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Basic Jerky

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This basic jerky was one of the first Jerky recipes I ever tried. It is a very simple recipe that does not have to many crazy flavors and ingredients. If you are looking for a great tasting jerky that will just about please everyone, this is a great place to start.

Basic Toothpicks

I used my oven to make basic jerky because I feel like using such a basic recipe, you need to dry it the most basic way possible. Don’t forget to share with your friends!

4 from 10 votes

Basic Jerky

This basic jerky was one of the first Jerky recipes I ever tried. It is a very simple recipe that does not have to many crazy flavors and ingredients. If you are looking for a great tasting jerky that will just about please everyone, this is a great place to start.
Course Snack
Cuisine Beef Jerky
Keyword beef jerky
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours
Servings 5
Calories 178 kcal
Author Will


Lean Beef:


  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp liquid smoke only use if NOT using a smoker



  1. Trim the fat cap and all other visible fat from your meat. After trimming, place the meat in your freezer for an hour or so to partially freeze.
  2. While the meat is in the freezer, mix the soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and liquid smoke in a container that has a tight fitting lid.
  3. After an hour, remove the beef from the freezer. It should be hard to the touch but not fully frozen. Slice the meat against the grain 1/8" - 1/4" thick. Try to make all slices the same thickness for evenly dried jerky.
  4. Add sliced beef to your ingredient mixture and shake container to evenly coat the slices. Marinate in the fridge for anywhere from 6-24 hours. Shake container several times during the marinating process.
  5. Remove marinated beef from the fridge and pat dry with paper towels. Pierce one side of the strip with a toothpick to hang in the oven.
  6. Place strips in the oven and dry for 4 hours at 170 degrees fahrenheit or the lowest temperature on your oven. Check jerky after 4 hours and keep drying as needed. Jerky will be done when it bends and cracks, but does not break in half.
  7. Allow jerky to cool for several hours before placing in ziplock bags. Jerky will stay good for 7-10 days or up to 1-2 months when vacuum packaged.
Nutrition Facts
Basic Jerky
Amount Per Serving
Calories 178 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 812mg35%
Potassium 290mg8%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin C 1.3mg2%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 2.8mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



  1. Paul Phibben says:

    Hi Will, I’m a Brit with limited experience of drying etc. I have an Excalliber dryer and a basic meths fueled smoker. My question is, when making your basic jerky when should I smoke the meat, start middle or end?.. and for how long?
    Many thanks …Paul

    • Will says:

      Hey Paul and thanks for stopping by! This is a great question. There are a couple ways of using your smoker. You can smoke the jerky and finish drying it entirely in the smoker without using a dehydrator. (How to Make Beef Jerky in a Smoker)(How to Make Beef Jerky in a Smoker). If want to use your dehydrator but get a real smoke flavor, you can put the jerky in the smoker at the beginning of the process and then dry in your dehydrator. Check out that link I posted on smoking jerky. If you want to use your dehydrator, pull the jerky out at step 10 (after applying the smoke) and finish drying in your dehydrator. Smoke the jerky at the beginning because it will take on the smoke flavor better than if the meat is already dried. Hope that helps! Let me know how it turns out!

  2. Paul Phibben says:

    Will, many thanks for the quick response.
    As the fuel in the smoker needs to be re-filled every half hour I will go with the smoker first option and finish off in the dehydrator.
    I will keep you posted of my success…
    Ever the optimist!!

    • Pete Kildow says:

      5 stars
      Not sure what your using in your smoker. But sawdust will last longer then chips in a smoker. On my SmokinTex 1500 or my Smokin-It 03. I never use wood, there like a cast iron skillet. Seasoned smoker will give you the smoked flavor. Plus I make my jerky with the door cracked open. That way the heat is not to hot.

      • Will says:

        Hey Pete! I have not used saw dust, only wood chips. They seem to work well, but maybe I’ll give saw dust a try next time. Thanks for the advice man.

      • Pete Kildow says:

        5 stars
        Sorry that should be never use wood on Jerky. Or for chicken for that matter. Boston butts, and briskets yet .But for smaller cuts the seasoned smoker does it without wood for smoke.

  3. Warren Althouse says:

    Hi Will, just started making jerky few months ago made the rig hand and really like it. My BIL has asked me to make some without marinade ( he does not like ) he wants just salt and pepper. Trying to find recipe , what kind of salt, table, sea, or kosher , how much etc any help would be appreciated . I am using a Dynaglo offset smoker. Thank You

    • Will says:

      I like using either sea salt or kosher salt when making jerky. I think if you are only going to dry rub the meat, sea salt will work better. I’m not a huge fan of just salt and pepper on jerky (feel like it lacks flavor), but whatever floats his boat! I would start with about 1 tbsp of salt and 2-3 tsp of pepper.

  4. Nicole says:

    Hi Will, thanks for all of this great information. I have a question. When I was a kid we used to drive to Colorado from Texas, and we would always stop to get beef jerky in Alamosa from a place called Snider’s smokehouse. This place is now closed, but in my opinion it was the best jerky ever. I was wondering if you knew of it, and if so, could suggest which of your recipes might best replicate their classic smoked beef jerky. (This was in the ’80’s so there weren’t any fancy crazy things like jerky with ostrich or alligator). We just got a vertical smoker, and I can’t wait to try some of your recipes!

  5. Scott says:

    Hi there. I’m super new at this,first time in fact. Whats the benefit of the curing salt and does it get added in with the marinade or at a separate point.

    Thanks in advance.

  6. Scott says:

    Thanks. After I posted that I went deeper into you site and found it. Good website. Really enjoyed looking through it. Just waiting for the Prague powder to turn up.

  7. Albert says:

    5 stars
    Holy moly!! So easy and so fantastic! A perfect taste, you are right.. Good for anyone. Question: after 3 hours they seem finished. It turns out my oven has a dehydration feature, so I think it sped things along. Bend and Crack but not split after 3 hours. Thank you!

    • Will says:

      Sounds like your oven dries it pretty fast. The time can really change depending on thickness of jerky slices and the oven/dehydrator/smoker used. If it’s done after 3 hours, take it out and eat it!

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