Although any type of meat can be turned into a jerky, beef jerky is the most common for good reason.
Turkey jerky has gained traction in recent years due to concerns over red meat intake. If you have worries over consuming red meat, then turkey is your best alternative. Turkey jerky even rhymes.
However, as beef as is the go-to meat for most jerky enthusiasts, you should know what type and cuts of beef you need to make your own delicious homemade dried meat.
To be honest, beef of all varieties can be used. Still, there are better cuts that will make more delicious jerky. Your primary concern is a cut of beef with as minimal fat as possible. You will strip the meat of its fat before you begin, of course, but the leaner the meat the better.
The most ideal beef cuts for making jerky include: flank steak, sirloin tip, top round, bottom round, and eye of round. That said, flank steak is the best possible meat for top-quality jerky. If flank steak is not available, then ribeye is a good alternative.
As mentioned, you must first trim the beef of the fat before you begin, regardless of the cut you decide to use. This is because beef fat does not render.
If you don’t have a jerky slicer, then you’ll need to slice the beef by hand. Before you cut the strips, you need to place the meat inside the freezer for an hour or two, but not for too long so it doesn’t freeze. This is to make the meat hard enough to cut even strips that are nearly identical in thickness.
The overall thickness of the strips is up to your personal preference. Although strips of 1/8 or ¼ of an inch are preferable, if you want chewier jerky, you can slice the beef a little thicker.
You may not have looked at a flank steak or ribeye before and thought, “I can turn that into my own jerky.” If you haven’t, then that should change after today.