Home » How to Make Beef Jerky in the Oven

 

How to make Beef Jerky in the Oven

Do you need a dehydrator or a smoker to make beef jerky? No, so don’t go running out and buying expensive appliances. Start with an appliance everyone already has, an oven! Using the oven to make beef jerky is a very easy, simple, and cost affective way to make great tasting jerky.

The recipe I will be using to show you how to make jerky in an oven is my Chili Lime Jerky.

1 – Start by buying a lean piece of meat, I am using flank steak for this recipe. Flank steak is not my favorite cut of meat to use, but it does work just fine. The flank steak I have access to here in Austin has a little more marbling than I like and is also about twice as expensive as my favorite cut; eye of round.

2 – Trim any visible fat from the meat. Fat will make your jerky spoil, so cut off as much as possible.

FlankTrimmed

3 – Wrap the meat in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 1-2 hours to partially freeze. This step is not mandatory, but does make slicing the meat at a consistent width easier. Slice against the grain at around 1/8″-1/4″ thick. When using flank steak, I have found that wider slices allow the jerky pieces to stay together better and produce better jerky.

FlankSlicedLime

4 – Place the slices of beef to the side and assemble your jerky marinade. As I mentioned earlier, I am using my Chili Lime recipe for this batch. Once you have made your marinade, place the beef slices in your marinade and make sure they are covered evenly. Marinate the jerky in the refrigerator for 6-24 hours.

ChiliLimeIngredients

5 – Cover the bottom rack of the oven with aluminum foil to avoid drippings during the drying process. It will make a mess if you do not put a layer of protection down. If you are like me, the last thing you want to do is spend an hour cleaning your oven because you skipped a 30 second step in the process!

Dry the strips on paper towels to remove any excess marinade.

6 – You can either lay your jerky pieces across the metal rack or you can use toothpicks and hang your strips. I have decided to use toothpicks to hang my strips. After drying the strips with paper towels, I slide one toothpick through one of the ends of each piece of jerky.

FlankwToothpicks

7 – Take the metal rack out of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 300°F. Hang the strips on the metal rack while its outside the oven. You can also place the strips laying flat on a baking rack and leave the ovens metal rack in the oven while pre-heating.

FlankHangingOven

8 – Once pre-heated, put the oven rack of jerky in the oven on the highest rack position, being careful not to allow the strips to fall. Bake in the oven with the door closed for 10 minutes. This will heat the jerky to an internal temperature of 160°F killing potential bacteria.

9 – After 10 minutes, turn your oven down to 160° or as low as it will go and prop the door open. My oven will only go as low as 170°. Prop the door open with a wooden spoon to allow moisture to escape and air to circulate during the drying process.

SpoonOven

10 – It should take between 3-8 hours depending on the thickness of the jerky. Check after 3 hours, and continue as needed. The jerky will be done when it bends and cracks but does not break in half. It took 4 hours to dry this jerky to my liking.

ChiliLimeFinished

69 comments

  1. Mike says:

    Hi Will, Going to try the oven method, just wondering if using the convection option would be too fast or would it help
    dry more consistently, would I still have to vent the oven? Thanks Mike.

    • Will
      Will says:

      Hey Mike! I have personally never used a convection oven when making beef jerky but think that it would be a great option. Convection ovens move air around inside the oven as well as vent the air out for a dryer atmosphere inside the oven. You would not have to keep the door open when using a convection oven and your jerky would more than likely dry a little faster. So make sure to check on it a little sooner than you would in a regular oven. Let me know how it works!

      • Bre says:

        Hey Guys,
        I haven’t made jerky yet but am ready to try it. I do have a convection oven and it has a “drying” setting specifically designed for dehydrating. I use it for drying herbs, vegtables, and making granola. So for folks with convection ovens, I suggest that they review their oven’s instruction manual. It may have a drying setting also.

  2. Matt F says:

    I just found your site and have my first batch in the oven. However, I am worried about the fat in my strips. I purchased a Flank Steak and while I was cutting it I found fat running in the middle. There is a lot of marbling and I am worried if this could ruin the jerky.

    • Will
      Will says:

      Cutting out the fat allows the jerky to have a longer shelf life because fat spoils quicker. It’s okay if it has some fat, just eat it within a couple of days. Also, keeping it in the fridge will help it last longer as well. It should still taste fantastic!

  3. Andree says:

    Hi, I just found your site, very nice! I wanted to know if the marinade is necessary. I’d like to make “meat flavored” jerky, is that possible? Thanks.

    • Will
      Will says:

      You can keep the marinade to a minimum if you are looking for that “meat flavor”. I have never made jerky without ANY flavor, not sure how great that would taste. I would add at least some salt and pepper to the meat before drying.

      • Jasper says:

        Salt and Pepper is actually all the use for Biltong in South Africa. It should get a great flavour. Another great thing I tried is some fresh Lavender. It compliments the lemon zest very well 😉

  4. John Paul Morris says:

    If you go the ground beef route the LEM gun is the only way to go. Been using one for more than 10 years and it still works good as new. Drove 90 miles to the Bass Pro Shop in Shreveport to buy one and it was well worth the trip. I use the oven, dehydrator, and smoker, but the oven always turns out the best Jeremy. I squeeze out 12″ strips from the gun and lay them across a grill rack on top of an aluminum backing tray.

    • Will
      Will says:

      The LEM Jerky Cannon is very well built. That’s why I bought one as well. When looking to buy a jerky gun, there are several on the market. Most have a lot of plastic and have reviews of them breaking after several uses. The LEM Cannon though has lasted me several years and is still going strong. Thanks for the comment John!

  5. Lonnie says:

    I found your site while looking for a recipe to make steak style jerky. I will be trying some of your recipes while I continue looking for the steak style. I may just try cooking them a lot less time.

    • Will
      Will says:

      There are several recipes on here that do not have liquid smoke. But don’t be afraid to alter any of the recipes you find on the site. If you do not like liquid smoke, just omit it from the ingredients. It of course will change the taste a little, but most recipes will still taste great.

  6. RB says:

    The oven method is great. Popping some in this afternoon. Also freeze it for future beach snacks. Experiment with marinades and make it anything you like. Thanks for sharing your tips.

  7. Jennifer van Aerle says:

    Hello Will .
    I live in Holland Europe, and I’m gone give this a try. We love Beef Jerky but its not easy to get hear in The Netherlands. Thanks for the recepy.

    Jennifer.

  8. Stephen Brown says:

    Thanks for the oven recipe. Tried it and afraid I didn’t marinate the meat long enough
    used Eye of Round and meat is bland tasting. Any ideas to spice it up or is it too late?

    • Will
      Will says:

      Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do after the jerky has dried. I am surprised it didn’t have much flavor. How long did you marinate it for?

  9. Pam Kermeen says:

    I have my meat cut in strips and marinating. Can the marinade be frozen to re-use or should it be tossed?
    This is my first batch. I am not much on measuring so I just threw in some soy sauce, Worcester sauce, steak sauce and a blend of spices with a small amount of liquid fire. Going to dry after work tomorrow.

    • Will
      Will says:

      I do not recommend freezing or reusing a marinade once you have already soaked your meat in it. It is just not recommended from a safety stand point. Discard your marinade and start fresh the next batch. Marinades tend to be pretty inexpensive anyway. Let me know how you first batch turns out!

  10. Nancy says:

    So glad you have this site. Beef jerky is so expensive. I am going to try some of your recipes. What type of beef would you recommend to use?

  11. Marc says:

    Just found this website. I am getting super excited about making some jerky now! I will be using my oven when I finally get to making some and will let you know how it turns out! Thanks for all of the wonderful information. Keep it all coming! Marc

  12. n says:

    i want to try this, but my oven is such that i can’t leave the door propped open (it will beep at me incessantly and i can’t handle that for 3 hours!)…is it going to be a problem if i keep the oven door closed? will it change the baking time or will it change the end product greatly?? thanks…

    • Will
      Will says:

      It will change the product by not allowing the moisture to escape the oven. Unless you have a convection oven that sucks the air out, then it will probably end up alright. Otherwise, I would recommend buying an inexpensive dehydrator.

    • Mac McAtee says:

      n, Try opening the oven door once an hour for a couple of minutes. That should let moisture that builds up in there out.

      The longer the jerky drys the less moisture in the oven. Try opening every thirty minutes for three cycles and then once an hour till done as well.

  13. Cheryl says:

    Hi, I’m new at this, but instead of the oven wire racks, I’m using bakers wire cooling racks on top of foil covered cookie sheets. I have to make smaller batches but its working great. Can’t wait to try some of your recipes

  14. Gavin says:

    Hi Will,

    I have just started making jerky and found your site! Thanks for all the great recipes and work you put into it! I have been air drying my jerky with a fan over night! Does doing it in the oven make it taste different? I don’t like a very dry jerky so that is why I went with the air drying up till now! Thanks in advance!

    • Will
      Will says:

      It shouldn’t make it taste any different. I would recommend reading my safe jerky post. It’s not a good idea to make jerky without heating it to an internal temperature of 160F. Definitely try the oven method, it is safer and will taste great!

  15. Steve says:

    Just got a moose here in NH and look forward to trying to make jerky in my gas oven. Thank you for the great tips and instructions.

  16. Rebecca says:

    Im trying this now and so far so good. Ive got what i call Original whic i put some salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and water in a glad bag. I had the juice of one lime and added 2/3 of sweet chilli sauce in another. Ive also got Teriyaki and Hoisen flavours. Fingers crossed they turn out well andso far so good

  17. Barry Trudell says:

    Hi Will…This will be my first time making jerky and I have learned a great deal from your site. I have sliced sirloin tip steak (that’s all I had) against the grain into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Half are soaking overnight in fridge in marinade of 1cup hickory barbecue sauce and 2 cups water. The other half soaking in 1cup chilli garlic sauce and 2 cups water. I plan on hanging the meat on kabob skewers on the rack in my oven with the door cracked open a little. My oven only goes as low as 170 degrees so I will check after 3 hours for doneness but will go longer if needed. Will the jerky be safe to eat drying at this temperature? I only plan on drying Saturday evening so I hope you can answer me before I start. Thanks in advance.

    • Will
      Will says:

      Sorry Barry for not getting back to you in time. I do recommend a pre-heat of the jerky to get the internal temperature to 160F before drying. It is an extra step that makes sure to kill any potential bacteria. Many people do not do this step and are fine eating their jerky, I recommend it though. Check out my page on making safe jerky.

      • Barry Trudell says:

        Thanks for the answer Will. I did my jerky in the oven without the pre-heat. Took 3hours & 40 minutes and I removed and let air dry for 3 hours. After that I put jerky in mason jars in a cool dark cupboard. Both flavors came out 100% and neither lasted very long although I only used a couple pounds of steak for my first try. (and no one got sick without the pre-heat) Jerky tasted much better after a day in the jars. Soaking my second try tonight…got about 6 pounds of sirloin tip soaking in the chilli garlic sauce and will dry Tuesday evening. Going to a hockey tournament on the weekend…so there will be at least one jar going with me so I can pass it around to the partying adults while the girl’s hockey team rests for the next game…LOL

  18. Willy Summers says:

    Awesome site! Thanks for sharing your love of jerky. I was about ready to pull the trigger on an expensive food dehydrator… but will be trying your oven method soon!

    • Will
      Will says:

      That’s the right idea Willy. Might as well go the inexpensive way first to see if you like making homemade beef jerky. You probably will though, and will be buying a dehydrator soon. Haha.

  19. SteveK says:

    First time making in a convection oven. We had trimmings from a fillet roast and I couldn’t bear not to use them somehow. Very fatty, but I actually like that. Didn’t know about the shorter shelf life for marbled meat. Won’t matter, as I plan to eat it quickly!

  20. Mike says:

    I have my beef marinating. Can’t wait to dry it.

    Marinade is: liquid bovril, liquid smoke, sea salt , pepper, garlic, smoked paprika, Worcestershire sauce, red hot, CPL dabs of tobasco.

  21. Carl says:

    I am going to use the kitchen oven to make the chili lime beef jerky. I noticed in the drying instructions that you hang the meat at 160 degrees, or 170 degrees for 3 to 8 hours. However, I read somewhere in the other instructions that you should preheat the meat at 300 degrees for approximately 10 minutes, before doing the drying process (to kill any bacteria)……But I didn’t see this (300 degree/10 minutes) in the chili lime beef jerky recipe. So, do I need to do the 300 degree/10 minutes in the beginning, or not ?? Thank you for your help.

  22. Stephanie says:

    Just found your site while looking for jerky recipes for Christmas. It’ll be my first try but you’ve done a great job explaining the basics, especially with the oven. I’m excited to get started! Thanks!

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