me in my refrigerator ever since I bought it a few weeks ago to add to some pickled vegetables. After adding all the other ingredients to the pickles, I ran out of room for the cauliflower so it was sent into storage.

Of course fresh produce can’t sit around for very long before its quality starts to degrade, it goes bad and eventually has to be discarded. This is something I try to avoid, so either I only purchase fresh produce if I have a specific use planned for it, or come up with a use in a relatively short period of time.

I happened to be working from home today, and it is a little chilly outside, so some fresh hot soup sounded really good.

Creamy Parmesan and Bacon Cauliflower Soup

Here is the recipe I put together for Cauliflower soup that I think you will really enjoy. In my household is a particularly finicky eater who told me they LOVED it! I hope you do too.

Creamy Parmesan and Bacon Cauliflower Soup

4 T Butter

1 small Onion, yellow diced
2 small Carrot, thinly sliced
2 stalk Celery, thinly sliced
1 Sweet bulb onion, diced
1 head Cauliflower coarsely chopped

2 qts Chicken broth

4 slices Bacon, thickly sliced
6 T Flour
2 c Milk
1 c Cream
1 c Parmesan cheese

1 T Salt, Kosher
1 T Pepper, ground

Sour Cream, room temperature

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Add the diced onion and cook until it becomes translucent. Then add the carrots, celery & sweet bulb onion and cook until tender.

Add cauliflower, cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.

Pour in chicken broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

In a large saucepan cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon, reserving bacon fat. Add enough butter to the bacon fat in the pan to make 4 tablespoons total fat. Add flour and combine.

Add milk & cream and whisk until thick and smooth. Mix in Parmesan cheese.

Crumble the bacon and add to the soup along with this mixture and the salt & pepper.

Cook on medium until fully heated.

Pour into bowls and serve with a spoonful of sour cream on top.

Parmesan Hash Brown Potatoes

One item I love having  for breakfast when I can is Hash Brown Potatoes. It is very popular with most of the people I know.

Parmesan Hash Browns

The problem with the way many cooks are used to making Hash Browns is they often become a gray gooey mess because of the starches and liquid in the potatoes. There is a method to making crispy flavorful Hash Browns every time. The secret is after you shred the potatoes to rinse them thoroughly with fresh cool water, allow them to drain completely in a colander, then add in other ingredients to serve as binders for the Hash Brown patties.

Here is my recipe for seasoned Parmesan Hash Brown Potatoes that I think you will like.


3 Potatoes, Russet medium

2 T Flour
½ c Parmesan cheese
1/8 t Cayenne (Red) pepper
¼ t Paprika
¼ t Salt, Kosher
¼ t Pepper, freshly ground

1 clove Garlic, minced

½ c Oil (for frying)

Peel and grate the raw potatoes. Rinse grated potatoes and place in colander to drain.

Shredded Potatoes for Hash Browns

Mix flour Parmesan cheese and seasonings together  and combine with drained shredded potatoes.

Add oil to pan and heat on medium until a shred of potato placed in the hot oil begins to sizzle.

Form seasoned grated potatoes into patties and place in pan with hot oil. Cook five minutes per side, or until golden brown.

Hash Brown Seasoning Mix

After cooking, place patties on plate to drain and sprinkle with salt if preferred.

Two Party Quiche Recipes

Christmas Eve is a traditional time for our family to get together. Everyone brings a dish (or two) to share and it is an opportunity for me to try some new dishes that I hope all will enjoy.

This year I decided to create two new delicious quiche recipes. Quiche makes a good party food. It is versatile, can be served at room temperature, and is easy to dish up and eat.

Crab Artichoke Quiche

Trouble was, at 10:00 am my gas oven decided to start acting up. I still had several dishes, including these two quiche, to make, and guests were due to start arriving at 2:00 pm.

So, the solution was to rush down to the closest store and purchase a temporary replacement. What I ended up purchasing was the largest countertop style electric oven I could find (this is on Christmas Eve, mind you).

Electric Oven

How well this oven works will be the subject of a future review, as will be the Ninja Express Chop (also featured in the picture), which I received as a present.

Here are the recipes:


1 T Olive oil
3 Onions, green chopped

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c Cream
1 c Parmesan cheese, grated
1 t Salt, Kosher
½ t Pepper

1 c Crab Meat
1 c Artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped

Prepared pie crust

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Bake the piecrust for ten minutes.

Sauté onion in Olive Oil until softened.

Mix together the eggs, cream, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.

Mix the onions into the egg/cream mixture.

Next add the crab and the artichoke hearts, stirring gently.

Pour into the lightly baked piecrust.

Bake at 325 degrees for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until the quiche is set and the internal temperature is 165 degrees.

Spinach Swiss Quiche


1 8 oz pkg Cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 c Cream, heavy whipping
3 eggs

10 oz Spinach, chopped frozen (thawed and drained)
½ c Gruyere cheese, grated
¼ c Parmesan cheese, grated
1 c Swiss cheese, 1/4 inch cubes

6 Green onions, chopped

1/4 t Salt, Kosher
1/4 t Pepper

Prepared pie crust

Preheat oven to 425°.

Bake the piecrust for ten minutes.

Beat cream cheese, cream and eggs until smooth.

Mix in remaining ingredients.

Pour mixture into prepared crust.

Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is set, about 25 minutes.

Cool before serving.