How To Make Homemade Beef Jerky

How to make homemade beef jerky? I decided to make a fantastic homemade beef jerky recipe after traveling across the country with my family and purchasing jerky from gas stations along the way – and spending a lot of money on it. The good news is that making beef jerky is simple, just like baking cookies or cakes and does not require any special devices other than an ordinary oven, baking sheets, and wire racks. However, most homemade jerky is not nearly as delicate as commercial jerky. Commercial jerky producers utilize specialized equipment and curing additives to create their signature product.

Finally, I discovered the key to producing juicy jerky at home: upping the sugar in the marinade. The extra sugar not only helps keep the meat moist but also ensures that it is. This jerky has a salty-sweet, smoky flavor with a chewy yet soft texture similar to those from well-known companies.

What You Will Require To Make Homemade Beef Jerky

how to make homemade beef jerky

Because fat does not dry out and hastens spoilage, it is vital to use a lean cut and well-trimmed meat when making beef jerky. An eye of a round roast is great; it is cost-effective, readily available, low in fat, and easy to trim. Before chopping, put it in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours; you will find it much easier to chop afterward.

Soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar,  seasoning, and an unseasoned meat tenderizer make up the marinade. bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme present in meat tenderizers. It is located on the spice rack at your local grocery store. 

Also Read: How To Eat Shredded Beef Jerky

How To Make Beef Jerky

Beef: The most important decision is probably what cut of meat to purchase. I have made beef jerky with a number of cuts, but my current favorite is flank steak. It is certainly one of the more expensive selections, but it is also one of the leanest, and I adore how it makes great thin strips of beef jerky. The eye of round, top or bottom round and London broil are other excellent choices. I usually just suggest choosing the leanest cut possible, removing any excess fat sections that you spot.

When it comes to cutting the meat, I recommend slicing it as thinly as possible (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick). Then slice the jerky with the grain if you want a chewie jerky (which I enjoy strangely). If you want a more delicate jerky, cut the meat against the grain. If you can not get to a steakhouse, for example, or do not live in an area that has one, you might opt to do this yourself at home (freezing the steak for 15-20 minutes before cutting helps to firm it up a bit). OR Your local grocery store’s butcher is likely willing to help you out.

Also Read: How To Tell If Jerky Is Done Dehydrating

Marinade: So, my biggest complaint about most commercial beef jerky is that it is overly sweet. I enjoy my beef jerky on the salty and savory side. So all I use in my marinade is soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke,  black pepper, seasoned salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Then, for fans of pepper as much as I am, I suggest sprinkling some extra black pepper over the strips once they have been arranged to cook. If you ask me, the more pungent it is, the better.

If you really enjoy more flavor in your beef jerky, add 1/4 cup of maple syrup to the marinade. I also suggest sprinkling some red pepper crushed flakes on top of the jerky as it cooks if you prefer spicier beef jerky.

Dehydrator vs. Oven: The most common question I get from friends is how to produce beef jerky without a dehydrator. It is certainly achievable in the oven. However, it will cook more evenly if you lay the jerky out on wire trays that are there on top of baking sheets. I know some people like to lay the jerky out straight on the oven racks and then cover the bottom of the oven with a sheet of aluminum foil to catch the dripping juices, but I have tried it, and—here is a heads-up—it is a pain. As a result, I recommend using a wire rack instead.

Also Read: How To Make Beef Jerky On A Traeger

That said, I still believe that making beef jerky in the dehydrator produces the most consistent and best results. Over the years, technology has advanced considerably, and I have owned two different dehydrators. You can now get a fantastic dehydrator for between $35 and $75 that will cook the jerky quickly and evenly. You may also dry fruit, vegetables, and kale chips on the Cuisinart dehydrator, and it is a great way to preserve fruits that are nearing their sell-by date or need replanting. So if you like beef jerky as much as I do, I would definitely recommend the Cuisinart dehydrator that I have now.

To me, there are a few different methods for making beef jerky, and I will go through them below. However, if you decide to make it, have fun with it! The oven method and the dehydrator technique are both outlined in this recipe. So all things considered, just combine the sliced beef and the marinade in a big ziplock bag until evenly coated. Then chill the bag for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day to allow those flavors to mingle.

Also Read: How Thick To Slice Meat For Jerky?


Instructions Checklist

Step 1

In a large mixing bowl, combine Worcestershire sauce, honey, soy sauce, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Toss in the beef and mix until coated evenly with the marinade. Marinate the beef in the fridge for 3 hours overnight.

Also Read: How To Keep Beef Jerky Soft

Step 2

Preheat the oven to 175°F (80°C). Place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet and line it with aluminum foil.

Step 3

Dry the meat with paper towels. Remove and discard the marinade. Arrange the beef slices in a single layer on the prepared wire rack on the baking sheet.

Step 4

Place the sardine paste in a ceramic dish and bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for three to four hours, or until dry and leathery. Cut into bite-size pieces with scissors.

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