Beef Jerky

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Intro: Beef Jerky

Make beef jerky at home with this surprisingly simple recipe you can customize to suit your own tastes. Making it yourself means no added preservatives or nitrates - you control what goes in.

Whether you like it sweet, smokey or spicy, this easy technique will have you loving your homemade jerky, and leave your friends begging for more.

Step 1: Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds (680 g) flank steak (or any meat! try turkey or bison!)*
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) honey
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) pepper
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) preferred seasoning - I used a mesquite blend, but another simple option is garlic or onion powder
  • 1 -2 teaspoons (10 - 20 mL) liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) red pepper flakes (opt)

I didn't add any extra salt because of the soy sauce. If you like it saltier, then go for it!

*user jaythedogg recommends cooking any poultry or pork before dehydrating!

Step 2: Slice

First, freeze your meat for about 1/2 an hour. This just makes it easier to cut and handle. More than that, and it might get too hard to slice!

Slice your meat into very thin strips. Flank steak is great for this because it's got a very obvious grain to it. The only thing I didn't like about it was how thin the cut was, making my strips come out very narrow.

Step 3: Season

Combine all of your marinade ingredients in a plastic bag, tupperware, or shallow dish.

Add strips of meat and refrigerate for anywhere between 2 hours to overnight.

Step 4: Dry

There are several different methods to drying your beef jerky. I used the oven, because it was easiest for me, and I don't have a dehydrator! If you do, well, follow the instructions, yeah?

Here are directions for oven-drying, plus some other great methods I've learned about on the glorious world wide web.

Oven Method

  • Preheat oven to 200oF (95oC)
  • Lay strips across roasting rack -I scrubbed down one of the oven's racks and laid them directly on that
  • Place parchment paper or foil under rack to catch drippings
  • Roast for 2-4 hours depending on preference - 2 hours was plenty for me, but I left some in for 4. Still delicious, but drier and crunchier than I like

Microwave Method

You know how I love to get things done fast, so I couldn't resist including the microwave version!

  • Place strips in a microwave roasting rack
  • Set microwave on high for 4 minutes
  • After 4, add time in 30 second increments until desired consistency

The Alton Brown Method

So many of you have invoked Alton's name when commenting on my recipes of the past, that I simply had to see WWAD*. And you will NOT be disappointed!

It involves: 1 box fan, 4 paper air-conditioning filters, and 2 bungee cords.
(I know, right??)

  • Evenly distribute the strips of meat onto 3 of the air filters, laying them in the grooves and then stacking the filters on top of one another
  • Top these with 1 empty filter
  • Next, lay the box fan on its side and lay the filters on top of it
  • Strap the filters to the fan with 2 bungee cords
  • Stand the fan upright, plug in and set to medium
  • Allow the meat dry for 8 to 12 hours

Please please please somebody try it this way and share your photos!!!

*What Would Alton Do

Step 5: Devour

Make sure you check in on your jerky periodically while it's drying. You'll learn so much during this process, that you'll be dying to try it out again immediately, tweaking this and that along the way.

Please include all of your own secret recipes and fun stories you have while trying this out. It's such a fun and rewarding project, that I encourage you all to try it! (Let me know how it goes with tofu, yeah?)

P.S. This is one that I don't recommend sharing. Why? Because all of your friends will continue to beg you for more. They may even show up at your house with a pound of some exotic meat for you try your hand at. Be warned!



This jerky can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 months. How it would ever last that long without getting nommed, I have no idea.

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    85 Discussions

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    obax17

    2 years ago

    Would you recommend cutting with the grain of the meat or against it? Or does it matter much in this case?

    1 reply
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    glubashobax17

    Reply 2 years ago

    It doesn't really matter. With the grain will make it a bit tougher to tear off. My last few batches I have used Eye of Round steaks (They are nicely cut at about the right thickness for slicing into strips) and the grain ends up running cross-ways to the length of the strip of jerky. In my opinion, it makes it a bit easier on the teeth when eating.

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    Bronson1

    3 years ago

    What flavour is it

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    dlvendt

    4 years ago

    so i left some on for 2 hours and the rest for 3, delicious. 3 thumbs up and 3 paws up. I will be doing this again.

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    dlvendt

    4 years ago

    Marinated18 hours and now on then rectec grill at 180 to dehydrate. Will post the results later.

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    epicfail!

    6 years ago on Introduction

    for all you aussies out there, this is awesome with kangaroo :) yum

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    peteg00

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Every Time I've tried to make my own jerky I screw it up somehow ... I prefer to just buy my jerky from http://www.bulkbeefjerky.com

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    scoochmaroofiive

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 1

    If you don't like a smokey flavor, yes. If you want a smokey flavor, you may have to use a smoker instead!

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    Hi really nice inst!
    I want tell you this way for a home made simple light smoking.
    Pic a pot, then put inside a little pot with a small ammount of salted water and a tin alluminimu foil with some sage leaves, ignite the leaves or burn them with the heat of the fire down the pot, cover all with a lid. Shaking time to time the big pot to generate waves on the smaller one. Finish pretty smoked water.

    Last advice for italian people want to trie this great inst. the piece of meat here is called BAVETTA DI PANCIA.

    THX A LOT.

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    loveisweaknessOrIsIt

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    If I'm not mistaken it is liquid that has had smoke condensate of some form dissolved in it, and I'm reasonably sure you can find it at most supermarkets.

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    jaythedogg

    9 years ago on Introduction

    MAKE SURE to cook poultry & pork BEFORE dehydrating! Trust me, nasty things can result if you don't! Otherwise, great ible!

    4 replies
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    mastroprimoNetGod999

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    True true.
    Also to consider is if you freezing the meat, like sushi, before the dehydrating process, this reduce drammatically the presence of dangerous organisms, and also make the meat more soft.

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    hishealerNetGod999

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    A salt brine marinade will kill lots of uglies too, it dehydrates them to death. See bacon, for example. Of course that makes for some really salty jerky.

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    big-jamie

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Straight to the supermarket for me to get some good steak to make this. Ive made plenty of jerky before but finding this instructable has ignited my passion again for jerky, I love it.

    I did one time marinade my beef in pure tobasco sauce which gave it a right good kick, shall we say.

    I have bacon on the grill the now while reading this so its as if its a smell-ible lol. thank you.

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    Chrystalkay

    6 years ago on Introduction

    I had a LOT of left over turkey a couple years ago and decided to try turky jerky with the already cooked met. I marinated it overnight in soya sause, with a bit of rice wine vinegar and fresh ground garlic.
    MAN! It made the best jerky! Of course I didn't get much of it once my grown kids discovered it!
    Anyway, there is no law that says you have to use fully raw meat. What about that underdone beef roast? Or even a pork roast that came out without much flavor? This has saved several disasterous meats from the garbage pan.