Jerky: 203 Glycerin in Place of Sugar

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User


    Jerky: 203 Glycerin in Place of Sugar

    Attend this Intermediate-level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Sliced Meat
    Difference in Jerky

    No Sugar?

    A few months ago we had a suggestion on meatgistics that we try using something called vegetable glycerin instead of sugar. Let’s face it, 18% added sugar takes a relatively healthy snack like Jerky and changes it into something closer to junk food. Glycerin is a sweetener that does not interact with your body in the same way that sugar does. It doesn’t seem to spike your blood sugar levels, which would indicate that it is a better choice for everyone but especially diabetics.

    So we are making two batches of jerky from some venison we had here. One is going to be done with 18% brown sugar and one is going to be done with 18% vegetable glycerin. If you are looking for some glycerin it is relatively inexpensive to purchase large bottles of it on amazon. First, we sliced the meat into slightly thicker than 1/4 pieces and cut across the grain. Then mix all of your ingredients until everything is fully suspended, you don’t want a bunch of sugar sitting at the bottom of your mixture, so this might take some time.


    We then ran both of these through a vacuum tumbler to pick up as much of the solution as possible. You can use a home style tumbler like this Express tumbler or if you don’t have that you can also vacuum pack it, let it sit for about 24 hours and massage the meat occasionally. This will help loosen the fibers of the meat and it will pick up more of the solution.

    Smoke Schedule

    Next lay everything out on a rack in your smoker. If you have the ability to control the humidity in your smoker then I will list the relative humidity levels in the post on that we will link in the description below. If you don’t have a way to control the humidity then I would suggest you go get yourself a larger than normal water pan and a few automotive sponges. No, we aren’t gonna make you clean my truck before I tell you what to do next, you are going to get those sponges wet and then sit them in the water pan with half of it sticking out into the air. This is going to increase the surface area for evaporation and allow for greatly increased relative humidity in your smoker. You won’t be able to control its levels but it will increase it which is better than nothing. Don’t add this water pan until after the initial 20 minutes which is going to be our drying phase.

    Stage 1 - 20 Minutes at 110° (dampers wide open)
    Stage 2 - 30 Minutes at 135° (begin adding smoke)
    Stage 3 - 10 Minutes at 140° (dampers wide open again for drying)
    Stage 4 - 30 Minutes at 150°
    Stage 5 - 175° until internal temperature is 160°

    The Results

    The one that we did with the sugar has a glisten to it and is slightly tacky and sticky. The one that we used glycerin does not have this problem, the surface appears dry and mostly normal. Now for the tenderness, both of these are pretty tender, they have some good flexibility and a nice bite. For the taste I notice a slight after taste with the one that I used glycerin on that isn’t present on the sugar but it is certainly not something that would prevent me from using glycerin instead of jerky if I was trying to make a healthier product.

    So, all in all if you are wanting to make a tender jerky that isn’t going to be processed like junk food by your body then by all means try substituting the 18% brown sugar with 18% glycerin!

    $500 Budget for Equipment

    In my opinion, I would spend the majority of my budget on a slicer. The Walton’s 10" Slicer has a hefty price tag of $479.99 but it will cut evenly and can also be used for so much more than just jerky.

    Other Equipment Or Supplies

    • A Smokehouse will give you a lot more versatility and can obviously be used for so much more than jerky.

    Shop for Vertical Smokers

    Shop for American BBQ Systems Smokers

  • I’m just not sure what the end totals are when you say 18% brown sugar and 20% water.
    The meat is a solid weight and water is a liquid weight. So if I have 10 pounds of meat what would the quantity of brown sugar or vegetable glycerin be? And what will the water be since it’s in liquid ounces and not a dry ounce.
    Thanks to anyone that can answer this for me

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    If you have 10 lb of meat you would add 1.8lb of brown sugar and 2 lb (pints) of water. Now, this video is talking about using glycerin not brown sugar. For better instructions on using sugar check out this post or this one

  • Team Blue

    what do you think will happen if we add 18% glycerine but not 20% water? If we are using liquid marinade, do we need to increase all the proportion of the liquid so that the flavours are not diluted with the water?

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Seanlee Hardy You wont get as tender product as there will be less moisture in the product but it will still be pretty good I would imagine. You might have to do some experimenting with cook times as you wont have as much water to cook out.

  • Jonathon Thanks for the tips! Will the beef jerky have the same flavour if we add 20% water? I understand that I will use vacuum tumbling will let the jerky take as much water as we can, but with the marinade diluted, i am afraid the flavour will also diminish

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Seanlee Hardy 0 No, the water is part of the formula. Now, instead of doing that I would actually recommend you follow what we have been doing recently which is replacing the water with Soy Sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar and Lemon Juice concentrate but even if you do just use water it will have plenty of taste. Here is a link to our more updated process. Just add the glycerin instead of the sugar. We did this with Venison but you can do it with beef no problem

  • Team Blue

    Hi Jonathon !! Thank you for your tipss! Will definitely try the soy sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar, and Lemon juice concentrate! This weekend I will definitely try small batches using all different kinds of tenderizing technique you and everyone else gives in this website. so this will be my list of project this weekend :

    batch 1 (Control)
    24 hour marinade

    Batch 2
    Vacuum Tumbling + glycerine

    Batch 3
    Vacuum Tumbling + glycerine + 20% water

    Batch 4
    Vacuum Tumbling + glycerine + 20% water + 24 hour marinade

    Batch 5
    18% brown sugar + 18% low sodium soy sauce + 1.2% rice wine Vinegar + 0.6% lemon juice + vacuum tumbling + 24 hour marinade

    Everything will add to original recipe + oven + dehydrate for about 4 hours.

    Any other ideas you guys want to compare the tenderness? I will try to make it and compare the flavour and tenderness

    I will post the results for tenderness comparison and taste comparison on Sunday!

  • Team Blue

    Seanlee Hardy ![5_1618208791860_batch 6.jpg](Uploading 100%) ![4_1618208791860_batch 5.jpg](Uploading 100%) ![3_1618208791859_batch 4.jpg](Uploading 100%) ![2_1618208791859_batch 3.jpg](Uploading 100%) ![1_1618208791858_batch 2.jpg](Uploading 100%) ![0_1618208791855_batch 1.jpg](Uploading 100%)

  • Team Blue

    hi Jonathon and everyone! I want to give my intake and updates regarding the experiments that I made during the weekend. This is my recipe and every batch will be using this recipe as a base plus glycerine or brown sugar. Please note that every batch i make is only 330 gram (bear with me as Indonesia use metric quantities). I am already using tenderloin cut (no marbling inside and a little line of fat only) and cut into 1/4" thickness

    Here is the base recipe
    70 gram oyster sauce
    35 gram soy sauce
    50 gram honey
    6 gram ground garlic
    2 tsp white sugar
    1/3 tsp basil
    1/3 tsp oregano
    1/3 tbsp papain
    1/4 tsp black pepper powder
    1/2 tsp smoke liquid

    and here are my experiment list

    Batch 1 - recipe + glycerine 18% + direct dehydrator
    Batch 2 - recipe + 18% glycerine + 20% water + vacuum tumbling 40 mins + direct dehydrator
    Batch 3 - recipe + 18% brown sugar + 20% water + vacuum tumbling 40 mins + direct dehydrator
    Batch 4 - recipe + 18% glycerine + 20% water + vacuum tumbling 40 mins + 24 hour marinade + dehydrator
    Batch 5 (control) - recipe + 24 hour marinade + dehydrator
    Batch 6 - recipe + 18% brown sugar + 18% low sodium soy sauce + 1.2% rice wine vinegar + 0.6% lemon juice + vacuum tumbling 40 mins + 24 hour marinade + dehydrator

    And here is my result :
    Taste : Batch 1 is too sweet as there is no water and 18% of the glycerine definitely makes it way into the meat. Batch 2 and 4 doesnt show much difference in the taste. batch 6 and batch 3 is a little too sweet, but unlike glycerine batches, these batches gives better aroma from brown sugar and doesnt have aftertaste as the glycerine batches. However, this is supposedly salty recipes but all experiments comes out sweet!
    Texture : Best Texture comes from batch 6 and 4, followed by batch 3, then batch 2, then batch 1, then batch 5 which is the most dry. I can see how glycerine and sugar does make the jerky much juicier but it doesnt really improve jerky tenderness leap and bound.

    I want to point out 2 possible problems though, then I will straight to my question. 1. My vacuum tumbling is turning slowly as they dont give any barrier or blocker inside the tumbler and the meat just stay bottom of the tumblr. The vacuum does work though. 2. I forgot to put the batches into oven first for 160F internal meat temperature.

    so my question is :

    1. If i want to make salty tender jerky, should i still use glycerine? Will reducing the glycerine better or is it better to use phosphate for salty batches?
    2. If i use phosphate together with glycerine, will it make it tender? anyone ever tried using both? I am concerned about aftertaste if i use both
    3. Any other flaws can you take notes from my procedures? I want to know to make it better

    I post my result photos as well. But as far as I know, I cant see any noticeable difference in appearance

    Thank you!

  • Hi,
    Do you think it is good idea to add more seasoning to reduce the sweet from your jerky?

  • Pinned by  Jonathon Jonathon 

Suggested Topics

  • 13
  • 21
  • 12
  • 20
  • 4

About Meatgistics

Meatgistics is brought to you by Walton's ( Meatgistics is a community site, knowledgebase, forum, blog, learning center, and a sharing site. You can find help and ask questions about anything related to meat processing, smoking and grilling meats, plus a whole lot more. Join Austin & Jon from Walton's and sign up for our Meatgistics community today. We have created Meagistics University, where we broke down meat processing into different categories and then broke it down into a class like structure. The introductory classes are 10s, the intermediate are 20s, and advanced are 30s.

About Walton's

Walton's Inc. sells meat processing equipment and supplies, including all of the Seasoning, Equipment, Supplies, Packaging, and Casings needed to make almost any type of sausage. Walton's sells to the commercial customer with a focus on the small to medium-sized processing plants or butcher shops, and directly to the hunter or processor who makes their own product at home. Whether you are a commercial or retail customer of Walton's you will be receiving the exact same seasoning and supplies, we do not have a different "line" for commercial and retail customers so that everyone can make the best sausage or jerky possible!

Community Statistics