I love beef jerky! I started trying to make my own within the past year or so, but never quite stumbled upon a recipe that I really loved until now. Store bought stuff is just okay, and well, often times it’s just too sweet.
Sweet meat just seems weird to me, unless you’re eating Chinese food, and then it’s to be expected in certain dishes, I suppose. But I’ve often eaten commercial/store-bought beef jerky and it almost seems more like candied dry beef – kinda gross, I think.
This recipe has a touch a sweetness, a touch of smokiness, and a touch of heat. The flavors all mesh together in an amazing way and it comes together so easily. I also love this recipe because you can control each of the flavors, by reducing or increasing the flavors that you like most.
I use an inexpensive dehydrator that I picked up with a coupon at my local Bed, Bath, and Beyond store. Alton Brown describes how to dry the beef out with a box fan…however, if you don’t have a dehydrator, I’m thinking it might be easier to just set your oven on the lowest possible temp and crack the door oven a bit to achieve a temp that would be at least in the ballpark.
I usually set my dehydrator to 130 degrees or so, but each dehydrator will vary in its settings and power, so you’ll have to experiment with what works best for you. Better to go low and start slow…
I’ve been experimenting with various cuts of meat. The cuts most often used include flank and skirt steak. Here’s an interesting link describing various cuts of beef: Understanding the Cuts and here is some more information on Flank and Skirt Steaks
Recipe very slightly adapted from Food Network, Alton Brown
Homemade Smoky Beef Jerky
- 2 pounds flank or skirt steak sliced thin
- 2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 0.5 teaspoon black pepper up to 1 teaspoon
- 2 teaspoons onion powder or dried onion flakes
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- In a small bowl, combine all marinade ingredients and mix well.
- In a large bowl or ziplock bag, combine meat with marinade, distributing the marinade well to ensure all the meat is coated.
- Cover and refrigerate the marinated meat for 3 to 6 hours
- Remove the meat from the marinade
- Dehydrate the meat in your dehydrator following the device instructions
- Mine took about 6 hours on a medium to low setting.
Check the meat after 2 hours, 4 hours, and then every 1/2 hour thereafter the first time you make this jerky.