Jerky is a method of preserving meat in which fresh meat is dried in the sun or smoked using dry woods to prevent from spoiling. The word jerky comes from Quechua; a South American native tribe they call it “Ch’arki” which means “to burn,” this word later evolved into what we call today as “Jerky.” The discovery of this method allowed us human to store meat product for a long period of time this enables people to consume high protein for fuel that is readily available when a food source is at scarce. Traders and travelers consume it as an essential source of nutrition as they travel from new places with a limited supply of fresh food. Jerky is a flavourful snack, and almost any meat can be made into jerky, the process of making this snack is by cutting meat into thin slices and dried under the hot sun or in a slow smokey fire until it was dry and brittle. Today Jerky is popularly known as an American snack, the most popular meat for jerky is beef and there a few choices of beef cuts that best use for jerky this cuts are eye of round, bottom round, top round, sirloin, flank steak and ground beef, Yes! Ground beef may also be used for jerky well any cuts in meat can be used for jerky as long as it is lean meat with low fat.
This recipe will teach you how to make a flavourful tasty Beef Jerky using your oven at home.
Beef Jerky Recipe
- 1 lb Beef Top Round/Sirloin Tip/ Flank Steak
- ½ cup Soy Sauce
- ½ cup Worcestershire Sauce
- ½ tbsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tbsp Liquid Smoke
- 2 tbsp Honey
Freeze the cut of beef in the freezer for one hour then cut into thin strips.
Put inside the ziplock bag all of the ingredients except the beef strips. Close the ziplock bag then shake the bag to mix the marinade.
One by one put the beef strip into the ziplock together with the marinade then close the bag and shake it again to coat the beef strips with the marinade evenly.
Chill the ziplock bag into the fridge for 4 hrs. or overnight.
Preheat your oven to 170°F.
Take your baking sheet then cover it with aluminum foil. Place the cookie rack above the baking sheet.
Take the marinated beef strips out of the fridge then dry the liquid out of the beef strips by laying in a clean surface two sheets of paper towel then lay all the beef strips flat above the paper towel and cover it again with two layers of paper towel. Using your hand press down the beef strip to absorb all liquid from the beef.
Lay all the beef strip on the cookie rack with a little space on each other.
Bake the strips for 3-4hrs. at 170°F heat. Check the jerky every hour to make sure the temperature is maintained at 170°F.
Take the jerky out of the oven then cut it to your desired shapes or consume it directly.
Tools and Equipment:
Step 1: Prepare all Ingredients, tools and equipment
- The first thing to do to make jerky is to buy a beef cut, ask your butcher for one of this beef cuts; “eye of round, bottom round, top round, sirloin, flank steak cut.” Ask your butcher to trim off any excess fat and silver skin. You may ask your butcher to cut the beef into thin strips for you, or you may cut it yourself using a sharp knife, to cut the beef into thin strips you need to freeze the meat into the freezer first for one hour for ease of cutting.
- Next is find all remaining ingredients which are Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, liquid smoke, cayenne pepper, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder, all of this ingredients are available in your local grocery store.
- Now you need to prepare your tools for making jerky; you will need a; ziplock bag, this will be used for storing your beef in the fridge while marinating. The second tool you will need is a cookie rack or baking rack for holding the meat while drying. Next is a baking sheet this will be used as a drip tray to catch excess drip from the meat, next is a foil this will act as an insulator to maintain the heat on the bottom side of the meat. Lastly, you will need an oven as a source of heat for drying the jerky.
Step 2: Marinate the Beef
- Take your ziplock bag and pour inside the bag the Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, liquid smoke, cayenne pepper, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder then close the bag and shake it to mix all of the ingredients for the marinade.
- Then take your beef strips and one by one put it inside the ziplock bag with the marinade while shaking the meat in the marinade to make sure that each beef strips are evenly soaked.
- Close the ziplock bag and shake it a little making sure that all of the meat is soaked in the marinade. Place the bag inside of the fridge, marinate it for 4 hrs. or overnight.
Step 3: Arrange your rack and drip tray for drying
- Take your baking sheet then cover the top it with aluminum foil.
- Put the cookie rack above the baking sheet.
- Take your marinated beef strips from the fridge then on a clean flat surface line two sheets of paper towel, then one by one lay the beef strip in the paper towel, put another two sheet of paper towel above the beef strips to cover it. Now using your hand press down the strip to absorb excess liquid from the meat, make sure that all of the strips are dry before laying it on the cookie rack.
- Lay the beef strips flat on the cookie sheet with a few spaces from each other.
Step 4: Ready for Drying
– Preheat your oven to 170°F then put the arranged rack with the beef strip inside the oven then bake it for 3 – 4 hrs while maintaining the 170°F. Check the jerky every hour to make sure that the heat is maintained.
– If your oven can’t go down as 170°F just like mine which is an electric oven, it’s heating element is coil located up and down which I can control whether I use up or down or both. You can do this trick if your oven is just like mine or similar, take a stainless rack that’s perfectly fit in your oven then cover it with aluminum foil, set the heat source of your oven on top only and place the foil covered rack above the rack of jerky.
- This will block the intense heat from the heating element, and only low heat will pass from the foil-covered rack. Close your oven but leave a little opening to let the moisture out.
- But if you have a dehydrator, I will strongly suggest you use that instead of the oven, because it is the ideal drying equipment for jerky. Still set it in 170°F and dehydrate it for 3-4 hrs.
- Once the jerky is dry and brittle, you may cut it using a kitchen scissor into your desired shape, or you may eat it directly.