How did we get started making Beef Jerky?

Topanga’s Finest began as a labor of love… my love for beef jerky. The first beef jerky I ever tasted came from a jar at the local liquor store. Once I tasted it, I was hooked, buying a jar at a time, savoring the rich beefy flavor and washing it down with a bottle of Delaware Punch – am I dating myself? The thing is, this was the ONLY brand I liked. Other jerky brands I would try were too sweet or just too awful. Then it happened; one day, it was no longer available. I stopped eating beef jerky Many years later as I was watching television, there was Ron Popel, selling his Roncho food dehydrator. I was sold! “That’s great!” I thought “Now I can learn to make my own.” So, I bought a dehydrator. Who knew back then that my love for beef jerky would become a passion and a business? When I first started experimenting with the recipes, my jerky was too salty. Then, it was too sweet. Most recipes use honey, but I don’t care for honey so began to experiment with alternative sweeteners. Pretty soon, the flavors started coming together and I finally had a recipe that tasted good, not too salty, not too sweet and just the right blend of spices to give it a little kick. I also discovered that different cuts of beef absorbed the marinade differently. My sons liked the jerky. They would share it with their friends. Pretty soon, I was making a roast every week or two. I am a sort of junk food junky, so giving my boys a healthy, homemade protein treat rather than cookies or chips was a good thing.