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Make your own: Beef Jerky


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Possibly one of my favorite snacks is beef jerky. I can never get enough. I have had every jerky imaginable. Spicy, sweet, beef, kangaroo… it is a massive weakness of mine. And even though it is considered healthier then potato chips or candy, eating almost a porterhouse steak worth of it might not be.

But I can’t resist!

The only draw back to store bought jerky. The price. Which I get. You are essentially paying for a steak in a bag. Ok so maybe that wasn’t the most appetizing way to put it – but from a cost perspective it makes sense. Plus it is a little labor intensive. But in my opinion – well worth it. Which is why we started making our own.

You can flavor it however you like and you can make so much more for your dollar.

GO ahead. You know you want to try this!

Make your own: Beef Jerky

Make your own: Beef Jerky

Ingredients & Tools:

  • 5-8 pounds of super lean beef.
  • 1 extra sharp knife
  • 1 large 2 gallon plastic bag

Marinade

Trim your beef of as much fat as possible. We used eye of round (in my opinion the best cut for jerky), but other acceptable cuts are bottom round, london broil, flank steak, or even brisket. Just trim as much of the fat off as you can. Marbling is NOT good here. THe leaner the meat the longer the jerky will keep.

Put the trimmed meat in the freezer for about an hour. This will par-freeze the meat and make slicing easier.

Slice meat as thin as possible (less than 1/4″  if possible) – WITH the grain for chewy jerky, AGAINST the grain for a more tender jerky.

In a large bowl mix all the marinade ingredients. Add cayenne to taste.

Put the sliced meat into the 2 gallon bag. Pour the marinade over it and mix well. I like to seal the bag and massage the meat with the marinade to make sure it is all good and coated. Open the bag, push out the air and reseal. Place bag in a bowl (to avoid accidental spillage) and let sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours. The meat should be completely submerged. If it is not, add some water or even a beer up to 1/2 cup. I also like to mix the meat up every so often while it marinates.

Now you can dry the meat in 1 of three ways, the prep is about the same for each so we will start there. Lay the meat in a single layer on racks. Over racks, cooling racks on a baking sheet, the racks of your dehydrator… it just needs all over air-flow.

Sprinkle with more red-pepper flakes if you are crazy like me.

Now how you dry your meat. THe goal is to dry out the meat, not cook it:

1) In an oven at the lowest temperature possible. 175° is ideal.

2) On a smoker at 180°.

3) In a commercial dehydrator at the meat setting.

Each technique takes about 6 hours.

You know that the jerky is done when it’s dry to the touch, you can easily rip a piece apart. You want the jerky to bend, not snap (if it snaps you have over-dried it).

Let cool completely. Enjoy.

 

Make your own: Beef Jerky

 

 


About

Meet Jeff & Heather. The dysfunctional duo that make up the cooking team of He Cooks She Cooks. They have a weakness for feel good, down to earth, amazingly tasty eats that almost always include the addition of beer. From growing their own tomatoes to brewing their own beer, they like to cook from scratch as much as possible. When they aren't feeding their friends they are geeks of the computer kind. They share their home with Bacon the lovebird, the insane kitten duo of Voodoo & Hops, and a motley bunch of friends who won't stop drinking all their good beer. They know what's important. Love. Food. Beer.
Jeff & Heather's website: http://hecooksshecooks.com/ | View all posts by

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