Instructables

Old West Beef Jerky

Featured
This instructable is going to show you a way of making great jerky. Nothing really new, unless you consider my marinade new. It is my own concoction, but after searching the net, I find it's very similar to many other's recipes. Yes; I realize there are other Jerky Instructables already. What makes this one different? It is going to show you is how to make it correctly and safely. You're free (and expected) to deviate to some degree. I do strongly recommend that you stick with the safety precautions and temperatures.

I have made this jerky using Las Vegas' summer sun by just hanging the meat on a cloths-line, but this requires a day that starts out over 90°F (30°C) and reaches above 130° (55°C) during the day. Basically a day that's too hot for the flies to come out. This process takes about 8-12 hours in the 100°+ sun, so is only viable in select areas of the country and on specific days. I will make comments about this process throughout the Instructable.

For my birthday, last week, my wife gave me a great commercial dehydrator. While I could build another Alton Brown jig, the dehydrator has the added feature of heating the meat to 160° (71°C) eliminating any nasty bacteria risk and a lot simpler cleanup! It also will work here in Nevada, Minnesota, Saskatewan, or anywhere else one might be, any time of the year!

This is still home-made jerky. It's not important how the drying is done as long as it's done correctly and safely. What is important is the preparation of the meat, killing those bugs, drying it sufficiently and enjoying the best jerky you've ever had.
 
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
1-40 of 99Next »
bowow08073 years ago
can you dry the meat over a period of days? as in here where i live the normal temp is about in the 30's and that is a cool day for us can i dry the meat for a couple of days because it almost never reaches the 40's here
if you relaly wanna dry it over a day or so i suggest looking for a box fan dehydrator or if you have an oven you can set very low put it on cooling racks and put it in the oven its similar to doing it this way
JesterPoet3 years ago
How much meat do you buy? I have a similar size dehydrator, and would like to make a batch of this, but am not sure how much meat to use with your marinade recipe.

Thanks!
LasVegas (author)  JesterPoet3 years ago
I normally buy a london broil from the case; about 2-3 lbs. I choose one with as little fat as possible and ask the butcher to slice it against the grain as thin as possible.

LasVegas
That's super helpful! Thanks!
zorcy3 years ago
This is GREAT! I get migraines from the nitrates and nitrites they use in store bought jerky. I have been looking for a recipe for so long. Even the kits you buy put them in there for a preservative.

Last time I have jerky was about 5 years ago. One bite, 15 minutes later, total vision loss. I can not wait to try this. Thank you very much.
SammyFM5 years ago
Funny, i´m from Germany, i never heard of something like a dehydrator... Looks like jerky is the big deal in the us, or is it just they have machines for everything? I think this should work in a oven too. Maybe one combines it with some fresh air in between?
We have machines for everything, 'cause we're awesome. Or maybe just lazy.
Goedjn SammyFM5 years ago
you can use an electric oven, but I'm not sure I'd use a gas oven, since the technique is to wedge the door open with a couple or forks, (for airflow), and leave the oven on at it's lowest setting overnight, with the meat inside. Ideally, you'd want the oven set to 150F, (65C ?) Also, many government and university sources in the US recommend blanching the meat for 20 seconds in boiling water before marinating. I don't like the resulting texture, but it's apparently measurably safer.
LasVegas (author)  SammyFM5 years ago
While Jerky itself comes from the Native American practice of sun drying meat to preserve it, drying food has been a preservative technique in Europe throughout history. I'm sure if you looked around at a cooking supply store, you'd fine dehydrators just as prevalent in your country as they are here. Most Americans wouldn't know the difference between a Food Dehydrator and a Berliner Filler...
mexaz3 years ago
H! the metohd looks very good.
Is that the true "Old West" beef jerky style? Why the name?
Do you commercialize the jerky?
How come I cannot find the business/factory in the internet?
siggibahama3 years ago
http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Jerky-Making-Machine-a-low-heat-meat-dryin/
cmzoo4 years ago
The Nuwave oven works great for making jerky and is fast.
jburchum4 years ago
My old ovens low was 150 degrees and leaving the door slightly opened worked fair but my new convection oven works great. Lowest temp is 170 degrees. With meat in door closed heat 5 minutes turn off except for fan. Reheat in 1 hour X 2 usually enough. After 2 hours turn meat once. I use wire screen with drip pan. If you can get Allegro Hickory Smoke Marinade in your area, it works fair by itself.
I wonder how my cardboard solar cooker box would work for dehydrating the meat? If sealed it can hit 250 degrees. If left open a bit (with a bit of plastic scree over the opening) it can hold 150 to 170 degrees. All I have to do is roate the box about 15 degrees every hour to track the sun. I could arrange some blocks of wood and space some oven racks inside it to give me more drying space. Anyone done any jerky this way before?
Tikkun5 years ago
As to the comment about meat tenderizer, the active ingredient in many of them is actually papaya skin. Technically, unripe papaya skin, but ripe works too, just not as well. So before you make your jerky, eat a papaya and put your marinade with the skins into the blender. Then you get the double benefit of tenderized jerky and a belly full of yummy papaya
Aisoku69 Tikkun4 years ago
Wow. That's actually a really interesting idea... the papaya could actually add an interesting flavor, and I've seen tons of recipes that use fruit or fruit juice in their marinades. I will definitely be trying this method out, seeing how it seems simple and delicious. I don't have a dehydrator, but I did see a couple of methods with an oven... hmmm... I will post back pretty images!
imboox24 years ago
Vacuum marinading really infuses the meat with flavor. I use my good ole Seal A Meal. A butcher shop I know of uses their industrial grade vacuum machine to marinade their jerky (pulls a higher vacuum than the home devices). It does not need to marinade as long, but I leave it for hours anyway.
sylvesterw5 years ago
Hi there here in south Africa we don't make beef jerky,but we do make all kinds of biltong almost like jerky but much better we make biltong of every animal you can think of we do ostrich biltong too. if anyone is looking for the best south African biltong don't be shy I am more than happy to give recipes
LasVegas (author)  sylvesterw5 years ago
Oh! Please do post an Instructable of your making biltong! I would love to see the process! Let's see… There's got to be a desert tortoise around here somewhere… Las Vegas ...For those animal lovers out there... That was a joke!
ajn1425 years ago
The brandy is a good idea, the alcohol can kill alot of the bacteria. Just use whatever kind of alcoholic drink you want, it doesn't really matter, but use whatever th recipe recommends.
SammyFM5 years ago
And i would recommend not to use any chemicals like "meat tenderizer" in your food (never heard of it) - stay organic ;-)
powdered meat tenderizer is actually a naturally derived product, believe it or not...it is papain, an enzyme found in papayas.
apricots5 years ago
how much would u charge to make and ship it to me??
For all those interested, Dehyrators can be bought at cosco quite cheaply.
LasVegas (author)  I_am_Canadian5 years ago
Or you could build this one based on Alton Brown's idea.
great instruction but i dont own a dehydrator
robot7975 years ago
were could i buy that cool device in holland.... i wanna try it on a big bird
This big bird?
there is no picture
Yeah, I was actually about to fix that. forgot :p
big_bird_thanksgiving.jpg
yes that bigbird.
spockck5 years ago
i saw ostrich jerky once it was pretty good
moesboy spockck5 years ago
iv had that, it wasnt bad, i have also had beaver jerky
moesboy5 years ago
could i use an oven instead of a dehydrator?
As long as it's a convection oven, it should do the job pretty well.
exelent
bmlbytes5 years ago
Your "Pepper Flakes" are really called crushed red pepper. I work at a pizza shop and that's what we use.
dbubd5 years ago
I've found that spraying the racks with a cooking spray like Pam prior to loading in the meat makes cleanup vastly quicker and easier.
SinAmos5 years ago
London Broil goes on sale. That is when I get the butcher to go as thin as they can with their cutter. That simple. Basically, this instructable is just using a dehydrator and using a random recipe. When I first started making jerky, I used the oven on the lowest setting and hung the jerky by toothpicks. That has more work than this. NESCO probably paid for this in some way. Isn't that what all sites eventually become? Cloaked productive placement.;)
1-40 of 99Next »
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!