Basic Jerky Recipe

Beef Jerky
Juanmonino / Getty Images
  • 4 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 4 hrs
  • Yield: About 3/4 pound (12 servings)
Ratings (5)

This basic method for jerky will work with just about any type of meat using the dehydrator or oven.

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean boneless meat
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 vegetable oil cooking spray

How to Make It

Freeze meat until firm but not hard; then cut into 1/8 to 1/4-inch-thick slices.

In a medium-size glass, stoneware, plastic or stainless steel bowl, combine soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, pepper, garlic powder, and liquid smoke. Stir to dissolve seasonings. Add meat and mix until all surfaces are thoroughly coated. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until next day, stirring occasionally; recover tightly after stirring.

Drying the jerky:

Depending upon the drying method you're using, evenly coat dehydrator racks or metal racks with cooking spray; if oven drying, place racks over rimmed baking pans. Lift meat from the bowl, shaking off any excess liquid. Arrange meat strips close together, but not overlapping, on racks. Dry in the oven on lowest possible setting until pliable but dry.

Dehydrator drying:

Arrange trays according to manufacturer's directions and dry at 140 degrees F until a piece of jerky cracks, but does not break, when bent (8 to 10 hours; let jerky cool for 5 minutes before testing). Pat off any beads of oil from jerky. Let jerky cool completely on racks; remove from racks, place in a rigid freezer container, and freeze for 72 hours. Then store in airtight, insect-proof containers in a cool, dry place; or freeze or refrigerate.

Storage time: Up to 3 weeks at room temperature; up to 4 months in the refrigerator; up to 8 months in the freezer.

Per ounce: 94 calories, 12 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 4 g total fat, 28 mg cholesterol, 398 mg sodium

Source: (Sunset Books)
Reprinted with permission.