Beef Jerky is a healthy, high protein snack. This is my favorite Beef Jerky recipe. I keep wanting to try new recipes, after all, I did receive a wonderful book of Beef Jerky recipes from my son two Christmases ago! But for some reason I just keep making this one. My dear friend messaged me yesterday and asked me how to make Beef Jerky, so this blog is for you Pam. The most important thing to remember is that fat will not dehydrate. With that being said, use a meat that is very low in fat and cut away all visible fat. You can’t possibly cut away all of the fat. The fat will not impact the finished Beef Jerky, but it won’t keep as long in the refrigerator. That is why I vacuum seal it and freeze it. I also store it in single serving size sandwich bags and then put a bunch of those bags into a gallon size freezer bag, it keeps just as good as vacuum sealing them. I am the only one that eats it and I can’t eat it fast enough to just store it in the refrigerator. I personally use round steak from the side of beef we purchase. I seem to have a lot of round steak from our beef so that’s why I use it. You can use any lean cut of meat. If I didn’t like steak so much, I would use that. To slice it easier, freeze your meat until it is almost frozen but you can still get a knife through it. I slice my meat into thin strips at night and marinate my meat overnight. The top picture is right after slicing the meat and the bottom is being marinated.
When you place the meat strips onto the dehydrator trays, make sure they do not touch and have a space between them in order for them to dehydrate properly. I also check them after a couple of hours and if the bottom seems to be drying faster than the top, I flip the pieces over and continue to dehydrate. You don’t have to flip them over but I found that they get done faster this way. The meat will change color as it dehydrates. Once they turn to an almost black color and make a white crack mark when you bend it in two, their done. It is very obvious by the color.I started dehydrating with an inexpensive round dehydrator, shown above, and it worked fine. The only problem for me is it wasn’t big enough and seemed to take all day to get all the meat dehydrated. I have since purchased an Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator and the entire batch fits on the trays with room left over. Comparing the two dehydrators, there is no difference in taste or quality of the Beef Jerky, just the time it takes to dehydrate. The price per quantity of Beef Jerky you get out of one batch of homemade Beef Jerky compared to the price per quantity of store bought is unbelievable! You will never buy Beef Jerky again.
1/2 cup liquid smoke
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup water
4-5 pounds partially frozen lean meat
In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients except the meat. Set aside. Slice (with the grain) partially frozen lean meat into strips, cutting away all visible fat. Add meat to marinade, tossing to coat all the pieces of meat equally. Try to submerge all of the meat in the marinade. Cover the bowl and put it into the refrigerator for 10-12 hours. Drain the meat in a colander, discarding the marinade. Pat the meat with paper towel. Place the strips of the meat on the dehydrator trays. Follow the directions on your dehydrator as to temperature if there is a control for the temperature. Dry about 2-3 hours and turn the strips over. Continue to dehydrate until the meat turns almost a black color and when you bend the meat it shows white cracks. The thickness of your meat and the size of your dehydrator is what determines how long they will take to dry. Store in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for a few weeks or place in serving size sandwich bags and then into a freezer bag and freeze.