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Beef Jerky

Beef Jerky

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Makes a lot.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from an Internet recipe.

Beef jerky is one of the easiest snacks to make. Almost any cut of beef will suffice; however, try to use a lean cut, as fat does not dry and could turn rancid if not refrigerated. Although dry jerky can be stored at room temperature, I prefer to refrigerate it to make certain any areas of fat are kept from spoiling. You can freeze it for longer storage.

Ingredients:

For the Marinade:
¾ cup (175ml) Worcestershire sauce
¾ cup (175ml) soy sauce
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 to 2 teaspoons chipotle chili pepper
Optional: ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Optional: 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 to 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
For the Meat:
2 pounds beef, very thinly sliced

Directions:

Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to blend thoroughly and dissolve the brown sugar (if using).

Place the beef slices in the marinade a few at a time to coat and then transfer to a ziplock bag. When all the meat is in the bag, add the remaining marinade and seal the bag. Place the bag in the refrigerator and let marinate for 2 to 3 hours, turning the bag over every 30 minutes to distribute the marinade and flavor the pieces evenly.

Line 3 or 4 baking sheets with parchment paper (if desired) and place a wire cooling rack in each baking pan. Place pieces of the marinated beef on several layers of paper towels and pat with additional towels to remove excess moisture. Arrange the beef pieces on the wire racks without any pieces overlapping.

Place in an oven set to 170°F (77°C) and allow the meat to dry 3 to 4 hours, or until thoroughly dry. Drying time will depend on how humid or dry your kitchen might be and on the thickness of the slices. If using an electric oven, open the door occasionally to allow moist air to escape.

When satisfactorily dry, transfer the jerky to sealed containers or ziplock bags for storage. Although refrigeration might not be necessary, it could be a safer option to prevent mold if some pieces are not completely dry.

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