How to Make Your Own Beef Jerky

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There’s nothing like a stick of delicious dried, smoky meat that can satisfy your craving for something hearty and on-the-go better than beef jerky. Whether you’re in need of a snack on a long road trip, on a flight, at work, or at a sporting event, jerky is a great option. After all, they come in different kinds of meats (beef, bison, turkey, even bacon) as well as various flavors, like original, teriyaki, spicy, etc. While most of us are used to purchasing it from the local convenience or grocery store, there’s another way you can get your hands on it: you can make it at home! Before you argue that you don’t have a dehydrator, that’s not a problem – you can make it right in your oven.

Here’s how to make homemade beef jerky:

– Select a cut of meat. You can use practically anything, but it has to be lean; cuts like flank steak, sirloin, and top round are ideal.

– Slice it thinly, removing all noticeable fat. Fat is what makes jerky spoil.

– Marinate your meat. There are various recipes that you can use depending on your preference. An easy and good marinade is soy sauce, Worchestershire sauce, brown sugar, red chili flakes, and liquid smoke. You should marinate the meat for at least 6-8 hours – it’s best to do it overnight.

– Remove all moisture from the meat. Before placing in the oven, pat the meat dry with paper towels.

– Remove the racks from the oven and line the bottom of your oven with foil. Then pre-heat to about 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray the oven racks with cooking spray and arrange the meat across the racks. They can be close to each other but leave a little bit of space in between – also, no overlapping!

– Cook the meat until completely dry. This may take from two to five hours or so, depending on the thickness of the meat and how chewy you want it to be. The jerky is generally ready when it is dry, darker in color, and can break – not snap – when it’s bent.

– Cool for an hour or so before storing.

Here’s a helpful video on how to make beef jerky:

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images


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