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Alton Brown Jerky

Alton Finished

This week I was not feeling creative and tried an already established recipe that had good reviews already.

Alton Brown is a chef that you might have seen on the Food Network, he is in many of their shows. He has a recipe online for some jerky that is actually dried using a box fan and air filters. I can not recommend the air filter and box fan drying technique, but the jerky recipe sounded pretty good. (When making homemade jerky it is very important that you raise the temperature of the meat to 160° F to kill any bacteria. If drying without heat, place the jerky after it has dried in the oven at 225° F for 10 minutes to kill any harmful bacteria still remaining)

Many of you already know that I am not a fan of honey when it comes to making jerky, but with only a tablespoon, I gave it a go.

I decided to smoke this jerky since I was not about to use air filters and a fan. I had a weekend trip planned to visit my parents in Corpus Christi, TX and thought I would bring my Masterbuilt Smoker along to make some jerky. I packed the truck with my smoker and Fiance and enjoyed the 4 hour drive south to visit the folks.

Smoker

The recipe turned out pretty good and was a hit among my family. My parents dog Lucy even tasted and approved of the jerky, even though she really isn’t that picky. I did add some extra red pepper flakes and used mesquite wood chips. I love the smokey flavor you get from smoking jerky, it is so much more flavorful than adding liquid smoke.

I hope you enjoy this Alton Brown’s jerky recipe!

4.0 from 2 reviews
Alton Brown Jerky
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Beef Jerky
Ingredients
Lean Beef
  • 1lb eye of round
Marinade
  • ⅔ cup worcestershire sauce
  • ⅔ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup mesquite wood chips If using a smoker
Instructions
  1. Pick you favorite type of beef and trim all visible fat. Place the meat in the freezer for 1-2 hours to partially freeze. This makes it easier to slice equal width pieces.
  2. While the meat is in the freezer, add the worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and honey in a container. Stir the ingredients well to allow the honey to evenly disperse. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and set aside.
  3. Remove beef from the freezer and slice against the grain between ⅛"-1/4" thick.
  4. Add the sliced beef to the marinade and stir well to evenly coat. Set in the refrigerator and allow to marinade for 6-24 hours.
  5. When finished marinating, remove meat from the refrigerator and pat dry with paper towels.
  6. Add additional red pepper flakes before drying. Dry the jerky using your favorite method.
  7. Jerky will be finished when it bends and cracks, but does not break in half. Allow to cool for several hours before storing in an air tight container.

Visit Jerky Making Method for more in depth information on all types of drying methods.

6 comments

  1. Brian E says:

    How did you incorporate the smoker? Was it cold smoked or hot? All I have is a hot smoker, wondering if I could smoke for a bit then dry in dehydrator. Cheers

    • Will
      Will says:

      I hot smoked the jerky. I am putting together a page on how to make jerky with a smoker that will be up on the site shortly. You can go over to a recent post, Tennessee Smoked Beef Jerky, which I went in depth about how I smoke jerky. I know a lot of people that use the smoker just to give it that real smoke flavor, then move it to the dehydrator to finish it. I would put it in the smoker for 1hr at 160F WITHOUT smoke to let it sweat. After an hour add smoke and continue for another hour at about 190F. After you smoke for an hour take it off and finish it in the dehydrator. Let me know how it turns out!

  2. Rob says:

    This first try at making jerkey and I used this alton brown recipe. I used my smoker with masquite as well, and followed your steps. It worked great, the texture and consistency were awesome, but I think I could have dried it a little longer.

    The taste wasn’t bad. I felt like it almost had a teriyaki flavor. My daughter mixed the marinade for me so I hope that was how it was supposed to taste. I look forward to trying more recipes. I’ll be back on this one eventually

    Thanks fof the website and your easy to follow instructions.

  3. Steve Masters says:

    My understanding from watching the show is the salt content in the marinade will salt cure the meat and thus cooking to 160 degree is not required. This is like any other salt curing process where the meat is not cooked. The salt kills any bacteria in the meat. Your comments above about cooking did concern me so I sent of an email to Alton Browns show and asking him. If he replies back I will post an update. His show also talked about the reason for using cool air instead of hot air to dehydrate the meat. High temp will cook the items, thus changing the taste and texture of the product. A cold air blowing across the meat is enough to dry the meat, at least 8-12 hours. My first batch was 12 hours and I think it should have been longer or batch #2 the meat was cut thinner and dried for 16 hours which worked well.
    He showed using air filters and a fan, however he used cellouse air filters which are not available any more. I made four 20″ square frames out of 2×4 lumber and a layer of regular window screen fabric and layered my salted meat on it and blew a fan across it. This process should also allow me to dry fruit and herbs also as the screens are washable. By the way, he also explained the need for the amount of honey. Honey is hydroscopic and makes the marinade enter deep into all the meat cells for proper curing. While the amount of honey sounded like a lot it does not make the meat too sweet. I also added more hotter spices than called for and not as much onion power as he called for. I agree about liquid smoke VS real smoke. I used the liquid smoke both timea and even on batch #2 tripled the amount and it still is not smoky enough for me.

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