How To Brine Beef Jerky

Regardless of whether you are making your own beef jerky, venison jerky, turkey jerky, deer jerky, or Ahi tuna jerky, there are a variety of marinades to choose from. In terms of marinating homemade home jerks, the possibilities include only one: saltwater brine. There are many different jerky brine and jerk marinade recipes to choose from, each of which may be adjusted to your liking based on the end flavor you wish to achieve. 

When you discover a jerky brine recipe that promises to be delicious, you may combine the appropriate one and soak your jerky meat for an hour or two to let it absorb the flavor of whatever choice jerky meet you choose. Another alternative is to heat the brine and let the meat soak in it, allowing the flavors to permeate throughout the meat more effectively.

Also Read: How To Eat Shredded Beef Jerky

Here are some jerk brine recipes that you might want to consider experimenting with in order to create a wide range of distinct jerky.

General Jerky Brine Marinade

how to brine beef jerky

This jerky brine marinade is a classic. It is a great way to add flavor to your food without adding any fat or extra calories. This is a jerky brine marinade for beef, turkey, chicken, and venison that has been modified from one originally published in Sunset magazine. To make 1 quart of BBQ sauce, combine a quarter cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, a quarter teaspoon onion and garlic powder, half a tablespoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon hickory smoke salt in a glass mixing dish.

Also Read: How To Make Beef Jerky On A Traeger

Old Fashioned Jerky Brine

This is a dish that has nitrates, which were originally used to cure jerky, but they are more often utilized for other things like making bacon, ham, or corned beef. The flavor of this jerky brine is wonderful, and you may use it to cure almost any cut of meat. It takes around 8 to 10 hours for the nitrates in the solution to fully permeate the meat, so this jerky brine must marinate it for approximately 8 to 10 hours. Before using it for all of your meat curing needs, try a small batch of this recipe to ensure that you like it.

1 cup of curing salt, 1 half cup of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of liquid garlic, 2 quarts of water, and 4 tablespoons of black pepper are all required for this dish. After cooking the meat, rinse it in brine before drying it with paper towels. Onion salt and pepper to taste should be sprinkled on prior to placing the meat on trays.

Also Read: How Thick To Slice Meat For Jerky?

Domestic Jerky Brine

This is a common jerky brine for the hot process, but it is not usually used for long, cold soakings. You will need two cups of salt, one cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cloves, one cup of cider, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 half teaspoon of garlic powder, and 2 quarts of water for this recipe. Bring the components to a boil, then submerge the meat. Some people prefer that the meat be rinsed in water prior to being submerged in order to enhance its flavor during cooking and drying.

Classic Brined Beef Jerky

You may make traditional beef jerky at home with a few high-quality ingredients and some time. Real jerky, which should be a delectable gourmet delicacy rather than the low-quality processed meat that masquerades as jerky at gas stations and grocery store checkout lines, is possible. 

Also Read: How To Tell If Jerky Is Done Dehydrating

The texture of jerky is determined by the meat fiber and moisture content, according to Chris Porcello, owner, and operator of Porcello’s Market in Colorado Springs. Brining not only softens but also adds flavor to the beef jerky in this recipe. It is simple to personalize your own beef jerky at home by giving it some time and effort.


  • 1 quart of water
  • 1/2 cup of pickling salt
  • 1/4 cup of molasses
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (5-pound) beef round steak, cut in two-inch-thick pieces, fat trimmed
  • Spice rub

Steps To Make It

  • Gather all the ingredients together.
  • Fill a large ziptop bag with water, salt, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, garlic, and black pepper. Squish the ingredients until they are thoroughly combined.
  • Place the trimmed meat in a large glass dish, cover with the brine, press out any air bubbles, then seal. Refrigerate overnight or 12 hours.
  • Remove the steak from the marinade and pat it dry. The brine should be discarded.
  • Freeze your steak, uncovered, on a wire rack or in a tray for 30 to 45 minutes until ice crystals begin to develop. The meat should be firm but not hard frozen.
  • Trim into 1/4-inch-thick strips using a sharp knife. Season with your favorite rub.
  • Use the manufacturer’s instructions to dry the jerky in a dehydrator until it is stiff but pliable (see Note below about oven-drying). Jerky should be dry to the touch when finished. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Also Read: How To Keep Beef Jerky Soft

Ingredients Notes

  • This dish is fantastic since it is extremely adaptable, and you may use whatever spice rub you want.
  • If you do not have the time, patience, or inclination to mix your own rubs and spices yourself, however, shopping for a premade spice blend is an easy solution. If you do decide to go this route, be wary of salt content since the brine in this dish already adds a significant amount of salty flavor.
  • Even plain old cracked black pepper is a delicious, traditional alternative if you are wanting to go for the spice rub on your own.

A Little Jerky History

Beef jerky has been consumed in the Western world since ancient times. Throughout history, jerky has allowed people in a pre-electricity and pre-refrigeration era to preserve high-protein meals for lengthy periods of time, minimizing food waste. 

In fact, people have created jerky from nearly every sort of meat and game imaginable, including buffalo jerky by Native Americans, pioneer settlers making jerky from little wild game, and even wild turkey and goose.

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