How To Make Beef Jerky

Claude Nelson
By Claude Nelson September 20, 2016 12:38

How To Make Beef Jerky

Jerky is becoming increasingly popular in today’s market. Several years ago when people thought of jerky, the first thing that came to mind were the cheap packaged tubes of processed meat. They were fatty, salty, and low quality. Recently, jerky has been trending as a health food and is slowly getting rid of its bad reputation. It’s possible to find jerky of all types now; exotic ones such as alligator or ostrich, and even meatless types.

As with most health foods, beef jerky does not avoid the higher prices. Making it homemade keeps costs down without sacrificing quality. Also, despite popular belief that a dehydrator needs to be purchased, there is no need for fancy equipment—simply use an oven set at the lowest temperature and make delicious, beef jerky without spending health food store prices.

#1 Step

The first step to making homemade jerky is to mix together a marinade. There are many types of marinades that will work well, but this particular recipe is for honey teriyaki. Whisk together a half cup of soy sauce, a heaping tablespoon of honey, a half teaspoon of garlic powder, and a teaspoon or more of hot sauce, depending on level of spiciness desired. Unlike marinades used for grilling or baking, no oil is used—the addition fat makes it more difficult for the meat to dehydrate.1

#2 Step

Next, choose a one to two pound lean steak—sirloin, top round, eye round, or London broil will all work well. There should not be too much excess fat on these cuts of meat, but if there is any still visible be sure to trim it off. Then, slice against the grain (pictured) and make slices less than a quarter inch thick.2

#3 Step

Once all of the steak is sliced, place the marinade and the beef slices in a sealable plastic bag and refrigerate for at least one hour, up to overnight.3

#4 Step

After the beef is done marinating, place on paper towels and dry off any excess moisture leftover. Discard any remaining marinade, then preheat the oven to the lowest possible temperature it can go. Make sure it is at least above 140°F in order to kill off any potential bacterial growth.

4

#5 Step

Meanwhile, remove one of the wire racks from the oven or use a metal cooling rack. If concerned about the beef sticking, it can be very lightly oiled. Then, evenly space out the strips of marinated beef onto the wires.5

#6 Step

When oven has heated, place the rack with the beef on one of the top spots. Then, place a baking sheet lined with foil on the rack below it to catch the drippings.6

#7 Step

Keep the oven door open an inch or two in order to help with heat circulation. Be sure to use something wooden or metal—plastic will melt! Allow beef to dehydrate anywhere from one to four hours, depending on the type of meat being used.7

#8 Step

Once beef has reached a dry and leathery texture, it is ready to be taken out of the oven, cooled and kept at room temperature, then enjoyed!8

Related: How To Make Pemmican – The Ultimate Survival Food

The honey teriyaki recipe featured is one of many possible flavors that can be made—simply choose any favorite marinade and omit the oil in order to make it into a jerky.

For a quick barbeque flavored jerky, simply marinade the meat in any barbeque sauce of choice.

Different types of protein can be used as well, including lean turkey breast.

If feeling adventurous, venison or bison meat will also make a great jerky.

In addition to being able to make different flavors that may not be found in a store, it’s also possible to choose to make lower sodium options. For example, a low-sodium soy sauce may be used if salt intake is a concern.

Beef Jerky can be stored or taken anywhere very easily, making it a perfect snack to travel with. High in protein, beef jerky is a delicious way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The best way to store it is in a vacuum sealed mylar bag, in a cool dark place like the pantry, away from the stove or other appliances and sunlight. For even longer storage you can freeze your beef, turkey or pork jerky until ready to use. And because of its up to 6 month shelf-life it can be a great survival food to at to your stockpiles.

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Claude Nelson
By Claude Nelson September 20, 2016 12:38
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7 Comments

  1. Catryna September 21, 01:26

    Call this what you want, I have been making jerky for over 40 years and this is not how you make jerky or dried meat. 140 degrees? That is not drying, that is cooking. The only way to dry meats, fruit, vegetables, etc, properly, is in a dehydrator or in the heat of the sun. And not over 110-15 degrees.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Lucy April 7, 16:48

    What a well done article! Everything is so clear: What to use, how to use it, pictures are very clear (and worth a thousand words!) that show you how to make it! I’ve been wanting to make venison jerky for at least 10 years, but felt so uncertain, didn’t want to put all that labor into something and then have it be inedible for whatever reason, didn’t want so much salt, and really didn’t want to use the jerky marinade I had bought at the grocery store that is full of MSG, high fructose corn syrup, and a lot of intimidating-sounding chemicals, things I would normally never buy.

    I have a dehydrator, so I assume that will be just fine, and I could use that. My question is, how would it work in the convection oven? The first time I used it was Thanksgiving ten years back, and the 25 pound turkey was perfectly done after an hour and a half. We ate Thanksgiving dinner in two installments that year…

    So how long to dry it in the dehydrator?

    Reply to this comment
    • Older prepper April 10, 04:25

      Hi LUCY. I’ve been making beef jerky for a few years now too. I always use my dehydrator. I just dry it, till it is ‘DRY’.
      I normally put it on, late afternoon, after having soaked it in my marinade. Then I go to bed. The next morning, it is done. Probably a bit too dry, but, you would have to start very early in the day, and then be around about 10 hours to watch the beef jerky dry. It is important you do not leave on any fat, at all. I use London broil, that looks real lean. And, I only buy it when it is on sale. My grand son, just loves his grannie’s jerky! Last Easter, I gave him an Easter basket, toys, hardly any candy, and a stash of beef jerky. He looked through all the stuff, then asked. “Grannie did you pack me some beef jerky?” He was not concerned about the toys or the candy,,he wanted his BEEF JERKY! Yes, I packed some, but his dad normally eats his son’s stash.
      My daughter does not really cook and will give him,nuts, yogurt to appease his hunger. The boy wants MEAT! This he can keep in his pocket, and munch, when he feels like it.
      He is 7 now. They keep growing up. ♥
      Oh, I have no recipe. I put in some red wine, soy, ginger, garlic, a bit of red flakes, some brown sugar. Sometimes, I take out the bigger slabs of meat and make me a rice bowl with cooked, london broil. DO NOT USE YOUR CONVECTION OVEN. SLOW DRYING IS THE KEY.
      GOOD LUCK, AND GO BY YOUR INSTINCTS.

      Reply to this comment
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