You don’t need to go far to get the best beef jerky. If you like this healthy, protein snack, why not do it at home yourself?
It may seem complicated, but you follow simple steps and keep some things in mind to create a delicious snack and food. If you like making snacks at home, the best beef jerky can’t be left behind.
Let’s get started!
The Best Beef Jerky Is The One You Make At Home!
Here are 8 important steps you need to know
Step #1: Pick the right beef
You’re probably already wondering what cut of beef to get or use. The truth is, you can use any cut, but the easiest one could be a beef flank steak.
It is a bit pricy, but it is worth it, as it is lean and allows for cutting it thinly. If you can’t find any, don’t worry; you can use top or bottom round or eye of round.
Step #2: Slice the meat correctly
This part is tricky because you need to cut the meat as thinly as possible. We recommend a ¼ inch thick cut. To make for a chewier jerky, you can cut with the grain, but cut against for a tender cut.
All you need to do is place the meat in the freezer for 20 minutes right before cutting, as it can help firm up the cut.
If you don’t like cutting your meat, the butcher at your local store may be able to do it for you!
Step #3: Make a good marinade
Even if you don’t think so, every beef jerky you’ve bought before was dried with a marinade.
Some ingredients to use in your homemade marinade include soy sauce, black pepper, onion and garlic powder, salt, and Worcestershire sauce.
If you want to make the best beef jerky that is also sweet, consider adding one tablespoon or more of maple syrup.
As for a spicy snack, use red pepper flakes or hot sauce. But be careful to not overdo it.
Step #4: Choose the correct equipment
You can use your dehydrator if you have one, but if you don’t, use the oven at home.
To use the oven, lay down the meat strips on wire racks that have been placed over the tin foiled covered baking sheets.
If you don’t have wire racks, you can use the baking sheets, but it can be messy as the dripping juices may spill over.
However, if you have a dehydrator, this is the time to let it shine! Simply place the meat on the drying sheets and adjust the temperature to the lowest setting.
Allow the meat to dry slowly, but be careful with rotating the sheets. Your dehydrator dries more evenly, but it is best to check the meat as you go.
Step #5: Prepare the meat
Now that you have chosen the right cut, the correct equipment, and made your marinade, you can toss the beef jerky pieces into a Ziploc bag with it.
Keep in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to dehydrating, but one day is ideal.
Step #6: Start dehydrating
If using the dehydrator, lay the meat strips in single layers. Follow dehydrator instructions and cook the beef jerky until dry and firm.
Usually, this drying process takes about 8 hours, but cooking times vary on the type of meat and brand.
If you are using the oven, heat it to the lowest temperature possible. This is usually 175 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with tin foil, and place the wire racks on top of each sheet.
Lay the meat strips on the wire racks as a single layer, and begin baking until dry and firm. Flip the meat halfway through at 4 hours, and check the meat constantly.
Step #7: Store the beef jerky and enjoy
Once the meat is dry but still bendable, you’re done with the dehydrating process. Take the jerky out of the dehydrator or oven, and allow it to cool down.
You can store your beef jerky in a sealed container or a Ziploc bag. For better lasting flavor, store it in the refrigerator.
Step #8: Use your beef jerky however you want
Now that you have prepared the best beef jerky at home, why not use it wisely? Add it to a sandwich, pizza, casseroles, or simply have it as a quick snack any time of the day.
Since you make this at home, you get to pick exactly what goes into the meat. Forget about nitrites and too much sodium, you can now choose how to make your favorite meat.
Don’t wait any longer to create the best beef jerky you will ever try. The process is similar for other meats, like turkey or fish.
Enjoy a quick, delicious treat full of protein!