If you’ve never made beef jerky before, currently is the time—it’s much easier than you think! It’s a simple process, you deserve to use your own smoker, and it tastes much better and costs less 보다 what you can buy in ~ a store. Preparing beef jerky at residence that’s guarantee to be for sure to eat can be tricky, but we have a recipe, expert tips, and also the thermal keys you require for beef jerky success!

Preserving meat is an ancient practice to use every component of the animal. Today’s beef jerky is delicious, practical, and convenient. Because it doesn’t call for refrigeration, it’s right for campers, backpackers, any kind of outdoor enthusiast, or anyone who requirements portable, shelf-stable, nutritionally-dense food.

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Top 7 Tips because that Perfect Beef Jerky

In his book, Project Smoke, BBQ skilled Steven Raichlen share 7 an essential tips because that beef jerky success.

Use lean cut of meat v very tiny connective tissue such as height or bottom beef round. Fatty meats rotate rancid quickly and will shorten the shelf life of your jerky.Cut the meat right into thin slices. 1/8 to 1/4-inch (1/3 come 2/3-cm) slices job-related best. Partially freeze the meat for easy slicing (about one hour in the freezer), or have your butcher part it because that you.You can turn any kind of meat right into jerky! Beef is the most popular, however you have the right to make jerky with venison, moose, mule deer, antelope, elk, rabbit, and also bison.Heat come a food-safe temperature that 150-160°F (71°C).When do turkey or chicken jerky, be sure it get a food-safe temperature the 165°F (74°C).Drying meat requires low temperatures (160-180°F <71-82°C>). A low dry temperature is crucial. If the environment is too hot, the exterior of the meat will type a crust the does not allow the interior moisture to evaporate. This is an excellent for steaks top top the grill, however too much warm works against the jerky make process.Maintain constant low-temperature heat in your cooker. Electric smokers are an excellent for jerky due to the fact that they maintain continual low temperatures very well.Store jerky in zipper-lock plastic bags. Package the jerky while it’s quiet warm. Condensation will collect in the bag as it cools, softening the meat.


Shelf Stability and also Food Safety

Beef jerky is shelf-stable due to the fact that nearly all of the moisture has actually been removed. Microorganisms cannot thrive in the lack of moisture, so spoilage is diminished. Beef jerky is most frequently prepared by dehydration, cooking in a low-temperature oven, and smoking. The use of curing salts helps to ruin pathogens.

➤ Water Activity

Commercially prepared beef jerky is make in framework that space monitored through the health and wellness department for food safety. They additionally have the equipment needed to accurately determine water activity. Water activity is the water available in a food product for microorganisms come grow. Shelf secure beef jerky has actually a water activity level of 0.70 to 0.85.

Most civilization who make jerky at house judge it come be done at water activity levels greater than 0.85. For this reason, other techniques of preparation and also testing because that doneness need to be supplied to certain the security of her dried meats.

Homemade beef jerky is far much more likely to reason foodborne disease than store-bought jerky. Thermal denaturation that bacteria (explained below) is the easiest sure-fire means to make sure your food is safe to eat.

How do You recognize When Beef Jerky is “Done?”

Jerky can be considered “done” and also safe to eat only as soon as it has been heated sufficiently to destroy any kind of pathogens present and also is dry enough to be shelf-stable. —Making Jerky at home Safely, Pacific Northwest Extension

Safely making Jerky without a Smoker

If you’re making use of a food dehydrator that does not reach the temperature variety of 160-180°F (71-82°C), you can still certain its food security with a quick added step.

➤ Post-Drying Heating

After your jerky is completely dried, warm it in a 275°F (135°C) stove for ten minutes. Spot-check the inner temperature of your jerky with a Thermapen come be certain it’s reached a temperature that 150-160°F (66-71°C). V this final, rapid step you have the right to be sure your jerky is pathogen-free.

Beef Jerky Recipe

Powerful an enig Ingredient: This cooking recipes is based upon Meathead’s Marinaded Beef Jerky Recipe. There is a far-ranging amount of grated new ginger in the marinade—don’t skimp on this ingredient. Ginger includes a protease enzyme referred to as zingibain that breaks down the meat fibers and will certainly make the result jerky far more tender 보다 it would certainly be otherwise.

2-3 pounds (7/8 come 1-1/3 kg) trimmed skinny meat such as eye of round or optimal or bottom round1 cup (237 ml) soy sauce1/4 cup (59 ml) apple juice2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce2 tbsp balsamic vinegar1/2 cup (118 ml <170 grams by weight>) honey5 tbsp finely grated new ginger1 tbsp coarsely ground black color pepper1 tbsp warm sauceInstructions


Freeze the meat while preparing the marinade. The meat should be only partially frozen—firm, however still sliceable.


Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and also whisk to mix well. Collection asideOnce the meat is partially frozen, slice right into 1/8 to 1/4 inch (1/3 to 2/3 cm) slices.


➤ cut With or against the Grain?

Beef jerky is widely available cut both with and against the grain. If you reduced your slices versus the serial it’ll be less complicated to chew. If it’s cut with the serial the protein fibers that become firm and also pliable through the drying process will provide your jaw a workout. It’s approximately you.


Place the meat slices right into a gallon dimension zipper lock bag and pour the marinade over the meat. Massage the meat in the bag to same distribute the marinade.Set the bag right into a container or paper pan on the bottom shelf in your refrigerator and chill for 24 hours.

Cook Day

Add wood chips or chunks and enable smoke to develop while you’re preparing the meat.Drain the meat native the marinade and also pat dried with file towels.


The actual secret, even if it is smoker or oven, is come prep her jerky prior to drying. Removing the meat from the marinade and also patting off the excess humidity is an important for even cooking. —Dr. Pepper Jalapeño Beef Jerky, Hey Grill, Hey

Arrange the meat slices top top heatproof grilling mesh or steel cooling racks, being sure none the the slices are touching. For even drying the slices require room for air circulation.Set the racks or mesh onto your smoker’s grate, nearby the lid, and also let that cook.


➤ store the Temperature Low and also the waiting Circulation High

If you wish, you deserve to prop open the lid of your cooker come let heat escape in bespeak to save the cooking temperature down. This will also increase waiting flow. If you generally use a water pan, skip that today. The score is dehydration not moisturizing. —Not an Elitist Jerk Beef Jerky, AmazingRibs.com

Total dry time varies and also depends on exactly how well her smoker’s temperature is maintained, humidity, the kind of marinade used, and the thickness and also size of her meat slices. The will likely take around 3-6 hours.When checking the jerky, you’re searching for signs of progression toward doneness such as shrinkage. The finished jerky should be leathery, bend conveniently with just a few cracks, and have no wet spots.

➤ fun Fact: Meat is 70-75% water. Sixteen ounces of fresh meat will certainly make about 4 ounces of finished jerky.


Experts recommend placing the warm jerky right into plastic containers or bags contempt ajar to allow condensation come soften the driest locations of the meat.If you can keep yourself and everyone rather from devouring the new jerky, it is additionally recommended to store the cooled jerky at room temperature because that 24 hours to permit it come “condition.” The air conditioning time period allows the humidity left in the meat to equilibrate transparent the pieces of jerky.

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Jerky Economics

The of turning meat into jerky bring away time yet it’s not a challenging process. That’s a large part that why it costs so lot in stores. Lb for lb it’s some of the many expensive meat you have the right to buy, yet if friend don’t mind placing in a tiny work you can make your very own jerky because that a portion of the cost. —Smoked Beef Jerky & exhilaration Deer Jerky, HowToBBQRight.com


After it’s been packaged in a sealed container, her homemade beef jerky deserve to be stored in ~ room temperature, refrigerated, or frozen. Label and date the zipper lock bags or containers therefore you’re certain to recognize when the best time framework will be to consume the jerky relying on the storage technique you choose.

Room Temperature: 2 weeksRefrigerated: 3 come 6 monthsFrozen: approximately 1 year

Making your very own beef jerky is simpler than friend think, and also foolproof when you have the right to track temperatures precisely. When you taste that for you yourself you’ll be hooked!