The Art of Making Beef Jerky

Ahhh Mountain breeze, rustling pine needles from the trees, the sound of a quickly flowing stream. What’s missing from this picture? The taste of tough and chewy meat that keeps for what seems like forever. That’s right. We’re talking about beef jerky. Are there many things more American? You gotta feed your wild side with some jerky. You’ve heard it straight from the Sasquatch’s mouth. But why would you keep buying beef jerky from Jack Links, Matador, Oberto, Duke’s and countless other companies, when you could make better and cheaper jerky in the comfort of your own home? Here is a step-by-step guide to easily making your own jerky.

The Process:

First things first, you will need to have a dehydrator. I personally have a Presto Dehydro food dehydrator. The first step to making jerky is deciding what type of meat that you want to use. The most traditional type of jerky is beef jerky, so that is what we will be discussing today. The easiest and probably best cut of beef for making beef jerky is a flank steak. I most recently used a beef brisket flat. A couple other common cuts for making beef jerky are round steak and rump roast. Once you have decided what type of cut that you want to use, it is time to cut the meat. Cutting the meat is one of the most important parks of making the jerky, and it is standard to cut the meat into slices about 1/4 of an inch thick and cut the fat off. Make sure you have a very sharp knife to do so. If you have an electric knife, this process is much easier.

Getting Saucy:

Once you have finished cutting your meat, it is time to marinate it. There are many fresh ingredients that can be used to create marinades for beef jerky, usually involving pepper, Worcestershire, garlic, soy, onion powder, etc. However, for the easiest way to marinate beef jerky, you can simply mix pre-made jerky cure and seasoning with soy sauce, or my personal favorite, Mr. Yoshida’s sweet & savory marinade sauce.

And the Waiting Begins…

Feel free to combine the seasoning, cure and sauce with any of the ingredients previously listed. Making jerky is all about trial and error, until you come up with a mix of ingredients perfect for you. Once you have created your marinade, combine it with your slices of meat in a gallon Ziploc bag, and keep it in the refrigerator for a full 24 hours.

Time to Start Cooking!

After you have marinated that delicious beef for a full 24 hours, it is time to stark making your jerky. Place the slices of your meat onto the trays of your dehydrator. Set your dehydrator somewhere between 120-160 degrees, and cook for 7-12 hours. I personally set my dehydrator to 140 degrees for 10 hours.

Snack Time!

After your long wait is over, give yourself a pat on the back, because you have made your own beef jerky! Now you can make your meats last for weeks and weeks. Hope you enjoy your tasty beef treats!


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