Looking to learn how to make beef jerky? Look no further, here you will learn step by step instructions on how to make the best tasting homemade jerky in your own kitchen.
This isn’t every other website that has 1 jerky recipe and call themselves experts. I have DOZENS of JERKY RECIPES and ALL the information you ever need to make the best jerky possible, including HOW TO SLICE MEAT FOR JERKY!
So let’s get started learning everything you need to about making amazing tasting beef jerky for you, your friends, and family. Trust me, your friends and family will find out that you are making jerky…
I have reviewed 4 of the top dehydrators currently on the market to see which ones REALLY work the best. So if you are looking for a dehydrator, take advantage of these Dehydrator Reviews!
The recipe I am using to show you how to make beef jerky is a fan favorite, Rig Hand Beef Jerky, but you can find Dozens of recipes on my Beef Jerky Recipes page.
I have added a VIDEO showing how to make jerky to the end of this post!
How to Make Beef Jerky in 10 Easy Steps:
Step 1 – Start with a lean piece of meat. You can use Flank Steak, Bottom Round, Top Round, Eye of Round, Sirlion Tip, etc…. The goal is to find a piece of meat that has as little fat as possible. You can even use ground meat and a jerky gun. I used a 2lb Beef Eye of Round for this recipe.
Slicing The Meat
Step 2 – Trim off the fat cap and other visible fat from the meat. Fat will make meat spoil faster, so removing as much fat as possible now will extend the shelf life of your finished jerky.
Step 3 – Place the beef in the freezer for 1-2 hours to partially freeze for easier uniform slices. Your meat should be hard to the touch but not fully frozen. Slice the meat against the grain of the meat around 1/8″-1/4″ thick for an easier chew or with the grain for a more chewier jerky.
You can also skip the freezing stage and slice your jerky using a jerky slicer. I use a Weston Jerky Slicer. It makes sure all your strips are the same width which allows them to dry evenly. Having a slicer is great when making a lot of jerky.
Making the Marinade
Step 4 – Finish slicing all of your meat and set aside. Now it’s time to get the marinade ready. As I mentioned earlier, the recipe used here is Rig Hand Beef Jerky. Here is a link to ALL of my Recipes. Pick one and mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl or ziplock bag.
Step 5 – Add the beef strips and shake the container so all the meat is evenly covered with the marinade. I marinated my beef in the fridge for 18 hours. Anywhere between 6 to 24 hours is a long enough time to have great tasting jerky. The longer the better.
Step 6 – After marinating, drain and pat dry the jerky strips to remove any excess marinade before dehydrating. This helps in speeding up the dehydration process.
Drying the Jerky
Step 7- It’s time for the easy part! As I mentioned above, I used my Excalibur Dehydrator for this batch. Place the beef strips on the racks making sure that they are not touching or overlapping.
Leaving space in between the slices allows the air to better circulate and dry the meat.
Step 8 – Turn the dehydrator to 165° and let it run for about 4 hours. You want the internal temperature of your jerky to reach 160°. This jerky took 5 hours to dry. Depending on how thick your slices are will determine how long it will take to finish dehydrating.
Testing the Jerky
Step 9 – Make sure you check your jerky throughout the drying process to avoid over drying. The jerky will be done when it bends and cracks but does not break in half. You will also see white fibers within the meat. If it’s done, let it sit on the rack and cool for a couple hours.
Step 10 – Now it’s time to either store it in ziplock bags, vacuum sealed bags, glass jars, or my favorite; your stomach! The jerky will stay good for 7-10 days if kept in ziplock bags. For longer storage, using vacuum sealed bags will allow the jerky to last 1-2 months. Please visit my page on storing jerky for further information.
Rig Hand Jerky
This is the Jerky recipe that I started passing around while out on the drilling rig in South Texas. This was a bad decision as now many of the guys out here always ask if I have any Jerky on me while we are working. This recipe is made of several ingredients that you can’t go wrong with.
- 1 lb eye of round
- 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp liquid smoke Do NOT add if using smoker
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp Curing Salt Prague Powder #1
- Pick a lean cut of beef. Trim the fat cap and other visible fat. After trimmed, place the meat in the freezer for 1-2 hours or until partially frozen. This will allow for more uniform slices when cutting your beef.
In a plastic container that has a tight fitting lid or ziplock bag, add the marinade ingredients and mix well.
Remove the meat from the freezer and slice ¼" strips against the grain for an easy chew. Cut with the grain for a more chewy jerky.
Add the sliced meat to the marinade and shake well until all slices are covered evenly. Place in the fridge and allow to marinate for 6-24 hours. Shake the container/bag two or three times while marinating.
After marinating, dry slices with paper towels to remove any excess marinade.
Dry for 3 hours at 165 degrees allowing the internal temperature to reach 160 degrees and then turn down to 145F. Check the meat after 4 hours and keep drying until the jerky bends and cracks, but does not break in half.
- Allow jerky to cool for several hours before storing.
Old Pro Tips:
- Trim all fat from the meat before marinating for longer lasting jerky once it's finished drying
- Use curing salt or celery juice powder to extend the life of the jerky
- Marinate closer to 24 hours for the most intense flavor
- Sprinkle on more red pepper flakes before drying if desiring a spicier jerky
Old Pro Tips:
- Use a sharp knife or partially freeze the meat before slicing. Here is my Slicing Meat Page for more information.
- Using a ziplock bag allows you to use less ingredients, saving money on marinades. Put meat in the ziplock bag and roll it up expelling all of the air inside. This allows all the meat to be covered by a relatively small amount of marinade.
- The longer you marinate, the more flavor the jerky will have. If I have time, 18 hours in the minimum I marinate my meat.
- Take jerky strips out of dehydrator and allow to cool for 5 minutes before checking to see if it’s finished. It should bend and crack but not break when finished. You should also see white fibers in the meat when bent.
Click here for dozens of great tasting Beef Jerky Recipes!
As I mentioned above, here is a video I put together of How to Make Jerky. It’s not the best video quality, but it is great as a teaching tool.
Check out my Best Dehydrator for Making Beef Jerky page for dehydrator reviews and a breakdown of the top selling dehydrators currently on the market.