It's convenient to buy ready made jerky from an online store or from a physical retailer. Some of us want to take a step further trying making it ourselves though. Maybe you want to impress your friends with your home-made jerky during the next trip in the woods or just offer a cool snack during a barbeque night with friends.
With this recipe you can challenge your cutting, drying and marination skills at home cooking your jerky using your own spice mix.
Is there are certain recipe I need to follow?
Actually, no there isn't and that's why we are just providing you a sample recipe. You can play around with many things.
If you prefer a certain sauce for marinade such as barbeque sauce, don't be afraid to try. If you prefer a different cutting, go for strips or smaller pieces.
If you add less salt than in the recipe the meat probably won't be so durable. Anyways, in most case you will be eating your jerky quickly because it's so delicious. Yum!
Only thing you need to be careful is the cooking time, because you will be working with raw meat and the meat needs to heat up to a certain temperature in order to kill all the potential bacteria in it. Otherwise you risk a short shelf life and a potential food poisoning. So make sure that the inner temperature of the meat slices will reach at least 74 degrees Celsius.
What is required to make jerky?
- which can keep a low temperature (less than 100 degrees Celcius)
- 1 to 1.25kg lean beef/wild game/pork piece
- Soy sauce (230 ml)
- Worcestershire sauce (3 tbsp)
- Smoked Paprika sauce (1 tbsp)
- Your favourite ingredient
- Salt (together you want the recipe to contain max. 3% salt, otherwise the jerky will be too salty. Take into account that the meat will lose weight while drying)
- Brown sugar (130 g) - optional (leave away if you don't like sweet jerky, but it will help the ready made jerky last longer)
- Black pepper (1 tsp)
- Chili pepper (1 tsp) - optional
- Onion powder (1 tsp) - optional
- Garlic powder (1/2 tsp) - optional
- Meat tenderizer (1 tsp) - optional (you can also tenderize the meat with a physical meat tenderizer)
- Your favourite ingredient
A variety of options are available in the recipe of beef jerky, and spices or sauces can be added or removed according to your personal liking.
How is it made?
Making jerky can appear as a challenging task by yourself. We have made it simple for you by making five simple steps you can follow to make exceptional jerky.
The first step in making jerky is slicing the beef. Traditional jerky is made up of whole muscle beef. Regardless of the cut of the beef, the meat should be lean cut, and all visible fat is to be trimmed. The meat should be sliced against the grain to ensure optimal chew and bite. An easy trick for cleaner slicing is to partially freeze the meat before working on it.
The beef slices should be 3-4 cm thick.
The second step is marinating the sliced beef pieces. The mixture of dry spices and liquid ingredients is mixed with the beef slices. The beef slices must be evenly covered with the marinade.
Common ingredients used for the jerky marinade include salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, soy sauce, and BBQ sauce. The recipe of the marinade comes down to personal preference and variety of options is available.
The marination process requires time to sit so that the marinade penetrates the beef properly. As a rule of thumb, the longer waiting period results in higher penetration. We recommend at least 6 to 12 hours for proper marination.
This is a crucial step in the beef jerky making process. As preparation, cover the baking trays with aluminium foil to avoid mess later. After the marination is complete, lay out the beef slices on the wire rack evenly to ensure that the beef dries and cooks evenly.
Alternatively, you can also lay down the slices on stainless-steel screens but those are already more professional so you most likely won't have them at home.
The next step is cooking and drying the beef jerky. Cooking slowly is the key to making amazing beef jerky. Preheat the oven to 80 degrees Celsius and place the oven racks with beef slices in the center position.
Beef jerky needs to be cooked at temperature around 74 to 85 degrees Celsius. Bake the slices for at least 4 hours until thoroughly cooked and dry. As part of the cooking process, the beef jerky needs to properly dry out.
Dry beef jerky will have a longer shelf life and is much crispier. Beef jerky that is properly cooked will be dry, chewy but tender at room temperature.
After cooling the cooked beef jerky at room temperature, we can move on to the final step. Beef jerky can be stored inside airtight containers or zip lock bags. Homemade beef jerky will have a shelf life of approximately one week at room temperature.
By following these five steps, you can make beef jerky yourself with ease. Let us know the results if you decided to use the recipe!