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homemade beef jerky on a square white serving bowl

Homemade Beef Jerky

Chef Markus Mueller
Making your own homemade beef jerky is surprisingly simple. No special tools or ingredients are needed to make this satisfying, healthy snack. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 10 mins
Course Snack Food
Cuisine Canadian
Servings 2 lbs Beef Jerky
Calories 1856.6 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2.5 lbs boneless beef all fat trimmed away
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tbsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Start by trimming all the fat away from the outside of the beef. If you see a thick vein of fat running through the middle of the roast, follow this line and cut the fat out.
  • Slice the beef jerky into 1/8th inch (1/4 cm) thick strips with a sharp chefs knife or serrated slicer. You can place the raw beef in the freezer first for half an hour to firm it up prior to slicing, resulting in more even strips of beef.
  • Mix your seasonings in a bowl, and then sprinkle it over the sliced beef strips. Use your hands to mix it in well, and evenly distribute it. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or ideally over night. I usually let my jerky sit for about a day before drying it.
  • Once you are ready to dry your jerky, pre heat your oven to 300F, and place tinfoil or a large sheet pan in the bottom to catch any drippings and prevent scorching. (See notes below on food safety). Thread the beef strips onto a wire hanger, or lay them out on a wire rack over a sheet pan.
  • Hang/Place the beef strips in the oven for about 10 minutes to get the meat to reach 160 F killing any bacteria prior to drying. Drop the temperature to between 130F / 55C and 140F / 60C to finish drying the beef. This can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours depending on the temperature setting and the thickness of your beef jerky. If your lowest oven temperature setting is 170F  / 77C wedge the door open with a wooden spoon to let heat escape and keep the temperature lower.
  • Once the beef jerky is dark, fully dried, and has a slight crack when bent, the jerky is done. Remove the homemade beef jerky from the oven and let it fully cool. Use paper towel to soak up any beads of fat that may have appeared.
  • Store the beef jerky in an airtight container for 3 to 4 weeks in a cool dry location, or vacuum seal it for an even longer shelf life. The jerky can easily be frozen or refrigerated to ensure no possibility of bacteria growth.

Notes

Food Safety When Making Homemade Jerky
  • Always wash your hands and equipment before and after handling raw meat to prevent the chance of food-borne illness.
  • Always marinate the beef strips covered and in the fridge. Never leave the beef at room temperature for any extended period of time.
  • When drying the beef jerky, always heat to an initial temperature of 160F as per USDA Food Saftey Regulations, and then continue drying at a temperature between 130F and 140F. This allows the meat to dry quickly enough without chance of bacteria growing.
  • If using a dehydrator or a dehydrate setting on your oven, always heat the jerky to 160F as mentioned in the recipe above first, before dehydrating. If possible set your dehydrator to¬†between 130F and 140F.
  • When storing beef jerky always keep it in a dry, cool, and airtight location. If mold appears or the jerky smells or looks of in any way, toss it out. To ensure food safety refrigerate or freeze your beef jerky if storing for extended periods of time.
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