Homemade Beef Jerky
For the same cost of a single-serving bag of beef jerky, you can prepare enough homemade jerky to feed the entire family—no joke!
This jerky recipe will require patience, but it’s so inexpensive and tastes so much better than the store-bought version, it’s well worth the effort. The instructions are easy to follow and the resulting flavor is out of this world!
You can prepare the beef yourself, or enlist the neighborhood butcher to trim and cut the meat into strips. Let the beef marinate overnight then cook it in the oven on the lowest setting the next day.
This yummy treat makes great host gifts and Father’s Day surprises—but any excuse to chow down on this jerky recipe is a good one!
Homemade Beef Jerky Recipe
- Place beef in the freezer for 15−20 minutes prior to cutting it into thin strips. This will firm up the meat a little and make it easier to cut into strips (the easiest route would involve your local butcher slicing the meat for you). The steak should be just slightly less than ¼" thick. If your pieces end up being a little too thick, simply pound them out a bit with a meat mallet or the bottom of a frying pan. Trim off excess fat and any sinew. Pronounced sin-yoo, sinew is the tough fibrous tissue that connects muscle to bone. Once the meat is sliced and trimmed, place the strips into a gallon-sized resalable plastic bag.
- In a small bowl, combine all remaining ingredients then stir until the brown sugar is completely dissolved. Pour marinade over the strips of beef then seal the bag. Shake the bag vigorously to ensure all of the ingredients are well mixed. Remove as much air from the bag as possible then place the sealed bag into a large bowl or baking dish to catch any leaks. Refrigerate the meat for 24 hours.
- Once the meat has marinated, set the oven to its lowest possible temperature setting—which is usually around 150−175 degrees—then line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire cooling rack inside the baking sheet then coat them with a non-stick spray. Arrange the jerky strips on the rack. It is likely that the meat will be touching, which is fine, but don't allow them to overlap—if necessary, use 2 pans.
- Place jerky in the oven then leave the door cracked about an inch to allow moisture to escape—place a wooden spoon in the door to keep it propped open if necessary. Allow the jerky to dehydrate for a total of 6 hours, turning the jerky over after the first 3 hours. Check the jerky periodically during the last hour then remove from oven when it reaches the stage of doneness you like—the longer it remains in the oven, the drier and crispier it becomes.
- Remove the jerky from the oven and start eating! If there happens to be any left over, it will store at room temperature for easily 2 months. Enjoy!