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!
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.