Homemade is Better—Beef Jerky

Delicious Homemade Beef Jerky Background. Selective focus.

Karl recently asked if it was possible to make beef jerky at home.  I wasn’t sure it was possible without a dehydrator.  Upon some quick googling, I discovered that it was indeed possible.  A YouTube series I watch (The Bearded Butchers) has an episode where they make deer jerky with a selection of their spices, a smoker and some unique mats made for their application.  I, on the other hand, did not use those items.  I made a very basic recipe for my first try, but it worked well enough to feel confident enough to share my recipe.  I will, however, be perfecting it later and will update you on one of my social media pages.  Facebook, or Instagram.

The neat thing about homemade beef jerky is a) you can do it yourself, and b) it’s cheaper to make it than to buy it.  The downside, it’s not exactly like commercial jerky.  On the upside, it’s still amazing! While there are a few methods to making jerky, I tried the most basic way for testing.  I also felt like I needed to do it.  The funny thing is, once I’m challenged to make something, I find it difficult to turn it down.  I will figure out how to give it the shiny glaze that it has and how to perfect it.

While this week’s article is short, my recipe is very instructive.  I hope you try this.

Beef Jerky

Ingredients:

1-2kg Beef eye of round
Big Daddy’s spice mix

Hardware needed:

One large bowl
One sheet pan
1 – 2 cooling racks to fit the sheet pans
Parchment paper

Directions:
  • Slice the beef into 1” pieces, then slice it against the grain into ¼” slices. The thinner, the better
  • Once the beef is sliced, place it into the large bowl and liberally mix with the spice.
  • Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Heat your oven to 175F.
  • Place the cooling rack over the sheet pan. If you have more than one cooling rack, you can use two sheet pans.
  • Place the meat on the racks and insert it into the oven.
  • Bake the meat for 4-6 hours. You will want to turn it over every two hours.
  • Once 4 hours have passed, check the meat to see how dehydrated it is. If it has reached the chewiness you want, then take it out.  Once you refrigerate it, the meat will firm up.
  • Allow the meat to cool for up to one hour, then put in the fridge and consume as you want.

An afterthought upon making this recipe is that more salt will draw more liquid from the meat and possibly help dry it out.  If you want to test this theory, add ¼ cup of kosher salt and pat the meat dry before putting it in the oven.  If you’re going to use a smoker, use the same temperature and keep an eye on it.  You want to reach around 180F.

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