Intro: Beef Jerky Without a Smoker
So this is super-simple, fool-proof recipe. The hardware you can get at your local home improvement store for a one-time investment of about $35. It requires no tools or special know-how. This method is perfect if you don't own a smoker, or are short on room in your house/apartment.
The end product is similar to biltong- being moist and chewy and salt cured. There is no danger of over or under cooking because all the "cooking" is done chemically during the marination. The meat is cured and will last for weeks in a cool, dry container.
Step 1: Step 1: Get the Ingredients Together.
Get a slab of fresh flank steak. For the amount of marinade below, I use 3lb packages. Half the recipe for half the weight in meat. Go organic if you're into that stuff. I really like the flavor of grass-fed beef so that is what I recommend.
You need to cut it with the grain into 3/16" strips (about 5mm) and it is important to make the meat cuts uniform. Alternatively, you can ask your butcher to slice it for you and they will likely oblige.
Take the meat strips and add them to a plastic or glass container (no metal) that they fit in tightly. The less room, the better. Alternatively, use a plastic zip-lock bag or equivalent but beware of leaks.
Now, mix up this recipe and add it to the container with the meat. Then, let sit for 14 to 16 hours.
3 lb flank steak
1/2 cup worchestershire sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbs or more honey
1 tbs liquid smoke
1 tbs red pepper crushed
1 - 1 1/2 tbs black pepper
1 1/2 tbs onion powder
1 - 1 1/2 coarse ground garlic powder
2 orange habaneros - slice into rings (pull out before drying)
Step 2: Step 2: Assemble the Dehydrator.
While you're waiting, you can head to the home improvement store and get the following:
1 x 20inx20in box fan.
3-4 x 20inx20inx1in Cellulose air filters.
Don't use fiberglass or plastic - it will stick to the jerky and you don't want to eat that stuff.
Packing tape or Scotch tape.
When the meat is ready, layer it on the back side of the filter as shown. These can be reused many times so be careful when handling.
Step 3: Step 3: Seal It Up, Turn It On.
Place the last filter over the top to keep debris (and hungry things) out. Use the packing tape to seal it temporarily. Adjust the fan speed so that you can just feel the air flowing through the top layer. Allow to dehydrate for 14 - 16 hours, checking occasionally until desired moistness is achieved.
Step 4: Step 4: Guard Jealously.
Serisouly, there are a lot of jerky-thieves out there!