I had tried to make jerky a couple of times in the oven and it came out alright, but was a lot of hassle, poking tooth picks through each piece, hanging them all on the oven racks and the mess. it got old quick.

Then a friend sold me an extra dehydrator that he had on hand and that all changed. The ease of loading trays instead of hanging on tooth picks alone made it all worth it.

Another thing that a lot of people complain about is slicing the meat. most guides recommend slicing the meat as thinly as possible to allow for quick drying. I thought I has this issue solved by having a neighborhood butcher do the slicing for me. That didn't last to long as he tired of having to clean his slicer just for a couple of pounds of meat.

Again, the dehydrator made all the difference. That part was so easy that I just kept plugging away figuring out the other steps.

This is what I figured out so far.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Ingredients and Supplies

We've all seen recipe after recipe for jerky. There are so many as to make ones head spin. Everything from the most basic, do nothing just dry the meat, to throw the kitchen in a bowl for the marinade and I tried more than a few of them and learned what my palette likes.

A few of my taste guidelines for the spices and marinade. It needs to be fairly spicy, easy, and quick.

I tried dry rubs because of the ease, but that never seemed to impart the flavors that I was looking for, and I didn't really care for plain dried meat. That pretty much leave some kind of marinade.

The Marinade

1/2 c. Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 c. Soy Sauce
3/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
3/4 tsp. Onion Powder
1/2+ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Freshly ground Black Pepper
1+ tsp. Chili Pepper Paste ( I used homemade)

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and warm to just below a simmer. The idea is to heat it enough so that the ingredients dissolve and the flavors combine.

Let cool completely.

The Supplies

A dehydrator. (I bought mine used from a friend for $20.00.)
A vacuum sealer.

I also received a dehydrator, but as a gift so yay! I found that 1/4" strips work well and dry fairly quickly, about a day and a half. I dry mine to a point where it is friable so I can store it longer. I've stored my jerky in a plain ziploc for up to two years with no issues, but as has been mentioned with as little fat as possible. The fattier peices get eaten first. I like to use top round as you can usually get it as a "sandwhich steak" so the thickness is bang on.
<p>Glad you liked it. My friends are always hounding my for this.</p>
My way picky kids loved it. I have made it several times and you get to know how dry you want the meat. My kids like it as dry as possible but not like cardboard. great recipe.
<p>I partially freeze the meat to a soft but firm texture,. It will cut a thin as you like or thick as you like. If you don't know what I mean by soft but firm. Freeze it until its firm but somewhat pliable. THIS is how I can cut it thin. Also a long bladed carving knife will do.</p>
<p>Well, MY stove works great and You can store in a paper bag for months. Isnt that why we DEhydrate? so it can be stored for a long time?</p>
fat spoils quickly, so get as much off as possible. in the fridge it can store for over a month, in an airtight container it can store for close to 2 weeks at room temp.
<p>awesome. I wonder if you, applied the vacuum, then released it on multiple periods, if the flavors would marry quicker. Great instructable. I quit making jerky because of the same issues. Looks like I will have to try again. </p>
I have tried that method with the vacuum if I'm short on time with the marinade. It works, but not as well as leaving it in the vacuum marinade overnight.<br><br>n
You read my mind I was thinking about how to make jerky earlier and up popped this instructable lol
i think I have found a new recipe.

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Bio: Carpenter for way to long.
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