Best homemade beef jerky recipe

Best Homemade Beef Jerky Recipe

The idea of making beef jerky at home may seem like a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be! Making your beef jerky is a fun and easy way to take your love of beef up a notch.

And there’s nothing like the taste of fresh, homemade beef jerky. Here is a simple recipe for making it, so what are you waiting for?

Ingredients for the Best Homemade Beef Jerky

Ingredients for homemade beef jerky
Ingredients for homemade beef jerky

Beef for Homemade Beef Jerky

If you want to make good jerky, start with the right kind of beef. You should find beef that is low in fat. This way, it will be easier to trim off the fat.

And your jerky will spoil less later on! We made homemade Beef Jerky with London Broil.

That’s a cut of beef that is lean, and the resulting jerky is irresistible because of its texture. You can also use top or bottom round, eye of sirloin tip, or flank steak. Avoid ribeye and other fatty cuts!

For my recipe, I decided to try top round London broil beef, which I bought at Walmart for $12.03/per 2.06 lb. ($5.84/per 1 lb.)

Our choice of beef -London broil
Our choice of beef -London broil

Get a sharp knife and cut the fat from your beef. It is tempting to skip mini pieces of fat, but take the time to cut it all off.

It will make your jerky last longer.

Cutting off fat from our beef
Cutting off fat from our beef

I weighed the meat to see how much jerky we would have left after the dehydrating.

Weighing meat in grams
Weighing meat in grams
Weighing meat in oz
Weighing meat in oz.

Beef is hard to slice when it is not frozen. It can be hard to cut if the beef is too soft or too cold.

Put it in the freezer for a while so that it is easier to slice. You can take it out of the freezer after two hours.

Cutting slightly frozen meat
Cutting slightly frozen meat

Marinade for Homemade Beef Jerky

The next step is to gather all the ingredients and make a marinade. You’ll need to mix the ingredients listed above in the proper proportions.

See the measuring cup below.

Measuring cup for coking the marinade

Now you’ll mix your marinade and beef, letting it sit between 6 and 24 hours. The longer you marinate the beef, the stronger the flavor is.

Mixing the marinade and meat for homemade beef jerky
Mixing the marinade and meat for homemade beef jerky

Dehydrating the Beef

After marinating the beef, the paper towel(s) will absorb any extra liquid.

Placing the beef on a paper towel
Placing the beef on a paper towel

You can use an oven or an electric smoker, but it is better to use a dehydrator: it is easy to use and it isn’t expensive. You can buy one on Amazon.

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Beef placed on the dehydrator for drying
Beef placed on the dehydrator for drying

You will dry the beef for 4 – 8 hours at 160 degrees F. Our hand-cut slices took 6 hours to get the perfect crispy texture. If you want, you can dry at lower temperatures, but make sure that you adjust your drying time because of this change in temperature level. For 145 degrees Fahrenheit, plan on 7 hours of drying time, and for 125 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure that you have 10 hours of drying time.

Beef looks like after dehydration
Beef looks like after dehydration

You will get about 1/3 of the weight of the meat in jerky. Our pound of beef turned into 6.1 oz. or 173 grams. The process removed 9.7 oz. of weight, which constituted a 61% loss of weight!

Weighing meat after cooking in oz.
Weighing meat after cooking in oz.
Weighing meat after cooking in grams
Weighing meat after cooking in grams

Recipe

This recipe serves 5 people and required for me 14 hours and 30 minutes:

  • preparation time: 30 minutes
  • marinade time: 8 hours
  • drying time: 6 hours
Ingredients Cost
1 lb. of beef; I choose top round London broil beef, but any could work $5.84 per 1 lb. at Walmart
1/4 teaspoon of Prague Powder #1 curing saltBetween $12 and $13 for a 2.5 lb. pack
(96 teaspoons per pound means that 1/4 of a teaspoon equates to 0.01 cents)
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce$1.00 for a 10 oz. container at Wallmart
(2 tbsp per oz. = 0.10 cents)
1/4 cup cold waterI used tap water so it was essentially free
1/2 teaspoon sea salt$1.96 for 2.12 oz. a container at Walmart
(6 tsp. per oz. means that 1 teaspoon equates to 0.15 cents or 0.08 cents per 1/2 teaspoon)
2 tablespoon brown sugar$2.17 for 2lb. a container at Walmart
(31 tbsp. per pound means that 2 tbsp. equates to 0.07 cents)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper$3.98 for 3.12 oz. a container at Walmart
(6 tsp. per oz. means that 1 teaspoon equates to 0.21 cents)
1/2 teaspoon onion powderBetween $4 and $5 for a 1.73 oz. container
(6 tsp. per oz. means that 1 teaspoon equates to 0.38 cents or 0.19 cents per 1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powderBetween $4 and $5 for a 2.33 oz. container
(6 tsp. per oz. means that 1 teaspoon equates to 0.28 cents or 0.14 cents per 1/2 teaspoon)
3 whole habaneros$3 and $4 for 1 lb. at Walmart
(3 habaneros equates to $1)
Total Cost: $7.64/6.1 oz. (full cost: meat + ingredients)

Shot Instruction

  1. Cut the fat from the beef and place the meat in a freezer for 1-2 hours.
  2. Cut the beef into slices that are no more than ¼ inch thick with a knife.
  3. Mix all ingredients to make a marinade, put it on top of the meat, and then put it in your refrigerator for 7 -24 hours. 
  4. Remove excess liquid from beef with a paper towel and dry it for 4-8 hours at 160 degrees F until they bend and can’t break without snapping.
Cooked homemade beef jerky
Cooked Homemade beef jerky

Last update on 2022-01-25

QUOTE:
"You might be a redneck if you think that beef jerky and moon pies are two of the major food groups."
-- Jeff Foxworthy

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