I had some gift certificates saved up - from in-laws that have long since given up on trying to find hunting and fishing Christmas gifts for me, that I thought I'd better redeem before the issuing store established an expiration policy, or went out of business.
KevinB, The Sausage Maestro, has created something of a monster and I immediately zeroed in on the meat processing aisle. While ogling all the different smokers, grinder attachments, spices, sausage casings, etc., I happened upon a Jerky Gun, which works on essentially the same principles as a caulking gun, and, humoring myself, I decided to take a closer look at what first appeared to be a gimmick.
Basically, any ground meat (actually, ground anything) that has been seasoned is loaded into the tube and then extruded onto dehydrator drying racks or baking sheets. It also comes with a variety of extrusion attachments that also allow one to make pepperoni type snacks or fruit leather.
Intrigued, I cashed in my gift certficates for the Jerky Gun and an assortment of spices and casings. Having brought it home and used it this past weekend on part of a deer, all I can say is that this contraption is a fantastic time saver!
Gone are the days and countless hours spent trying to reduce the more sinewy cuts of venison meat into nearly identical strips so that they'll all dry at the approximately the same rate. This effortlessly pumps out perfectly consistent strips of ground/seasoned/mixed flesh. The time and temperature variably and constant checking required with the old method of cooking/smoking/drying has been vanquished, forever.
Aside from the time savings, the real beauty of this method is that one can quickly determine if more or less or different spices need to be ground into the mix (by performing a quick test cook/dry in the oven), thereby making certain that all the time and effort expended on scouting/hiking/hauling/driving/etc. aren't wasted, to a certain degree, with a sub-par finished product.
I'll admit to kinda relishing the occasional bit of sinew that takes a little time for the molars to work on when consuming old-school venison jerky strips, but I'll happily abandon that particular aspect for the speed and efficiency of reducing game meat to incredibly tasty "jerky" with this newfound Meat-Caulker.
(credit to Jason for the tongue in cheek name)