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How to make Beef Jerky at home

Updated on April 3, 2014

Beef Jerky Recipe Review

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Behold the awesomeness of Beef Jerky

Beef Jerky evolved from the age old process of dehydrating meats for long term storage. A variety of flavors, spices and seasonings can be added to create truly artisanal works of culinary delight. It make a great snack to have around the house and is super easy to make.

It is extremely useful to prepare for camping or hiking. I even like to store some away as emergency food.

While it seems intimidating, it is a fun and easy process that the whole family can be involved with. My kids love helping to make beef jerky, and love eating it more when we are done.

Feel free to post other flavor combinations that you tried and liked in the comments.

Who wants some Jerky

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 5 hours
Ready in: 5 hours 15 min
Yields: 1-2 lbs of Beef Jerky

Collect Your Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Steak, Lean
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil, Extra Virgin
  • 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce, I use Gluten Free
  • 1/2 Cup Viniger, Rice Viniger
  • 2-3 Cloves Garlic, Minced Finely
  • 2 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1-2 Tablespoon Sugar, Brown is better, but white sugar will work
  • 1-2 cups water, if needed to marinate

Prep Photos

Braciole cut steak from a butcher can be a time saver
Braciole cut steak from a butcher can be a time saver
Beef Marinating
Beef Marinating
Laying Beef on Racks in Baking Pans
Laying Beef on Racks in Baking Pans
Finished Product
Finished Product

Get Ready to Marinate

  1. Mix the Oil, Soy Sauce, Vineger, Salt & Garlic from above.
  2. Add 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar to taste. Tweak and adjust your mixture to taste. This is a basic marinade and adjusting it to your tastes may be required. It should be a strong flavor as we will dilute it it water in a few steps.
  3. Prepare the steak by slicing it into 1/8 inch thick slices. If you like a thicker jerky you can slice it thicker, just allow more drying time at the end to account for the added thickness
  4. Place the meat and Marinade in a pan. Press the meat into the marinade. Add water until the meat is just covered.
  5. Cove the dish and refrigerate to at least 4-6 hours. I personally will allow it to marinate overnight.
  6. When appropriate time has passed for marinating. Pre-heat the oven to 165 degrees. If the oven is much hotter and you will cook the meat instead of dehydrating. If the oven is any cooler and you run the risk of allowing bacteria thrive in the dehydration process.
  7. There are commercial tabletop food dehydrators available that circulate the air while maintaining temperature. These are good options to us and handy to have around the house.
  8. Place a non-coated oven safe drying rack into an edged cookie or baking sheet. The purpose of the rack is that it will raise the meat up off the pan to allow circulation of air to help facilitate drying and to catch any dripping from the process. It is helpful to cover the cookie sheet in aluminum foil to assist with clean up.
  9. Place the pan with the meat into the oven on a middle shelf. If your oven has a circulation or convection fan, it is helpful to make sure this is on.
  10. Allow the jerky to dehydrate for one hour then check it's progress. If needed use a paper towel to blot any excess moisture from the jerky. Continue to check every hour until it visually resembles more jerky than meat.
  11. Determining when it is done can be tricky. You want the jerky to be sufficiently dehydrated to the point where the fat is flexible yet dry to the touch, but not moist at all. Any moisture left in the the fat will cause accelerated spoilage. Taste test a small portion for texture.

Storing Your Jerky

The best way to store your jerky long term is frozen in vacuum sealed bags. It will have an almost unlimited shelf life when stored in this fashion.

Other Options:

  1. 1-3 weeks :Refrigerated in a Freezer Bag
  2. 1-2 years :Frozen in a Freezer Bag
  3. 2-3 Days: Not refrigerated in a freezer bag
  4. 2-3 Weeks: Not refrigerated in an unopened vacuum sealed bag

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    • hellovictoria profile image

      ToriM 4 years ago from Atlanta

      YUM!!!! I didn't realize it was this easy! I love beef jerky. Definitely will be using...Thanks for the recipe!