HOW TO MAKE BEEF JERKY
1. Choose your cut of meat. Choosing a lean cut of meat is always best. It may cost a bit more at the meat counter, but will save you a lot of work in the long run. Inside/ outside or eye of round are best because they don`t have a lot of fat.
2. Slice your meat. Cut your meat into slices aprox. 1/8″ thick, cutting against the grain of the meat. To make slicing easier, you can put it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes beforehand. Be sure to trim off as much excess fat as you can while you are slicing, because fat can go rancid after drying.
3. Marinate your meat. Place your slices of beef into an airtight container and coat with anything you like. I prefer something simple. I use a mixture of cayenne pepper sauce, teriyaki, salt and liquid smoke. (a shot of Jack Daniels doesn`t hurt either) Let stand in fridge over-night. Just remember that the more liquid you use in your preparation, the longer it will take to dry.
4. Dehydrate the meat. If you are using an oven : preheat oven to the lowest possible setting. Place meat on wire racks (the kind used for cooling cookies & cakes are perfect) on top of foil lined cookie sheets and put in oven. Keep the oven door open just a crack while drying to let out any extra moisture. After 6-7 hours check the meat frequently. When it is done it should break fairly easily, but not snap. If you are using a dehydrator: lay strips of meat evenly on racks. Be sure the strips aren`t touching, as this will prevent even drying. Rotate trays periodically to ensure an even consistency (the bottom racks dry much more quickly) You can also spray the racks with any brand of non-stick cooking spray, so cleaning the trays is easier.
5. Bag it. The best way to store your Beef Jerky is to refrigerate it in Zip-Lock bags. Make sure to keep it refrigerated or even frozen until you plan to eat it.
Beef Jerky Tip : To make one pound of beef jerky you will usually need 2.5-3lbs of beef , depending on the cut.
Experiment with your ingredients. Try : crushed chillies, soy sauce, cider vinegar, cracked black pepper, brown sugar, honey, grated ginger, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder….the list is endless. Experiment and enjoy.