Classic Beef Jerky Made on a Smoker

Love beef jerky but hate the price?  Make some at home!  They're so much cheaper and tastier when not loaded with chemicals and preservatives!

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Step 1: Choosing a Meat

In all honesty, you could make jerky out of any type of meat.  Rabbit, chicken, tuna, beef, whatever. 

But for this instructables, we'll be using steak.  Flank steak, exactly.  Other good popular options are brisket, london broil, and round.   Basically, the cheap stuff.  

Step 2: Cutting the Meat

Before you get too anxious and start cutting, put your meat in the freezer for about an hour.  The slices you'll be marking are very thin, and having the meat slightly less squishy and more solid makes it all the much easier.  

Once slightly frozen, slice 1/8" strips along the grain of the meat.  Those are the lines you see going across the steak.  You can use them as your thickness guideline, also.  

Step 3: Marinade!

So many choices in this step!  Your meat can be marinated in almost anything here.  Something salty, something sweet, maybe a little spice.  Get creative!

A traditional beef jerky would only have some salt and pepper, maybe paprika.  

More contemporary recipes include soy sauce, terriyaki, peppers of all sorts and fruits as a marinade.  

For the 2+ lbs of meat i had, my recipe went as so:

2/3 cup of soy sauce
<1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce (to taste, and completely unnecessary if you're like me and hate the stuff)
1/3 cup terriyaki sauce
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
 lots of black pepper

Experiment!  Then let it sit in the fridge overnight to soak in some flavor!

Step 4: Smoking

I realize not all of you have a smoker, but I gotta say, its a great investment. You'll be smoking all kinds of meats, cheeses, and vegetables(?) when you get yours.

Away from heat, I place the meat in strips perpendicular from the metal bars.  Looking back, i think i should have hung them instead.  Thats better as it means theres no need to flip the jerky over later.

15-30 minutes in the smoke should get your jerky just the way you like it.  Dont let it become a piece of leather by keeping it too long, pull them out when only a tiny but of pink remains.  

Step 5: Preservation

In order to keep your jerky from spoiling, put it in an airlock container.  It should last upwards of a week (if you manage to not eat it all!)

Enjoy, and comment if you have any questions. 

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    9 Discussions


    4 weeks ago

    why I got turned here when I click at a topic about circuit?..
    But, seriously, nice beef jerky!


    3 months ago

    I clicked on Paper Mache Class and it brought me to your jerky page.


    Question 5 months ago on Step 5

    I clicked on AUTODESK WELDING CLASS and it brought me to your jerky page. What is that all about???


    3 years ago

    Also what temperature would this be on? My smoker is also a slow cooker


    3 years ago

    30 mins really? That's awesome. All other jerky recipes I've seen take like 7 hours cooking minimum


    4 years ago

    I made a video of exactly how to smoke beef jerky. Hope this helps someone out there. See my YouTube video here


    6 years ago

    Can u yous pork


    8 years ago on Step 5

    Great thing… 
    And this is a true smoker : the meat is not cooked really, but it is smoked slowly.
    I loved it when as a child I saw those 2 big hams hanging inside the huge fireplace of the farm of my parents' friend. They slowly smoked about 2 months wrapped in a cloth (to avoid flies and other uninvited form of life) when the fire was not lit.
    After the first slices the meat was so tender …

    Right you should have had them hanging, I would say not only because you could have avoided to turn the but also because they would have caught the smoke more evenly … 

    Love it : lucky guys !…


    9 years ago on Introduction

     if the jerky is in there for 10-15 min isnt it still wet

    becaus it should be dry