Beef Jerky

How to make your own Beef Jerky.

making your own beef jerky

Share this post?

Making your own beef jerky? Check out the full roadmap here!

It is very fun and easy to make your own tasty Beef Jerky of good quality. However, it does take a lot of time and the costs often fall a bit higher than expected. I will go over the options, tips and tricks, beef jerky recipes and pitfalls in this blog. First, here are a few frequently asked questions. Have fun and Jerk-ze!

Frequently asked questions about making your own Beef Jerky

Is it difficult to make beef jerky?

 No, it is very easy and, above all, a lot of fun to make your own beef jerky at home. In this blog, we explain to you exactly what to do!

Does it take a lot of time to make your own beef jerky?

Yes, you are at different times spread over 2 days. The drying process takes a long time and the marinade must soak into the meat overnight for best results.

What meat do you make beef jerky from?

Originally, Beef jerky was made from Bison meat, but today beef jerky is usually made from lean beef. It is also possible to make jerky from other types of meat. Examples include Pork Jerky (pork), Deer Jerky (venison), Chicken Jerky (chicken) and Fish Jerky (fish).

What is important when choosing meat when making beef jerky?

The meat must be really very lean. Beef steak (specifically bullet steak) is my favorite and gives the best results. Fat does not dry well and should be avoided as much as possible, but there will (almost) always be some fat on or in it, which is okay as long as there is not too much fat.

How much meat is needed to make beef jerky?

Assume 220 grams of raw meat yields about 100 grams of beef jerky, this may be slightly differences due to the smoking and drying process. Also, some types of meat contain more moisture than Other what evaporates during the process.

Making your own beef jerky? Here is the entire step-by-step plan including marinade!

First you freeze the meat so that it is not really frozen but stiff. We do this to make sure you can slice the beef jerky nice and thin. If you have a slicer at home set it to 3 mm or ask your butcher to cut it for you in slices of about 3 mm. Is both of these not an option? Then slice the meat into as thin slices as possible. The thinner you cut the meat, the faster it will dry.

Next, mix the marinade for the beef jerky (I’ll come back to that in a moment) well into the meat and let it soak overnight in the refrigerator. There are recipes where they say to put it in the freezer overnight, but that adds nothing and makes putting the slices on the next day a lot harder.

There are 4 ways to make beef jerky at home:

  1. In a dehydrator/drying oven
  2. In the oven
  3. On the BBQ
  4. In a smoke barrel / smoker

The first 2 are methods in which you only dry the meat and do not smoke it. This is fine but you miss an essential signature smoke flavor. This can be taken care of with a good liquid smoke(note: the cheap ones usually taste chemical) or by replacing the salt in your recipe with smoked salt. Use lighter smoke flavors such as fruit (apple, cherry) or Hickory for this. The heavier smoke flavors such as Mesquite, oak and Alder/els  work fine on the BBQ or in the smoke barrel, but as a smoked salt addition I personally find them very dominant.

Place the meat slices on a rack (NOT a baking sheet) so that there is plenty of air circulation around the meat, also be careful that slices do not touch or overlap.

It is important NOT to let the temperature exceed 60 Celsius in all cases, we want to dry the meat and not roast it.

Start with 4 to 5 hours and then see if the jerky is nice and dry. I deliberately don’t put times and exact temperature in this blog because every meat has a different humidity level and every appliance has different characteristics so this will never work well. After 4 to 5 hours, see for yourself if the jerky is ready or needs longer. A good gauge to see if the beef jerky is dry enough by bending it. It is meant to bend hard, but not break. If it breaks, it is too dry.

Webshop Hallmark

The marinade to make your own beef jerky:

For oven or dehydrator/drying oven:

Per 1 kilogram of raw meat. Mix the marinade well before adding it to the meat:

12 EL Worcester sauce

6 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. smoked salt (apple, cherry or Hickory) or liquid smoke to taste

5 tbsp maple syrup

2 Tbsp. paprika

3 TL of garlic powder

2 TL of onion powder

To taste:

1 TL pepper ground

1 tsp chili powder

For the barbecue or smoker:

Replace smoked salt with 2 EXTRA EL soy sauce

1 round of smoking with Hickory or Mesquite, for an extra strong smoke flavor 2 rounds of smoking but this is not normally necessary.

I hope you enjoy delicious homemade beef jerky! Read on below for common mistakes and problems in making beef jerky.

Follow us on social media as well!

Read on below for common mistakes and problems in making beef jerky

1. A white/creamy substance appears on my jerky, what is it?

Solidified proteins, the temperature has been too high.

2. A white dry rash appears on my beef jerky.

This could be 2 things: salt rash from the marinade not being absorbed properly or mold because the jerky was not dry enough and therefore has a very short shelf life.

3. My beef jerky is tough

Beef jerky is supposed to be a “chewy” product, but too tough means too thickly cut and/or the wrong meat used. Also, Beef jerky becomes slowly tough when not sealed from air.

4. I like the beef jerky but a little bland.

Tastes vary, add extra salt, garlic, pepper or chili powder.

5. I want to make a different flavor of beef jerky, such as teriyaki, extra spicy or with ginger.

This can be done by: or replacing powdered ingredients with other powders, or, for example, replacing soy sauce with teriyaki sauce. But rule is, dry before dry and wet before wet, otherwise the marinade is not going to work properly.

What is the best way to store beef jerky?

It is important to keep the beef jerky dry and sealed so that it keeps as long as possible. If you leave beef jerky open, it will slowly become tougher and lose its flavor. Do you really want to keep it for a long time? Then vacuum store your jerky and put it in the freezer!