It’s time to make beef jerky if you’ve never done so before; it’s easier than you might think, you can use your own smoker, and it tastes better and is more affordable than store-bought varieties. It can be challenging to make beef jerky at home that is assured to be safe to consume, but we have a recipe, professional advice, and the thermal secrets you need for success!
To use every part of the animal, preservation of meat is a centuries-old practice. Today’s beef jerky is delicious, practical, and convenient. It is perfect for campers, backpackers, outdoor enthusiasts, or anyone who needs portable, shelf-stable, nutrient-dense food because it doesn’t require refrigeration.
Watch how to make beef jerky
Step 1 – Start with a lean piece of meat. Finding a piece of meat with the least amount of fat is the objective.
- Eye of Round Roast
- Top & Bottom Round Roasts
- Flank Steak
- Sirloin Tip
- Ground Beef (10% fat or less)
For this recipe for beef jerky, I used a 2lb Beef Eye of Round.
Where to buy meat – Free Sam’s Club Membership
When it comes to purchasing beef jerky, big box stores frequently offer the most affordable prices. These include the main two, Sams Club and Costco. If you prefer buying locally, that’s great; however, the meat from local butchers is generally more expensive. However, you are supporting local businesses.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any good butchers near me, so I buy my meat at Sam’s Club. Currently, Sams Club is running a promotion where you can purchase a membership for $45 and instantly receive a $45 Sams Gift Card in-store. So basically, the membership is free. On 3-16-21, we tested the promotion, and it performed as promised. Free Membership Valid until 4-30-2021.
Why get this membership?
I discovered that local Sams charges $4 for USDA Choice Beef Eye of Round Roast, one of the best cuts for jerky. 68. This is compared to $6. 99 a pound at the local chain grocery store, thats a 33% savings!
Not to mention discounts on virtually everything else, including paper towels, seasonings, salmon, tuna, prime brisket, ground beef, and salmon.
How to get the free membership?
Click here for the $45 gift card with sign up. (Jerkyholic is in no way associated with this deal. We do not get anything from Sams or you for you signing up; just passing along a great deal!)
When you enter your information, a coupon code will be provided. Make sure to write that code down and present it to the Sams employee at the membership desk. Although the woman we dealt with already had it, be sure to record it just to be safe.
How to slice the meat
Step 2: Remove the visible fat and fat cap from the meat. To increase the shelf life of your finished beef jerky, trim as much fat as you can now because fat causes meat to spoil more quickly.
Step 3: Freeze the beef for a couple of hours to allow it to partially freeze, allowing for easier, uniform slicing. Your meat should feel tough but not completely frozen.
One of the most crucial procedures when learning how to make beef jerky is this one. Slice the meat about 1/8″ to 4″ thick either with the grain for beef jerky that is easier to chew or against the grain for beef jerky that is more chewy.
The final texture and whether you will have a tough or soft beef jerky depend greatly on how the meat is cut. Visit my page on cutting meat for beef jerky if you need more details.
You can also skip the freezing stage and slice your jerky using a jerky slicer. I use a Weston Jerky Slicer. It makes sure all your strips are the same width which allows them to dry evenly. Having a slicer is great when making a lot of beef jerky, if you are only making small batches every once in a while it is not as important.
How to make the marinade
Step 4: Complete the meat slicing and set it aside. Now its time to get the marinade ready. In a bowl or ziplock bag, combine all the ingredients and stir well. No whole peppers are used in this recipe, so a blender is not required.
Step 5: Add the beef strips and shake the container to evenly distribute the marinade over the meat. For great flavor, marinate in the refrigerator for anywhere between 6 and 24 hours; the longer, the better. This beef was marinated in the fridge for 18 hours.
Step 6: Drain and pat the jerky strips dry after marinating to get rid of any extra marinade before dehydrating. This helps in speeding up the dehydration process.
⏲️ Drying the jerky
Step 7- Its time for the easy part! As I mentioned above, I used my Excalibur Dehydrator for this batch. Place the beef strips on the racks making sure that they are not touching or overlapping.
Beef jerky slices should have space between them to allow air to circulate and dry the meat.
Step 8 – Beef jerky takes around 4-5 hours to dry when dehydrating. Turn the dehydrator to 165° and let it run for about 4 hours until the internal temperature of the jerky reaches a safe 160° as per guidelines from the USDA. Depending on how thick your slices are will determine how long it will take to finish dehydrating, this beef jerky took 5 hours to dry.
️ How to tell when it’s finished drying
Step 9: Check your beef jerky frequently to prevent overdrying during the drying process. When the jerky bends and cracks but does not split in half, it is finished. You will also see white fibers within the meat. If it’s finished, leave it to cool for a few hours on the rack.
Step 10: At this point, you can either store the beef jerky in ziplock bags, vacuum-sealed bags, glass jars, or, my personal favorite, in your stomach. The jerky can be kept for 1-2 months in vacuum sealed bags for longer storage. For more details, visit my page on how to store beef jerky.
That concludes the list of 10 straightforward steps for making beef jerky at home.
The Excalibur Dehydrator is my favorite. There are others that will work great as well. Check out this article where I tested and evaluated the best-selling jerky dehydrators.
No. Jerky can also be made using a smoker or an oven.
We have over 100 delicious marinades and recipes for making all kinds of jerky right here on Jerkyholic.
Old Pro Tips:
- Slice the meat using a sharp knife or partially freeze it. Here is my Slicing Meat Page for more information.
- You can use fewer ingredients by using a ziplock bag, which will help you save money on marinades. Roll the ziplock bag up after adding the meat, releasing all the air. This makes it possible to cover the entire piece of meat with a small amount of marinade.
- The jerky will have more flavor the longer it marinates. If I have the time, I marinate my meat for at least 18 hours.
- Remove the jerky strips from the dehydrator and let them cool for five minutes before determining whether they are ready. It should bend and crack but not break when finished. When the meat is bent, you should also see white fibers in it.
Other recipes and information
How to Make Beef Jerky in a Dehydrator
- ▢ 1 lb eye of round
- ▢ ¼ cup worcestershire sauce
- ▢ ¼ cup soy sauce
- ▢ 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ▢ 1 teaspoon salt
- ▢ 2 teaspoon brown sugar
- ▢ 2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- ▢ 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ▢ ¼ teaspoon Curing Salt (Prague Powder #1)
- Pick a lean cut of beef. Trim the fat cap and other visible fat. When the meat has been trimmed, put it in the freezer for a few hours, or until it is partially frozen. This will make it possible to cut your beef into more uniform slices.
- Add the marinade ingredients to a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid or a ziplock bag and thoroughly combine.
- Slice the meat into 14″ strips against the grain after removing it from the freezer for simple chewing. Cut with the grain for a more chewy jerky.
- Shake the marinade well after adding the sliced meat to ensure that all of the slices are evenly coated. Put the food in the refrigerator and marinate for 6 to 24 hours. Shake the container/bag two or three times while marinating.
- Slices should be dried with paper towels after marinating to remove any extra marinade.
- Give your dehydrator drying racks plenty of space between the strips so that air can easily circulate through them.
- Dry for three hours at 165 degrees, allowing the interior to warm up to 160 degrees before dropping to 145 degrees. After four hours, check the meat and continue drying it until the jerky bends and cracks but does not split in half.
- Allow jerky to cool for several hours before storing.
- Trim the meat of all fat before marinating for jerky that will last longer after drying.
- If you want to make the jerky last longer, use curing salt or powdered celery juice.
- Marinate closer to 24 hours for the most intense flavor
Beef Jerky Internal Temperature a Must Watch
What temperature and how long do you dehydrate beef jerky?
Dehydrate it At this point, remove the meat from the marinade, spread it out in the dehydrator, and dry it completely by dehydrating it at 160°F (71°C) for 6 to 8 hours.
What temperature should beef jerky be?
Before dehydrating meat, steam or roast it to 160 °F and poultry to 165 °F, as measured with a food thermometer. Dry meats in a food dehydrator with a temperature control dial that can be set to a minimum of 130 to 140 °F and that will hold that temperature throughout the drying process.
How long to dry jerky at 200 degrees?
Set the smoker to 200 degrees F. During the cooking process, check the jerky with a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. This will take approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Make sure the jerky has the texture you prefer by tasting it.
Is 200 degrees too hot for jerky?
For making beef jerky, the ideal temperature range is between 170°F and 200°F.