Many times, homemade beef jerky can seem like a daunting task that’s too overwhelming for the benefits. We’re here to dissolve this myth and show you how convenient it can be to make your own beef jerky.
We’ll also share a beef jerky recipe with you that’s invaluably simple. You’ll be able to make your own homemade jerky seasoning, marinade and meat that’s healthy and delicious.
Starting with beef jerky seasoning
There are a few ways to use a beef jerky marinade recipe. One involves a beef jerky seasoning that you apply, then simply dehydrate your jerky, or use in a beef jerky marinade. Another involves taking raw, uncured meat and curing it yourself, first.
Homemade jerky seasoning can be made with herbs and spices from your garden, as well as any low sodium, organic and store-bought ingredients. If you’re producing a cure, you’ll need some coarse salt at the very least, and possibly some form of nitrate.
One of the advantages of using a jerky dryer is that your meat doesn’t require sodium nitrate. Since conventional versions of this ingredient are often unhealthy, and chemical based, it’s convenient and healthy to make beef jerky for longer storage life.
A spicy beef jerky recipe that's pleasantly sweet
- Raw, uncured meat
- Jalapeno, habanero, red, Chile or other hot pepper powder blend
- Black pepper
- Garlic & onion powder
- Worcestershire sauce
- Pineapple juice
- Honey, cinnamon and apple juice (optional)
- Ginger powder, brown sugar and apricot juice with extra black pepper (optional)
Thin beef jerky that’s sliced consistently at about 1/8” thick works best. If you don’t have a sharp butcher’s knife or a steady hand, you can slightly freeze your meat for cleaner cuts. You can also use any kind of beef, from prime rib to steak.
Combine all ingredients in a zip-lock bag. Let marinade in your refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight, keeping in mind that any tenderizers will continue softening your meat over time.
This beef jerky mix calls for the use of a lot of hot peppers, which is offset by something sweet. You’ll also notice that we use either apple or apricot juice, which blend well with various ingredients, individually. Some inspirations might include caramel, vanilla, honey and various raw, unprocessed, grated nuts.
Part of using these citrus juices is also to tenderize your meat. For a soft beef jerky, we recommend using red wine with the apricot juice, and apple cider vinegar or cranberry juice with the apple juice option.
The best way to make beef jerky
A jerky dehydrator is by far your most effective way to go. That being said, you need at least 1,000 watts of drying power for 12-tray batches or greater, if you don’t want the constant hassle of rotating trays and checking for consistency in cooking.
A beef jerky dehydrator doesn’t necessarily need this much power, however. A dehydrator that’s designed to circulate air flow via an external chamber for even cooking across trays will also prevent flavor blending.
Compared to using your home oven, the cost benefits are obvious. You can choose specifically how many trays you want to use at a time (some extend up to 25 dehydrator trays), and you aren’t wasting heating efficiency on open space.
Smoking beef jerky is also an excellent option that can provide an authentic smoke falvor. However, a food dehydrator is much more accessible to families who can use it in their kitchen. Simply place your trays, set the drying temperature and collect your tasty digs!
Using a beef jerky maker is an easy way to give your family delicious, healthy and cost-effective meat!