Make Real Food Challenge: Beef Jerky!

Beef jerky – sweet, hot and salty – is one of my family’s favorite snacks.  I make it once or twice a year – using up the round steaks and other cuts of meat that lurk in our freezer before we get a new delivery from our local ranchers. It’s easy to make, perfect for long road trips, and it stores for up to 3 months.

The benefit of making beef jerky at home is two-fold: 1) you avoid food additives found in many commercial varieties, and 2) you can adjust the seasoning to your family’s preferences.  My family likes its jerky flavored boldly: potently hot, sweet and salty all at once.  While I’ve included my favorite recipe below, I’m challenging you to make your own this week!

The Challenge: Make Beef Jerky

We haven’t had a good challenge at Nourished Kitchen in a while, so this week, I’ve paired up with Pleasant Hill Grain for the Make Real Food Challenge – so this week, take the time to make your own beef jerky.  Simply post your favorite Beef Jerky recipe and boost your chances of winning by spreading the word about the challenge, or liking Nourished Kitchen and Pleasant Hill Grain on Facebook.

What you could win

For those of you who sign up and participate, you’ll be entered to win to win one of two prizes: a L’Equip Filter Pro Dehydrator (valued at $169.99) or a Real Salt Gift Box.

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Sweet Chipotle-spiced Beef Jerky

beef jerky

By Jenny Published: October 12, 2012

  • Yield: 16 Servings
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 24 hrs 0 min
  • Ready In: 32 hrs 5 mins

Sweet, salty and hot - this beef jerky is simple to prepare. Store it for up to 3 months in an airtight container at room temperature.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup naturally fermented soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup whole, unrefined cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garilc powder
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
  • 3 pounds round steak (trimmed of all fat and sinew, sliced in strips no thicker than 1/4 inch)

Instructions

  1. Place trimmed steak in a resealable plastic bag.
  2. Whisk soy sauce, cane sugar, onion powder, garlic powder and chipotle chile together in a large mixing bowl, and pour into the resealable plastic bag over the steak. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 and up to 8 hours.
  3. Drain the marinade from the meat, and place the strips of seasoned beef onto the trays of your food dehydrator. Dehydrate at about 140 F about 24 to 36 hours depending on the ambient humidity of your kitchen.
  4. Once dry, the beef jerky can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about 3 months.

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What people are saying

    • says

      Ingredients

      1 12 lbs beef (lean sirloin)
      1 clove garlic (minced)
      12 cup honey
      12 cup soy sauce (tamari)
      4 tbsps lemon juice
      12 tsp black pepper
      12 tsp salt

      Directions:

      1
      Combine garlic, honey, lemon juice, soy sauce, salt and pepper, and marinate steak strips in this overnight in a plastic zipper bag.
      2
      The next day, cover oven rack beneath with foil for easy clean-up.
      3
      Preheat oven to 180 degrees F.
      4
      Place slices on a baking rack, prop oven door slightly with an oven mitt to allow humidity to escape, and dry meat on racks.
      5
      In my oven, the process took about 6-1/2 hours.
      6
      Check meat after 5 hours; it could take as long as 7 hours.
      7
      Blot any grease spots that may come up.

  1. says

    I just started making my own beef jerky this week so I’ve kept things pretty simple. Here is my easy, tasty recipe:

    1/3 cup naturally fermented, gluten free soy sauce
    1/3 cup gluten free Worcestershire sauce
    1/4 cup liquid smoke
    1/2 cup unrefined cane sugar
    1 tbsp black pepper
    1 tsp red pepper flakes
    3-4 pounds grass fed round steak

    Slice the meat as thin as possible and marinate for 4-8 hours before dehydrating. The longer the better in my experience.
    The result is not as sweet as you may think from using 1/2 a cup of sugar. It smells very smokey when you first start drying it but the final taste is perfectly smokey and peppery.

  2. Aimee says

    The teriyaki jerky sold in stores is far too sweet for our liking (not to mention filled with icky additives), so I marinate about 2-3 pounds of sliced round steak in 1/2 c. naturally fermented soy sauce, 3 tbsp. minced garlic, and just a pinch of organic cane sugar. I generally let the meat marinate in the fridge for 4-6 hours before transferring to our dehydrator.

  3. Jessi says

    I like this one from http://onlygrassfed.com/cooking-tips/recipes/165-beef-jerky.html. Just make sure to get Worcestershire sauce that is MSG free!

    2 to 3 lbs of beef, sliced thin (we use sirloin tip roast)
    2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
    2/3 cup Organic Tamari Soy Sauce
    1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar
    2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper (adjust to taste)
    2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
    2 teaspoons onion powder
    1 teaspoon liquid smoke (CedarHouse Ultra-Premium)

    Directions

    Make your marinade by thoroughly combining all the ingredients in a large zip-top freezer bag.

    Trim your beef of any excess fat and slice it thin (but not too thin). Add the sliced beef to the marinade and let it marinate in the referigerator for a minimum of 4 – 6 hours. Make sure you move the beef around to even distribute the marinade.

    If you have a dehydrator, simply place your slices of beef on the trays and put in your dehydrater for 2 – 5 hours on 165 degrees F. The thin slices are sometimes done as quickly as 2 hours, while the thicker slices can take upwards of 5 hours. After the first 2 hours, I usually check hourly so I can pull off the pieces that are done while letting the thicker pieces cook longer.

  4. Gigi says

    id love to leave a recipe but i don’t have one as i don’t have a dehydrator to make one! but my sons would love it! i’ll def be taking note of all the ones posted!

  5. says

    We make jerky all the time, and always seems to make it a bit different. We make ours on a pretty large scale, usually two or three round roasts (always and only pasture raised) at a time. The farm we buy our pasture raised beef from even slices the roasts for us!
    Our base marinade is: Himalayan pink salt, organic ground garlic, freshly ground pepper and a bit of fish sauce. From there we add all sorts of things… lemon grass and red chilis to give it a Laotian taste, cane sugar and tomato paste for a bbq taste. The possibilities are endless! Best of all, we know whats in it! and never think twice about the kids eating it!

  6. Anna Pearce says

    I haven’t made jerky in a while – now I have a craving!
    This is the basic recipe I’ve used:
    Easy Peasy Terriyaki Jerky – serves 1-12
    – Leftover beef steak/round steak trimmings, etc.
    - Terriyaki sauce of choice, salt

    Slice the meat thinly, and place on dehydrator tray or baking sheet. Slather liberally with terriyaki sauce, sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt. Dehydrate or place in oven for 140 F or lowest setting in oven for 24 hours. I have also heard of people doing this in the summertime with homemade solar ovens but have not tried that yet – maybe next year!

    Oh – PS – I have “liked” you on facebook for a while, and gotten your emails, and I love your blog!

  7. Maureen says

    I’m inspired! It’s happening this weekend; with your recipe first and then I’ll branch out. I just happen to have chipolte chili powder in the cupboard.

  8. Beth says

    I just ordered a long time, much coveted Excallibur yesterday! I have a hunter friend and super excited to try venison jerky as soon as he gets me some meat! : )

  9. says

    This is my favorite recipe I use:
    Homemade Beef Jerky
    Prep Time: 9 hrs
    Total Time: 15 hrs
    Servings: 15

    Ingredients
    4 lbs london broil beef or 4 lbs flank steaks
    2 teaspoons black pepper
    2 teaspoons chili powder
    2 teaspoons garlic powder
    2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, more if you like it hotter
    2 teaspoons onion powder
    1 teaspoon liquid smoke
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 cup Frank’s red hot sauce
    Directions
    Trim all fat off meat.
    Cut steak in to 4 inch strips.
    The steak should be about 1/2 inch thick.
    It’s easier to cut meat partially frozen.
    Pound meat lightly, you don’t want it too thin.
    Add all ingredients in a large bowl.
    Mix well.
    Cover and refrigerate overnight (8 hrs).
    Line cookie sheets with tin foil.
    Place steak strips on sheets, don’t overlap meat.
    Set oven at lowest temperature. (150-175°F).
    Bake six hours, turning after three hours.
    Jerky will done when meat is dried out, depending on your oven.

  10. Carmela says

    Hi all
    This is more or less what we do. Sometime I add some spicier spices but this is the basic recipe.

    equal portions homemade Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce
    salt
    black pepper
    garlic minced
    onion minced

    Cut meat into strips (about 1/4 inch thin) and throw it all into a glass container and put in refrigerator overnight (about 24 hrs in my world – one evening to the next evening). Drain well and put into the dehydrator. Make sure to rotate the racks to keep it drying evenly.

    Carmela

  11. says

    I actually have never made beef jerky, but look forward to the end result of this challenge. I am going to go with a spicy one as my husband is addicted to the hottest of hot ( loves ghost peppers) and I want to give him a treat. :)

  12. Kristen McLane says

    Here’s my experimental beef jerky recipe based on my favorite Italian beef seasonings. It’s definitely savory even though you have me drooling at the mention of “sweet chipotle”.
    1/2 c soy sauce
    1 tablespoon salt
    1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon garilc powder
    1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper (depending on taste)
    1 tablespoon dried oregano
    4 pounds round steak or rump roast

  13. Rebecca says

    I’ve never tried it but I think I will! This looks delicious and we love beef jerky. I may try it minus the sweetness for a salty and spicy maybe with a hint of teriyaki!
    Thanks!

  14. Cynthia says

    We have not made jerky in years. The last time we used venison. Would love to make some again. Deer season is coming up.

  15. Tina says

    I’ve never made beef jerky but am picking up my beef share next week. Will have to try it! Thanks for the recipes!

  16. says

    I have to admit, I buy a seasoning mix for our jerkey. :)
    It comes from a local butcher/rancher & is really good so I’ve never made my own. But I think I’ll use your recipe & see if I can come up with my own mix.

  17. Michele Hood says

    Im digging all the jerky recipes. I have made it twice at home and it came out great. Just marinated in fermented soy sauce (organic) and Worcestershire and black or green freshly ground peppercorns. Love it. Thanks for the giveaways too!

  18. says

    I love homemade beef jerky! Thank you for sharing your recipe. I have been using Cheeseslave’s recipe which is similar, but no sugar. Some people like a sweeter taste, I like the more savory. Might have to try this one minus the sugar, though!

  19. Carol M says

    I make jerky every hunting season. Mostly I use deer, but I will use elk on occasion.
    My recipe is pretty rough I have done it for so long.
    1/2 c soy sauce
    1/4 c molasses
    1 tsp onion powder
    3 cloves of garlic pressed
    1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
    slice meat into 1/4 slices, marinate over night and place in dehydrator 12-24 hours, or until dry.

    I have a very old dehydrator so I am not sure of the temp on it. It freezes well too. I make it all year long, if we run out I just make more.
    1 tsp ginger

  20. Kaitlin Jenkins says

    We’ve always used one of those ‘easy seasoning pkts’ out of laziness. NO LONGER! This is too easy NOT to do, so we’ll be following your recipe with a few adaptations. I will probably make two slightly different batches because my hubby likes it spicier than I can usually tolerate.

  21. Maggie says

    For 2-lbs of jerky:
    1 quarter cup fermented soy sauce
    2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
    3 minced or crushed garlic cloves
    2 and a half tsp. onion powder
    2 tsp. hot chili powder
    Half to 1 tsp. each of salt and black pepper
    For a hotter taste, add red pepper flakes or hot sauce. For sweetness, include 1 Tbsp. of honey.

    Lay the strips of meat across clean wire racks or a broiler pan and place in the oven, making sure that the strips do not touch. Use a low temperature (roughly 150 degrees) for 6-8 hours, turning the meat strips half-way through cook time.

  22. Veronica H says

    Thanks Cindy for posting the recipe with instructions for the oven – I don’t have a food dehydrator… yet.

  23. Katie says

    Beef and salmon jerky are a favorite in our household. Both of which I love to make wether for a snack while working out booths at the farmers market or to pack in my sons lunch. This is my recipe:
    I use about a 2lb bottom round and slice it up thinly. And season it with fermented soy sauce some chili powder, sesame seeds, some Celtic sea salt, pepper, chili flakes and a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg. And that’s it. Then I let it sit in it’s juices for about 12hours then throw it in the dehydrator checking in about 45 min, because my husband likes it still a little chewy. And that’s our jerky recipe. YUMMY

  24. Judy says

    Our whole family loves beef jerky. Here is the recipe we use, but there are a million ways to add new flavors. I love to experiment.
    1 1/2 to 2 lbs flank steak or round steak, sliced thin
    2/3 cup soy sauce or liquid aminos
    2/3 cup homemade worcestershire sauce
    1 T. raw honey, melted slightly
    2 tsp. black peper
    2 tsp. onion powder
    1 tsp paprika
    1 T. liquid smoke
    Have your meat partially frozen for easier slicing and slice in 1/8″ slices. Then put the meat and all of the above ingredients into a zip-lock bag. Let marinate for 3-6 hours. Then either put in dehydrator at about 165 degrees (or highest setting) for about 4-8 hours or place on cookie sheet in oven at the lowest temp. If you are using the oven turn the meat every hour.

  25. Ruth says

    I don’t have an exact recipe but I’ve used oregano, coconut aminos, garlic, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Jerky is delicious!

  26. Heather W. says

    I have to admit I have never made any jerky before. I have spent more than I care to admit on the “healthier” versions but would love to try it myself.

  27. Jessica says

    Don’t have a recipe, or a dehydrator, but would love one! I wish we could make it at home! We LOVE jerky! Elk, deer, bison, cow, it’s all good. We prefer non spicy jerky, except hubby, he loves it hot.

  28. CateK says

    Being allergic to soy, I substitute a good cider vinegar and/or bone broth reduction for the soy sauce. I also make my own “Liquid Smoke” by using a soy free worchester sauce into which I’ve “marinated” some partly burned cedar chips or mesquite chips … yeah, sounds really weird, but you remove the wood by running the sauce back through a sieve and rebottling. Takes a couple of days of soaking to get the smoke scent into the sauce, but it’s very worth it if you are allergic to soy.

  29. xania says

    Here is my recipe – I know it is a long recipe but this is the one that my family can eat and its good –

    SCD-Legal Beef Jerky

    1 1/2 lbs Flank Steak – Grass-fed and antibiotic/hormone free
    2/3 Cup Home-made Sue & Tanya’s Krivelshire Sauce (see recipe below)
    2/3 Cup Fermented Wheat-free Soy Sauce
    1 Tablespoon Honey
    2 teaspoons Onion Powder – Use fresh onions. Store-bought Onion powders have starch added as anti-caking agents – So, make your own onion powder from fresh onions by dehydrating them and grinding them yourself.
    1 teaspoon of Wrights Liquid Smoke (SCD legal)
    1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

    Instructions
    1) Trim the flank steak of any excess fat
    2) Place in a zip-top bag
    3)Place it in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours in order to firm up
    4) Remove the steak from the freezer – thinly slice the meat with the grain, into long strips
    5) Place strips of meat along with all of the remaining ingredients into a 1-gallon zip-top bag and massage to evenly distribute all of the ingredients
    6) Place bag into the refrigerator for 3 to 6 hours
    7) Remove meat from bag
    8) Pat dry
    9) Setting up the Dehydrator
    * Determine the true temperature of the dehydrator or oven when it is operating empty.
    *Do not rely on the dehydrator’s temperature settings – Determine your dehydrator’s drying temperature using a dial‐stem thermometer as follows:
    ~ For an oven or a horizontal air‐flow dehydrator – place the thermometer inside the unit and close the door.
    ~ For a vertical air‐flow dehydrator – stack 2 to 3 trays on the base and place the thermometer between the top 2 trays such that the dial is sticking out between the shelves
    ~ Turn the dehydrator on to its maximum setting
    ~ Set your oven to 155°F
    ~ Record the temperature once it has stabilized
    ~ In order to safely dry meat at home – your oven or dehydrator must be able to maintain a temperature of at least 145° to 155°F
    ~ Do not test the temperature when the dehydrator or oven has product in it – Evaporative cooling occurs as the product loses moisture and this will give you an inaccurate temperature reading

    10) Dry for at least 6 hours and remove jerky from the dehydrator
    11) Place dried strips on a baking sheet – close together but not touching or overlapping
    12) Heat in a pre-heated 275°F oven for 10 minutes to an internal temperature of 160°F – strips thicker than ¼” (when raw) may require longer to reach 160°F
    13) Remove strips from the oven while sizzling hot – cool to room temperature
    14) Package – I store mine in glass jars – Don’t store in plastic bags – they don’t seem to let air circulate and can mold

    *****Always include the post‐drying oven‐heating treatment as a food safety precaution – you gotta kill those pathogens*****

    Recipe for ‘Sue & Tanya’s Krivelshire Sauce”
    6 anchovy fillets
    6 large fresh medjool dates pitted and finely chopped
    2 tsp. finely minced shallots
    1/2 tsp. finely minced garlic
    1 – 1 1/2 spice mixture (see below)
    3 Tbsp. white vinegar
    1/2 cup dry alcoholic apple cider
    1 medium bay leaf
    Spice Mixture:
    1/2 tsp. dried ground ginger
    1/4 tsp. ground cloves
    1/4 tsp. ground coriander seeds
    1/4 tsp. ground allspice
    1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

    Instructions:
    1) In a small saucepan, mash anchovies
    2) Mix well with dates, shallots, garlic, and spice mixture
    3) Add liquid and mix
    4) Add bay leaf, and bring to a bubble
    5) Turn heat down as low as possible to keep mixture at a very gentle bubble (you may need to put something between the pot and the burner)
    6) Cook for 20 minutes, then let cool slightly
    7) Whiz until smooth in a blender or with a mixing wand
    8) Refrigerate – the consistency will be fairly thick and won’t resemble Worcestershire sauce, so don’t worry -

  30. Ruth says

    I like to go the dry rub route for my jerky. I have just had much better luck doing it that way!

    My favorite this year was a simple one.
    Salt
    Fresh ground black pepper
    Garlic powder

    Mix those three in the proportion you like. Rub on the jerky meat (mine was beef) and dehydrate until done!

    Another one that was fun this year was chocolate chipotle!

    I mixed salt, cocoa powder and chipotle powder as my dry rub. Again just adjust to taste!

  31. domestic diva says

    I do it all by eye and use:
    thin sliced beef
    gluten-free soy sauce
    fresh garlic (pressed)
    fresh ginger (minced)
    5 spice powder
    stevia

    marinate 24 hours and dry.

  32. judi says

    We own a ranch where we raise Registered Black Angus cattle. Our recipe for jerky….salt and pepper….that way,
    we can enjoy the great flavor from our own beef! AND….we know what they eat and drink….and what hormones they are NOT being given!

  33. Kristin S says

    I’ve never made homemade beef jerky, but if I did, I would definitely add some sweetness to it with some real apple juice. I would probably attempt to make it if I had a dehydrator :)

  34. Diane says

    FRUITED JERKY
    2# ground turkey, beef or bison
    1 cup loosely packed sulfite free-dried tart cherries
    1/4 cup hot water
    1 1/2 tsp dried herbs of your choice (Italian mix works well
    1/2 tsp ground cumin (or dry mustard)
    1/2 tsp chile powder
    2 peeled garlic cloves
    1 T onion or garlic powder
    1 tsp fine sea salt

    In a vita mix or processor combine all ingredients except the meat. Let sit 30 minutes or more to soften the cherries blend the flavors. Process until finely ground.
    Break meat apart. Add cherry mixtures and mix thoroughly

    Use sausage press with flat extruder or hand form into 3 x 1 inch strips 1/4 inch thick.

    Place on dehydrator trays and dry at 145 degrees for 12-18 hours. Pat off any beads of oil. Cool. Store airtight 1-2 months at room temperature; 3 months in the refrigerator.

    The cherries act as a preservative as well as a flavor element. Since the meat is ground these are not as chewy as traditional jerky. If you like more spice you can always up the chile powder.

  35. Erin says

    Growing up my dad made beef jerky for camping trips and for in our Christmas stockings. It never lasted long cause we all loved it. He used a very simple recipe and the only variation I remember was he’d sometimes sprinkle some additional cayenne powder or fresh pepper on some while in the dehydrator for those of us who appreciated more spice. I’ve tried a few other recipes but I just don’t like the flavor soy sauce adds (love it in other applications, just not in my jerky) and I just come back to my dad’s tried and true.

    2 cups brown sugar
    1&1/2 tsp garlic pwd
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    5 Tbsp salt
    1&1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

    The above is all I got from my parents when I asked for the recipe, not sure how many pounds of meat that much is for as I always just slice up my meat and then load on a bunch of the curing mix and then add more than I think should be necessary as that’s how my daddy did it. It gets covered and put in the fridge overnight to 24 hours then dehydrated till it’s dry but still a bit chewy as that’s how we like it.

  36. Marsha says

    I’ve never made beef jerky. I don’t have a dehydrator but I do have a freezer full of beef. I think I’ll try your recipe and use the oven. Wish me luck. I know my husband would love it :)

  37. Ros says

    I used to make jerkey in the 70′s, wish I still had that recipe because I’d still be making it. A dehydrator would also help! Enjoying your blog.

  38. Ruby says

    easy. Korean beef marinade made with Coconut aminos. then dehydrate. I have too many allergies to nitrates/trites and soy to do it any other way.

  39. says

    Smokin’ J’s Signature Organic Jerky Recipe
    Ingredients:
    5 lbs of beef, elk, buffalo, or deer
    1 cup of organic Soy Sauce
    1 cup of organic Worchestershire
    1 cup organic Terryaki Sauce
    1/4 cup organic Molasses
    1/4 cup organic Brown Sugar
    1 Tbsp organic Chili Powder
    1 Tbsp organic Curry Powder
    1 Tbsp organic Onion Powder
    1 Tbsp organic Garlic Powder
    1 Tbsp organic Black Pepper
    1 Tsp Sea Salt
    Directions
    Slice meat to desired strips. Preferably 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick. Place in Gallon zip loc bags. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until fully incorporated. Pour marinade into bag that contains meat. Let meat marinade in refrigerator for 24-48 hrs.
    Within 48hrs of marinading the meat pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. Place meat on a baking rack on top of a sheet tray to allow for air to circulate. Bake for approximately 2-3 hrs. or desired dryness. If you enjoy smoked jerky you can place Jerky in a smoker for 45 minutes at 150 degrees and then finish off in the oven as directed above.

  40. Jessica dooley says

    So excited to try this. We just sent 3 grassfed grassfinished steer in for slaughter (our first time). And with any extra beef im going to try this!

  41. Lori says

    I’ve never attempted jerky before. :) Lack of dehydrator… :) Does one need to post a recipe to be in the running for winning?

  42. says

    Ingredients
    o 4 lbs london broil beef or 4 lbs flank steaks
    o 2 teaspoons black pepper
    o 2 teaspoons chili powder
    o 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    o 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, more if you like it hot
    o 2 teaspoons onion powder
    o 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
    o 1/4 cup soy sauce or 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
    o 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
    o 1/2 cup hot sauce
    Directions
    1. Trim all fat off meat.
    2. Cut steak in to 4 inch strips.
    3. The steak should be about 1/2 inch thick.
    4. It’s easier to cut meat partially frozen.
    5. Pound meat lightly, you don’t want it too thin.
    6. Add all ingredients in a large bowl.
    7. Mix well.
    8. Cover and refrigerate overnight (8 hrs).
    9. Place steak strips on sheets, don’t overlap meat.
    10. Set dehydrator to correct temperature. (~150°F).
    11. Dry ~ six hours, turning after three hours.
    12. Jerky is done when meat is dried out, depending on your dryer.

  43. Kari says

    We haven’t made it in a little while but this is usually our go to:
    2 lbs flank steak, sliced thin
    1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
    1/3 cup soy sauce
    1/4 cup maple syrup
    2 tbs apple cider vinegar
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp onion powder
    1/2 tsp ground multicolored pepper
    *sometimes we play with it and add other spices depending what mood we are in, such as pepper flakes, lemon grass, ginger, sage…
    Set thinly sliced meat aside and mix all ingredients in large ceramic bowl; put meat into marinade and cover. Place in fridge 24 hours. Drain marinade off meat and place in single layers on dehydrator racks and then dehydrate till done (which with our ancient dehydrator takes about 4-6 hours).

    I might have to pick up a few things this weekend and make some up! I know what’s going in everyone’s stocking this year!

  44. Melissa C. says

    Vietnamese Beef Jerky (Thit Bo Kho)
    1 lb. lean beef sirloin
    2 strips lemon zest
    1 clove garlic, chopped
    2 hot red chiles, stemmed & seeded
    5 T. sugar
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. black pepper
    2 T. fish sauce
    2 T. tamari
    2 T. coconut oil

    Cut beef as thin as you can and put in a baking dish. In a separate bowl combine lemon zest, garlic, chiles, sugar salt and pepper in a small blender or food processor. Add in the fish sauce and the tamari and blend until smooth. Add to beef strips then toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove from the marinate and spread beef out on a wire rack of a shallow roasting pan. Cover loosely w/ plastic wrap and refrigerate until beef is completely dry (1-2 days). Preheat grill to high and oil the grate. Grill 2 to 3 minutes a side until brown and crisp. You may need to brush with the oil a couple times while cooking. Serve immediately.

    This is not your typical dried beef recipe as you can see. We also do not have food dehydrator and it is expensive to use the oven to make it. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  45. Natalie says

    Deer Jerky Marinade
    1 lb meat, thinly sliced
    4 T soy sauce (I use coconut aminos)
    4 T Worcestershire sauce
    1 T ketchup
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1/4 tsp garlic powder
    1/4 tsp onion salt
    1/2 tsp salt
    Marinate meat. Dehydrate.

  46. KimH says

    Its been many years since I made beef or venison jerky, but I’ve been talking about it lately.. I never used a static recipe but mine always includes: (estimated amounts)

    (1/4 c) Soy sauce
    (1/2 c) Worcestershire Sauce
    (1/4-1/2 c) honey or maple syrup
    (1/4-1/2 c) apple cider vinegar
    (4-6 T) olive oil
    (1T) anchovy paste
    (1 t.) liquid smoke
    (4 T) dried garlic granules
    (1 t.) coriander seed-powdered
    (1 t. ) cumin seed-powdered
    (1 t.) celery seed-powdered
    (2 T) garlic powder
    (2 T) onion powder
    (2 T) black pepper
    (1 T) white pepper
    (1-2 T) kosher salt

    Combine all the wet ingredients, whisk in the powdered ingredients and adjust to taste. Place sliced meat in an airtight leak-proof container such as Tupperware.
    Place in the refrigerator for 2-4 days, turning the container often to ensure all parts are being marinated.
    If you have a Food Saver Marinade System, you can lessen the marinade time.

    Place in dehydrator & dry at about 130° until jerky is dry but still slightly pliable. Remove from trays and let cool, then store in a Ziplock bag or other airtight container with a piece or two of dehydrated apple slices.

  47. Angela says

    I have some beef in my fridge ready to make into jerky and I just hopped on the computer to get a recipe and here was your blog! Perfect! Thank you for the recipe and the chance to win.

  48. Christine Check says

    Our family’s favorite recipe :)
    Venison Jerkey
    3 lbs. ground venison that has been in the freezer for 2 months
    1 T salt
    1 t onion powder
    1 t garlic powder
    1 t black powder
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1/3 cup worchestershire sauce
    1 t cayenne
    1 T brown sugar
    Mix all together into the ground venison. If it becomes sticky just add some water for easier mixing. I mix for 5 minutes at least. Cover and refidgerate for 1 or 2 days. I put through a jerky gun onto the dehydrator trays. Dehydrate overnight or til desired dryness at the meat setting. Mine says 145 degrees. Jerky in our house doesn’t last long enough to worry about preservatives or such!! Enjoy.
    Add more garlic or others spices to taste.

  49. Michael says

    Ingredients
    1 1/2 to 2 pounds flank steak
    2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
    2/3 cup soy sauce
    1 tablespoon honey
    2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    2 teaspoons onion powder
    1 teaspoon liquid smoke
    1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    Special Equipment: 1 box fan, 4 paper air-conditioning filters, and 2 bungee cords

    Directions

    Trim the flank steak of any excess fat, place in a zip-top bag, and place it in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours in order to firm up.

    Remove the steak from the freezer and thinly slice the meat with the grain, into long strips.

    Place the strips of meat along with all of the remaining ingredients into a large, 1-gallon plastic zip-top bag and move around to evenly distribute all of the ingredients. Place the bag into the refrigerator for 3 to 6 hours.

    Remove the meat from the brine and pat dry. Evenly distribute the strips of meat onto 3 of the air filters, laying them in the grooves and then stacking the filters on top of one another. Top these with 1 empty filter. Next, lay the box fan on its side and lay the filters on top of it. Strap the filters to the fan with 2 bungee cords. Stand the fan upright, plug in and set to medium. Allow the meat dry for 8 to 12 hours. If using a commercial dehydrator, follow the manufacturer’s directions.

    Once dry, store in a cool dry place, in an airtight container for 2 to 3 months.

  50. says

    I’ve never made jerky before but I sure have eaten a lot of it. :) I love really peppery jerky so I’d probably use a lot of fresh ground black pepper, honey and some Braggs Amino Acids in mine. :) Dang, now I want some jerky. LoL

  51. says

    I have never made my own beef jerky but have always wanted to! It’s so hard to find any beef jerky (without going onto the internet and paying lots of money to get some without all those nasty preservatives) that’s healthy for my family!

    However, I don’t have a food dehydrator. Always wanted one but can’t really afford one right now. I hope I win the giveaway (the dehydrator) and then I can make my own jerky and other dried healthy foods! :)

    Great giveaway and I lurve all the beef jerky recipes everyone is posting. AWESOME! :) <3

  52. Lisa says

    I just made some with raw coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce;
    so about 1/4 cup coconut aminos
    one very large clove of garlic minced
    1/4 cup minced onion
    1/4 cup real maple syrup
    1 1/2 lbs. london broil sliced thin
    marinate overnight, then into dehydrator. Very nice flavor and not too salty, which is my main complaint with the usual jerky. Could add some spice next time, a bit of red pepper or something similar, but really liked how it came out without it too. Oh, fresh ginger would have been good too!

  53. Becky K. says

    I would love to try making my own jerky and this recipes sounds delicious, but sadly, I do not have a food dehydrator. Can this be done in a low oven? If so what temp and how long?

  54. says

    The recipe I use is very similar to yours……
    2 lbs sliced beef
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    1/4 cup sugar (I use brown sugar)
    crushed garlic (as much or as little as you like….we like lots!)
    2 TB balsamic vinegar
    Marinate for a day and then dehydrate. After seeing your suggestion to use chipotle pepper, I have a batch marinating now that has this in it. The marinade tasted great — can’t wait to try the jerky!

  55. Caroline says

    I use this recipe from eatingscd.com!
    http://eatingscd.com/2008/02/08/beef-jerky/
    It’s so good and it’s SCD/GAPS legal because it doesn’t use icky sugar or soy :)

    Ingredients:
    2 lbs. flank steak, cut into thin strips, about 1/8 inch thick. (see note below)
    Marinade
    2 tsp liquid smoke (see note below)

    Marinade:
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup white vinegar
    1/4 cup pineapple juice (see notes below)
    2 tsp toasted sesame oil (dark color)
    2 Tbsp honey
    6 cloves garlic, flattened (see this video for easy peeling)
    1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
    2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    2 Tbsp salt
    2 tsp red pepper flakes
    1/4 tsp cinnamon, ground
    1 tsp ginger, ground
    1/8 tsp cloves, ground

  56. Lisa says

    I have my chunk o’ beef sitting in he freezer. waiting to be converted to a deliciously snack food. Was planning on using. Alton Brown s. footwork.com recipe… box fan ac filters and all.

  57. maria elena says

    I have never made jerky, but I was just thinking about doing it this last week! Did you know Jerky comes from the quechua word Ch’arki? You can see it everywhere in Bolivia – Meat drying out in the open air.

  58. Beth G says

    I’ve never made beef jerky, but I’m just about ready to give it a go. My oldest son has fallen in love with the stuff and it pains me to watch him consume all the preservatives. I also dream of making my own fruit leather.

  59. Pei says

    My mom used to make beef jerky on stove top and oven. She doesn’t measure the ingredients. I think the beef was marinated in soy sauce, garlic, sugar, rice wine, ginger, and salt.

  60. Laurel K says

    I enjoy this recipe

    3 lbs flank steak
    3 cloves Garlic, minced or pressed
    1 cup Raw Coconut Aminos
    1 tsp Black Pepper
    1 tsp Salt
    1 tsp Smoked Paprika
    1 tsp Onion Powder
    1 tsp Garlic Powder
    1 tsp Chipotle Powder
    Process
    Partially freeze meat for 2-4 hours, until mostly solid.
    Slice meat into 1/10th inch thickness strips.
    Mix the coconut aminos with minced garlic in a bowl.
    Toss sliced beef with the coconut aminos and minced garlic.
    Marinate jerky from 2-24 hours in refrigerator.
    If using alternate spices, evenly coat beef with spices and allow to ‘rest’ in the refrigerator up to 24 hours.
    Heat oven to 170 degrees.
    If using an oven in place of a dehydrator, set up racks over cookie sheets lined with aluminum foil (for easier cleanup).
    Lay strips of beef out on racks, add salt and pepper if desired, and place racks in oven.
    Cook at 170 for 3-4 hours.
    Thinly sliced meat will take less time, thicker meat will take longer. Closely monitor meat to ensure it doesn’t dry out too much.

  61. LauraLee says

    My family travels every three months to NY from CO so we are always needing healthy snacks to keep us content and happy (we have a 4yr old and a 1yr old) while waiting in the airports!! I found this marnide recipe in Cooking Your Way to Good Health by Doug Kaufmann and Denni Dunham, I Love his recipe books!
    “Teriyaki” Marinade:
    1/4c coconut Aminos
    2TBSP Toasted Sesame oil
    1TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
    2tsp minced fresh Garlic
    1TBSP Minced fresh Ginger
    1 Scallion, thinly sliced (about 2 TBSP)
    Mix all together and pour over very thinly sliced meat in a plastic bag or glass bowl, it can be used for chicken fish or beef! I marinate overnight in the fridge or for a day!
    I raise our own grassfed organic beef from my dairy cows, so we usually have big ole roasts in the freezer that I use and slice super thin! My husband loves black pepper, so on his jerky (after its marinated) I will liberally shake on pepper before its dried. 145degrees until dry, but pliable!

  62. Danae says

    YUM! Can not WAIT to try this. Going to go to the store today to buy the ingredients! Unfortunately, I do not currently have a food dehydrator, so I’ll be using the oven method mentioned by Anna Pearce…thanks, Anna!

  63. Sherri says

    I have been researching dehydrators this weekend because I really want to make beef jerky and dried fruit for my family! Thanks so much for the post.

  64. Christopher Sorel says

    1/4 C turbinado sugar
    1/4 C honey
    1 teriyaki sauce
    1 T garlic powder
    2 T TBBQ Rub
    1/4 t hot chipotle powder
    1 c beef brother
    1/8 C kosher salt
    Mix all together. Cut 4 lbs top round into ¼ inch square sticks. Marinate 24 or more. Fill coffee can with lump charcoal and 3 mojobricks at 3 different layers. Place one more on top. Fire up 3 large lumps then place on can. While it stabilizes at 165-175 temp with adjusting vents or use a partyQ. Takes 6-8 hours

  65. Bonnie G. says

    oh my goodness…messed around with the top of this site for the last 15 minutes trying to figure out how to post!!! now the contest is over :( here is my submission anyway…
    Rosemary and Black Pepper Gluten Free Jerky
    1. 3 cups Estrella Damm Daura Gluten-Free Beer or other gluten free beer
    2. 2 cups Braggs Liquid Amino Acids
    3. 1/2 cup Gluten Free Worcestershire
    4. 3-4 Stalks of coarsely chopped Rosemary
    5. 2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns, plus 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper, for sprinkling before drying the meat
    6. 2 pounds trimmed beef top round or bottom round, about 1 1/2 inches thick
    Directions:
    Dry the meet. In a large bowl, combine the GF beer with the Braggs, Worcestershire and the cracked black peppercorns.
    Cut the beef into 1/4-inch-thick slices, either with or against the grain.
    Add the beef to the marinade, a few slices at a time, stirring well to coat each slice with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.
    Preheat the oven to 200°. Set a large wire rack on each of 3 large rimmed baking sheets. Remove the beef from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange the beef on the racks, leaving 1/4 inch between slices. Sprinkle with coarsely ground black pepper. Bake for about 4 hours, until the jerky is firm and almost completely dry, but still chewy. Let cool completely on the racks before serving.
    Alternatively, use a dehydrator according to manufacturer’s directions.

  66. SHERRY CHINN says

    I am wondering, if I could not make jerkey with venison? My son is allergic to beef, sad but true, and I feed him bison but I can only find ground bison, so I don’t think this would work to make jerkey, but I do have a friend that has given me some venison, so maybe I will try making venison jerky! Is there a way to make jerky where it is not too tough and chewy for a 9 year old? I will have to look at everyones recipe and give this a try. I guess my next question is can it be made in a conventional oven?

  67. says

    I don’t have a recipe because I don’t have a dehydrator, but it’s on my wishlist! i tried a friend’s homemade beef jerky last week and it was so good.

  68. Jennifer says

    I just did some research and found that you can make this without a dehydrator so I’m adding it to my to do list!
    I’m going to try my stir fry seasonings–so this isn’t a recipe but a plan. (Hope that counts.)
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    2-3 cloves fresh minced garlic (or garlic scapes in season)
    2-3 T fresh grated ginger
    1 t ground pepper
    Can’t wait to try it. We love our local grass-fed beef!

  69. says

    I just do a basic jerky with ground beef.
    Per lb I use a scant tsp salt, then grab whatever sounds good, usually a little thyme, oregano, a tiny bit of chili powder. I mix in the salt, spread the meat and sprinkle on the other seasonings. We don’t make it too often because we eat it too fast!

  70. says

    I prefer my jerky made from mince – beef, lamb, veal. I found that ordinary jerky was just a tad chewy and some young friends of mine thought the same.

    So I make my jerky from beef sometimes mixed with organic lamb mince. You then have thin slices of very tasty protein that doesn’t exercise your teeth and jaw quite so much. The kids really love this one!!

    Here’s how I make it.

    1.5kg organic mince (you can use chicken or turkey but turkey is probably a little too low fat)

    Raw Apple cider vinegar

    Sea Salt

    2 Carrots, grated

    2 Zucchinis, grated

    Spices of your choice (I generally use cumin)

    Tamari sauce

    Throw mince into large bowl and pour over apple cider vinegar to cover. (Raw apple cider vinegar is unfiltered and contains floating strands and particles, which is called the “mother of vinegar.). Leave to marinade overnight. Mince is ready when it is not red or pink anymore. The acid of the vinegar cooks the meat so the meat is not damaged through heating.

    When the mince is a brown colour (not red or pink) turn onto strainer and squeeze out the liquids.

    When this is done, place onto paraflexx sheets and score into mouth size pieces.

    Place into dehydrator and dry at 68 degrees C or 155 degrees F for approximately 8 hours. Check jerky after this time as it may very well need more time to dry.

    When you think it’s finished, leave out to cool. Once cooled, check to see if it’s cooked fully. Properly dried jerky when bent, should crack but not break.

    In our hot climate (Queensland) you do need to store your jerky in the fridge. I always carry a small container in my handbag and I’ve never had problems leaving it out of the fridge for a few days.

  71. jerkyfanatic says

    I have been thinking of starting to make my own jerky, and all of these comments make me want to do it more. Do you need a dehydrator? I want to start making some killer jerky myself. I am in love with the jerky from the jerky connection (www.thejerkyconnection.com) but they don’t seem to want to share any recipes! LOL!

    Can this be made in the oven easily or is it best to get a dehydrator?

  72. Teresa says

    I make jerky all the time…we love it! I usually make it with DEER or ELK meat! It is wonderful, and has no fat to deal with! If using beef, I like to use London Broil. I made it in the oven for years until I got a dehydrator, so for “Gigi” who mentioned she didn’t have a dehydrator, the oven works just fine. My recipe is salty, but that is why we love it! Sometimes I add cajun or chipotele seasonings. My basic recipe is (I always double this to fill my dehydrator):

    1 T. Himalayan salt (or a little less)
    1 tsp. garlic powder
    1/4 c. liquid Braggs aminos (or soy sauce)
    1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
    1 tsp. onion powder
    1/2 tsp pepper
    1/2 c. worcestershire sauce (corn-syrup free)

    Wisk well. Pour over thin-sliced meat in heavy duty freezer bag. Marinade in the refrigerator for several hours, turning and “kneading” the heavy duty freezer bag to ensure even distribution of seasonings occasionally. Dry on oven racks (lowest temp. setting your oven has, with door propped open with a pie tie or oven mitt) or in dehydrator (145-150 degrees) until dry. Yum, I think I will start making some now!

    Tip: Jerky will keep in the freezer for up to a year in heavy freezer bags (I double bag). Once it is removed from freezer it is good for 3 months…but, mine never lasts that long!
    Tip #2: Drink LOTS of water when eating jerky!

  73. says

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  74. Rachel says

    In case anyone’s still looking at this, the easiest way to slice steak thinly is to do it while still partially frozen (or if your steak is fresh, put in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour before slicing). I didn’t see this tip in the comments and thought it might be helpful to someone.

  75. Cynthia G says

    Hello,

    Last summer I was in Santa Fe, NM and I purchased some beef jerky that was made locally. IT was out of this world but it was very basic. One variety was made with just salt and pepper, another s&p and jalopenos. Does jerky have to be marinated in something before it is dehydrated?

    Thank you for your time.

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