Beef Jerky – homemade style

Beef Jerky

Beef Jerky has been on our list of things to make for a longgg time now. We’ve made it in the smoker before, but now that we have our dehydrator…. things just got serious. Don’t worry—If you don’t have a dehydrator you can still match a batch in the oven, I’ve got the info below for that.

Do you like to cook on the weekends? I sure do. Especially weekend night cooking projects- those are the best. And even more fun when your hubs is working on his own cooking project right next to you.  😛 

CookingMaking this beef jerky is actually pretty easy, but there are some frequent FAQ’s that come up- (which way do you cut it? What kind of meat is best? How long do you dehydrate it?) I did some research and compiled some tips for you, and threw in some from Mark and myself as well 🙂 He’s quite the chef you know, especially when it comes to Jerky! Look at that technique…. he is in the zone. 

Mark making Jerky

Don’t have the time for homemade jerky?!

Leave it up to Mountain America Jerky then! 😉 I just had some from them and it was ah-maz-ing! They have a TON of different varieties. I like a little kick in my jerky, so their Spicy Beef Jerky was my favorite. They have samplers available where you can try a bunch of their different menu items. They also have cheeses, healthy snacks, pistachios, and more- I’m a big fan.   😀

Some health related tips on Homemade Beef Jerky:

Beef jerky is a really good snack to have I between meals. It’s packed with protein so it will keep you satisfied longer, and it doesn’t raise your insulin levels, which is the hormone that tells your body to store fat. And when you make it at home, you know exactly what’s in it. No chemicals or mystery meat… Bingo. (Not to mention, beef jerky at the store is so expensive.) No one’s got that kinda money. No one. 

Summary of Homemade Beef Jerky Tips:

  • The leaner the meat, the better.
  • Placing the meat in the freezer prior to slicing makes it easier to slice. Not for too long, but long enough for it to firm up a bit.
  • Cutting against the grain is best- this makes it easier to chew. Especially if the meat is a littler fattier. Look at which direction the strands of meat are going, and slice the opposite way.
  • 1/4 inch slices is what you should aim for.
  • Dehydration times can vary based on temperatures, moisture content of the meat, thickness of the cut, etc.

And now, on to the recipe…

Homemade Beef Jerky
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lb. of one the following meats: round roast, rump roast, or flank steak
  • ⅔ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ⅔ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Slice the meat against the grain into strips ¼ inch thick. Combine other ingredients together in a freezer bag and add the meat. Cover the meat all over with the mixture and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, the longer the better. (We gave ours just 2 hours and it came out very flavorful.)
  2. Place the meat into the dehydrator. Ours took 7 hours to dehydrate at 150 degrees. Times can vary based on temperatures, moisture content of the meat, thickness of the cut, etc.
Oven Method
  1. I haven’t yet tried this method, but I’ve heard that you can bake the jerky in the oven at 160 degrees for about 5 hours. (But check on it every 30 minutes after the first couple of hours) Ideally, you would also leave the oven door cracked open a tad. You can use skewers to pierce the meat at the top and lay the skewer across the oven racks so that the meat hangs down. Here’s my lame attempt at giving you a visual:

Source: My friend Tracy, the Scratch It Cook  –She knows her stuff when it comes to making things from scratch, you should check her out!