Can I make something non-disgusting out of this disgusting turkey jerky?
April 17, 2020 8:05 AM   Subscribe

After an unfortunate impulse buy, I have a costco-sized bag of turkey jerky that I can't force myself to eat. This one, to be precise. I hate wasting meat, especially in these times, but this stuff is foul. If I boil the crap out of it, could I make it into a tolerable stew or something, or would it keep its original flavour?
posted by randomnity to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
depends what's wrong with it.

if it's just too salty, then yeah soaking it will remove a lot of the salt, but I can't imagine anything delicious is going to come of it. People use bits of nasty preserved meat like a ham bone or a bacon rind to good effect in a pot of beans; but if you hate the flavor, you wouldn't want to add that flavor to your beans.

if you're going to toss it anyway, you can experiment with soaking/boiling it, to see what might happen if you add it to a braise of, say, carrots and onions. But I wouldn't waste other food on the experiments; do them first and see what the boiling liquid winds up tasting like. If you hate it, throw the mess away.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:32 AM on April 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

I bet you could find a dog that would really enjoy it.
posted by jabes at 8:45 AM on April 17, 2020 [15 favorites]

Costco will probably accept it as a return if you tell them you found it to be inedible. They'll trash it, but at least you get your money back and they get the message.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:46 AM on April 17, 2020 [12 favorites]

Agree with jabes — this seems like an awesome dog treat.
posted by rue72 at 8:47 AM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

There is entirely too much salt for this to be an ok dog treat. They'd love it, but it would be a MAYBE once a week treat and certainly not daily!

Take it back to Costco. There is no way to save shitty turkey jerky.
posted by phunniemee at 8:49 AM on April 17, 2020 [4 favorites]

You could give it to a neighbor or someone who likes it, and that way it won't go to waste. I personally think this stuff tastes great!

I have seen folks pulverize jerky in food processors for umami powder.
posted by juniperesque at 9:00 AM on April 17, 2020 [4 favorites]

Mince it and use like bacon bits in a salad? Not changing the taste, but a lot things like anchovies and bacon bits are not normally eaten alone but are fine in salads. Although, now that I think about it, nothing is stopping me from digging into the bag of bacon bits with a spoon...
posted by 445supermag at 9:58 AM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

I loathe turkey, and have successfully used this sort of turkey jerky in chili.
posted by aspersioncast at 10:43 AM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Shred it and cook it with beans. Basically use it in chili. Unless it has some foul flavoring that should render it edible.
posted by ottereroticist at 10:53 AM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I'm not quite sure why I (and the other person in the house) find this jerky so disgusting, as I've enjoyed a wide range of jerkies in the past. I think the main problem is just having way too much sugar+salt+smokey flavour, so it might be ok when that's all diluted and mixed with other flavours.

I guess it's probably not objectively terrible, but it is actually reminiscent of dog treats (though to my dog's great disappointment, she won't be getting any of it, since it has onion and garlic powder in it along with way too much salt and sugar).

Sadly regifting or returning aren't feasible since it's been open in the fridge for an embarrassingly long time already. I'm still comfortable with the risk of eating it myself but I don't think anyone else would want an elderly opened pack of jerky, especially in pandemic times.

I like the chili idea in combination with the tasting the jerky-water idea. I'm also intrigued by the pulverizing idea. I may separate the jerky and try both, for science. Any other ideas are also welcome!
posted by randomnity at 11:52 AM on April 17, 2020

Sounds like it would be pretty good in a split pea soup.
posted by ananci at 12:34 PM on April 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

If it's just Too Much rather than a specific gross flavour, I second the dilution idea.

I live in a country where we like eating a jerky-like dried meat product, and it can be used to flavour pretty much anything if you try hard enough, and shredded, sliced, powdered, etc.. Stew is definitely a thing. People occasionally use it as a pizza topping, but that's mostly a gimmick.

If it's very sweet and salty I'd consider pairing it with something sour, if you have something like that; e.g. some kind of sour cabbage soup or stew. Otherwise vegetables and legumes sound like a safe bet.
posted by confluency at 1:48 PM on April 17, 2020

If the problem is too much flavouring, given that smoke flavouring can be really overpowering I'd honestly be worried about wasting a bunch more ingredients through trying to use it up in another dish.
posted by quaking fajita at 1:48 PM on April 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

Costco will take a return anyway. You opened it and then didn't eat any more because you hated it right? This is one of the things returns is designed for, the only things they don't take returns on after a span of time are things like electronics afaik.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 3:19 PM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

posted by at at 8:56 PM on April 17, 2020

It's Chilli; fried onions, beans, tomato paste, cayenne, vinegar, a bit more sugar.
If you distrust that particular flavour, I think it might be overtaken by this combination.
I can't say for sure unless I tried it myself, but I'd try it.
posted by ovvl at 5:53 PM on April 18, 2020

In the interest of using up pantry ingredients I added some finely minced jerky to a soup I made last night and it was very good.
posted by mmascolino at 8:12 AM on April 20, 2020

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